SEQUIM — This time, Sequim’s Emblem3 is doing things on their terms.
Brothers Keaton and Wesley Stromberg and long-time friend Drew Chadwick, all from Sequim and now based in California, are nearing the end of their latest trek, the Waking Up tour.
It brings them to Seattle’s Neptune Theater on Saturday to promote their new EP and phone app, which provides their music and other goodies for free.
The performance will be at 8 p.m. at the Neptune, 1303 NE 45th St.
General admission tickets are still available at www.tickets.com.
The tour is the band’s first since reforming in late 2015 after it was reported Chadwick left briefly to pursue a solo career.
“It’s our craziest tour so far for a number of different reasons,” Chadwick said via phone in New Orleans.
“We have absolute power so we get to do whatever we want [as a band],” Chadwick said.
“A lot of the [shows] are selling out, we’re making money, making music and doing what we love. What more can you ask for?”
Emblem3 rose to national attention by placing fourth in 2012 on the show “The X-Factor.”
They released their debut album “Nothing to Lose” in 2013 and later toured with pop icon Selena Gomez.
Chadwick’s song “Now” partially explains the reason for the hiatus, but in a nutshell, he said the band didn’t want to renew its record contract after three years, so by breaking up it freed them from an unwanted deal.
Now the band is “technically independent,” Chadwick said, with a private investor who holds distribution through Sony Red.
“In the future, we’re looking [to sign] if the deal is right to do and makes sense,” he said.
Recording and releasing “Waking Up” was one way for the band to rediscover their dynamic, Chadwick said.
“It’s a warm up,” he said. “When we get back we’ll be producing our next album. It’s going to be next level sick . . . We want to work with a lot of big producers and get as much hype behind it as we can.”
Chadwick said they are in a position now to negotiate whereas their previous deal did not allow that and “caused a lot of problems.”
The band works on new music daily with a studio setup in their tour bus to record demos.
Chadwick says he only demos songs he feels will end up on an album.
“I feel like all of them are [album-worthy],” he said.
The Strombergs have several songs on the back-burner, too, he said, and many songs eventually find their way somewhere after rewriting verses and/or tearing a song down from the bottom.
New and old fans can have unfettered access to all things Emblem3, namely their music, through the band’s app from EscapeX, which created apps for other musicians such as Bob Marley.
Chadwick said it has a lot of potential for artists and their fans to access bands unfiltered through social media and hear music for free.
Emblem3 began their Waking Up tour April 2 in Japan and they’ve performed around the world.
“We’ve put everything we got into it,” Chadwick said. “We haven’t played in Seattle yet [since reforming].
“Our best friends Jesse and Kathy Kirsch are getting married on the 9th and their honeymoon is our show. The show is going to be banger. I’m so proud.”
Once the tour finishes up, he says, “the next year is all about leveling up, showing we can sell out venues and hopefully getting the right powerhouse behind us.”
Returning to the Pacific Northwest has a special meaning for the band.
Chadwick said he hasn’t been in Sequim since Thanksgiving, but he misses it and dreams about it nightly.
“I can’t really express this magical feeling I get with the Northwest and Sequim and the Olympic Peninsula as a whole,” he said.
“I’ve been to China, Japan, the Philippines, [and all over] and I truly feel the Northwest is actually the most magical place.”
He hopes, following the tour, he’ll get a few days off to visit Lake Sutherland.
Chadwick said he holds a lot of precious memories of a simple life here before leaving to start a new life in California at age 17.
“I’m so happy to have this opportunity,” he said. “I hope someday to come back to the Olympic Peninsula and maybe Sequim and build a cabin and garden and live in peace.”
Read more about Emblem3 at www.emblem3.com and look for its app in the iTunes store.
________Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected]