Tag Archives: aaron morgan

Christmas Un-Wrapped with Seabird (Video)

23 Dec

Instead of answering the question for Christmas Un-Wrapped the “normal” way, brothers Aaron and Ryan Morgan of Seabird decided to go high-tech—they recorded their answers.  Since a little effort goes a long way with Backseat Writer, Seabird has been given the distinct honor of ushering in Christmas with the final unwrapping of 2009.

Seabird’s sophomore album, Rocks Into Rivers, just hit shelves and digital retailers on Dec. 15, which makes it a perfect last-minute gift or way to burn some of that Christmas cash from grandma.  As a special Christmas present from Seabird to all of you, you can download “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” from Rocks Into Rivers here (this will take you to an external link).

You can also pick up Seabird’s Silent Night EP which offers the band’s unique versions of “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.”

Random aside:  Methinks that Aaron is wearing the same shirt as in this photograph I snapped of him at Revelation Generation—what do you guys think?  Don’t you love to know that artists are real people who wear their clothes more than once?

Seabird answered each question with a separate video, explanations of the clips are underneath the “watch” boxes. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.  Seabird made Backseat Writer’s Christmas.

Aaron Morgan, lead singer of Seabird, answers BSW’s question, “Tell me why your sophomore album, Rock Into Rivers, would make the perfect gift for music fans.” Notice the appearance of random guy in the window on the right.

Ryan Morgan guitarist for Seabird answers BSW’s question, “Did you score any good deals on Black Friday? Is it a day of great deals or terrifying chaos?” And then his brother Aaron interrupts. Also, there’s a special visitor in the window on the right.

Ryan answers BSW’s question, “Did you believe in Santa Claus as a child? How did you find out he wasn’t real?” Apparently, Ryan remained a Santa devotee until his late teens.

Aaron tells a spirited anecdote when asked by BSW to “Describe a Christmas catastrophe.”

Ryan answers BSW’s question, “What’s your fave Christmas song/Christmas movie or cartoon/Christmas cookie?” I get the idea that his brother, Aaron, likes A CHRISTMAS STORY.

Brothers Aaron and Ryan share their New Year’s resolutions and perform their own version of “Yo Ho Ho” from DC Talk. I think they should stick to their own songs. Merry Christmas!

Rockin’ at RevGen 2009

14 Sep

Revelation Generation (RevGen) held its fifth annual two-day Labor Day Weekend extravaganza Sept. 4-5 in Frenchtown, NJ.  This year’s line-up was ambitious and impressive with big hitters such as Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, Relient K, Needtobreathe, Flyleaf, and MercyMe taking center stage along with other favorites such as Derek Webb, Jon Foreman (s0lo acoustic performance), BarlowGirl, Seabird, The Devil Wears Prada, and GRITS.  Thirty-thousand people, five stages, good eats, and great weather–the combination made for a great day!

Beach balls of all sizes started flying during Relient K’s set.  I got hit on the head a few times!

Attending only the second day of festivities, here’s what I discovered–The Fold (great band!), Dawn from Fireflight is super nice, Seabird is amazing live (and in conversation), BReith is a funny guy, Relient K keeps getting better and better, Jon Foreman on acoustic packed out the Nashville Tent, BarlowGirl is wild in concert (must see again!), I like Derek Webb’s new album much more on acoustic!

The ever-entertaining Matt Theissen of Relient K.

Like any festival, there are degenerates who ruin the fun for everyone.  I wanted to keep this positive, but Sarah got spit on by a teenager girl (“What? I wasn’t spitting on you!” she protested), got kicked by rowdy college boys (who came dangerously close to kicking my precious camera), was hit on the head by a half-empty water bottle that came flying out of nowhere (no one claimed it or apologized), and dodged numerous frisbees and footballs.  In fact, I was almost clubbed a few times as well.  I can honestly say that some people were completely out of control–and, no, they weren’t all teenagers and I don’t think any of them were drunk.  It was so exasperating that we didn’t dare venture past the acoustic stage after dark.  With a crowd that size, people don’t need to throw concussion-causing objects–that’s what yards and parks are for!

This is B.Reith.  I met him in the merch tent.  He was pretty amusing.  Check him out!

Overall, the event was wonderful.  The staff and volunteers were courteous, helpful, and so kind!  The festival really stepped up service to the media this year, which made things much easier.  And–this is almost unheard of–the shows ran almost perfectly on schedule!  Good management, RevGen!  I will definitely make RevGen a permanent part of my Labor Day weekend.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’ve been talking about The Glorious Unseen [read Take 5] all week. Well, here’s a happy TGU member running the merch table. Sadly, I didn’t get to attend their live show.

When I got to RevGen, The Fold was on the New York Stage, and they were really good.  I caught up with the band later and also discovered, they are really nice guys.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take their picture.  But I will definitely interview The Fold for Backseat Writer.

Aaron of Seabird on keys

Aaron Morgan of Seabird on keys [top and bottom].

The first band I had a chance to watch and photography was none other than Seabird.  I’ve been dying to see these guys live since I first heard Til We See the Shore.  And Seabird delivered as promised.  The only downside–they didn’t play my fave song, “Maggie Mahoney,” but they did play two songs from their upcoming (insert girly scream) album! [Read Seabird interview.]

Jon Foreman performing for a packed out tent of fans [top and bottom].

Next, I checked out Jon Foreman’s acoustic set in the Nashville tent, which was packed out with rabid Jon Foreman fans.  He sang “The Cure For Pain” when I was taking my closer pics.  I know I’m supposed to be objective as a journalist, but tears were just pouring down my face as I snapped these shots.  “The Cure For Pain” seems to be an anthem for so many judging not only by my reaction, but the crowd reaction as well.

I also caught BarlowGirl, Relient K, and Derek Webb on film, but missed out on Switchfoot’s photo pit.  It was getting pretty crazy up there, so I kept my distance.  Here are the rest of my photos::


Relient K

Derek Webb did a fabulous acoustic show, including some songs from his new album, Stockholm Syndrome, which just released Sept. 1.  [Read BSW interview with Derek Webb].

I’ve been super busy lately, but I promise to let you know when I’ve edited/uploaded all my RevGen photos.

Seabird Sees the Shore

30 Jul

By Amy Sondova Many albums deal with complicated subjects, whether they are personal struggles, bittersweet memories, man’s attempts to understand God, or the complexities of relationships. Seabird tackles all these issues head-on with their debut album, Til We See the Shore (Credential) released in late June (read review). Hailing from Cincinnati (the Kentucky side) the Morgan brothers Aaron (vocals/keys) and Ryan (guitar), bassist Chris Kubik, and former drummer Aaron Hunt had an atypical beginning.

It all started when Hunt, the band’s co-founder, heard Aaron tickling the ivories on his father-in-law’s grand piano. “He approached me and asked if I wanted to start practicing some songs in his basement,” shares Aaron. “He was playing guitar and I was playing piano; it sounded horrible, so he switched to drums.” Adding in bass player Chris Kubik and a guitarist gave the piano-rock outfit a more solid sound.

However, Seabird experienced inner turmoil when their then-guitarist became dissatisfied with the direction of the band. Inspiring the bittersweet song, “Let Me Go On,” Aaron says, “It was definitely a difficult time because he was a friend of ours. It started as a friendship; it didn’t start as a band thing.” The song itself is about the power of a great song, shares Aaron, who says either the audience loves the music or not, but struggles for power often destroy great music. Aaron’s brother, Ryan, joined Seabird’s line-up two years later.

Right now, the band is looking for a drummer. They are currently using the talents of three different drummers to fill in for summer shows. Aaron Hunt left the band three weeks prior to lead singer Aaron Morgan’s interview with Backseat Writer. “It wasn’t a band situation; it was band timing,” shares Aaron, who was sad to see his friend leave. “We love him. We’re still friends and we support him in his decision.”

Despite these changes, Seabird has impressed audiences with a decidedly Britpop sound that also makes use of heaving guitar hooks, strong rhythms, and a solid piano/guitar base. The band’s first single, “Rescue,” co-written with Bear and Bo Rinehart of NeedtoBreathe, is resonating with listeners. “I felt like everything good I was trying to do was ending up in failure and only God could turn it into something beautiful and life-giving,” says Aaron, who then continues, “The chorus is calling out to God as rescuer. I know many times in my life I’ve felt like I’ve had no way out.”

The power of a song like “Rescue” isn’t solely for Christian audiences. “I have friends that aren’t Christians and it’s their favorite song. I think there’s something really ironic about that. Whether they hear the Christian message or not, they know what it’s like to feel defeated and the need to be rescued.”

Aaron also sees Seabird’s music as a chance to cross-over the great divide between Christian and non-Christians with the universal language of music. “Growing up in church, we would never turn our backs on the opportunity to play for a Christian audience. We’ve got such a responsibility to share the love of Christ with others. If we have a tool like music that can build relationships, I want to do that,” remarks Aaron.

By being approachable, Seabird wants to connect with others musically and personally, says Aaron, “The vulnerability of our songs gives listeners an open door into our lives. That’s something we take very seriously.” The band also strives to share songs that tell about real experiences, even if they are humiliating. Aaron draws much inspiration from his love story with a young woman, Celeste.

When Aaron wrote “Stronger” for his childhood sweetheart, he was only 17. “I wrote that before I was in Seabird or even before I thought about playing it for anyone. It was a way to get my emotions off the chest.” Knowing that the timing wasn’t “right” to confess his loving feelings to Celeste, the girl next door, Aaron poured his thoughts into songs.

After spending a year and a half at college and then getting in involved with YWAM (Youth With A Mission), Aaron serenaded Celeste with a special song written to celebrate her 20th birthday. “That’s when she knew I loved her,” shares Aaron, who admits that was his most nerve-wracking performance. “I waited my whole life to tell her that I loved her.” The couple married a year later, and now have a beautiful three year-old daughter, London.

“Being a boyfriend and being engaged are very different from being married,” explains Aaron as he talks about the album’s angriest song “Cottonmouth” (Jargon). “You have a lack of authority, but when you’re married you have the right to step in and protect your wife when there is an abusive or destructive relationship present.” The culmination of the song (and the story) is a celebration at the severing of a difficult, controlling association.

The melancholy ballad “Falling For You” is a softly romantic song Aaron wrote to comfort Celeste, who was grieving her parent’s divorce after 30 years of marriage. “Once I got married, I took on a lot of her hurt and abandonment and disappointment, and that’s what this song is about—finding refuge in a new love and a new family,” shares Aaron.

The album is also about finding refuge in God, in the belief that there is something worth fighting for, and an indelible hope in the spirit of man. The album’s title track beautifully sums up the entire album says Aaron. “I get this imagery of a ship full of sailors that get caught in a terrible storm. They’re nearly at the point of defeat and they decide that they’re going to fight for their lives against this storm.” That is, until they see the shore, a place of safety.

While it may seem that Til We See the Shore solely deals with heavy themes, there’s the marvelously upbeat “Maggie Mahoney,” a song about a girl who love to dance, but can’t seem to relate to others outside of dance class. “A couple of people have asked if Maggie Mahoney was an ex-girlfriend, but that’s definitely not true,” laughs Aaron, who then elaborates on the song. “We’ve actually never met Maggie, but we know about her from a friend who was in a dance class with her. He said that when they were in class, she was a lot of fun and had a great personality, but outside of class, she has a hard time being normal.” The real Maggie Mahoney has never heard the song or of the band, Seabird, for that matter.

Still, there are plenty of others who have been moved by the band’s lyrics, rocked out to the music, and found inspiration and hope in “Rescue.” As Seabird continues to play with their friends NeedtoBreathe, The Myriad, and This Beautiful Republic, they will instill the hope that the shore isn’t that far away.

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