One of our writers Sabrina Tosti wrote an article a few years back about how local music scenes are dying that I didn’t necessarily disagree with (read the article for a clear explanation). She wrote of many instances that supported the notion that there is less support for local music these days. This may be true in some places, but at the same time there is no way you can apply this to every scene. Melbourne, Florida has a music scene that has continued to thrive through numerous venue shut downs and various band break ups/hiatuses, great music still pops up all the time. One up and coming band out of Melbourne is Sea of Surrender, a three piece indie rock band with elements of post rock and hardcore mixed in. The band has been around for a few years playing countless shows around Florida and the Southeast, and truly knows the scene comes from what people put into it. I caught up with Michael Rosado (drums), Collin Bottomlee (bass), and Chris Maisano (guitar) to ask them a few questions about the scene and their latest EP titled In Contrast.
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B.G.M.: How did Sea of Surrender come to be?
Rosado: Chris and I started Sea Of Surrender as a two-piece (drums & guitar) with the intention of enjoying and creating moments with people in our community and playing music that we love. We had written a few songs together before 2012 and in late 2013 our friend Collin joined in on bass. From then on we have enjoyed writing songs together and sharing with others.
How did the Melbourne, FL music scene shape Sea of Surrender as a band?
Maisano: I felt misplaced in Melbourne for a while because we were either softer then the other bands or way harder. There wasn’t a lot of bands that had our kind of sound. It definitely pushed us as a band to spread out beyond our hometown and play with a wider variety of bands of different genres. But we have hosted and played some Melbourne house shows and I must say that they have been my favorite and most memorable shows we’ve played thus far.
Maisano: Well most of the songs were already written before Collin had joined the band, except for “Awaken.” Then we collaborated what we had with Collin to create In Contrast and what Sea of Surrender is now.
You guys recently went on your first tour out of state as a band. What was the live reception like being so far away from home?
Bottomlee: Of course being so far from our hometown, not many people had heard of us. But every place we went, many show goers were excited to hear new music and they seemed to really enjoy it. But beyond that, the new friends and connections we made in these new places were beyond amazing, so, in that sense, the reception was absolutely amazing.
Kris Crummett of Interlace Audio mastered the EP. How did that connection come about?
Bottomlee: We got connected to Kris Crummett through Paul Hundeby, who recorded In Contrast for us. Paul had had past experiences getting his band’s (City of Ifa) tracks mastered by Kris. It was definitely a great recommendation. The sound of the end product was far beyond what we ever could have thought it would turn out to be.
Lyricism is a huge part of your music. Is there any sort of thematic connection between the songs on the EP?
Maisano: Each song kind of has its own vision or message behind it.
Rosado: We realized later on that though these songs were written at different times and stages in our lives as a band and individually, they all seemed to fit together in the order that seemed so natural to us. From “Wasting Time” doubting, questioning and changing direction to “Saved Alone” a reality of finding that we are not alone in the journey even in the midst of dark circumstances or condition of heart to “Awaken” understanding greater purpose and potential in every moment to “The Current” finally letting go of what has been holding us back from achieving and living in destiny. It is a sort of process of finding freedom in surrender.
Rosado: It’s kind of an awkward relationship, really. Almost like a nervous first date approach at first then learning consistency and gaining more trust and confidence through conversation. As a band we would often just jam and write music together (instrumentally) then the feel of the song will remind me of a certain emotion I poured out in my journal in the past. Or we will be writing a song together and words start burning in my heart in that moment or later on. Chris will write a chorus or verse and we will talk about where the conversation is going in the song. When hashing out the song we all make it a point to feel it out and ride with it where it leads.
What is the significance of the title In Contrast?
Rosado: In Contrast came out of the place of transition that each of us were really embracing as a band and individually. Change is inevitable but when YOU, yourself, decide to let go and embrace change, embrace love, embrace life- you are then facing your fear of the unknown. ‘Faith is the confidence of things hoped for and assurance of things not seen.’ This EP is honest about past and current struggles with identity, anxiety, self-doubt, depression and addictions. It’s written with hopes to encourage others in their own walk of life to take heart and know that we are not alone in this. We approach these topics ‘in contrast’ to a society that tells our generation that we are just another statistic and that there is no hope for us based on the mistakes we’ve made or the current personal Hell we may find ourselves in. It’s a choice of refusing to just exist but to truly live. It’s a choice of refusing to be the victim, but instead to be the victor. This EP invites listeners to stand, pick each other up and come alive together.
What does the future hold for Sea of Surrender?
Bottomlee: Sea of Surrender will always be writing, playing music, and enjoying the community of each other and the scene as long as we possibly can. We’ve just started gaining some momentum with In Contrast so there’s no reason we would stop now.