Dead Tree Duo
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Dead Tree Duo

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Duo Rock Acoustic




"KUTX Austin Music Minute feature"

From a technical standpoint, the basic formula is deceptively simple. Guitarist A.J Seidner and cellist Mark Ford are the Dead Tree Duo, utilizing strings, vocals, and perhaps a porchboard or a stomping beat. Not much more. But all it takes is a moment of listening to discover an enormous, beautifully-crafted combination of influences like classical music, jazz, and Appalachian that makes their music - their live performances - so mesmerizing. Theirs is a sound that would be quite at home in the mountains, with a driven energy that runs from unsettling soft and quiet to a surge of climatic emotion." - Laurie Gallardo

"2014 SXSW The Deli Magazine feature"

"Dead Tree Duo is an acoustic folk rock band comprised of Mark Ford and AJ Seidner. The power of passion and poetry comes through when these guys play, taking listeners on an unforgettable journey." - The Deli Magazine

"Dead Tree Duo by"

Dead Tree Duo, in the best of possible ways, will make you question your ears and eyes. There comes a moment during their performance where you're suddenly convinced they must have a third member stowed away somewhere behind the stage – how else to explain that two guys alone are able to weave such a deep, rich sound?

Allow me to set the stage: The song is called Sisyphus. Its source of inspiration, the works of Albert Camus. Dead Tree Duo is the brainchild of cellist Mark Ford and guitarist A.J. Seidner, who have played together in different formations since 2009 but dedicated themselves fully to their passion for acoustic music in February 2012.

The delivery is as daring as the premise is bold, and this song as much as any other shows why Dead Tree Duo is a band destined to make its mark on the Austin scene. Seidner's double-time run of low guitar notes harnesses a broad, open-chord response. Mark Ford's plucked bass line fills out a martial musical landscape – a tension the duo begins to cut at with interlacing vocal harmonies. A melodic release ensues, followed by a full-throated a cappella paean to the mythical king that gives name to the composition. As the second verse stomps into being, Ford halfway through lashing the cello lines with his bow, you have been fully drawn in.

Dead Tree Duo is a band fiercely dedicated to acoustic instrumentation -- yet it is more than an acoustic band. The duo shifts seamlessly from Mumford & Sons-style exhortations to Tool-inspired riffs, from humorous old-world chanteys to complex, progressive arrangements. They do all of this with an irrepressible tell-it-out-loud joy. "The sound it makes is the sound your body draws from it" is how Seidner describes his avocation for the guitar, and indeed, Dead Tree Duo is full-bodied music – a pure distillation of its prime material – wood grain tightly intertwined with a penchant for parables.

Writers learn to show rather than tell, because adjectives are poor stand-ins for action in the telling of a tale. So it is in describing Dead Tree Duo. The music A.J. Seidner and Mark Ford are making crosses too many lines to fit neatly into the proscribed categories. Their blend of styles puts them well outside the reach of most acoustic acts. Hell, the band's full sound, their instinct for song construction and their elaborate vocal harmonies challenge the very notion that Dead Tree Duo is in fact just a duo. This is a band that must be heard to be known and seen live to be described – and we should be seeing and hearing a lot more out of Dead Tree Duo.

-Joel Weickgenant
Journalist/freelance writer - Joel Weickgenant


Still working on that hot first release.



Hailing from Austin TX, Dead Tree Duo is an acoustic rock act featuring A.J Seidner as guitarist and vocalist, and Mark Ford as cellist and vocalist. Drawing from an eclectic array of sources, their inspirations are Folk, Rock, Classical, and Jazz. They have been compared to Mumford and Sons and Simon and Garfunkel with an edginess reminiscent of Tool and System of a Down. Their first LP, recorded at Threshold Recording Studios NYC, contains ten tracks and will be out in the early fall of 2013.

Dead Tree Duo shows are fun, energetic and rich in musical and lyrical content, twists and turns.

A.J grew up in a musical household, and has been actively pursuing a career as an artist for ten years. He chose the guitar because of the wide range of emotions it could convey with sincerity. "The sound it makes is the sound your body draws from it," he explains. His songs explore themes of strength and determination in the face of adversity. "For me, music was a very healing thing, even if the song I listened to was sad, or violent, there was always an experience of catharsis that helped mitigate my pains and troubles," he writes. A.J also enjoys reading philosophy and literature, writing poetry and prose, yoga, and spending time with his dog.

Having begun his musical career over fifteen years ago, Mark now finds himself playing cello and singing with Dead Tree Duo. At the tender age of five, his mother asked him if he wanted to play the cello, to which he readily agreed, having no inkling of the wild and wonderful ride it would take him on throughout his life. He writes about a world unseen in our daily lives. "I focus on fantastic characters and dreamscapes in which larger than life events take place. Within my songs there is hope, however, and a message to be heard," he explains. He sees music as a force that can create experiences that lift people up and bring joy to their lives. The "other hat" Mark wears is that of a chef. He recently graduated from culinary school and is enjoying working as a private chef.

Band Members