Frightened Seller
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Frightened Seller

Band Alternative Rock


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A Collection of Late Successes (2008)



Abbreviated Version:
Frightened Seller is a narrative melodic post rock band from Brooklyn. Our lyrics meander between the fantastical realm and reality. Melody is the focus and our instrumentation is unique. The music lives somewhere between goth and pop. There are no guitars.

Full Bio:
Dreaming of being trapped in a cellar would be a ghastly nightmare for most. For singer/songwriter/pianist James Wilson, this dream proved revelatory. This dream inspired him to create the character that became the band’s namesake and also pen their first single “Frightened Cellar.”

The band, which is comprised of James, bassist Jude Kim, violinist Mim Readling and drummer Ben Roberts, plays melodic, narrative post punk rock. Ben’s driving beats draw a balance between James’ hauntingly, beautiful piano melodies, Jude’s growling bass lines, and the sweet, languorous melancholy of Mim’s violin. Their sound is rounded out by James’ narrative lyrics, which meander from the fantastical realm to scenes snatched from his own life.

The cellar he dreamt he was trapped in contains elements of both the fantastic and real. Though the cellar was imaginary, James says it represented the problems and doubts he was hiding from in his musical career. “When I wrote the song “Frightened Cellar,” I was at a point in my life where I was letting fear control me. I was worrying about things I ultimately had control over, yet doing nothing to change them,” he explains.

It is hard to believe this classically trained musician, who has played at famed New York venues like CBGB’s and The Knitting Factory, would have such doubts. And yet, these fears are echoed in lines from the song.

“And I wanna lock my face inside of a time capsule/and I wanna lock my voice inside of a time capsule/cause they are fading faster than I thought they would,” James croons in the opening lines of “Frightened Cellar.”

Writing about these fears was James’s way to confront them, and to affect an opening of the cellar door.

It was such stark admissions that struck a chord with bassist Jude. “I liked the realism of his lyrics,” Jude explains. “I could really imagine the situations he was singing about.” The Sonic Arts major had previously played in predominately punk bands, but liked the idea of challenging his musical scope with James’ more simplistic, jazz-infused indie rock.

This opening of the cellar door has led to other changes. After two years of working with Just Listen Records, Frightened Seller recently parted ways with the label. The addition of Ben followed the split with the band’s former drummer. And a providentially placed Craigslist ad attracted the newest member of Frightened Seller, violinist Mim.

Mim, who has been playing the violin since she was 5, said she was drawn to the band because of the contrasts in their sound.

“I loved the gothic feel of the music, and I thought James’ voice sounded like Morrissey,” she says. “And yet, there was an almost pop quality to many of their songs.”

Though Ben is also a relatively new to Frightened Seller, he isn’t a novice to the music scene. The drummer, who plays five other instruments, has been playing in bands since he was in high school. He has already proven his prowess.

“There's always the risk that the drums will overpower everyone else,” James explains. “Ben is aware of that and he's able to play a full sound without drowning everything else out.”

Frightened Seller has finished recording their 5 song EP, A Collection of Late Successes. It is due for release for release in early September. The band recently recorded a video for the first single, “Frightened Cellar.” It is available at