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The best kept secret in music


"SxSw 2006 Preview: Seaflea"

By Darcy Totten

Sitting inside the black-walled rehearsal space at the Music Lab, I couldn’t help but stare at the original posters from past Seaflea shows, designed by drummer Matt Crawford, lining the low-slung ceiling. The strong graphics were illuminated by cheap Christmas lights, which provided the only artificial illumination where Seaflea rehearses.
“Our last practice room was full of just a bunch of naked pictures of ourselves,” quipped bass player Bret Neuman.
This particular incarnation of Seaflea, whose members include Crawford (drums), Neuman (bass/ keyboard), Jon-Michael Rogers (guitar/vocals), and Jeremy Bolin (guitar/vocals/song factory), has been together for the last two years. Crawford, Rogers, and Bolin have played together since high school. Neuman, who was added in April 2004, emphasizes that the most important factor in the creation of their style and sound is the personal relationships that structure the band itself. “We’ve all been best friends for almost ten years now. Music is just a byproduct of that.”
Over the years, the band has gone through a multitude of changes, with musical influences ranging from Bjork and Fiona Apple to NOFX and even hip-hop. Referring to themselves as “reformed hippies,” Seaflea hardly resembles your garden variety punk band. With their lack of facial piercings, a simple haircut would turn any of these guys into someone I could take home to my mother. Prior to the move into a more punk aesthetic, Bolin explained a previous song catalog of simple folk songs with acoustic guitar and three-part harmonies.
When rehearsal began, the band’s manager offered me a pair of sexy orange earplugs, which I donned gratefully as the rehearsal room was turned into the world’s biggest vibrator. It was raucous and exciting, but it wasn’t angry. Bolin contorted his face into a myriad of self-caricatures, then paused for a moment to sweetly harmonize with Rogers.
What the boys lack in true punk rock credibility, they make up for in ingenuity. Too musically advanced to produce three-chord wonder songs like the early punk princes, Seaflea mixes a variety of styles and incorporates these atypical harmonies with heavy bass lines. Looking around, it isn’t difficult to see these 25-year-olds as the 15-year-old boys they were, playing together in someone’s garage while attending their North Texas high school. For all of their earnest appeal, Seaflea has a distinct edge. Their songs are loaded with influences like Jeff Buckley and Radiohead, which gives their indie-punk stylings a definitively unique sound.
While talking with Seaflea, it becomes obvious just how hard an emerging band has to work in a town overrun by new musical acts. When asked what their favorite clubs to play locally were, they hesitated.
“That’s the thing about Austin,” said Neuman. “We get pigeonholed at the same clubs. If you play a lot, people get bored.” For now, they consider Red Rum or Stubb’s to be their home. As local musicians, they make an effort to support other local bands and are often found at The Ritz or Casino El Camino to enjoy all that Austin has to offer.
“There are so many kick-ass bands you can see for five dollars here. Why pay twenty for a road show?” was echoed by all of Seaflea’s members, which was the brightest and most genuine illumination of the evening.

- Soundcheck Magazine


EP 2006 “The Vendetta” 5 songs, self produced
EP 2005 Self Titled 5 songs, self produced
Radio play - 101.5 101X Austin TX
Radio play - 91.7 KVRX KOOP Austin TX
Streaming -
Streaming -


Feeling a bit camera shy


Seaflea is a driving rock quartet based out of Austin, TX. With influences such as Hot Water Music, Sunny Day Real Estate, Radiohead, and Tool, the bands music ranges a broader spectrum than is easily categorized. Moments of ethereal sound-scapes blend with tendencies of metal blanketed with straightforward rock and roll. The attitude of the band is that if they write the best songs possible, the rest will come naturally. Only the integrity of the songs and emotions of music remains at the end of the day. Seaflea is four people making real music for real people.