“Honest rock n’ roll…All our songs have a varying array of emotions with them. They’re all very honest and they’re all about things that we all personally struggle with and deal with on a day-to-day basis.  And it’s loud. It’s loud and unapologetic.” – Taylor Wyrosdick of Seagull Blue.

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One week before Seagull Blue’s CD release show at The Handlebar, bassist Taylor Wyrosdick took a few minutes to talk about his journey in music and the friends that are responsible for  “The Brighter Side of Reckless” for my Music Matters column in the Pensacola News Journal.

MS: Seagull Blue and specifically “The Brighter Side of Reckless”, is this one artist’s vision brought to life by fellow band members or collaborative contributions from each of you.

TW: “It’s more or less a collaborative project.” Frontman Joe Napier writes the songs and while Wyrosdick (bass) and the remaining members of Seagull Blue Jeff Cranford (guitar) and Logan Phillips (drums) fill in the colors.

MS: Sean Peterson turned me on to your music. How did you hook up with him and what role has he played in your album?

TW: We did the recording with our friend Michael Bishop from Pioneers! O Pioneers! and he actually hooked us up with Sean and got us involved with the whole Raw Panda thing and Sean asked us to play a Raw Panda Showcase back in December and since then he’s been extraordinarily helpful throwing in his two cents and helping us promote and helping us book our CD release show and giving us his input on copyright and such and different marketing ideas and whatnot.

MS: He’s like a guru; I’ve known him for awhile, he’s just like this really nice, amazing guy. It’s unbelievable.

TW: Oh yeah! He’s an absolute genius. One of the most helpful people I’ve ever met.

MS: Let me ask you about the show next week; what are you looking forward to when Saturday rolls around and it’s time for the album release at The Handlebar?

TW: Well actually the show is December 1st and we played our first show together on Dec. 3rd of 2011, so it’s almost exactly a year from our first show together as a band and so that’s really exciting. I guess since May we’ve been working on this album to put our this EP and we’re just really excited to actually be able to finally show it to people and show people everything we’ve been working on. The opportunity to share that is amazing and we’re really excited about that…or at least I am.

MS: Tell me more about yourself. How did you get started in music?

TW: I started playing music probably when I was in fourth grade, many, many moons ago and started playing in local churches like worship music and I actually started out in the local music scene playing metal bands and, like a lot of people did, I got out of that when I was in high school and started focusing on mainly playing church music, like different types of worship gigs around town and that’s actually how I met everyone in the band. Me and Jeff Cranberry-he plays guitar for us-we played a college ministry for awhile and that’s how I met Joe and then me and Joe had the idea to start a band and that eventually turned into Seagull Blue.

MS: How would you describe your music for someone that has never seen or heard Seagull Blue before?

TW: Oh, goodness…honest rock n’ roll, probably.  All our songs have a varying array of emotions with them. They’re all very honest and they’re all about things that we all personally struggle with and deal with on a day-to-day basis.  And it’s loud. It’s loud and unapologetic. There’s some depth and rock n’ roll. Straight rock n’ roll influences in it. Sometimes it goes into more ambient or guess quote unquote “indie” parts, but mostly loud honest rock n’ roll.

MS:  What did you listen to when you were growing up? I know you mentioned being in metal bands, but through the years, what kind of music was being played in your household?

TW: Growing up, in my own house, my parents listened to country or whatever was on the radio, whenever I got into middle school, I started listening to stuff like Blink 182 and then I got introduced to bands like Underoath and that’s when I started listening to more and more metal and when I was in 8th grade, so I guess I was about 14, a friend of mine actually showed me Architect which was a local band around here and that completely changed the way I looked at music; bands like Architect and Twothirtyeight. “Wow! These guys are from here and they’re making incredible music that’s not like everything else that I’m listening to.

MS: Have you had a chance to work with Chris Staples at all?

TW: Not really no. We’ve had deep conversations in passing.

MS: Growing up in this area, what’s the best concert/show you’ve ever seen in Pensacola, Florida?

TW; Oh man. That’s a hard one. Actually, probably the best local…or the best concert period in this area  I’ve been to was the Twothirtyeight reunion show that they did at The Handlebar a couple of months back because I grew up with people talking about Twothirtyeight all the time. Talking about how great they were and “Oh! Too bad you didn’t get to see them” because they broke up when I was in middle school. So finally getting to see them was absolutely incredible for me and just the overall energy in the room was remarkable.

I was really upset whenever I saw that they were playing DeLuna Fest, “I can’t afford to pay that” and two days later, they’re like, “Oh, we’re playing at The Handlebar for a reunion show.” I have to go to that; I don’t care if I have to work the next day.

MS: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

TW: “Never feel like you’ve arrived”. A guy told me that probably two or three years ago when I first started trying to be more active in the local music scene. He told me to “Never feel like you’ve arrived.” “Never feel like you’ve made it because you’re always going to find someone who’s better than you.”

MS: Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter?

TW: It depends on what I’m eating it with. I like creamy peanut butter on toast with a little bit of maple syrup on it and some cinnamon. But I do like toast with crunchy peanut butter and strawberry rhubarb jam.

MS: You’re making me hungry now, Taylor. That whole maple syrup thing kind of got me.

TW: That’s the best toast right there, is take two pieces of whole wheat toast, creamy peanut butter, put them together pour some syrup over it, a little bit of cinnamon.

MS: What would a Taylor of today, tell a younger Taylor just starting out?

TW: Practice bass more often and don’t try to play other instruments. Don’t let other people discourage you when it comes to music. Work hard and practice, definitely.

MS: My final question for you Taylor; is there anything else you would like the readers and music lovers in town to know about you and Seagull Blue?

TW: They are really, the people that come to shows and anyone who’s ever listened to any of our songs, or said a kind work or critical word, they’re the reason we do this. We’ve all loved people and we feel like writing all honest songs is the best way to show love to people and relate to people.

MS: That’s very well said, Taylor. Thank you.

– Michael L. Smith

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