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Your backstage pass to Northeast Ohio's independent music scene.

Shuffle: Cleveland Band Seafair's Big Comeback

Seafair releases a new single this week

Popular orchestral rock band Seafair is back together and releasing new music. The Cleveland band that formed in 2012 split up in 2016. Late last year, they announced they were reuniting.

Seafair vocalist Chayla Hope said the band got caught up trying to make it big.

“It just got really business-y,” Hope said. “That was a really big struggle for all of us because almost every single person in the band has wanted to make it since they were pretty young.”

Drummer Ryan Kelly described the band as a family, which has its pros and cons.

“Families fight,” Kelly said. “It got to a point where we were together so often that everybody’s running in a hamster wheel trying to figure out what’s going on.”  

The family friction eventually got to be too much. Bassist Josh Riehl took the breakup especially hard.

“I was absolutely beside myself,” Riehl said. “It was absolutely heart-wrenching.”

'When we got back together, it was a major click.'

Getting back together
The band eventually realized they still had more to say artistically. As families often do, Seafair decided to have a reunion. 

“When we got back together, it was a major click,” Hope said.

Riehl said the band’s breakup turned out to be a good thing.

“You just get stronger from it,” Riehl said. “We’re in a place where we’re so much tighter and so much more respectful of each other.”

According to Hope, the band is different and better.

“The songs are 50 times more truthful,” Hope said. The band releases its first new music on Friday (September 21), a single called "Try."

The band says it is also less concerned with fame and more focused on making music.

“We’re just doing our thing and getting our music into ears,” Riehl said. “Hopefully it resonates with enough people that we just continue to build ourselves.”

Credit Seafair

Soundtrack to a good time
For Riehl, the goal with each show is to make sure everyone has a good time. He recalls playing the Brite Winter Fest in the Flats.

“There were so many people at that show, and we were the soundtrack to their good time,” Riehl said. “That is what I want out of this band.”

Hope loves the feeling she gets when the crowd joins in.

“Every time I look out and see people singing the lyrics that I’ve written, it’s just the greatest feeling ever.”

Editor's note:  This story was originally published on December 14, 2017.

Amanda Rabinowitz is the host of “All Things Considered” on Ideastream Public Media.