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Saturday, Nov 17, 2018
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Darlings of darkwave, Seabound to play Orpheum in Ybor

The melodies began to manifest in 1995 after a mutual friend introduced them to each other and the two musicians began informal home jams in Germany.

Twenty years and eight albums later, forays into electronica that echo the sonic semblances of the beat-driven band Front 242 and the meandering melodies of Covenant have made Seabound one of the darlings of darkwave, from the Atlantic shores of England direct to the California cliffs of the Pacific.

And in between, Friday at The Orpheum in Ybor City — as part of the 2015 “Speak in Storms” tour — band members Frank Spinath and Martin Vorbrodt will be dropping their brooding melodies and what Spinath calls songs, which the audience “leaves with personal messages for multifaceted personalities.”

Speaking by phone in southwest Germany from Saarbrücken, near the northwest border with France, Spinath discussed Seabound’s recent newfound appeal in the states, citing the resurgence in 1990s darkwave electronica through bands such as Covenant and VNV Nation. He said the band’s latest release, 2014’s “Speak in Storms” — the first release in eight years — promotes more audience connection with the addition of a live drummer and interactive “intimate” set.

“It’s a very honest show, so there will not be smoke and mirrors. You get Seabound pure,” he said. “It’s melodic and electronic, and we really want to meet you where you are. We’re about deep lyrics and emotional music.”

The synthpop-meets- goth sound Spinath and Vorbrodt will bring will be familiar to many in the audience. Spinath said although it’s the band’s first appearance in Tampa, they have a strong fan base in Florida, and he hoped longtime fans will hear a more developed sound.

“If someone says we have matured, it sounds a little geriatric, but I believe we have matured, so what we attempt to bring is a very intimate set with a live drummer,” he said.

Much of that emotion stems from when Spinath’s wife was hit by a truck while pregnant with their second child, and that’s when the “Speak in Storms” music was written.

“It was a very hard time. We faced quite a few … situations where we felt at times ‘this is totally unfair.’ That bled into my songwriting. That made my music mature and face real-world issues,” he said.

In addition to Vorbrodt and Spinath, Reagan Jones of the synthpop Texas band Iris is scheduled to play “Watching Over You” onstage with Seabound, which will make a for a “legendary set,” he said.

Although a synthesizer- and electronic-based band, Spinath said a cold dronelike set similar to Kraftwerk isn’t in the works. He said it’s all-out action.

“There are concerts I played where I don’t remember a single second where I really saw the audience; I was so out of it, I didn’t even make contact,” he said. “We will make contact with our fans. We have had a wonderful relation with U.S. fans because they really dig what we’re doing, which is why I’m so much looking forward to coming back.

“I don’t expect someone to take exactly the message I want them to take. We have multilayered lyrics, so whatever you take home is what you take home. I believe there’s so much substance in these songs that there’s something for everyone to take home.”

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