Miles Cooper Seaton, founding member of the experimental rock band Akron / Family, has passed away. Dead Oceans, the label that released Akron / Family’s final albums, confirmed the news. His cause of death is currently unknown. He was 41 years old.
Seaton was born in California and moved to Seattle with his family at a young age. In the early 2000s he met Seth Olinsky, Ryan Vanderhoof, and Dana Janssen in New York City; They had all moved there within a few months and lived together in the same apartment. Seaton moved from Seattle to the city in hopes of doing something as a musician.
“I mean, you move out there and get the worst job you can imagine and it sucks, you have no money and it’s really cold,” Seaton told Foggy Notions in 2006. “And when we met and played, that was the happiest thing that was going on. And when we recorded – I mean, we played for hours. So much stuff came out.”
As with the other members of Akron / Family, Seaton took on a multi-instrumental role in the band. Her first albums were released by Michael Gira’s Young God Records: Akron / Family (2005), her split from Angels of Light (2005), Meek Warrior (2006) and Love Is Simple (2007). Her last three albums were released by Dead Oceans: Set ‘Em Wild, Set’ Em Free (2009), Akron / Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shiniju TNT (2011), and Sub Verses (2013).
As Akron / Family activities subsided, Seaton continued to make music under his own name and released projects such as 2013 Notes from the Interior and 2015 Functional Music Vols. 1 & 2. His last album, Phases in Exile 2017, included collaborations with Brad Cook, Phil Cook and M. Geddes Gengras.
“Damn it, Miles. You were such a comet, ”wrote Brad Cook. “You landed in my life and changed everything. When I first heard your music, everything changed for me. I didn’t know you then, but it changed me. Then we became friends and our friendship changed me. You opened all the doors. “
“Miles was a unique person in a unique band,” wrote Phil Waldorf, co-founder of Dead Oceans. “It’s a rush of emotions. Akron / Family are the kind of band that underscores the whole reason Dead Oceans existed. I’m glad I met Miles and sad to have to say goodbye. We hope you share some memories. There are too many for me to count right now. “
M. Geddes Gengras shared an homage that included a story about the time he was a tour member of Akron / Family:
At Miles’ request, I opened all the shows with my alien insect synth music which, as you can imagine, didn’t go over very well in the mid-sized indie rock clubs of 2012 in America, but Miles sat by the side of the stage and watched every sentence from start to finish. When he noticed that the audience might not be paying that much attention, he would take to the stage in front of me every night, introduce me to the audience and explain how much my music meant to him and that it could be different, it really should be Give a chance and listen carefully. I can’t say how much that meant to me and how good it made me feel.