Not all BMX professional riders are limited to having BMX as their only passion and Seth Kimbrough is one of those guys. It was recently announced Seth would be joining back with his band, Mortal Treason, after a long hiatus. We sat down with Seth to touch a little on that and talk about his passion for music, where it began, and more.


BMX is has been a passion of yours for a long time. When did you first begin to ride BMX and when did your passion for music come along?
Looking back to when I was younger, around 8 or 9-years-old, I can't say which became my passion first out of BMX and music. At that time, I skated more than I rode, but to me, they both really go hand in hand. My Dad was always in bands since as long as I can remember. He built a band room above the garage at the house. Several days a week he would be playing with his band, while I would skate or ride underneath in the garage. Maybe that's why I have to ride with music these days? My Dad always supported me in both riding and music. He never pushed me into playing any certain instrument. I feel like he knew it was inside me and when I was ready it would come to the surface. At the age of 13 is when he helped me with my first set of drums. From that day forward, music and bmx have kept me alive. They feed off one another, while also pouring into me, in-return keeping me motivated and passionate about every day.

Would you say music has had a significant impact on your life? If so, please explain in what ways...
Music has had a huge impact on my life! The people I've met through BMX and music have played a great part in who I am today. I went through some of the hardest years of my life from late 2011 to 2014 with personal issues and serious health problems. I spent a lot of time alone, went through a lot of changes, soul searching, and spiritual growth. Through all of it, music was always playing in the background.

Are there any correlations between BMX and music for you?
Music has always been a big part of BMX for me. I can't really say BMX is as much a part of music, but I'm okay with that!

Is there anyone who has had a heavy influence on you to pursue music? Who are some musical influences of yours?
As I said before, my Dad has been a huge influence to me in music. Also, my brother has been as well. My bro has always been an incredible guitarist. Aside from those two, of course a ton of bands have been influential. When I was 9-years-old, my brother introduced me to Pantera. That was when I first felt the power music had over me. I begun to see that music could suddenly change the mood I was in. That can be great at times, as well as, horrible during others. haha!


Your band, Mortal Treason, is back together. Can you tell us a little bit about how that came about?
It's been about 15 years since the original MT members were all together. We've all kept in touch a little over the years, but we never really talked about getting back together and playing. A few months ago Alan Sears, who was the bass player on the first album "A Call to the Martyrs," hit me up with the idea of getting together and playing the old stuff again. He also mentioned about doing a reunion show. We then got up with Josh Jarrett who played guitar, and Chase Nickens the drummer, and it sort of just built from there. Alan was actually always a guitar player, but somehow, back in the day, got stuck playing bass because we already had two guitarist, Josh and Richie Reale. Richie no longer lives around here, so Alan is now on guitar. I had a good friend, Clay Byrom, that played bass in the last band I was a part of come in and play. After getting together a few times we realized how much we missed playing. We were having so much fun not only playing, but simply hanging out. We decided to really go with it and started writing new stuff. So here we are!

Give us a little history on Mortal Treason...
It started with Chase and Josh jamming in a lawnmower shed behind Chase's parent's house. Haha! Chase and I rode BMX as kids, so we were friends before music. Josh lived in the neighborhood as well and I always saw him around. I was in a couple bands before that never really made it past one show. haha One day, Chase told me Josh and him had been playing. I had always played drums, but I really had the itch to try doing some vocals. I asked Chase and Josh if they would be cool if I came over to show them what I had. I showed up with a mic and a little guitar amp. After listening to the two of them play "Smoke on the Water" for an hour, we started goofing around. I'm pretty sure it was the worst sound ever to be heard, but somehow we felt something and stuck with it.

After playing a couple really embarrassing first shows, things really started coming together. It was still just the 3 of us, Josh, Chase, and myself. We needed a bass player! At that time I was just starting to ride professional contests where I had met Bruce Crisman, who had later became one of my best friends. Bruce was always interested in music and constantly asking about what I was doing musically. After giving him a little run-down on the band that I had going on, he talked about how he wished he could jam with us. I jokingly said, "Well, we need a bass player." Bruce being a guitar player said, "Well, I can play guitar so I'm sure I can play bass." He then started flying from Portland all the way to Alabama to play shows with us. He did that for a while, but living so far away it just became too much on him financially and had to stop. It was then back to just the 3 of us again. Another friend of mine, that rode BMX and was a good guitar player, told us he'd love to come up and see if he could add some second guitar to the mix. We were really skeptical at first, but after a couple practices, it really started to work. That's when Richie became part of it. Still needing a bass player, I started racking my brain to think of someone. That's when I thought of asking Alan, who had played guitar in the last band I played drums in, to see if he would like to try it. That's how the members of the first album came about.

Things kind of took off fast from there with playing a ton of shows and festivals. I had a lot of friends in Nashville at that time, who were involved in music, which ended up leading us to getting signed on to a little record label called Flicker Records. They got us in the studio right away to record. Through that time I met Elizabeth Lawrence, who became my girlfriend and later on my wife. We all toyed with the thought of adding keys to the band for a while. Elizabeth began taking piano lessons right away and within a month we had her putting keys in the songs on a cheap casio keyboard until we finally broke down and got her a better set up. We started getting a ton of tour opportunities and other labels begun to notice us. With that became stress! Everyone had jobs and things were really taking off with BMX for me. That became hard to balance. The band kind of turned into what seemed like a middle school relationship. haha! We were all young and a little dumb, but thought we knew it all. Moving forward, we ended up making the line up change that was on the last album "Sunrise Over a Sea of Blood." The only original members were then Josh and myself, along with Elizabeth on the keys, Steve Robinson on drums, TJ Alford on bass, and Adam Wright on second guitar.

We started doing month long tours and began to realize how horrible our label was. Turns out, the only reason the label had signed us in the first place was because they knew I was in a video game and rode in the X-Games. They thought I was someone like Dave Mira and could trick us into signing a bogus contract to make money off my name. They ended up realizing fast that I wasn't that kind of rider. I was a dirty kid that could care less about about TV time or fame. They were not happy when I told them the band was to be separate from my BMX career. They ended up making us go on tours that we couldn't afford, which put more stress on us than we could handle. Halfway through our last tour they had sent us around the country twice. After being broke down more times then we could count, we called it quits. The label then came after me personally. I remember being in Las Vegas on the Red Bull Mean Streets trip getting calls everyday from collection agencies. The label ended up suing me and that's why we did the last reunion show. It was to save me. With the donations and help from our awesome fans, it did just that! A lot has changed in each of our lives since we have played together, but things feel better than they ever did. We have nothing to prove and are playing simply because we love music. I'm beyond grateful for everyone who was ever a part of Mortal Treason. It's something we all shared together. That for me will last a lifetime.


Do you do a lot of the writing for the song lyrics? Can you tell us a little bit about where your inspiration comes from and your creative process?
I write all the lyrics. I've always tried to be real. In the earlier days, the lyrics were very spiritual and had a whole lot of meaning to me at that time and point in my life. Things have changed over the years for sure, but my lyrics are more real than ever. They're still driven by passion and heart. My heart hasn't changed.

Aside from singing, do you ever play any instruments?
I play a little of everything. Mostly piano at this point, and I still rock out on the drums from time to time.

What's next for you in music? Any special projects we can look forward to this year?
Mortal Treason shows for sure! Maybe a new record? Who knows!

BMX wise, what have you been up to lately? What's next on your plate?
I've been riding a ton lately and filming for the Shadow DVD that will drop later this year. Also, I'm still doing stuff for Hoffman Bikes and Dan's Comp as well.

A lot of times Seth can be seen riding with headphones in his ears. We had Seth give us the first 10 songs that played during his last session. Here is the playlist...


All photos by David Cortez.

Listen to Mortal Treason's last full-length album, "Sunrise Over a Sea of Blood."

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