Wearhaus Featured Artist: SeratonesJuly 5, 2016
Not all bands a created equal. Shreveport, Louisiana’s Seratones are new on the scene but have come straight out the gate with amazing music and a highly-praised live show. Their debut album Get Gone dropped in May and the four-piece band has been crushing 2016 including a NPR Tiny Desk concert and stints on the road opening for St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Charles Bradley, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and more.
Learn more about their journey from lead singer A.J. Haynes and why this is not a band you want to miss when they come to your town!
Wearhaus: The first album just came out in May, but as a band, you have known each other forever. How does that long friendship play into your creative process?
A.J. Haynes: I think that it’s crazy because we have a very multi-faceted relationship. We’ve known each other for about a decade so it’s been the good, the bad and the ugly. As far as creative partners go, it’s great having a common pool of influences, and bands that we’ve all come to love together. That definitely creates a common language – we can reference things and someone else will know exactly what you’re talking about.
We listen to records together and that’s how we get really stoked about certain bands. We showed each other different types of music and then that excitement is incredibly infectious. As far as the creative process, we have a common language and that’s really helpful. I’ve found that the quirks you get with friends – they’re more like family and that can be for better or for worse. It’s just one of the realities of knowing people for a long time. Some days you have a lot of patience and some days you don’t. Whatever sticks is what sticks.
What song – if any – on the album do you think was the hardest to write?
A lot of these songs have gone through a metamorphosis. I would say ‘Tide’ was a difficult song because it’s a bit temperamental and because of the subject matter. We’re talking about desire and how the ocean is an extended metaphor for that – which are both really transient and unstable things.
I think that sometimes the subject matter bleeds into how we construct things. I was a really happy with how it turned out. That was a difficult song to get together and a lot of fun to perform.
You mention that a lot of the songs have changed and grown. Is there any song a little older, one that’s been living for longer than anything else?
‘Don’t Need It’ was the first song we wrote as a band and it’s funny – whenever I ask people what their favorite songs are, ‘Don’t Need It’ is definitely one of the top ones. I’m really happy that that song has been able to retain that initial, spontaneous excitement that we had when working together. Even though it’s undergone a lot of different changes – it’s a craft, at the end of the day. But you want to make sure that you keep that essence of why you like playing the damn song in the first place. Because it makes you feel good.
The new music video for ‘Chandelier’ looks really cool. Tell us a about the process behind the video.
The idea came from Joe Salinas, the director and videographer. We hadn’t really had a lot of videos focusing on us playing, so Joe is really zooming in on that element and playing around with it. He likes to juxtapose the guys being really still and mechanic with me being really moving around a lot – being really active. We played the song at double speed to film it. I’m happy with how it turned out. It felt really awkward playing the song at double speed, but it worked.
You have opened for so many incredible artists and are about to embark on a headlining tour. Is there anything in particular that you’re gonna take on the road that you learned from bands you’ve worked with?
I will say travelling, day-by-day, with the bands was really an eye-opening experience – how they interact, how they take care of each other, how they take care of themselves. It’s a nice affirmation of what I’ve already thought about touring. You’re like a pack, and so you have to take care of each other in that way. And I don’t think that everyone does – that’s just in my ideal world. We all have our good and bad. Even on difficult nights, we’re able to pull together and play a badass show the next day.
I would say that St. Paul and the Broken Bones; they’re all such sweet people, and just fun to be around. I think that’s what makes it – who do you want to be stuck in a van with, and what kind of version of yourself do you want to be stuck in a van with? I just love Paul Janeway’s presence. I would be talking with him backstage and he’d just drift on the stage like nothing happened. It was the same person, just amplified.
It’s really the amplification of everyone’s personalities that’s really cool. It’s not a put-on, and of course you adopt your stage persona, and you cultivate your moves. They all just seem like natural performers, which is really cool.
Is there anything in particular we can expect from your live tour that you want to get the word out, or just prepare people for what they’re about to see?
That’s a difficult question. I like to go about most things with low expectations. I’d like to say for people to do the same, but I think the press has said otherwise. We have a lot of fun when we play and we’re just trying to be true to the songs that we’ve created and I just want people to get out and have a good time.
I’ve really thought a lot about this – how much time people invest into coming to see your show. Sometimes, it’s like ‘oh, sure. I’m just gonna go to this random show tonight!’, but for most fans, you take off work early that day, put on your favorite outfit, call your friends, you get dinner before you go. It’s like a wedding or some shit. It’s like a ritual. You stand for hours, before and after the concert, and then you plan for the next day whether you’re going to go to work hungover or go to work at all.
There are hours of process and preparation, and it’s just this great ritual that we get to have every night as performers, and I just hope people get what they came for. Everyone has their own reasons and – I’m not going to tell people what to expect. I just hope they get what they come for.
You submitted an entry for the NPR Tiny Desk contest the year before and then the following year got asked to do it, which is so awesome on so many levels. It just shows the kind of year that you’ve had.
It’s nuts. Do you have any advice for some of the musicians that submitted for Tiny Desk this year?
I would say just to keep speaking your truth and staying true to that. Someone out there will hear it, even if it’s not one of the judges on the panel. I think that it’s important to put that message out there and there’s only one you, and there’s only one moment when that happens. If you don’t do it, then it won’t exist. Just continue to speak your truth. Rock and roll’s not a competition, it’s an orgy. Everyone’s gonna get theirs at some point.
Buy their music on iTunes.
Categorized in: Artist Interviews