intro and interview by Shane McFarland
Our generation has been fueled by outrageous lunacy. Sprouting like flowers
in our growing minds, we are becoming more than we ever thought.
We are cracking concrete each time our bare feet secure their roots.
We were “inadequate adolescence”, once told that we were not and cannot
derive our inspiration from our fallen predecessors–though as children we
We fought confinement from our history books.
Now as individuals–exhaling and coughing enlightenment like dust from our
aging pages–our rampant hearted souls, nourished by groove, wrangled by
hysteria and encouraged by the growing mass of vibration beneath our feet,
this is how we tell our story.
RESiN: What are your lively inspirations? People who have inspired you to live?
To art? To music?
Saratones: Artists and musicians who experiment with unorthodox ways of expressing
their talents. From jazz to punk rock and everything in between. Frank
Zappa, Eric Dolphy, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, Marvin Gaye, Duane
Allman, Jello Biafra, Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Rich, Bootsy Collins, Ziggy
Stardust, Darby Crash.
RESiN: What’s some new music you’re listening to now?
Seratones: (Some aren’t new) Fuzz, Wand, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Thee Oh Sees, Sunflower Bean, Lemon Twigs, Adam Torres, Mac Demarco, Kadhja Bonet, Boogarins, Earthless.
RESiN: When and how did the band form?
Seratones: Adam: Throughout the years each of us played in various combinations of bands
ranging from hardcore, surf, psychedelic, blues, boogie, and whatever else
we thought was fun at the time. We were all part of a semi successful scene
of young musicians setting up in abandoned houses, warehouses with concrete
walls and floors, the parking lot of Big D’s BBQ, house shows, bars,
illegal shows at skate-parks.. anywhere with an outlet and a few hours to
kill before the cops showed up. AJ, Connor, and Jesse were part in a band
called AJ Haynes and the Monkey Business. They had a weekly gig at a bar
playing a couple hours of cover songs. It was going really well and
eventually they decided to write original songs. They entered the first
Annual Louisiana Music Prize as a three piece, won first place. That
included free recording time at a really nice local studio, Blade Studios.
I was living in Oregon at the time and they asked me to join on bass. I
moved back to Shreveport, we established the name Seratones and recorded
what essentially was a demo. Our first goal was to move forward with the band
by expanding outside of Shreveport and as far beyond as possible. We played
our first out of town gig at Maxine’s in Hot Springs, Arkansas and were
spotted by an employee of Fat Possum Records based in Oxford, Mississippi.
They contacted us and we sent them our demo. After hearing it they sent us
an offer and invited us to have them see us perform in Oxford. After
meeting with the fine Possum folk we decided it was our best opportunity to
progress as a professional band and eventually became the newest member of
the Possum family. That was Dec 22, 2014.
RESiN: What’s the weirdest thing you guys have experienced on the road? …at a
Seratones: Our van has taken on a life of its own and randomly does things to
inconvenience us in different ways. For example: we came outside once to
find that the passenger side window had fallen down into the door for no
reason. We had to drive to the next show, ~4-6 hrs away with a towel and
duck tape stretched over the opening. It was very very loud. Also the
transmission totally went out at 3am after a show in Birmingham as we were
pulling up to where we were staying that night. We had no money to fix it
and ended up stuck there for a few days. We had to call our friends Josh,
Jake, Eli, and Q to drive a completely illegal big yellow school bus all
the way from Shreveport to tow us back with nothing but a tow strap, while
Jesse made sure the van didn’t run into the back of the bus. The bus only
went up to 65mph so it took a total of about 20 hrs round trip. The plan
somehow worked without any incident and we made it back safe.
(Since I am writing this during our European trip..) In France we played
around midnight and it was about to be my birthday. AJ mentioned it over
the mic on stage and 1000+ French fans spontaneously began singing me happy
birthday. It was a bit surreal. That whole set was caught on video..
Concert Footage in France:
RESiN: What’s the worst (and best) gig you guys have played? Tell me about it.
Seratones: Adam: There are a few bests for me. A lot of house shows are top notch
because they get real punk rock real fast, and the environment is so casual
and intimate. The first time we sold out a show was in Chicago at The
Hideout’s 20th anniversary so everyone was well into party mode. We played
to a sold out crowd with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down in San Francisco
at the world famous Fillmore. The 9:30 Club in D.C. is amazing because the
people who come to shows are so musically astute and appreciative that it
helps us to connect with them to make for a kick ass show. Worst shows
include gigs where the sound is total crap and no one can tell what is
going on. We end up not having control of our sound and we don’t feel like
our performance is coming off 100%.
RESiN: What’s yuh gear?
Seratones: This is our personal gear we use in the States.
Had to rent alternatives for European/UK tour.
Adam – currently using an early 90’s model SWR 400 bass head. It works
well. I lucked out and picked it up in NYC after my ’74 SUNN Concert Bass
fried itself on stage going up in a billow of black stinky smoke. I
probably shouldn’t have been touring with it because it hadn’t been tuned up
for the road, but it sounded great so I said fuck it.
-Ampeg 4×10 Classic Bass Cabinet. The weight is worth it.
-1974 Rickenbacker 4001 (repainted original white because someone had
previously stripped and butchered a custom paint job)
-Ernie Ball Slinkys
–VOX AC-30 guitar amp
-1960’s Hagstrom guitar. Found in the trash and brought back to life by a
Nashville luthier. Hand wound pickups.
-Frankenstein Noids guitar hand painted by Paul Garner of the Shreveport
punk band the Noids. Custom everything.
RESiN: Playing Europe? How excited are you guys? That’s where Hendrix went to
get recognized. Pretty cool ‘eh?
Seratones: It’s near the end of the tour. Two shows today at End Of The Road Fest and
one tomorrow at Together The People. Everything so far has been amazing! We
only wish we could spend more time exploring and getting to know all the
places we go, but that goes for everywhere we travel.
I can see why going abroad can be a major milestone for musicians, or
anyone in the arts. It gives your field of vision a new perspective on what
it is you are actually doing with your work. It has the unmatched benefit
of being able to bring your work directly to people who have only seen it
from afar, or maybe to people who never would have seen it at all. I can
imagine foreign artists coming into the US feel quite the same. So far it
has been a success and we are looking forward to continuing it in the US,
then another trip back across the pond for round two. All before the end of
RESiN: What are each of your guys’ foundation album? The album that continues
to push you into the realm of nirvana?
Seratones: Haha Nirvana. That is a good start, definitely can’t leave them out.
Depends on what aspect of the music you are focusing on. A solid album as
far as sonic quality, musicianship, creativity, energy, uniqueness, and
overall groove is ZZ TOP’s Tejas.
Other influences for different reasons:
The energy and volatility of Plastic Surgery Disasters / In God We Trust, Inc. – Dead Kennedys
The subtle control and coolness of Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Songs for the Deaf – Queens of the Stone Age is powerful and tight. Such
great songwriting and production quality. In an interview with Josh Homme
of QOTSA he actually cited “Tejas” as a sonic reference for recording.
Basically anything Sabbath for obvious reasons.
RESiN: Favorite state you’ve played in?…besides Louisiana.
Seratones: State as a whole? We’ve been enjoying going to the west coast alot more
than we have gotten to in the past. Would love to spend more time there.
Maybe because we spend a lot of time in NY we get to know the place more.
Its always a lot of fun.
RESiN: What wisdom would you give to musicians who are trying to make a living
creating and playing music?
Seratones: Stay diligent. Practice all the time even when it sucks. That is how to
keep your playing ability and basic understanding of music strong. It will
help you get past the initial utilitarian process of just playing your
instrument and will allow you to expand into new territory. Keep your mind
open to exploring new ideas and try everything. That is how to find what
makes your expression unique. It is a never-ending process. To paraphrase
our Party Boss, Josh October, there are ways that have been established
that are well worth knowing to help this process, that is called music
theory. If it feels good and sounds good to you, that is music fact.
RESiN: Are you guys in the process of trying to get another album going? New
Seratones: One new single “By and By” was recorded for an exclusive Amazon
Acoustics session. It has kind of a ballad feel, but very minimal.
If you like “Keep Me” then it may be up your alley.
We have a bit of new material in the works. We are always thinking of the
next step but it has been difficult writing while traveling. We do most of
our writing at home in the small confines of our padded cell in Shreveport
LA because we can be as loud and insane as we want.
RESiN: You’ve already been on tour with some cool ass bands…who are some
other artists/bands you would love to be able to share a stage with?
Seratones: John Dwyer. Queens of the Stone Age. Anyone who likes to engage the crowd
and have a party!