Seratones Prepare for the End of the World
(And hope that you’re having as much fun as they are!)
By Sara Jane Overby
Seratones are a hard-working band from Shreveport who rocked this summer’s Sloss Music & Art’s Festival. They will find their way back to Birmingham this Wednesday, October 26, to play WorkPlay. We had a chance to catch up with Seratones’ guitarist Connor Davis and bassist Adam Davis at Sloss and they painted a pretty adventurous picture of what you can expect during their live performance.
Yesterday was the first time I’ve had the chance to see you guys perform and y’all killed it! You guys have played Birmingham before though, right?
Connor: Yeah, we’ve played Birmingham three times now. Actually four times! We played Secret Stages early on as a different band. Our lineup was nearly the same as the Seratones have now, except our bass player and band name were both different. We came back the next year as the Seratones, and it was fun as hell. Not long after that we opened up for St. Paul and the Broken Bones at the Alabama Theatre at their homecoming show. It was pretty special.
So you guys opened up for St. Paul and the Broken Bones? They’re awesome!
Connor: Yeah, all those dudes are awesome!
Adam: I know all of those guys pretty well. They’re actually supposed to be here at the festival…
Connor: Jessie is here.
I think Chad Fisher is here.
Connor: Yeah, Chad is here. We’re actually going to tour with them again in September for about 11 dates on the West Coast.
Cool, so where will you be stopping over the course of those dates?
Connor: All the way up the West Coast. So, Las Vegas, LA, Seattle, Portland. Oh, and Vancouver!
Adam: Yeah, we actually just went to Canada for the first time and did three dates there. We were touring with The Dandy Warhols. It was really rad! It was my first time out of the country actually, so I was pretty stoked about that!
Was it cold?
Adam: YES! It was freezing!
Connor: Yeah man, we’re from Shreveport! It was so cold for us!
Adam: I brought a wool coat, fucking gloves, literally everything I could find, and it was still cold. And to top it off, we’re in all these layers and we saw people up there in shorts! I just thought to myself, “You are crazy!” I was not prepped for that at all.
Connor: Adam looked like he was prepared for the end of the world. That’s pretty much how he packs for tour no matter where we’re going though.
Adam: Yeah, I do like to bring my bug-out bag! Ropes, water and shit.
Connor: Yeah, shit, you do not need all that! But, in case the world ends…
Adam: Yeah dude, I’m ready! I’m even trying to buy one of those nautical compasses to put on the dashboard of the van. Mostly for looks, but just in case!
Adam: Tools you need for tour: compass, signaling mirror, rope…
So, how did you two got linked up with the Seratones?
Adam: I don’t know, man! I was living across the country!
Connor: Oh damn. Yeah. We all met in high school. We played in a bunch of different bands together in a pretty tight-knit scene down there…
Adam: Yeah, I was living across the country and you guys entered the first Louisiana music competition. It was part of the Louisiana Music Film Festival. It was just the three of you guys (AJ, Jessie and Conner). I just so happened to be in town and you guys didn’t have a bass player at the time, so I said I would do it. Then one thing lead to another and pretty soon I found myself saying, “Sure! I’ll move back to Shreveport to play with you guys!” Then we won some recording time at Blade Studios, tightened up the nine songs that we had, and basically partied in the studio for five days. We ended up sending what we recorded over to Fat Possum and that’s when they first heard us.
Connor: We played a show out of town shortly after, and that’s when we got signed.
What was your first draw to music?
Connor: My dad was driving me to Corpus Christie when I was five years old and he played Red House really loud. And it hurt, but it was so good! I remember thinking, “Dad, what the hell?” But it was so good, Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin…Seal!
Connor: BABY!!!!! I’ve been kissed by a rose on the grave…ooohhh… Oh yeah and, Sail away, sail away, sail away…. Who sings that song?
I think that’s the indie female artist, Enya!
Connor: Yeah, dude. I like female artists!
So you like female artists…what about Grace Potter?
Adam: I don’t think I know who that is.
Connor: Oh man, now I want to see her live!
Wait, Adam how do you not know who is Grace Potter is?
Adam: We travel all the time!
Connor: Yeah, we barely even get to see our families with all the traveling we’ve been doing.
Wow, you guys are touring that much?
Connor: We’re basically touring year-round at this point. We’ve got a month off right now, then we leave for Europe and the UK. I get them mixed up, but I guess they’re two different things now.
Oh yeah, the infamous Brexit!
Adam: Yea, we’ll be bringing our signaling mirror in case we get lost in the Shire over there or whatever.
So, will this be your first time over there touring together?
Adam: It’ll be my first time overseas! Canada was my first time out of the country and it wasn’t until Montreal that everything went French. That was when I really felt like I was in a seriously different place! So yeah, I’m looking forward to this tour over there.
What is your favorite song to perform?
Adam: I like the one we close with. It’s called “Trees.” High energy throughout, and it usually gets people moving around a lot. Plus, it’s really fun to play.
Connor: I would have to agree. We save the best for last. It’s fun as hell!!
Adam: Everyone starts jumping around and AJ gets to jump out into the crowd and do whatever she does out there…attack people!
Connor: Hurt people.
Adam: Jump on people…
Connor: No lawsuits yet, though!
Well, AJ jumping out into the crowd would make a hell of a show! So let me get serious on you: where do you see yourselves in the next five years?
Adam: You know, I’m really not sure. Probably touring in places around the world we haven’t played before.
Connor: Maybe writing our fifth album…something like that. Just continuing to play music!
Right on! So what was it like finding the right band, the right outlet, for you to feed that musical beast that lives within all musicians?
Connor: Really for me, we’re all buddies, and we all come together and write music on the spot together. It is kind of like an addiction. That’s what feeds my beast. We just enjoy getting together and writing music. I’m excited to have found the people that gel with me, that understand the things that I’m thinking and feeling, and have the ability to finish my sentences musically. So we’ll continue to do that until the rails come off! Or whatever the saying is.
Adam: Until the wheels fall off the rails?
Connor: Trains and shit! Anyways, it’s just very organic. We’ve been doing this for about 10 years in different formations and are still having a lot of fun trying different things.
Adam: And as to how we’ve found our place in this particular band, this is what I feel: we’ve all been in different roles at other bands. For example, in other bands I’ve played drums at one point, bass, guitar, and even performed vocals. And Connor has played guitar, bass, and keys. We’ve done whatever it is that the position we were in at the time called for us to do, and we’ve done it well. And now we’re having fun performing collectively within our own strengths. Everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing and each of us is enjoying it.
Connor: We truly just love this shit!
Adam: Yeah. We really do.
So let me ask you this, if there was anything you could tell your younger selves to better prepare them for this journey you are on, what would it be?
Adam: Drink water! LOTS of water!
Adam: And play music with water!
Connor: Listen! Honing your craft is very important, but listening to music is almost more important to me. Expanding your mind with different types of ways you can play your music, different bands. The ways you can express yourself sonically/musically are endless! I can play scales for days, but listening is just so key.
Adam: Yeah, there’s no end to music. There is just so much to listen to and create. Buy records. Support your local record stores. We have a friend who was at this festival recently, his name is Peter Fetterman and he is an experimental musician. So, in Shreveport we have a lot of different musical events, and in one of these events he played music with water. He had a kettle, and steam would come out of this kettle and ring a bell, or hit this pad, and it would make a really unique sound.
Connor: He used this transducer microphone, and would stick it to the sides of different clarins and then pour water from different heights so that the water would drip at different intervals and volumes and patterns. I think he was even running some of that through different processors and effects pedals and the result was this crazy atmospheric sound. His instrument was literally water. It was awesome!
Adam: So, see, be experimental, man. The way we started the Seratones was by being experimental! We were just trying different things!
Just getting weird!
Adam: Yeah, we decided to get weird…
Connor: And weird we got!
Well I dig it! So let me wrap this up. What is it that you want your fans to take away from your performances?
Adam: Well, the reason we play music in front of people is to give them something, an experience to take home. To have them feel something. We write all these songs because they come from an emotion or feeling we have, and our music is the way we express ourselves. We can only do that to a certain point, and then it’s up to the people to interpret the music we’ve given them in the way that they want to. Our hope is that somehow we can connect with them that way. That’s how I look at it.
Connor: I couldn’t agree more. We just really want people to enjoy themselves as much as we do. To connect to us through our music.
Well thank you guys so much for you time! I look forward to catching you again on this journey!
AJ Haynes – Vocals
Connor Davis – Guitar
Adam Davis – Bass
Jesse Gabriel – Drums
For more information visit: seratones.band