Sometimes, people must satisfy a need to get down and rock out, and Seratones have mastered both the “get down” and “rock out” aspects in their music. This Thursday, Seratones will be making their way back to Oxford after a year of traveling, putting out their debut album “Get Gone,” and finding themselves on the roster of Oxford’s Fat Possum Records. I was able to get a hold of A.J Haynes, Seratones’ bold and brilliant lead vocalist, and have a chat with her while the band weaved its way through D.C. traffic.
The Daily Mississippian: How is everything going? You’ve been touring for a few weeks now. How has that experience been?
A.J. Haynes: Pretty great. It was great starting off the tour with St. Paul and The Broken Bones and getting to support them. We’ve also played some pretty amazing venues.
DM: Any memorable shows or a favorite stop so far?
AH: Our show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was really fun. The venue we played [Caine’s Ballroom] was the home of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, which I’m a huge fan of.
DM: Just more than a year ago, you guys came and played a show at Proud Larry’s in Oxford. What exciting new things have you been up to since then?
AH: We’ve been to Europe since then, which is exciting. We’ll be going back in November. I don’t know; we’ve had so much going on. It’s been hard to keep up with. We keep getting a lot of NPR love, and we just left New York and did a Facebook live session with Rolling Stone and Billboard. All of these major publications are checking in with us, and it’s really gratifying.
DM: I recently saw that you guys did an NPR Live session on Facebook and filmed an Audiotree Session Live, which is something I’ve been watching for years. What’s it like being behind the scenes on live shows like that?
AH: Everyone we’ve worked with has been really good people with good vibes. The fun part is you get to reimagine yourself. It’s pretty exciting.
DM: As a band from the South — Louisiana, in particular — what’s something that you want people to see about what influenced you growing up in your homeland?
AH: I don’t know; it’s more about what people get from the show, period. It’s not like we are a Cajun band; we’re a rock-and-roll band. I think of someone asking Mick Jagger like, ‘What part of the UK influenced you?’ It’s not about that; it’s about being a part of this whole thing. Of course, being a musician, you’re kind of an ambassador for where you’re from, but it can detract from the artists. It’s always fun to know the story behind the band, but what’s important to me is that people have a good time.
DM: What’s something that makes you guys stand out from Louisiana blues-rock music that you feel people might find unique?
AH: We listen to blues, and blues is a part of our vernacular, but I damn sure wouldn’t call us a blues band. If anything, we have anti-blues songs. But as far as standing out, I’m very proud of the songs we’ve written, and we’re all proud to perform the songs we’ve made.
DM: With all of these publications giving you guys recognition, is this something you anticipated whenever you started as a band? Did you expect to be where you are now?
AH: I’d hope so! We put a lot of work in, and you want to see growth, and all of this recognition is a part of this growth. We worked really hard, and it’s exciting! Had I imagined this? Not really, because you don’t really know what’s it’s like until you’re in it.
DM: There are a lot of positive reviews coming in on the new album. How does that feel?
AH: It’s great, really.
DM: Last question: are there any important lessons you’ve learned on the road over the past year, and if so, how do they affect the way you perform and travel?
AH: It’s a lot of hard work and traveling, so being patient. It’s a lot of traveling; we’ve been on the road for a while, and right now we’ve been in traffic in D.C. for a while, so you gotta chill out when you can. Take your vitamins. Try not to hit cars. Take care of yourself. Be nice to the sound guy or gal. Take your vitamins. That’s really it!
Catch Seratones on their cross-country tour this Thursday at Proud Larry’s. In preparation, keep “Get Gone” on repeat for the next couple days, and make sure you save some energy for what’s shaping up to be one of the most energized rock events of the semester.