Published on April 26th, 2017 | by Brittain Thompson0
Shreveport Dives to Festival Stages: Seratones Make Double Decker debut
Seratones, a band that refuses to be pigeonholed, blends the classic sounds of punk and southern rock with a healthy dash of Cajun seasoning.
The Shreveport, Louisiana-based group has been steamrolling through venues, leaving in their wake sweat-drenched fans begging for more. Vocalist A.J. Haynes, took time between preparing for tour and working with her bandmates on the next Seratones album to talk with us about touring, not teaching, and getting a record deal.
Sonically, Seratones is one of the most diverse bands making the rounds. The punk and southern rock influences are clearly evident in the instruments, but weaved throughout are the sounds of blues and soul. When Haynes gets going on stage, it’s easy to believe that she’s been singing since she was six. Performing for her congregation at such a young age helped prepare her when she began playing with bands.
“People in church will talk bad about you, real quick,” laughed Haynes. “Worse than people at a damn show.”
Before Haynes began her career as a full-time touring musician, she was a public school teacher. Looking at her alongside the rest of Seratones, you’d rightly think her out of place in such a setting.
“It wasn’t really what I felt like my purpose was,” said Haynes. “Even before I finished my master’s degree and then got a job as a teacher, I knew that working as . . . an artist in some capacity and traveling is what I wanted to do.”
Making efforts to improve the United States education system appeals to the teacher turned rock star, but Haynes doesn’t see herself ever returning as a teacher in a traditional classroom setting.
“A dream of mine has always been to spearhead a secular educational curriculum and push it in the south especially,” said Haynes. “Otherwise, hell no.”
Haynes completed her degree, but still wanted to have at least some teaching experience under her belt before fully diving into her endeavors to be an artist.
“In that year where I was getting my experience, we got a record deal,” said Haynes. “It really timed out perfectly. I was ready to go, I wanted to make some noise in the world. I had been thinking to myself, ‘I’m gonna do it. Come hell or high water even if I have to self-fund it I’m gonna f**king tour in a van.’ And then we got the record deal.”
With the deal done, Haynes and the other members had received the sign they needed and were ready go all in on the rock and roll lifestyle.
“It’s really a great affirmation to get,” said Haynes. “Like, okay this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Seratones are currently signed to a three-record deal with Oxford, Mississippi-label Fat Possum Records. The group was put in touch with the label after playing a show with NERVS in Arkansas.
“We were playing a show in Hot Springs with NERVS and their lead singer just so happened to work in the warehouse,” said Haynes. “It was even like a scoped out deal, it was happen-stance. He was like, ‘Oh, y’all are great. Let me tell the guys at Fat Possum about you.’ Then I got a call from Bruce Watson that week. We booked a show in Oxford, they dug it, and we went from there.”
The band recently completed the first tour in support of Get Gone, their debut album. The tour took them all over the country and through Europe. Along the way making stops at major festivals.
“We’ve played a good handful of Festivals,” said Haynes. “We did Hangout Festival, Hogs for the Cause—a New Orleans benefit festival, Voodoo Fest, played a couple in France. We’ve played a lot of festivals.”
From how Haynes describes it, the hard work the members put in has been paying off.
“It feels like we’re making progress,” said Haynes. “On this last tour we did supporting Get Gone, people actually knew the words to the songs. I had never experienced that before on such a large scale outside of the region. The love has been great and the crowds are getting steadily bigger.”
As a band, you never fully know what kind of people will enjoy your music. Fortunately for Seratones, their fan base are easy folks to get along with, which makes it that much better to traveling across the country to put on a show for them.
“Our fans are great,” said Hayne. “I feel like I can say that. The people that come to our show are people I feel like I can actually hang out with for the most part.”