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Article

Seratones talks scuzzy debut: 'We have attitude problems'

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Pooneh Ghana

Get Gone is Seratones’ debut album, but its kinetic blend of blues, soul, and punk — and the fiery efficiency the band executes — belies a more experienced set of players. And, as lead singer A.J. Haynes points out, while the Shreveport, Louisiana quartet may only be two years old, its members have been making music together far longer.

“We’ve known each other for about a decade,” the 27-year-old Haynes tells EW. As teenagers, she and the guys who now comprise Seratones — guitarist Connor Davis, bassist Adam Davis, and drummer Jesse Gabriel — bounced around Shreveport’s “very small, tight-knit community” staging DIY punk shows, jamming in blues bands, and checking out as many weird gigs as possible. “We have friends that play in like a rap band that raps about spaghetti and bunnies and shit,” Haynes says. “And one of my favorite memories is seeing this Israeli f—ing doom band: Maybe 20 people in a room, and there were candles everywhere.”

But despite the diverse influences they encountered in Shreveport — “I think that eclectic taste is cultivated by putting on shows ourselves,” Haynes notes. (Seratones settled on whiskey-soaked blues-rock as their primary genre.) When Adam temporarily moved to Portland, Oregon, Haynes, Gabriel, and the other Davis formed a blues cover band, cutting their teeth with covers of Elmore James’ “Cry For Me Baby,” Arthur Crudup’s “Dirt Road Blues,” and more modern staples by the Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

But on Get Gone, Seratones give the blues new creative life by drawing on the squall of modern garage-rock artists they’re “pretty enamored with” like Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees. “We got tired of playing other people’s music and wanted to try something else,” Haynes says. “All the influences that we have just kind of melded. And it wasn’t done with intent; the only intent was to make music that we want to play.”

So while Get Gone‘s 11 tracks are all undeniably Seratones, the band tests out a number of different flavors, whether they’re repurposing Zeppelin vibes (“Tide”) or paying homage to classic folk touchstones like Leadbelly and Hank Williams (“Keep Me”).

And while the lyrics rarely come first with scuzzy blues-rock, some of the cuts on Get Gone address topics that transcend basic heartbreak and loss. “‘Kingdom Come‘ is a retelling of the David and Bathsheba narrative” from the Hebrew Bible, the self-described “English nerd” Haynes explains. “It’s usually told in churches as a way to shame women for their own existence just being there and producing people. But in fact, it’s a rape story — and it’s never told that way.”

Haynes punctuates her description of “Kingdom Come” with a laugh. “Then there’s also songs about just dancing,” she says. “Like ‘Chandelier’ is a song about just getting down and having fun — and swag.”

Ultimately, the connective tissue for Seratones’ sonic and lyrical styles is Shreveport’s music scene. “There’s not a central sound,” Haynes says. “We just have an attitude. We have attitude problems.”