Interview: Secondhand Sarenade

Sitting With Secondhand Serenade

Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with John Vesely (Singer in Secondhand Serenade) during the Detroit stop on the band’s Radio Revival Tour. I got to sit down, take a few photos, and conduct an interview. John is a very genuine artist. After putting on an energetic performance he came out for a meet and greet for all of his fans, which I stuck around for and grabbed some photos of. Secondhand Serenade just recently released their fourth studio album "Undefeated". This tour is a must see with stellar performances by Ryan Cabrera, Wind In Sails, Runaway Saints, and Nick Thomas. John was a blast to be around and I was ecstatic for the chance to interview him.       

You broke from Glassnote records, why was that?

John: I separated from them (Glassnote Records) a few years ago because we were having creative differences, It was not so much creative differences, but more so trying to light a fire in their ass. When you work with a label it’s like they work heavily when they feel like it, but it got to the point where I was fighting for attention and I did not have the power to do work myself. Rather than dealing with that my manager and I decided to separate from them and go independent.

What was the hardest part about going independent?

J: I thought the record would come a little bit quicker but a lot goes into it, especially when it comes to a full production record. I could have gone in the studio and finished it in two weeks and been done with it but we were trying to do it on a more massive level. We had to get a distribution company and that took a while to find the right one, just a lot of things that went into it.

Have you been creating any new songs on the road?

J: I have been doing a bunch of stuff in Nashville writing and doing some production work there. Actually, when we go back I am going to produce a few songs for Runway Saints. I have just been trying to stay busy and grow.

I know you started off playing bass and have moved to acoustic, which is your favorite instrument to play overall?

J: Between guitar and piano, I like writing on piano but I have been doing a lot more country writing so it’s a little easier to write on guitar. I guess it  depends on the situation.

Do you have any preshow rituals.

J: I like to shower about an hour before, and I usually do a shot of whiskey for the throat and that loosens me a little bit for the crowd.

Do you have any hidden talents that we don’t know about?  

J: I love to cook, it’s kinda my thing, I actually am surprisingly good at it. You know a lot of people say, “oh yeah I can cook”, but I have some really awesome recipes and some things that I figured out myself. They are my signature dishes.

You are about half way through the Radio Revival Tour, do you have any crazy stories?

J: Oh yeah, we have had some crazy stories. I am not sure if we should talk about it. There has been a lot stuff, it’s been pretty wild, just non stop going. We have had only two nights off. So we were at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, Florida and the opening bands already finished  and we walk up to perform, our intro plays and literally the second strum of our guitars and the PA explodes with the loudest sound you have ever heard, it was terrible and everything just shut down. The PA was completely shot. So we ended up just using the monitor board and just faced a few monitors to the crowd and it was great! The crowd loved it.

How has it been touring with Ryan Cabrera?

J: He has been great! We have been great friends for a long time and we always talked about touring together and we are finally getting to do it. We definitely get into trouble together, but thats all part of the experience.

Can we expect to see a collaboration with the two of you?

J: Probably by the end of the tour we will do something, we talked about him playing one of my songs in his set and have me play one of his. I think we might do that on the last stop of the tour!

Don’t forget to check out Secondhand Serenade