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Tiny Desk Contest Stand-Out 'Seratones' Adjusts To Tour Life

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

In March of last year, our Rachel Martin interviewed some band members who had entered NPR Music's Tiny Desk Concert Contest. They call themselves Seratones. And they all grew up together in Shreveport, La.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE IT EASY")

SERATONES: Hey, babe, don't go getting sentimental on me now.

WERTHEIMER: They did not win the contest. And when they spoke with Rachel, they were still working their day jobs, but they had just been signed to a label and were getting ready for their lives to change. Well, Rachel brought two Seratones, AJ Haynes and Adam Davis, back to talk about their debut album, "Get Gone" and about what this past year has been like adjusting to the life of a full-time touring band.

ADAM DAVIS: I don't think we've been back to Shreveport for more than, maybe, three or four days.

AJ HAYNES: Yeah.

ADAM DAVIS: You know?

RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: In a year?

AJ HAYNES: Something like that.

RACHEL MARTIN: Wow.

ADAM DAVIS: Maybe since February we've been living in a van (laughter).

AJ HAYNES: Yeah, (unintelligible).

RACHEL MARTIN: Living the dream (laughter).

ADAM DAVIS: Yeah (laughter).

AJ HAYNES: We call our van Vantasia (ph).

ADAM DAVIS: Vantasia.

RACHEL MARTIN: (Laughter) Nice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GET GONE")

SERATONES: (Singing) Sun's coming up like you knew it would. Sun's coming up like you knew it would.

RACHEL MARTIN: You are at a different level now. You quit your jobs. You, like, doubled down on this whole idea and life. Has it changed the music that comes out of you, I mean, the collaboration? Does it - has it intensified because you're really in it now?

AJ HAYNES: You know, whenever you're in a songwriting mode, you're so focused on an idea or a sound or a feeling. And you're shutting the outside world off. So as far as whether the stakes are higher or lower, I don't know. I can't really speak to that, you know? We're just taking it a day at a time. Yes, there's pressure. But that's also what we kind of signed on for.

(LAUGHTER)

RACHEL MARTIN: Adam, do you have a favorite song on the album?

ADAM DAVIS: Favorite song. To play or to listen to (laughter)?

RACHEL MARTIN: To play.

ADAM DAVIS: I think that would probably be "Trees" 'cause it's high-energy all the way through.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TREES")

SERATONES: (Singing) You hit me whether you want to, I don't even like it. If all you want is a backbeat, don't try and fight it. It's bringing you and making you high. Soft pit in your spine. Just give a, give a, give a, give a...

ADAM DAVIS: And we usually end the set with that song. And it takes a lot of concentration, believe or not 'cause that one can easily go off the rails if you're having too much fun with it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TREES")

SERATONES: Soft pit in your your spine. Just give a, give a, give a, give a...

RACHEL MARTIN: How do you guys think about Shreveport these days? I mean, that's where you met. That's where you started making music together. But as you mentioned at the top, you haven't been there very much in the last year.

ADAM DAVIS: (Laughter) Yeah.

RACHEL MARTIN: (Laughter).

AJ HAYNES: Well, I think it's definitely a question and something that we're constantly thinking about, like - what does home mean for us? I mean, some days Shreveport is, you know, I want to see my dog and my roommates, and I want to eat a bowl curry from Don's Garden, you know?

RACHEL MARTIN: Yeah.

AJ HAYNES: And some days it's like, oh I'm glad I'm not there because it would be really hot and sticky.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KEEP ME")

SERATONES: Keep me in your dreams. I won't leave until you tell me to.

RACHEL MARTIN: So I imagine you're going to say just keep doing what you're doing. But I've got to ask anyway - so what do you want out of the next 12 months?

AJ HAYNES: I mean, for me I'm always thinking about, like - how are we treating each other at the end of the day? How are we maintaining our relationships as people? - because that's the core of it. So of course we want to grow and we want to ascend and we want to play bigger shows. We want to create more things.

ADAM DAVIS: Being able to hold our own out there on the road.

AJ HAYNES: And also collaborative work and...

ADAM DAVIS: Yeah.

AJ HAYNES: ...You know, bringing other people in the mix as you've mentioned.

ADAM DAVIS: Meet other people, other musicians and collaborate with them.

AJ HAYNES: But as long as we are good to each other and making good music - that might seem a bit over simplified, but I don't think it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KEEP ME")

SERATONES: Keep me...

WERTHEIMER: That was AJ Haynes and Adam Davis of the band, Seratones, speaking with our own Rachel Martin. And she will be back on the show next week. This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. BJ Leiderman wrote our theme music. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KEEP ME")

SERATONES: Glory be till the morrow comes... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.