DOORSTEP INTERVIEW: Serinette | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Welcome to Doorstep Interview, where we find out more about the amazing bands and artists we have right here in the north east. This time, Lou Radford from Teesside indie pop darlings Serinette tell us more about being a band with endless energy and enthusiasm.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Who are you, where are you from?

We are Serinette; Lou on lead vocals, Beth on backing vocals and synth, Paul on drums, Dave on Guitar and Stu on bass and backing vocals. We write original alternative indie-pop music and love making music. We have been making music for the last two years with this lineup. We love to create and play music.

What inspired you to first start making music?

It’s quite similar for all of us. As a kid you work out what you enjoy, what gets you through a school day. All of us had a passion for music from an early age. I had singing and guitar lessons in school but all I really wanted was to be a pop star! So at 15-16 I started writing songs using an 8track I was massively into harmonies based on listening to a lot of soul and Motown, especially Michael Jackson. I used to put down 3/4 part harmonies and write short songs about life (as you do). Then I joined a cover band, and another then started writing original tracks with others. Music began to be an obsession as a posed to something I enjoyed. Sometimes I’d rather stay in and write than go out and do nothing with people. The simplicity of life inspired me to write.

Who would you say are your biggest influences?

My influences vary. I love Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell. I love Foo Fighters, Zero7, The Prodigy, Grimes, Linkin Park, System of A Down, Radiohead, Alanis Morisette, Beck… Stu adores Jane’s Addiction.

We are a bunch influenced by a lot of sounds and general themes. I have written using water as a basis for a song. Stu came up the idea for our song Russia; I wrote the lyrics based around the news that day. Our influences are so varied and I think you can tell in our music. Our set goes from rock to pop to disco all blended in. We love Beck in the way that he can have slight alternate rift in a verse and it’s not heard again in the song. We are influenced by little flashes of creativity.  We have been told locally, because we are so alternative, it can be difficult to place us in line ups, but you create what you love and that’s how we are. If we love it we’ll play it.

How would you describe your sound?

Our sound is a mix of Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Alanis Morisette, Linkin Park, Michael Jackson and Red Hot Chili Peppers all mashed into a ball. NARC. actually called us alternative indie pop, so we have stuck with that this year! I think our music is definitely pop based with sprinkles of rock, indie and soul on top. Does any of that make any sense? The best way is to listen to our last two singles – Bigger Better and Pushing Me Slowly… that will answer the question.

Where do you see yourselves fitting into the local music scene?

We fit in fairly well. I think we are the alternative bunch in the North East scene. Certain people aren’t sure what to make of us as what we are doing is a little different to most, but most love us. We have a great crowd that will come every time we play in the North East and Manchester; they are fab. I think our sound is unique to us and it had taken a while for people to get into that but gigs like Stockton Weekender and Stockton Calling, Empire, Ku Bar and Mixtape have really supported and helped us.

“Certain people aren’t sure what to make of us as what we are doing is a little different to most, but most love us”

Tell us a bit about your live performances. 

Our live shows are always fun for us. I think because we enjoy it, the audience do too. I hate these bands that stand looking moody and motionless like they hate life. I love dancing around, interacting with the rest. There are no gimmicks or props in what we do. Just five people enjoying themselves and playing their arses off. I think the music should always speak for itself and I view every member of Serinette as important as the other. It’s not a one woman show, it’s a team effort (queue corny line, but I mean it!) Again, I dislike bands where it’s all about one person. We supported Lisbon last week and I love the fact that each member was as notable as the other; same with our mates Avalanche Party. Great bands!

What can we expect from a gig by Serinette?

EXNE said we are an unsitdownable band. We like that quote and it’s very true. All of our songs have a groove that will make you tap your toes, nod your head etc. You can expect energy from all of us. Windmills…. you can expect Pete Townsend windmills from Dave. A powerful solid drum beat. Harmonies, meaningful lyrics. And a JD and coke!

Can you tell us what gigs you have planned in the region in the near future?

We’ve got Ku Bar in Stockton on Friday 29th May, Carpe Diem in Leeds on Saturday 4th July and West Fest in West Auckland on Saturday 25th July. Somewhere in that we have a single launch but release dates are not confirmed. Also a possible overseas gig again but not confirmed.

What do you think has been your biggest achievement so far as a band?

Our first was to have music recorded that we were proud of and sell it on iTunes. We always wanted to play main stage at Middlesbrough Empire. We wanted to play Stockton Weekender. We wanted to create and direct our own music video. We wanted to receive overseas airplay. We wanted to gig more out of area. We wanted to work with a record label that believed in our music and us as a band. They may not seem like achievements to others but they are things we all wanted. We have been played on BBC 6Music by Tom Robinson, BBC Introducing by Mark Forrest and all with huge support by Bob Fischer! Also we have regular airplay on Amazing Radio. Little things that make us smile!

Have there been any major challenges so far in your musical career?

I used to get the vibe that we were not taken too seriously being an alternative indie pop band with a female front. People tend to like things that sound like other things Arctic Monkeys, Stone Roses and others, who are great bands. I think people couldn’t pigeon hole us and that seemed to be a problem for them. I think that attitude has changed over the last year as other bands have become more alternative and the music world has opened up a little bit. No major challenges for us though, because we love to play.

What else have you got planned for the future?

We have recently signed to Sound Hub Records, the UK’s fastest growing independent record label. We have been in the studio over the last month working on three songs and have selected our debut single for release. We have a video to do and a few other bits. It has been a great experience so far to finally find a team that are creative people who eat sleep and breathe music. It’s about music not money and that’s what we love. I’m really proud of our recordings so far and am excited for everyone to hear them. We have some great gigs lined up too.

Serinette play at Ku Bar, Stockton on Friday 29th May.

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