[OC Music Awards Interview] Sederra Are Old-School Punk Rock, Have Scars To Prove It
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 4th with seven weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic and a performance slot at the 2011 OC Music Awards, March 5 at the Grove of Anaheim.
Orange County rock ‘n roll elite and hardcore punk 5-piece, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sederra[/lastfm], is a band with brash, uncompromising stage presence and an ear-drum tickling sound that reverberates your brain for days after with both sheer loudness and infectious quality.
Summoning up the swaggering gods of Southern California’s ’90s alternative punk scene, Sederra harken back to a time before music was about who could do the most interesting thing production-wise and more about who could get fans screaming with excitement, while they blow the speakers off the wall.
Coming out of their impromptu set at the final Best Live Band showcase for OC Music Awards (originally scheduled band Stereofix pulled out because of laryngitis), Sederra was awash with good-natured adrenalin and covered with post-performance battle scars. Lead singer and ex-member of Kung Fu Records signed punk-revivalists, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Longfellow[/lastfm], Tom Schmitt had a ghastly bruise. This did not keep Schmitt from cheerily saying, “We tend to get injured, but it’s all part of the game. The show must go on.”[pullquote quote="Everything was born around here for us. Everything was so inspiring. " credit="Eric Bootow"]
Joined by a few other ex-Longfellow members and Mike Doherty (guitar), Eric Bootow (bass), Tony Warner (guitar) and Steve Ludwig (drums), Schmitt and Sederra are successfully following the in the musical footsteps of some of their favorite bands “the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Vandals[/lastfm],[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Social Distortion[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Face to Fac[/lastfm]e,” which Schmitt nostalgically remembered, ”the Orange County 90s punk scene was phenomenal. It was incredible…I saw the[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Offspring [/lastfm]play at Club 8 1/2 in Placentia…We saw [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sublime[/lastfm] there…Listening to those bands and seeing them live was a huge…We were fortunate.”
Bootow laughed, saying: “The best is when you talk to some little straight edge kid and they are like, “[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Minor Threat[/lastfm], who the f**k is that?” You need to have a musical history lesson. It’s time for me to spank you and ground you…The Ice House right there…Everything was born around here for us. Everything was so inspiring. “
As well as citing these bands as musical inspirations, Sederra has keen sonic similarities to the punkish thrash of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Hot Water Music[/lastfm], the politically tinged Angeleno anarchy of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bad Religion[/lastfm], and the masterful, hard-alternative crunch of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foo Fighters[/lastfm].
Despite not playing in Longfellow anymore, Schmidt said playing music is like “the best kind of crack.” Bootow agreed, adding: “It’s kind of like the good version of crack…It still costs a lot of money, but it’s awesome.”
Along with their brand new drummer, Ludwig, Bootow was not an ex-Longfellow member, but had seen his current bandmates play with a lot of huge bands at the time:
“We played shows together and stuff like that and I saw them like fifteen times and stuff like that…They weren’t my heroes, but I thought they were rad. I saw them [Longfellow] with[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] At The Drive In[/lastfm] and I thought, ‘This is awesome.'”
Schmitt elaborated: “We got to play with a lot of cool bands back in the day. We played with[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Jimmy Eat World[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Atari’s[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Blink 182[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Fenix TX[/lastfm].”
With such an idyllic sounding career, why did Longfellow dissolve and how did Sederra form? Schmitt explained how the addictive nature of music was too intoxicating to pass up once they got a taste of performative power again:
“Longfellow just kind of ended. We were together nine years. We took some time off. We were in that other band called The Kelly Affair. He went to [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Papa Roach[/lastfm] for a little while. Eric was doing his thing as a bass player for a bunch of bands.”
“So we all just decided we want to play music still. You know, once it’s in your blood, it’s hard not to.”
“We’re having so much fun. It’s great. The ball’s really rolling right now, which is cool for us too. We’re excited for a lot of the stuff that’s going on….We just got our first album. It’s an EP out on Itunes. We’re just playing a ton of shows. Our Facebook is going off. We were nominated for Best Rock for OC Music Awards and now we’re in the Best Live Band thing out of nowhere.”
This nomination is fitting as Sederra is definitely a band you need to see live to truly appreciate. Sederra whip the audience in the face with their punkish, no-holds-barred libido and stimulating stage antics. Schmitt explained how being musical veterans has helped Sederra’s stage show be so organic, how[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Danny Elfman[/lastfm] from [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Oingo Boingo [/lastfm] inspired him, and how watching his dad get punched by a 16-yr-old girl made him want to be a rock star:[pullquote quote="It's like second nature for us. We don't really think...Steve rocked...Killing it on drums. Amazing drummer. We are very lucky to have him in the band. He's lighting shit on fire. First song, this guy was lighting stuff on fire."]
“As for playing live, it’s a thing that builds. All of us have played for so long. Our first shows, we weren’t doing that. We were still feeling out the water and getting used to it. But now, it’s just so much fun to get up there.”
“We want to bring it like they did back in the day. For me, one of the biggest influence was Oingo Boingo and Danny Elfman. The first concert I ever went to, just him and Boingo as a band live was amazing. They’d bring it every time and he’d be all over the place doing somersaults, rocking the f**k out. And that was really what kind of made me say, ‘I want to do this. This is awesome. This is cool as hell.'”
“My very first concert–when I was in 6th grade, my dad brought me–he got punched by a 16-year-old girl at the time. I was like this little kid and said, ‘Oh, my god.’ And my stepmom grabbed her boyfriend and said, ‘I’m going to kick your f**king ass if you don’t get out of here right now.’ And he was shocked. And I thought, ‘I want to be in a f**king rock band. If this shit happen, that’s what I want to do. This is awesome.’ So, thanks to my dad for getting socked…My dad is awesome. He’s actually the one that got my into music anyway, so I gotta give props to him.”
Bootow added: “It’s like second nature for us. We don’t really think…We just showed up. We loved it. Steve rocked–this is our third show with Steve. Killing it on drums. Amazing drummer. We are very lucky to have him in the band. He’s lighting shit on fire. First song, this guy was lighting stuff on fire.”
“What’d he [sound guy] say? ‘Put the fire out or we will shut you off.’ We did it here last week and they were cool with it. We figured we could do it again. “
Schmitt smirked wisely and said: “Well, we metaphorically lit it on fire.”
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sederra[/lastfm]-“Fly To The Sun”
The 2011 Showcase Series ran every Tuesday night, January 4 -February 15 with stops at:
Jan 4 – Detroit Bar
Jan 11 – The District at Tustin Legacy
Jan 18 – The Gyspy Lounge
Jan 25 – The LAB
Feb 1 – Tiki Bar
Feb 8 – The Gyspy Den of Santa Ana
Feb 15 – The Slide Bar
Five Showcase Series finalists in each live category will then move on to the Showcase Series Finals.
Feb 24 – Best Live Acoustic Finals, Fullerton Museum
Feb 25 – Best Live band Finals, The Galaxy
2011 Best Live Band winner will receive a performance slot on the four Southern Califonia Vans Warped Tour stops!
Night Seven of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series featured nominees for Best Live Band on Tuesday, February 15th at the The Slide Bar.
READ MORE INTERVIEWS ON KROQ.COM FROM SHOWCASE NIGHT 7 BANDS:
Friday, February 11th- Fiction Reform
Saturday, February 12th-We Are The Arsenal
Sunday, February 13th-Stereofix
Tuesday, February 15th-Echo Echo
Friday, February 18th-Sederra
LEARN MORE AT: OCMUSICAWARDS.COM