Sederra Interview

Sederra has been combining punk and rock elements all across Orange County, California since 2007. Band members have been busy writing and juggling life commitments in the first half of 2015, but recently played their first show of the year at The Observatory in Santa Ana. By the Barricade caught up with Sederra before their set to find out what makes the band members tick and discuss their upcoming sophomore album. The full transcripts follow:

_DSC9715Band Members:

Eric Bootow, Bass

Mike Doherty, Guitar

Andy Alvarez, Drums

Tom Schmitt, Vocals

Steve Zeringue, Guitar

How was Sederra chosen as the band name?

Eric: That was an interesting story. We had a list of seriously about 10,000 names that were all pretty awful. It is hard to pick a name. We didn’t know if we were even going to be a band for longer than a month. Sederra is a city in Spain and we changed the spelling. We also like the randomness of it. We are huge fans of Fugazi and we want our own name that defined ourselves versus having a stereotypical type of name that would pigeonhole us.

What was your catalyst to play music?

Eric: I have loved music since I was a kid. I remember going on family vacations and playing drums on the pillows and punching my brother to the beat – which was awesome! Anybody who knows my brother knows that he needed to be punched a lot. As a kid I was also into art and sports

Andy: Those go together usually

Eric: Usually the sport guys beat up the art guys, but I always thought music was cool. When my parents got divorced I remember grabbing a guitar that my grandfather had and I goofed off and started playing. It sort of ruined my life ever since.

Andy: My parents were both musicians. My mom was a singer and my dad played guitar. So it was inevitable.

MikeTom: I just grew up singing. My dad played The Beatles and I started singing along. Then I sang at church, I was in choir. Especially on family vacations I would be in the back seat belting along with every word. Everything from The Beatles to Boingo and all over the place, I loved it all. For me it was like it is with any musician, it is instilled once you start hearing I you are intrigued by music and how it works and what it can do to people which is fantastic. One simple song can change everything for so many people and it can mean something different to so many people. It is amazing and an incredible art form.

Mike: That is why he likes to be so vague in the lyrics so it can mean something to everyone. Different people can interpret it in different ways. I started playing acoustic guitar when I was 9 or 10 and I took lessons and hated it. I stopped playing but picked up electric guitar when I was 13. My stepfather played and he taught me how to play again. I’ve been playing ever since. Just like anybody, I listened to music in the car on the radio with my parents and watched MTV when they used to play music videos 24/7. You could see everything on there from Motley Crue to Michael Jackson.

Eric: Those videos back then were definitely influential. You would think, “I want to get chicks like this in a car or in a bar.

Mike: You had “Shout at the Devil” followed by “Thriller” it was awesome.

Andy: Hall and Oates “Maneater” That song made me want to be a musician, and grow a mullet.

Mike: That song scared me

Eric: There was Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Stray Cats, The Clash

Mike: Billy Idol back in the day.

Eric: There was Paula Abul (just kidding I hate her) back when she used to dance with cats, after she was a Fly Girl.

Andy: That was probably a really expensive video.

Eric BootowEric: That was like the Mary Poppins movie. I don’t think anyone did that ever again. Except for Cool World which was the worst movie ever.

Do you think that once you started playing music it just got under your skin and you enjoyed it and kept doing it as an adult?

Eric: Yes, it is pretty addicting once you do it.

Mike: You love doing it, it’s like a passion.

Eric: You want to express yourself in music and the feeling of going up on stage and going off. The feeling is something that is hard to describe unless you have done it. It is one of the most freeing feelings you could have except maybe jumping off of an airplane or something like that.

Mike: You should try sky diving – Lake Elsinore.

Eric: No way. I’ll play music and jump around on stage. Gravity is only going to break my legs man!

Switching back to the present, how would you sum up the first 6 months of the year for Sederra, what are the highlights?

Mike: Writing.

Eric: We have been writing like crazy. Everyone has been super busy and two band members got married. Andy had a baby, well he didn’t give birth his wife did.

Andy: I look like I gave birth.

Eric: It’s really hard to be in a band and juggle life. I have my daughter and when I get the time I still write music. Mike writes, all of us do. That is what we love to do so we find the time to do it. When we get offers for cool shows like playing with Ten Foot Pole and go watch X in the other room.

Mike: It’s a good show tonight. We have a show with The Ataris on July 23rd. We have some other shows coming up in September we will be in San Diego.

Eric: Yeah, we’ll get some Popeye’s Chicken down there.

Andy: Actually we are playing at Popeye’s.

Eric: Yeah, we’re playing behind Popeye’s in the alleyway.

What about the rumors of the new album? Any updates?

Mike: Hopefully we will have it out late September or Early October. It is really expensive to press vinyl and we want to press vinyl.

Eric: That is what we are working on. Trying to get the money. We also want to make some of those expensive coasters aka CD’s.

Mike: It takes time, but hopefully we will have it on iTunes, vinyl and CD probably too.

Andy: We have also been throwing around the idea of doing a live recording for YouTube.

_DSC9634You have shared the stage with a lot of different bands, for example The Ataris, which you have previously played with and you have another show with them coming up in Hollywood. Do you have a particular band or a few bands that you particularly like to work with?

Mike: Playing with The Ataris is great. We have known them for years.

Eric: We have been able to tour with great bands.

Mike: We played with Helmet and that was great.

Eric: We have played with Face to Face, Strung Out, Agent Orange, a lot of great bands, Ignite, Chuck Ragen and one day we hope to play with Hot Water Music. We have been doing this a while and know a lot of great people. I am always stoked when we get to play a good show. I grew up listening to Ten Foot Pole. Rev was one of my favorite records growing up. Pete Newberry was the bass player and I learned every bass line on that record note for note.

Have you had a particular person or event that happened in the past that motivated you to keep going?

Andy: For me, I went to a lot of shows starting early when I was 13-14 years old. I was in high school right about when they started doing The Warped Tour and I remember going to Warped Tour 1996 and that line up was ridiculous. Every band you wanted to see, there were bands that didn’t tour often or weren’t local to us and they were all on that tour. I remember it was like this: Lagwagon played and then NOFX played and then Pennywise played and it was nonstop. That was it for me. I was hooked and it is the same thing that keeps me going now. The older I get my tastes in music is going change and I broaden my musical horizons as I get older, but I keep going back to those bands because they keep are still putting out records, they are still touring and the music is still good. They still kill it live and for the most part it has been the same group of guys. The bands have not really changed much internally on the micro and macro level. It is like the Godfather Part III which not a lot of people watch because it is the worst of all the Godfathers but Al Pacino says, “I try to get out but they pull back in.” It’s like that.

Eric: Andy and I have known each other since we were kids. It is always fun to play, but now we get to play with bands we grew up listening to which is one of those things that when you look back to when you were 15 years old buying that NOFX record, you never thought that you would play a show or go on tour. Now we get to go on tour with amazing bands. Andy and I went on tour with Bad Religion in Jughead’s Revenge. We were both in Jughead’s too. When we got the call that we were going to play a club gig with Bad Religion we were on cloud nine. We got called to do a tour with Black Flag and my jaw dropped. I am pretty desensitized but when you get to play with some of your bands and actually become friends and are on the same level that is just the coolest thing ever.  Andy toured with The Offspring and The Vandals with Jughead’s and played in front of 20,000 people a night. Mike got to play with Papa Roach in front of 80,000 people with the Red Hot Chili Peppers all over the world. Those are amazing and cool memories that no one can ever take away from you. It is also part of what fuels you for the next gig. Now there are another million things like you are parents, or your finances, your budget, mortgages.

Andy: That is the trick – finding the balance. Are you able to do both? If you aren’t able to play music for a living it is the next best thing.

Eric: I didn’t get to play for a while and Andy you didn’t get to play for a couple of years and then you came to a show at the House of Blues.

Andy: I was the first drummer in the band and then I left, I came back for a while and then I left and it had been a couple years. When I went to check them out at the House of Blues I told them I was ready to come back if they would have me.

Mike: I just love doing it. Whether we are making any money or not, which we are not, but we still love it. I have had the privilege at certain times of my life to be a professional musician I am not right now, but I still love playing.

What would be your next big goal?

Eric: Putting out the record, start playing again. We all want to start playing the newer songs because we are really pumped on them.

Mike: We really want to get that out. Everything is done, everything is recorded. Paul Miner mastered it we recorded it in Woodland Hills, with Dan Patel. Hopefully we will get it out September or October. We have said that before but it is really expensive. One day we will get it out, the songs are cool. It is a good mix of all kinds of stuff.

What do you never get asked about but wish people knew about you or Sederra?

Mike: Nothing that could be printed on the internet.

Eric: They always ask me why I am tall and my answer is, “Good genetics.” I get asked a lot of bass questions and Mike gets asked a lot of guitar questions. We all have nice gear so people ask about it. We are weird dudes.

Andy: There is literally not a question I wouldn’t answer.

Anything else you would like to tell the readers of By the Barricade?

Mike: Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Keep it on for more punk, rock and metal interviews, reviews, articles, and photos! Also, “Like” By the Barricade on Facebook to never miss a post. If you liked this article check out:

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