Known for a grassroots sound unique to Denton, with tones of modern-folk, indie, acoustic and electric, Seryn’s sound can be gentle and at other times downright thunderous. Formed in 2009, their freshman album This is Where We Are was named a top 50 album of 2011 by Paste Magazine. Fast forward three years and Seryn’s avoided a sophomore slump by slow-roasting another batch of songs, including ballads like “Ivory Black.” At a sneakpeek performance of their soon-tobe-released album at Dan’s Silverleaf Lounge in downtown Denton, Seryn chats about their success, running out of gas, the creative process and plans for a show on the moon.
How has Denton’s sound shaped your music? Trenton: “You have so many people trying to submerge themselves into music because they know Denton has the potential to trump Dallas and Fort Worth creatively. You’ve got a place like Dan’s where you can come one night and hear the most raging polka band and another night you hear a singer-songwriter on acoustic guitar and the next night you hear bluegrass.” Aaron: “We are so far off the map in the best way possible.”
As a young band, how did the song “We Will all be changed” come to be? Nathan: I had the most amazing job; I was a building monitor for the art department. I got paid to sit there. I did shows while I was at work. I did my homework, hosted parties… Anyway, it was Valentine’s Day. Trenton had his eye on a lady at the time but hadn’t put a ring on her finger yet. We decided to work on this little guitar riff that I had come up with. We sat there all night and worked on the song. Trenton: The song says exactly what it’s about … that we know we are not where we want to be. Everyone knows that feeling, wishing you were a year down the road or 10 years down the road.
How do you balance financial success with creative freedom? Trenton: As musicians, we want to think we are going to do something fresh and completely new; but...we are in a culture with trends. There is this constant push and pull of finding that place … the place where we can be extremely real and honest. Aaron: It would be nice to sell some records. And without some chart success, we can’t do that. We are still trying to punk rock our way through this, so there is this struggle between commercial success and artistic success. Those people who magically have both—Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Beatles—are who we are trying to be.
“Ivory Black” was the first follow-up to your freshman album. How did this single reignite the group? Nathan: We hadn’t written a song in a long time. You just want to bang your head on the wall for months and months. Nothing’s happening and you question your value as an artist. “Ivory Black” comes from the idea that elephant bones burn and turn into ink. That ink is used to create words or art. It was exactly what was going on in the band at the time. Trenton: It was appropriate to write a song about coming out of the desert. Once the dust settled, we started writing songs again. It was a catalyst that helped us keep moving forward.