"This ain't no 9-to-5, 24/7 just to stay alive."
Stop whatever you were doing and forget about about the daily grind, then take a deep breath and put on some Seranation. The reggae-rock band is one of St. Petersburg's most energetic, and it's coming off its first nationwide "None Escape the Law Tour" alongside Tunnel Vision and Kash'd Out. Seranation also released an album entitled Livin' the Dream on March 23 (recorded for Pepper's LAW Records). Livin' the Dream isn't just the name of Seranation's newest album: it's more or less a motto for each member of the band, but that's not to say the band as a whole isn't learning the tricks of the trade while on the road, and Seranation took a moment out of its busy homecoming and reflected on the tour and the release of it's second album.
"It's nothing short of amazing, a real learning experience. I feel like we're on a bit of a roller coaster right now and it's just, 'Hands up and enjoy the ride.' We're having good time," lead vocalist J.Carter said, before bassist Bianca Schlosser was quick to jump in and share a bit of advice.
"Always leave as early as you can for a gig, because when you have to drive 10 hours, it turns into 15," she said, "and sleep whenever you can."
These lessons have yielded nice results though. A highlight of the tour included being able to see fans sing Seranation lyrics while 3,000 miles away from home.
"One of the most beautiful things we saw [were] the people that are friends, fans and family that all come together and take care of us and help us on this journey, because right now we're still pretty early in the game," Carter added. "We're rich in love! All those people taking care of us really just shows how unified the world can become through music."
St. Petersburg isn't just home for Seranation; it's also the home of Jannus Live, a venue favored by the likes of The Expendables, Ballyhoo! and other top reggae-rock bands. When asked what it was like to call such an iconic venue its home stage, the band responded that it couldn't be happier. Josh Baron, drummer, said that it is inspiring to play a venue that he has attended numerous times as a concertgoer. "Never in a million years would I have been like 'I'm gonna be on that stage,' or 'I'm gonna be opening for this band' and here I am and it's crazy. It's a blessing, [and] I'm doing it with all my family, my friends. It's great, beautiful moments."
Seranation still love the smaller venues, however, and loves High Dive in Gainesville. The group also owes some gratitude to Ricky T's. The members of the group would have never been acquainted with one another if it wasn't for the Treasure Island hotspot.
So why was the album given the title Livin' the Dream? The message was a simple one, but the story behind it was one that was just as important.
"We were trying to inspire people, when you're down and out, keep pushing through, we want to spread good vibes with it," Carter said. "We want people to know they're capable of making their dreams happen, just as we are doing the same thing. It's us really committing to living the dream." That's not to say the Floridian lifestyle hasn't influenced the crew at all.
"Even when we were in states that we've either been to or grew up in, Florida is still our home. [The music] is bound to have some Florida vibes," guitarist Adam Hocker added. There is a deeper message than just the Floridian lifestyle, though — there is a responsibility when creating music.
"It's connecting people, it's sharing it with everybody, that's the connection, that's the best part about it, being able to move somebody with your sound, that's what music is about," said guitarist Matt Knabe before Carter chimed in to comment on on the realties of being a touring band.
"I think a lot of people in the industry instantly get into the partying and drinking and all of the facade that goes with it, and we have a bigger picture than that," Carter said. "We do have fun, we do hang out, but we don't get excessive like some of the other people we've seen — some people just get crazy. This is a business, a very serious business, we are unifying people and we just hope doing the best and always at our best for everyone because they don't deserve anything less."