Local Americana group The Senators have had an exciting year. The band has recorded a live session album in Paramount Studios in Hollywood, opened for Phillip Phillips in front of 4,000 fans, while also playing the occasional local bit at Sail Inn or Crescent Ballroom. You can catch The Senators on the local stage at Summer Ends Music Festival this Saturday where they will perform foot-stomping heart-warming folk tunes for you to enjoy.
In your bio it states "After much discourse, the brothers were reunited in 2012." what brought you boys apart?
Jesse Teer:Rooster was out in Memphis, Tennessee, for college. One year when he was home in December, I showed him some of the solo acoustic songs that I was working on. We began collaborating and reworking some of those songs and continued that when he went back to school. After we were both back in Phoenix, we decided to take our hobby of music to something a little more concrete. That's when we started recording our first album. There was a lot of negative space in the first formative year of writing together, and I think this helped us to identify a sound and a direction.
Who were your/the band's musical influences growing up? How has that shaped your music today?
All four of us have different musical influences. We were all exposed to music from a very young age, whether it was listening to records and playing in band/symphony/choir etc. For Rooster and I, there was always music in the house, whether it was our mom playing piano or our father playing classic rock vinyl in the kitchen while he cooked We were encouraged to pursue music by our parents. I was in Phoenix Youth Symphony playing cello, and Joe and Adam actually met while playing in high school band together. We all have our genre preferences, Jason with jazz, Joe with Techno and EDM, Jesse with acoustic indie, Rooster with Blues and Rock. It's cool that we all bring in different styles to the project and pull from this unique blend of styles.
Your live album was recorded at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Describe that process for me and why you choose that studio.
We were approached by our distribution company 101Distrobution to help them promote a new music streaming program they are launching called Arena. They wanted one of their artists to discuss the state of the music industry and provide some music for promotion. They booked the Cave at Paramount. It was an incredible experience. The song "Salt and Water" we recorded was written specifically for Paramount. Jesse brought nothing but the bare concept to rehearsal and we all just grooved with it and worked it out. It was a very organic and collaborative experience of songwriting. There was also a camera crew filming the recording for a promotional video, which is posted on our website. So we were playing visually for the camera for about 2 hours then spent a few more hours dialing in the song for recording. The history and the vibe of that room really comes through in the track.
You recently played a show opening for Phillip Phillips. What other artists would you be interested in playing with on a concert billing?
Locally, we've never done any shows with Kongos, and we'd love to hang out with those guys. Some nationals that we love include Old Crow Medicine Show, First Aid Kit. We hear Lord Huron puts on a hell of a show.
What local bands do you enjoy playing with?
We are pretty close with American Longspurs, an upcoming alt-country band that plays with us from time to time. Jesse knows Zach Zimmerman, their lead singer, from a long while back. But we all get along really well and Chester Karmer, their violin and mandolin player, joins us for gigs sometimes. He was with us during the Phillip Phillip's show
Another band we play on the same bill a lot with is Sarah Robinson and the Midnight Special. They rock and our sounds work well together.
What's next for The Senators?
We just came off of a six-week hiatus after a very busy June and July. Took some time off for vacations and family time. We are returning to the music we love with some big shows at Summer Ends and Oktoberfest at Salt River Fields. We will be focusing on writing a ton of new songs and getting those down for a second album we are looking to record early 2015, tentatively titled "Battle Hymns"
What's your favorite way to end summer?
Jesse and I are big football fans. So watching preseason is the perfect way to wind down the hubbub of summer and get ready for the season.
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