Photo courtesy of Seratones.
The Voodoo Music + Arts Experience is a New Orleans staple every Halloween weekend. Not only does it draw people from all over to see major acts like Arcade Fire and Tool, but it’s also a weekend that showcases our own Louisiana talent.
Seratones formed in 2013 after bonding at DIY punk shows in Shreveport. The lineup includes AJ Haynes (vocals and guitar), Connor Davis (guitar), Adam Davis (bass) and Jesse Gabriel (drums). Seratones recently released their debut album “Get Gone” in May of this year. Haynes said that the recording process was one of the most challenging and rewarding things she’s ever been a part of.
“It’s fun and all-encompassing,” Haynes said. “As artists we tend to be between crippling self-doubt and supreme joy. The recording process is a lot like looking in a mirror. Sometimes you don’t like what you see, and other times you really learn to love yourself.”
Haynes said that even though the band is from northern Louisiana they all love New Orleans, and that being able to play Voodoo is going to be a special experience. Haynes also said that not only is playing at Voodoo Experience validation for all of the band’s hard work, but that she can’t wait to connect with everyone, especially after all the tragedy our community has faced.
“I love how resilient we are as a state, especially given the disaster that we’ve seen this year,” Haynes said. “The way we’ve been able to pull together and help each other is so invigorating to see. I think Voodoo as an experience is a culmination of that.”
Another band whose recent hard work will be on display at Voodoo is The Breton Sound. This group consists of Jonathan Pretus (vocals and guitar), Stephen Turner (guitar and vocals) John Bourgeois (drums and vocals) and Joe Bourgeois (bass). These New Orleans natives came together in 2010 after Pretus and Turner met at LSU. Since then they’ve been producing music, and are currently working on an EP that will release close to the festival. It will be five song EP that contains revamped versions of their favorite songs from previous EPs.
Pretus said that being from New Orleans, Voodoo has always been special to the band. Each of the members have played the festival before with previous bands, and are excited to take the stage as The Breton Sound.
“It’s always been a really fun festival,” Pretus said. “I can still remember going to the first one in 1999 when it was still held in Tad Gormley and there were just two stages, one in each end zone. It was such a good time. We’ve all been many times over the years, and it’s so much fun to be able to play.”
Voodoo may have major label artists, but the local talent it has to offer is what makes it truly special. New Orleans has always been a place where music thrives, and Voodoo Experience is part of that legacy.