WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON

Bringing a British flair to the traditionally American sounds of grunge are Serratone who are inherently “proud of where we are from” (in Newton-le-Willows and the North West). “We’ve grown up idolising those huge American hard-rock and grunge bands…you could say it’s part of our DNA by this point.” Although that obviously has a huge influence on them, they’re still very much a product of their environment and “there’s definitley some sort of ‘British flair’ cutting through the Americanesque nature of our genre.” There’s also the strong northern accent of lead singer Joe Hill, which “comes through a lot more on our recent recordings.” The band are finding their feet and forging their own identity, which they all agree has started to fall into place for them more recently.

Looking to wide the wave of the new grunge revival, Serratone believe their differences lie in their attitude. “We’re not trying to be cool or think we’re above anyone,” said bassist Ben Cunliffe. “We’re down to earth and just here for a good time…There’s a lot of really big bands out there who seem really caught up with their image, making everything seem like a massive fashion contest. It’s quite daft to be honest. That’s something we’ve never wanted to concern ourselves with and that’s always thought of as an anti-thesis of grunge and punk. I think people are sick of gimmicks and see through them. People are looking for something more genuine that they can get behind and that’s what has sparked a revival of punk and grunge.”

He even posed the question of whether grunge was actually a genre at all, or more of a movement. “I think grunge is really the feeling you get from the music when you hear it,” he reflected. “That’s what defines it more than anything. And I think that’s what makes it really unique and tied a lot of those original grunge bands together rather than just the area they were based in.”

“We’re not trying to be cool or think we’re above anyone, We’re down to earth and just here for a good time”

When it comes down to it, Serratone are simply a grunge-esque hard rock band who love to play live shows. “People can expect 3 northern lads giving it’ beans playing loud original music full of riffs, catchy hook lines and everyone having a belting time and getting involved,” enthused Joe. “Nothing but positive vibes and good energy!…Playing live in general is my favourite thing to do. The whole journey of getting together getting in the van turning up and jamming out is incredible and some of the best times of my life have been through playing live shows with the band….the thing I love most about live shows is being able to release all my energy on stage. It’s where I feel comfortable especially with Oly (drums) and Ben. Some of the songs I write mean something to me. Sometimes I write songs when I’ve felt shit over things that I’ve done or have happened. When I’m playing and singing those words, it really gets a fire started because I’ve took all that frustration and self doubt and put it into a song which I can belt out on stage. Almost like therapy for me.”

They’re hoping their passion and determination will take them “all the way” as they want to “make it as far to the top as we can go. We would love to have an impact on someone’s life where our music has inspired someone to pick up an instrument and start something for themselves. I would love to give people that excitement and happiness that many of my favourite bands given me when I listen to them or go to see them. That would be the ultimate achievement,” Joe tells us. In the meantime though, they’re focusing on more short term goals. They have a video coming out soon for upcoming single ‘Black Walls’ which was recorded at venue/bar Gorilla in Manchester. “It’s the first proper video we’ve done as a 3-piece and we’ve gone all out with it with professional lighting and there’s a story/theme to it,” explained Ben.

“I would love to give people that excitement and happiness that many of my favourite bands given mE.”

And when they’re not busy doing Serratone, the members of the band have some other cool music related hobbies as Ben was telling us. “Joe and Oly are both very good DJ’s and run their own underground events companies, Below the Belt (Joe) and Minuskool (Oly) as well as the band. Joe puts on epic Bassline and Drum and Bass nights in Manchester and also produces his own Bassline and Drum and Bass music. Oly specialises in barebones, minimal house music and it slaps.”

That’s a pretty hectic schedule to balance and could end up getting pretty stressful to figure all that out in between work, family and the band, but thankfully these guys go way back, with Joe and Oly having been friends since primary school even, and they’re a tight trio of friends who always have each other’s backs and work well together. “I’ve played with other great musicians before but it never feels completely right,” said Ben. “I think we’re just used to each others grooves now and can react to each other really well. We put all our energy into that short time we have onstage and people always comment on how we all equally drive the band live.”

The band’s current single ‘Dreams’ is out now which Joe told us was “about the weird wonderful and also dark places our dreams can take us…The music became the outlet of the dream and the dream became the inspiration for this song.” And with some big dreams on the minds of these three Northern lads, here’s hoping they come true for Serratone pretty soon.

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