I managed to grab a few moments with Dan Jones, Drummer and vox of Adelaide’s 4-piece punk rock outfit "Seraphs Coal". About to do a tour with Melbourne’s For Amusement Only this May 2002. Definitely a show to check out!
Cindy: Hey! So how long have you all been playing together in a band?
Dan: Coming on six years now.
Have you always had the same line-up?
Dan: We're still the original line up, but with our new E-metal lord Johnny Garrett. Before Johnny we had a string of second guitarists, pretty much one for every release we’ve had! He’s a stayer though.
What musical influences had an impact in the creation of Seraphs Coal & have they changed as the band has grown?
Dan: Definitely. Originally, everything was Fat Wreck, like NOFX, Lagwagon, Good Riddance, and that kind of thing, but as we move along we’ve all bought different elements to the table. Everything from old school punk rock to 70’s folk and 80’s glam metal.
Your debut album "The More Things Change" was released in March with your first single release "Hope Is Where The Heart Is". Have any plans of a film clip come your way?
Dan: It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, but very spendy! We’re looking at a couple of different options at the moment. With a bit of radio and TV exposure on this release, we’ll be able to justify going all out on a video clip.
An East Coast tour will be kicking off in May with Melbourne’s For Amusement Only. Will this tour be taking you to places you haven’t ventured before or will you be sticking to the basic East Coast route?
Dan: It’s the basic East Coast route, with all our favourites, but we will be doing a few venues along the way that we haven’t played before.
Playing along side bands such as Blink 182, Millencolin, MxPx and Strung Out, how do you cope with the rise in success the band have come to?
Dan: We’re all pretty level headed, we take it as it comes and roll with the punches. Making music and jamming as friends is the best part about what we do, the whole industry success thing is just a bonus. It’s something we want to do, but we’re not going to sell ourselves out to get there.
How did the name "Seraphs Coal" come about?
Dan: A friend of ours back in ‘96 had the idea to call his band Seraphs Coal. He took it from the bible, and related it to being refined or made right for the task despite being totally inadequate. We liked it so much we stole it- well, he let us have it.
Who’s the mastermind behind most of the music & lyrics in the band?
Dan: I’m our primary singer and song-writer, but we all contribute to the mix.
Touring- do you have any on or off-stage antics?
Dan: We’ve played a few pranks on friends and road crew, spent a night in lock-up in Saint Kilda, our guitarist Sam has visited Parliament House nude, and for similar reasons, he’s actually banned from Qantas flights! We should probably leave that question alone. Ha,ha!
Being a Christian-influenced band do you feel your beliefs are coming across through your music?
Dan: For me Christianity is a world view with God at the centre. So everything in my life, my understanding and experiences, are interpreted through that world view. Naturally it shows through in the lyrics. We want to be real to ourselves and with our audience- we don’t want to trick anyone.
Following the line-up on the Main stage of ‘99 Vans Warped Tour and a spot on the Big Day Out’s Adelaide show did you find many career opportunities arise?
Dan: We got heaps of mail after the Big Day Out. We picked up new fans that day who’ve been at the shows ever since. It’s also helped us score bigger supports and other festivals, which has been good.
Do the band get a lot of support from your hometown with gig venues’ promotions etc?
Dan: Fully. We’ve just put a street team together, and everyone’s vibed on the band. All of our bookings and promotion are taken care of for us, which makes life a lot easier!
Who came up with the artwork for your album cover "the More Things Change" and does it have a particular meaning behind it?
Dan: The artwork was illustrated by John Englehardt, who is currently working on the latest Disney movie, and the concept was pieced together by Darren Reid of Embodiment 12:14. The theme is repetition, so you have the grey suited duplicates all stitched up, and on the cover, this guy hunched over his desk, gripping his chest, which is supposed to represent the externalisation of his internal conflict. He wants to feel, but he’s caged himself into this cold, soulless existence.
What would be some of your fondest memories?
Dan: Great shows, long discussions in the van, big nights out, and meeting all the awesome people we have over the last few years.
Any last words for us punters?
Dan: Thanks! Question everything, look out for your friends, and keep it real!
Ok. well thanx heaps for your time!
Dan: Thanx Cindy.
Be sure to catch Seraphs Coal on their up coming tour in May with For Amusement Only & BodyJar! Check local gig guides for a gig near you…