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The Hot Sweat
Secondhand Serenade
Ruby Summer
By Amy Walker-- Staff Writer, Midwest

Amy: Could you please introduce yourself and give a random fact about yourself?
John: I'm John Vesely, and I play in a band called Secondhand Serenade. I am that guy, and I have very stinky feet when I don't wear socks with TOMS.
AW: You can't wear socks with TOMS though.
JV: Yeah. Well you look stupid. You look like you're like retired and wearing socks with slippers. I'm not retired.

AW: You're new EP "Weightless" just came out a couple weeks ago. How does this album differ from "Awake"?
JV: I think it's kind of like next level as far as the progression with acoustic goes. I mean I brought in a lot more orchestral elements to it, and you know, I wanted to make an EP that was obviously more along the lines of "Awake" because the fans were asking for it. It was kind of something just for me and the fans. So yeah, I did it. I think it was also really similar and some of the songs were pretty different, but I think it's just kind of a natural progression.

AW: How have the fans responded to this album?
JV: The fans love it, and that's really, really great. All of the opinions that are being put out there are really good and really positive. I'm really happy with how it's kind of coming out, and I think people are enjoying it. It's the beginning now, so it's cool.

AW: What is the significance behind the album artwork?
JV: Uh, I mean, it's my son, and weightless is kind of an idea I thought of because I've kind of taken on this new role. It's like I read a self help book or something, but I didn't read a self help book. I feel like really refreshed and you know, I thought it would be a good idea for the album name. With the cover, I didn't want to do anything too heavy. All my previous covers have been pretty heavy. So it was more like, what can I put on there that will make people smile or even make them envision the idea of being weightless. A kid has no worries in the world, drinking out of milkshake with like fifty straws. I guess that's just my vision of being weightless, not having anything burdening you or sitting on top of you.

AW: What made you want to cover "Animal"?
JV: I just like that song. I thought it would be cool to have people take it a different way because of the arrangement. It's a totally different song now, and I think you get a different feeling and different idea of what the song is about having it be like this.

AW: When writing songs, what inspires you the most?
JV: You know, honestly, I don't know. It depends on the song. It's always something different. Sometimes I'm really craving a song to write and sometimes, it just really happens out of random, not when I'm expecting it. I like writing personally when I'm not trying to write or when I haven't been trying to write. Being in a writing mode is never necessarily a good thing in my eyes. I ideally want to write songs that have meaning. People are going to listen to it and it has to be relevant and relatable. Yeah. That's the answer I wanted.

AW: To support "Weightless", you're currently on an acoustic tour. How is that going so far?
JV: It's going really well. I'm having a lot of fun and it's nice to kind of get back to feeling how I felt before, kind of when I got started. I haven't gone on an acoustic tour for a long time, so this is great for me.

AW: How is the crowd response compared to a full band tour?
JV: I think that the crowd response may be better, to be completely honest. I think I put on a lot more of a show for them in a different way. It's really, really personal, and it's all about us hanging out together. Not them being down there and me being up here. It's definitely an event for all of us, not just me.

AW: Do you prefer touring acoustic or full band and why?
JV: Different reasons. I like touring acoustic because it's a different perspective on things, different perspective on my job, different perspective on my life. It's just totally different. I like playing in a band because I can go up there and rock out and have a great time doing it, being all over the place. I'm kind of always glued to the mic when I'm doing acoustic shows so it's different. A different dynamic.

AW: What is an average day like for you on the road?
JV: It depends on if I'm with the band or acoustic. When I'm acoustic, I'm just sitting around watching movies the whole time and working. Seriously, I've been working a lot on my computer on music. When it's with the band, we kind of mess around a lot. I guess I would say there's a lot of sleeping involved. I'm a night owl, so you'll see me out really late and waking up in the same fashion.

AW: The tour's almost over. What's next for you?
JV: I'd imagine some more touring, and I'm working on some new music. This is just an EP. It's just to hold people over, but I'm going to be working on a new album soon. That's kind of what we're going for, and we're writing new songs. I'm writing a new song with Gregg Wattenberg who just recently worked on that Train record, and he's working with John from Five For Fighting and did the OAR record. He's a fantastic producer and writer, so I've been working with him.
AW: Well we definitely will look forward to that.
JV: Absolutely! High five! I like you're shoesies.
AW: Thank you! Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
JV: Check out the EP. It's some of my favorite work and it's kind of fun to listen to. It's got a song on there that's like, the most happy song I've ever written, which I think is going to be good for people. It's called "Let Me In."
AW: Thank you so much for your time.
JV: Thank you.
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