The trio joins Ethan at Lover’s Rock for a discussion about making R&B, energy at shows, and
Ethan: Alright, so I know that you just did a solo set, but I did a little bit of research and I know
that you are the lead member of Serpents of Serenity. Would that be all of you? All right, so I
guess first, before we get everybody in the discussion, I want to know what changes for you
when you do a solo show versus with the team?
DJ: Well, a solo show, it’s a little more nerve-wracking just because you don’t have your band
members with you and it’s a little more intimidating. But that just makes it all the better for when
you actually perform with your guys. When you’re on stage together, it’s a whole new
experience. Absolutely. It’s like you’re all doing it together. You’re not just up for the solo.
Ethan: So then I know that you played songs you described as depressing, a little romantic.
Would you say that the more intimate sets work for your solo shows?
DJ: Yeah, I would say a lot of, like, the R&B side of my solo gigs is what makes me who I
am. I tend to write a lot of said music. Growing up, I’ve been through a lot of things and I just
want to get the story out there to let other people know if they go through the same things. You’re
Ethan: That’s always a great thing, especially with the current age of R&B artists.With that in
mind, is there anybody in particular that you really look up to?
DJ: Daniel Caesar. Definitely Daniel Caesar. There’s also Bryson Tiller. He’s like rap and R&B.
Those are just two of my favorites.I would say somebody else who I really look up to would
definitely have to be H.E.R. or Tori Kelly.
Ethan: All right! All great artists, no question. Yeah. And of course, R&B is one of my personal
favorite genres, so I definitely appreciate the show for that aspect. Thanks for that. As a group,
what kind of music do you guys focus on?
Jonah: Yeah, I think so far we’re kind of leading towards that R and B side. That’s kind of the
side I’ve been playing on guitar for the past two years. But I think as we’ve gotten together,
maybe sort of leading towards more like an indie rock side. More like R&B influences.
Aaron: Some different funk aspects.
Jonah: Try to feel it out and just try to keep it, like, simple,
DJ: Not like, seclude ourselves to one thing.
Ethan: I mean, like, secluding yourself to one thing. I feel like especially now that you can just
get albums out as they appear on streaming services and feel like that fluidity is really important
for artists. Is there like an experimental genre you’d want to try down the road?
DJ: Definitely metal. Yeah, there’s definitely a side project. Might not have the voice for it.
Jonah: I definitely want to play guitar for it, too. Just drop some (shreds guitar)
DJ: I was in Chicago a few months ago last year, actually, and I went to go see Cannibal Corpse
for the first time. That was a very interesting, very interesting concert. I enjoyed myself. But the
energy changes in place.
Ethan: It’s a whole different spectrum from R&B to metal. That would be a crazy project for you
all. So instrumental roles, What do you guys take up in the band?
Jonah: Well, two guitar players. I think he’s more experienced than I am, but so far I’ve been
doing mostly, like, the lead guitar stuff and he’s been rhythm. So that seems like what we’re
going to be doing. But overall, like coming up with stuff together, it’s kind of just whatever ideas
come together. But on stage, he’s most likely to be doing a lot of rhythm parts and I’ll do most of
the lead parts.
Ethan: Excellent, excellent.
Aaron: With room for variation to go back and forth and just see what works for us.
Ethan: Do you think that you’re going to have a project out sometime soon?
Aaron: Yeah, we’re currently working on one right now.
Ethan: May I ask you how many songs you have?
DJ: A few. I got some stuff I’m working on that I’m planning on putting out with the boys.
Ethan: So this is a question that’s going to be going around on WMCN’s TikTok later for this
specific show/event, but I wanted to know what everybody’s favorite love song is if you got one.
So favorite love song, no pressure. If you could go back and change your answer later, I’m
totally with whatever.
DJ: I would say Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get in On.”
Ethan: It’s a classic.
Jonah: This is kind of a newer song. It’s called “The Dress” by Dijon.
Ethan: I know “The Dress” by Dijon. Excellent song. Good pick. So underrated, one of my favorite singers right now. So that’s one of the best, like R&B kind of alternative songs I’ve heard in a while.
Aaron: I think I’m stuck on Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t she Lovely”.
Ethan: Oh, my. You guys won. 3-for-3. Absolutely. That second half of Songs in the Key of Life,
amazing, and that first side, too, because my favorite love song is “Knocks Me Off My Feet” by Stevie Wonder. Off that first side. Love that song to death. It’s like staying in- I mean, it’s literally like the spring song in my mind. So love songs, would you say? Love songs with a vibe for the next project?
Jonah: For the most part.
DJ: A wide range of different emotions and topics, things that people, practical things people go through, try to relate with people.
Jonah: And I think it’s touching the band where all the different people are all going to, going to different things at different times. So I think it’s best that we kind of make a wide range.
Ethan: So you take a lot from your personal experience.
Aaron: Yeah, I think just whatever comes from the heart is what we’re going to put out in our
music and hopefully everybody enjoys it and just has a good time listening to it. Yeah, that’s what
were about we really want to connect with people and just feel that’s the best way to do it is to write something that’s meaningful and reaches people in that way.
Ethan: Performances, of course. Definitely.I mean,
Ethan: I’m definitely a fan after that performance, so you can count me in. And I’m sure a lot of
other people down there getting to see DJ doing that, it was a great experience. So I guess I
want to end with a sort of non music related casual question. But you got a comfort meal?
Anybody got a comfort meal here?
DJ Cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers.
Jonah: Cheeseburgers or, like, french coast or something. Blueberry pancakes.
Aaron: Waffles.I’m going chicken and waffles. Chicken and waffles. Can’t beat it.
Ethan: Some syrup on the side. Absolutely. Well, thank you all for talking with me. Look out for
the interview on the WMCN site because it will be up there.