A Chat With Adam Olenius From We Are Serenades
Firstly, I want you all to know that We Are Serenades has Swedish blood. So Swedish in fact that when I ask Adam Olenius “Where are you from?” I hear on the other line “Well, I’m calling you here from Stockholm.” He informs me much later that he actually lived in a neighborhood very close to mine in Seattle, Washington for two years and toured in the US with the popular pop punk band, Shout Out Louds.
We Are Serenades consists of Adam Olenius and writing partner, Markus Krunegard (Laakso). The duo met in Stockholm while playing in separate bands. They appeared at this year’s SXSW in Austin Texas where they were complimented by an 11 piece choir. When I ask Adam about his experience at SXSW he says:
“It was great. Things are different every year and there will always be surprises but I’ve been there and I’ve done that”
Mallory: When will you be coming back to the States?
Adam: To the states? Yes. We’re coming soon on tour, actually beginning May 8th in Washington DC. We’ll be coming to Washington State, playing in Seattle at The Crocodile on May 21st.
When asked what makes We Are Serenades different from other bands Adam tells me that the band is all about happy thoughts and sounds. This is specifically what he says about that:
“It’s meant to sound like nature and happiness. Markus and I, we both write other music. We write things for our other projects and those things can be very dark and heavy. But We Are Serenades is about… well, I don’t want to say paradise but it really does sound like paradise. We want it to be a happy place you want to go”
This strange, paradise creating sound comes from the way that Adam and Markus sing together. Instead of doing the typical “you sing, I sing” style of song, the two sing in unison creating a seamless, singular “third voice”.
Attending a university full of young students regularly discussing the next rave, I wanted to know what Adam thought about the recent revival of the acid revolution that’s been discussed so much lately by artists like Skrillex. He gave me this:
“People create their own images when they listen to music. To some people, this could be dark, you know? Lyrics that are meaningful to me might mean nothing to someone else or those same words strung together can be very meaningful to the next person. It just so happens that some people go to festivals and dance for fifteen hours. I guess, you could say you might need something like drugs to keep you up for those fifteen hours. Some people use drugs to experience music and if they do, that’s none of my business”
“It’s hard to send an entire band, or a large group of people, over to the states to perform. We’d like to have violins and an orchestra. We’re doing what we can with what we have available, but we’ll definitely be bringing bass, keyboards, and drums. We’ve also been working on covers of various artists from each individual city we’re visiting.”
Now pause for a moment. This is very thoughtful for any band to put that much effort into creating a personal experience for each audience. I wonder what their cover(s) will be for Seattle.
You can check out below when Adam and Markus will be perfectly harmonizing in a town near you. Their debut album, Criminal Heaven, was released on April 17th by Cherrytree Records here in the US. It’s a great listen and is guaranteed to put you in a better mood than a handful of Prozac.
We Are Serenades Tour Dates:
May 7 – Washington DC @ Black Cat
May 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
May 9 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
May 11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory
May 12 – Boston, MA @ T.T The Bears
May 13 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
May 14 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
May 16 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
May 17 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
May 20 – Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club
May 21 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
May 22 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
May 24 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
May 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Troubadour