13 Questions With…Secondhand Serenade

Before playing a live show infested with hormonal teenage girls at The Mod Club in Toronto, singer John Vesely of Secondhand Serenade was able to sit down and answer his 13 questions.

Secondhand Serenade - Mod ClubPHOTO CRED: COURTNEY OLACKE

Why the name Secondhand Serenade?

I like using a stage name because it helps me focus more on music than myself. It also represents me as an acoustic artist, and the name just seemed to fit the type of music I was playing. Like basically I go around and play shows and serenade the crowd with my songs.

What’s so great about Menlo Park?

It’s just a beautiful, beautiful town. Like its quiet, peaceful and I love it because it’s where I grew up and got started as a musician.

Who was your favourite band/musician growing up?

I went through a lot of different stages so I ended up having a lot of different favorite bands. Like when I was really young, I went through a punk rock stage and started listening to Guns N Roses and Skidrow. Then I went through a Nirvana stage, and then did the whole “high school thing” where I was listening to big bands like Saves The Day. Now, my whole music taste is different as I’m really into Muse and Coldplay.

Who/what did your parents listen while you were growing up?

They listened to a lot of jazz because my dad was really into jazz music. So most of what they listened to was jazz, classical music and a lot of Simon and Garfunkel.

When did you first start learning how to play the guitar?

I started playing when I was 19 years old. I was basically having a dry spell with the bass so I decided to switch things up.

How long did it take you to write the song “Fall For You”?

It actually took a couple hours. Just spent one night with a piano and the song just came to be because everything took off from there.

What’s your ultimate favourite love song?

“Something” by The Beatles; it just says everything about what love “is”.

Name one band/musician you think people need to know about

Thriving Ivory; they are extremely talented!

What artist, male and female, do you wish you could collaborate with?

For guys, it would have to be The All-American Rejects. For girls…Beyonce! Why not!

If you could only keep one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The Get Up Kids – “Something To Write Home About”

Do you have any favourite Canadian musicians?

Bryan Adams all the way! Metric too; I heard they are really awesome live so I hope I can see them sometime.

What do you like most about Canada?

Everything just seems so surreal. Like right now it’s basically a blizzard outside and I’m getting warm and ready to have breakfast. I really enjoy the landscapes and the scenery because some cities are just beautiful. Like Vancouver is basically a city next to mountains and the ocean and Toronto is always a great time because it’s basically Canada’s version of New York.

Define Secondhand Serenade using one word.


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