Jean Serene, the self-proclaimed creators of the new musical genre, "Alternative Power-Violence"
It's never an easy task adjusting to changes in life, as Victor Choy experienced after his move to California in 2018. But, just like an LA indie movie script, the forces to be aligned and allowed for the meeting of now budding "Jean Serene" band-mates, Victor Choy and Jorge Alvarez. Choy and Alvarez churned up tracks complimenting each other and creating a sound inspired and reminiscent of the 2000's melodic vocal punk. Little did they both know the real curve ball would be thrown at everyone two years down the line. Musicians, just like all artists, have been dealt a blow in 2020. With the cancelation of in-person shows, to the different regulations imposed by governments world wide, they have had to find ways to adapt and continue to invoke their creativity. Noisy Cavern caught up with the boys of Jean Serene to find out what this journey has been like and hear about their self-titled upcoming album being released this month.
NC: What is “Jean Serene” ?
JS: We are Jean Serene, a Rock/Alternative band from Pico Rivera, California.
NC: Can you give us an introduction of the members and instrument specialty?
Victor: Hi I’m Victor, I sing and I play guitar. I’m originally from Seattle and I moved to Los Angeles in 2018. I started on classical guitar when I was five years old and I switched to electric guitar when I was 13. Now when I look back, I wish I would have kept going on classical guitar.
Jorge: I play the triangle, I am Jorge “Triangle” Alvarez.
NC: Give us the cliff notes on how the group got started?
Victor: My coworker Luis met Jorge at a music store and gave me his number. I hit up Jorge, and we jammed out!
NC: Describe your band’s sound as a “Headline”, what makes it unique?
JS: Former classical guitarist meets hardcore punk drummer, creates “Alternative Powerviolence.”
NC: Are there any rituals or routines you guys have prior to taking the stage? Any superstitions?
JS: We stop by the liquor store and get a six pack.
NC: Has the current situation affected your creativity in any way?
Jorge: We have more time, more practice, that’s how it changed our creativity.
Victor: Yeah, we might have more time to jam now and be creative, but I feel like, at least for me, the actual inspiration is gone. I feel like all the inspiration for this new album came from pre-Covid days. Meeting people, going to shows, actual experiences.
NC: Can you walk us through your writing process?
Victor: I go to the Pasadena Guitar Center, grab a random guitar, plug into a 6505 or EVH stack, and I noodle for four hours. If I’m lucky, I’ll walk out with at least one new riff. That’s what I used to do before Covid-19.
Jorge: Then at Jean Serene Headquarters, Victor shows me the riff and I improvise my drum parts to it. The whole album was pretty much improvised. We recorded live in my garage.
NC: Where do you draw most of your inspiration?
Jorge: (finishes Victors answer) Sound
NC: What is a challenge you’ve encountered in the music industry?
Jorge: Not having enough money.
NC: Is the current situation easier now than it was last year?
Jorge: Covid made it easier by blessing us, but made it harder by taking away shows.
Victor: I used to go to free shows every Monday at the Satellite, the Echo, the Echoplex, and check out the Los Angeles scene. RIP the Satellite. The Echo and Echoplex are probably chilling though because they are owned by Live Nation. I remember when they announced the Live Nation sale, everyone went ape-shit.
NC: What is the the most successful song "Jean Serene" has released to date and why do you consider it successful?
Victor: “Dimes”, because we successfully merged our two different genres/backgrounds to make something that we feel is genuinely new. Jorge: To me it’s new because I never encountered Victor’s type of guitar playing before.
Victor: Just the fact that we recorded this album is a success. I moved here not knowing a single person, and I spent a good half a year looking for a drummer. Meeting Jorge was a miracle. He took me to the next level. This is the kind of music I have always dreamed about making, even when I first started the band. That’s why we made this new album self-titled, you know, we wanted to say “This is Jean Serene.”
NC: What is next?
JS: We’re all just waiting for Covid to be over.
Here is the music video for the first single "Dimes"