John Vesely, aka Secondhand Serenade, became something of a pop star with his first two albums and the Top 30 single “Fall For You,” which sold more than 2.2 million digital downloads. And that experience informed the songs on his just-released third album, “Hear Me Now.”
“Everything got kind of shifted when I got into this lifestyle,” says Vesely, 28. “It’s a very different lifestyle, and I got tested by a lot of things. You get really preoccupied with stuff and you tend to put things on the back burner and maybe shovel problems under the carpet for a later day.
“I was kind of bummed at who I was for a little while there. Being able to deal with that and grow from that was really important to me, and (‘Hear Me Now’) is kind of about owning up to that.”
The new album — for which Vesely produced three of the 11 tracks — takes Secondhand Serenade even further into a full band and somewhat harder rocking sound. But Vesely isn’t forsaking the fans of his early acoustic recordings, either; he plans a fall release for an EP of other songs recorded in a stripped-down fashion, though his expectations for the project are modest.
“It’s just a little follow-up extension of this album, nothing to try to throw on radio or anything like that,” Vesely explains. “Every once in awhile I’ll get someone saying, ‘Oh, what is this? This isn’t Secondhand Serenade,’ but this is very much me — especially the songs I produced and played all the instruments on. I don’t know how much more me it can get.
“I want fans to understand that and be with me. If all they want is acoustic song after acoustic song, I’ll give them a few of those, but the fact of the matter is I’m an artist and I have to evolve.”
Secondhand Serenade, the White Tie Affair and Runner Runner perform Thursday, Aug. 12, at the Eagle Theater, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20 day of show. Call 248-858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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