Over the last few years, the music industry has evolved in a way which allows the common man with extraordinary talents, to rise above the sea of similarity, and stand on his own as the voice of a generation. A generation that is fueled by heart, emotion, passion and determination.
And that man has come to surface as Secondhand Serenade...
Born into a family of musicians, John Vesely has taken the gift he was instilled with, and shaped it into his own. With the help of his father, a professional jazz musician for over 20 years in the Czech Republic, he started getting into music around the age of 12. Playing bass for 8 years, he was a member of numerous Bay area bands ranging in style from ska and hardcore to rock and pop. But it wasn't until he picked up the acoustic guitar that he finally found his true calling. "I switched to guitar when I met my wife. She wanted me to play her a song, but I didn't have a band at the time and serenading her with a bass guitar was out of the question" Vesely said.
Once he began writing his own material, John scraped up the money for 8 days of studio time and went in to record the 10-track album, known as Awake in the summer of 2005. Armed with a superior vocal range, a mind blowing sense of harmony and heart wrenching lyrics, he was able to walk away with an acoustic album that would prove to be the groundwork for the start of his career. When it came time to chose a name, he decided to go with Secondhand Serenade in an attempt to stay away from the typical singer/songwriter image. "It's everything I would want in a band name and more. It basically sums up what I do. I write my songs about events and feelings that occur in my life, and I sing the songs to my wife. Everyone else gets the Secondhand Serenade."
While some artists may fear the rawness of playing with just an acoustic guitar, John welcomes the honesty it comes along with. He claims "In some ways a band is more powerful, but in other ways there are things you can do with one voice and one acoustic guitar that you couldn't do with an army of musicians behind you." It only seems right that an artist with this mentality begins to spread his wings.
With his eyes set on conquering a fan base, John put together a MySpace page and started playing out in his area. As the number of listeners at his shows began to grow, so did his on-line fan base... in a BIG way. In just a few months time, Secondhand Serenade would shoot to the #1 position of all unsigned bands on the widely popular site. Simultaneously, he would become the only unsigned act to have a CD in the top 100 alternative albums on itunes. While that seemed exciting enough, he also released a few demos on Yahoo! Launch, which would soon claim the #1 position as well, on the Adult Alternative station. This time, he was not beating out other unsigned acts, he was competing with the cream of the crop, and winning. Months would go by as Secondhand Serenade claimed the top of the chart over such names as John Mayer, Nickelback and Evanescence. Not used to seeing this kind of reaction, industry insiders began to wonder... was it actually possible for an unsigned, one man act, with nothing more than a self-produced acoustic album, and the help of no one but fans, to post numbers that were superior to artists on major labels? Artists with millions of dollars spent on promotions? For Secondhand Serenade, it was not only possible... it was reality.
As 2006 began to wind down, John's career was in full swing as he stepped to the next level. Having made the rounds to major labels in New York and Los Angeles, a deal was eventually signed with Glassnote Records, a brand new label started by respected industry veteran, Daniel Glass. As Glassnote's first official artist, the team immediately went to work mapping out the next year for Secondhand Serenade, along with the help of Warner/Independent Label Group.
2007 now looks to be an eventful year as well. With 2 new songs added to Awake, Glassnote/ILG released the album to retail on February 6th. In addition, a video was shot with Frank Borin (director for Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Eminem) for the song "Vulnerable," a fan favorite. This year will also provide Secondhand Serenade an opportunity to see his fans from all over the country. With shows already scheduled for SXSW and numerous other tours taking shape, John anticipates giving his audience from coast to coast, a firsthand experience. He will also see the studio again soon as another release is being planned for later in the year. Stay tuned... Secondhand Serenade is invading the hearts, minds and airwaves of the world.