Where Are They Now? Longfellow Morphed Into Sederra

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Some would argue that 1990s witnessed punk rock's rebirth. Of the lesser known bands that thrived, Placentia's Longfellow has to top the list.

WIth four albums, a boatload of national tours, as well as slots on the Warped tour, these guys epitomized what success meant for punk rockers at the time. After disbanding in the early millenium, three of the original members went on to form local punk act Sederra, which is comprised of former Longfellow singer Tom Schmitt, guitarist Mike Doherty and guitarist Tony Warner. 

Sporting a more rock and roll sound, Sederra is filled out with bassist Eric Bootow and drummer Will Wentworth. I recently spoke with former Longfellow guitarist, 36-year-old Mike Doherty, to get some insight into his former band as well as well as his view of the future.

What's the difference between Longfellow and Sederra's songwriting process?
It's pretty similar with Longfellow and Sederra. We all write parts of songs and bring it together and arrange it together. Tom writes all the lyrics...It's kind of a democracy where everyone gets to put their hand in the cookie jar and make the music.

Do you guys feel you're as dynamic performers as you were 10 years ago?
We feel the aches and pains, but we still put on an energetic show. It's similar to Longfellow. With Sederra, it's more of a rock-based band, whereas Longfellow was punk that morphed into post-hardcore at the end. Kind of wierd. But we still give it 110 percent when we play live...It's not contrived like you'll see with some bands: This is the part where they jump off the drum riser, this is the part where they jump in the air and kick their feet. There's some bands that do that like they're a choreopgraphed Broadway show.

You injured yourself last year?
I dislocated my kneecap and tore my miniscus at Slidebar on stage last year. We still rock out.

How long were you out of the game?
I was in physical therapy for four months. Luckily I didn't have to have surgery--the show must go on.

When you look back on Longfellow what do you feel?
We're looking toward the future, but we all really liked what Longfellow did. We're all friends and talking possibly about doing a reunion show in the future with the last lineup of Longfellow.

You're 36 now. How have your notions of success changed?
We're not doing this to try and get rich or famous. We just play music. We are older and have regular jobs and love playing shows.

You personally played with Papa Roach?
Yeah, in 2003  and 2004 during the Lovehatetragedy Tour.

Have your goals changed [as a musician]?
I have to play music. I just love doing it. It's really hard to be successful in the music business as a musician. The most of the people who actually make money are the managers (because they're getting their 15-20 percent), the booking agents, the entertainment attorneys, the record labels. The musicians really get a small piece of the pie even when they're at the level of gold or platinum selling artists. A lot of people think they're rich, but they're not. The manager is (laughs)."

Sederra will play Saturday Oct.2 at Slidebar Cafe. 122 E. Commonwealth Ave, Fullerton 92832.

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