Photo: Dylan Glasgow Guice
Seratones' AJ Haynes On Working With Brad Shultz, Reproductive Rights & Advocacy In Music
AJ Haynes' quest to empower women offstage began in college after she finished playing a gig. The Seratones frontwoman was hanging out after performing at a women’s clinic with her former cover band when she found herself curious about what the healthcare providers did there. Once she had an overall picture of everything the clinic provided for women, she felt enthralled.
"I started working [there] within the week, and I've worked there off and on for about 10 years," she said in a recent interview with the Recording Academy.
Not that the powerhouse vocalist has stopped performing: her soul-rock band released their sophomore album, Power, just last August. The group's latest is produced by Cage the Elephant’s Brad Shultz, whom Haynes calls "a bolt of electricity."
"Working with him was truly a dream," she says. "There’s a certain honesty and an immediacy he really knows how to channel into song."
But you’ll still find Haynes at Hope Medical Center, in her hometown of Shreveport, La., whenever she’s home from tour.
Haynes has been advocating for women's rights to seek abortions in Louisiana alongside the clinic as the state prepares for a court case that can possibly mean its closure. Obtaining an abortion in the state is legal thanks to Roe vs. Wade, but new legislation may make it even harder to get, as there are only three abortion clinics in Louisiana. Doctors performing abortions must obtain admitting privileges that are often difficult to get from nearby hospitals. A court case to be held on March 4 by the Supreme Court will "hear the clinic's challenge to [the] tough Louisiana law placing new restrictions on doctors who perform abortions. If the law goes into effect, the clinic may have to close down," reports Reuters.
For the singer, her identity as a musician and her identity as an advocate for reproductive rights have become intertwined. Prior to the March 4 court case, and on a pit stop from the Seratones' ongoing tour, Haynes spoke to the Recording Academy about the work she’s been doing to help women learn about their reproductive rights. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.