Most people know Sebastian Saraceno and Ronald Clark from the Animal Planet show, “Pit Boss.” They’ve since teamed up with the band, Post Trauma, to put their popularity and love for animals to work in raising money to help Los Angeles area shelters and charities. The three recently stopped by to talk about their latest endeavor.
Q: Sebastian and Ronald, both of you are known for the show “Pit Boss” on Animal Planet. Now you’re joining forces with, Post Trauma, to release an EP. How did you get involved with this project?
SEBASTIAN SARACENO: We got involved with Post Trauma through the band’s drummer – Joe Gnoffo. He co-starred with us in the movie "Mirror Mirror" as the character “Grub.” Ronald and I had talked about doing music together and we approached Joe about Post Trauma helping us out. Post Trauma had just released their critically acclaimed album "Sleepless" and they loved our vision for our project. After that they hopped on board to help make it happen.
RONALD CLARK: Sebastian and I needed an act for the talent show we were hosting at the time to raise money for the local pit-bull rescues. We then decided to write a song but we needed someone who could sing the lead vocals and a drummer. That's when it clicked we had a mutual friend, Joe Gnoffo, who played the drums in his band Post Trauma. We asked him and his lead singer, Billy Ulrich, if they'd like to be a part of it. Fortunately for us they said yes! We immediately clicked so we decided to write more songs.
BILLY ULRICH: I was surprised when they eventually approached me about producing a song they had written. I am glad we were able to collaborate and create “Risen.”
Q: So, you’re part of the songwriting process, playing and everything?
SS: Yes- I help with the bass lines and lyrics and Ronald helps with the piano melodies and composing the musical composition. Post Trauma comes in and adds their own flair to make each song unique in its style, engineering, and making it all come together with a really cool sound.
RC: Yes, I play the piano and wrote most of the music while Sebastian wrote the lyrics. Billy also had a big hand in producing and putting the final touches on each track.
Q: I read both of your bios and, although there are a lot of different interests in entertainment, it didn’t seem like music was one of them. With this new album, will fans see you two branch out into the music scene more and more?
SS: Definitely! We are excited to see the EP “Risen” become a huge success and help with our charity efforts since we are donating a portion of the proceeds to animal rescues around the Greater Los Angeles area. Fans of our show had a little taste of what we can do musically on the show and now with Post Trauma’s help, we are ready to step out onto the scene and rock!
RC: Yes, I love to work out, play sports and travel in my spare time but music is also a big part of my life. I love all genres and it’s great to collaborate with other artists in the industry.
BU: We've performed the songs live a few times already at the end of the Post Trauma concerts, so we're really excited to play them now that the songs will be made public and people will know them. Sebastian and Ronald sit in with Post Trauma for some Guns ‘n Roses covers also as an encore. I really hope we can do some touring this summer. Our sets have been on fire and we're ready to play for the world.
Q: Are there any plans for live shows?
SS: We do have plans for live shows in the works, as it is in the planning phase at the moment.
RC: We are hoping to schedule some local shows in the Los Angeles area but were also hoping to expand and play in other states.
Q: A part of the proceeds go toward dog charities and rescues. How do you decide which charities to donate to?
SS: Since Ronald and I have been on the show “Pit Boss,” we gained an appreciation for all of the rescues that have helped us out on the show. So the primary objective of releasing “Risen” was to donate a portion of the proceeds back to animal rescues. Right now our goal is to donate a portion of the proceeds to a different animal rescue each month for the next 12 months.
RC: Sebastian and I are advocates for animal rescue and decided from the very beginning that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to located charities in the area.
Q: The single, “Risen,” which is also the name of the album, was featured on “Pit Boss.” I watched the video a couple times. How did the video’s concept come about?
SS: The concept of the music video was to stay true to the song "Risen." It included certain aspects of our experiences on the road to making it in Hollywood, and we wanted to include that in the story. It is a story of good vs. bad in the sense that certain people can be obstacles to one’s vision, but if one perseveres and keeps that goal in sight through hard work and determination, then eventually you can make your goals happen.
RC: The video was written and produced by Sebastian. He decided that a great way to promote the song would be to shoot a video to go along with it. The concept basically came from the song itself.
BU: We all had ideas but Sebastian pieced it all together and made the story come to life. Since Ronald and Sebastian have done some huge productions in their acting careers, I learned a lot from watching them work both in front of the camera and behind the scenes on the production side.
Q: “Pit Boss” premiered January 2010. The show is about rescuing and rehabbing pit-bulls. The show just wrapped its sixth season. With all the pit-bull attacks on children and other animals, what is so fascinating about this breed that people continually go out and get them?
SS: First, if there is a dog attack the news always puts up a picture of a pit-bull. It could have been a lab, golden retriever, or heck even a smaller dog, but the media has to sensationalize everything. It goes in waves depending on the generation. The “pit-bull” breeds are not bad dogs. It’s the humans that make them that way. Whether they train them to be violent, or are irresponsible with them it’s 9 times out of 10 the owner’s fault. Certain breeds have their strengths and weaknesses, and if someone is to go out and get a dog, they need to educate themselves on the breed and make sure it is right for their lifestyle. They have a responsibility for the dog and to other to educate and socialize them.
Even though the media portrays them in a bad light, they really are just good dogs!! They make excellent companions, and if you are able to keep up with their active personalities they can be a lot of fun to have as a companion. They have a lot of energy so they make the perfect partner for taking a run, bike ride, or to the beach. They really are the biggest babies when it comes to their nature.
RC: As we all know there is a huge stereotype and misconception about the “pit-bull” breed. Unfortunately there are many people who breed them for financial gain such as backyard breeding and, worst of all, for dog fighting. Pit-bulls are considered to be a "bad boy" fashion accessory, if you will, which contributes to the stigma. It also doesn't help that the media exploits and sensationalizes the breed every chance they get. They ignore every other dog and animal attack and solely focus on pit bulls to create fear and further ignorance. In a nutshell, people continue to adopt the breed because they see past the stereotype and sensationalism knowing that if a pit bull is raised in a home with lots of love, care and training it will make a great family pet and be forever a part of the family.
Q: Will there be a seventh season of the show?
SS: We don’t know yet.
RC: Yes, that is pending at this time; hopefully we will know soon!
Q: What about an album or another collaboration?
SS: Right now we are focused on the EP which is now available, on iTunes and Amazon.
RC: We would like to write more songs but that is TBD at this time.
BU: I think we're hoping to be able to produce music videos for the other songs on the EP first, but a full length is certainly possible. Post Trauma has another full length album coming out on June 17th, “Dreamless,” so we all plan to keep cranking out good music.
Q: Thank you for taking the time. Is there anything you wanted to add?
SS: We want to thank everyone for their support of the “Risen” project. It has been a fun and incredible experience to go out and actually make an EP, a music video, and now have it out there for our fans to listen and to enjoy.
Also everyone that was involved in the making of “Risen.” First and foremost Post Trauma for all of their hard work in making this happen, the cast of the music video for driving all the way down from Fresno and for their incredible help on this project, and to Jerry Brunskill of Wow and Flutter Media for his help in filming the music video and giving us all the resources to create the video. Big thanks to everyone involved and we are very grateful.
RC: Just want to say thank you to everyone who has supported our cause and our music. I hope you all enjoy our EP and please adopt from local shelters!
BU: You can see our other full length music videos on Post Trauma's website, www.posttraumaband.com. Watch out for “Risen,” which is now available, and for Post Trauma's full length “Dreamless” due out June 17th.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.