Echosmith, Interview: Warped Tour

Echosmith2013-creditClaireMarieVogel

Echosmith is one of those bands where you listen to them and research them and think “this is so weird and I love it so much”. Formed in 2009, this four piece from Los Angeles, California are all siblings. Yep, you read that right. Drummer Graham is the youngest at only 15 years old. And then the lovely Sydney at 17 on vocals, Noah on bass is 18, and Jamie is 21 and plays guitar. The group suddenly shot up the charts with their single Cool Kids and was featured on MTV. So I had the amazing chance to talk to Jamie and Noah.

How has Warped treated you so far?

Jamie Sierota: It’s fun. A really good tour. I mean it’s our second year doing it so it helps going in to this year knowing what we can expect and we met a lot of people now. We made a lot of friends we never met last year. The crowd’s a lot bigger and word’s been spreading.

Noah Sierota: I love it. We’re back at it. We’re excited.

How do your parents feel about sending you off on tour?

NS: They’re fine with it. They’re cool. They understand what we’re doing. They approve. We’re doing what we love.

With almost everyone being about high school age, how does school fit into the picture?

JS: That’s funny cause me and Noah are the only ones not in school. But the other two, they home school. But right now it’s summer so you know, Warped Tour. I think they’re happy they don’t have to worry about anything right now. But in the fall they just do it online. And it works out great. We think. We hope.

So [to Noah] did you graduate last year or the year before?

JS: He graduated last year and I graduated a couple years ago.

Since you were on Warped Tour last year, were you homeschooled too?

NS: I was homeschooled.

Did you have a sudden burst of “everyone wants to be friends with the Warped Tour band”?

NS: No, it’s fine. When you’re on Warped Tour you meet a bunch of new people anyways and the whole summer you just forget about the outside world.

What’s your biggest struggle with being all related and all on tour together?

JS: We just know each other sometimes too well. But at the same time it’s an advantage and a disadvantage. There’s a lot of chemistry there. A lot of the bands we’ve met say they have more of a family kind of bond so you sort of have a head start. We have a head start knowing each other and playing with each other. But as like time went on we kind of decided we’re over it and over trying to get at each other.

Does it feel like sort of one big family road trip?

NS: Yeah. Essentially we’re on a never ending family road trip.

JS: Except we’re working as we’re making friends. So it’s not like a bonding experience. I think it’s the fact we’re working that keeps us from getting at each other’s necks. It’s not like our parents forced us to get in a minivan and go on a trip. It’s a different experience. But otherwise, yes we would probably kill each other.

Jamie, with you being the oldest, do you feel any sort of parental type responsibility?

JS: In some ways. There’s definitely some pressure of being the oldest. And I grew up in some ways kind of being the leader, but I never had any intentions of bossing anyone around or having everything my way. I’m not that much of a control freak. But yeah I think I am sort of the designated leader, but at the same time it’s very much a democracy.

Since Sydney isn’t here, you get to answer this for her. How do you think she feels traveling with her brothers?

JS: She says she likes it. She says, I’ll give you her answer because we’ve done lots of interviews with her. She says “I love it, I can’t imagine traveling with any other guys and telling them they have to shave and all that.” That’s how she answers it. So that’s the answer. So I’m like oh, okay sure. And I guess she likes having us there so guys don’t hit on her and anything she wants to say she can say with us. It’s like a safe place.

Who have you guys bonded with on Warped Tour?

NS: This year we’re friends with Air Dubai and The Summer Set.

JS: We’ve been busy a lot but there’s some cool bands that play.

What is your biggest piece of advice to young artists?

JS: Just to be patient and to kind of keep it up. It really all happens different. With some people it happens really fast, with some people not so much. It’s just random, you can’t really force anything too much. We’ve been a band for a few years and there’s times where we’re not really writing or touring much, but these past years it’s really been ramped up for us. It felt like kind of, you know, everything is happening and this whirlwind thing. We’re really lucky to be a part of it. So it’s just being patient.

How do you think Graham feels being the youngest and just 15 years old being on the Vans Warped Tour?

JS: He loves it.

NS: He’s very social.

JS: More social than all of us. It’s like every night “where is he?” “he’s in the Summer Set’s bus.” He’s having a good time so far.

I would too, I don’t blame him. If you could go back to starting the band, what would you tell yourselves?

NS: Wait. Be patient. Everything in music is just about waiting, and once the right thing happens, all these wonderful things will start happening. It’s so worth it.

Did you ever start losing patience?

JS: Yeah. I think it’s a natural thing and we’ve definitely thought that like there’s definitely times where we’re begging our friends to come see us play just to get a couple people to come to the show. So I think yeah, we’ve definitely gone through that and we had to be patient. And it’s weird not having to beg friends to see us play live. It’s been a really cool time, but it took time to get there for sure.

Something I have heard from friends in bands that are around 16 or 17 years old, is that it’s hard to gain respect due to their age. Have you had any trouble with that?

JS: Yeah we have gotten that.

NS: Especially earlier it was very hard. It really helps now that we have our music out. Usually now people hear out music before they know the ages and stuff. I think with that it really gives us some room to impress those people and show them that we’re young but we can really make music and we know what we’re doing.

JS: So it’s a challenge but you just do your best and don’t let that limit yourself. For us, we always decided we’re gonna do what we wanna do and it’s been working out. It definitely takes some convincing of people.

I have heard Cool Kids pretty much everywhere. On the radio, MTV, maybe even some commercials. So what is your experience with Cool Kids getting so big?

NS: It’s funny cause we’re out so much, we’ve been touring pretty much the entire past year, we haven’t been home very much and as we keep going, more and more people hear our songs. We keep hearing about these things happening, but when you’re on the road you don’t really know what’s going on. So you end up in a city that seemingly all the radio stations are playing it, like in Nashville. That’s how we experience it. We experience it in the live settings. It’s hard to actually remember everything that’s happening and going on.

Have you ever had an experience where you wanted to be the cool kid? Cause you seem pretty cool to me.

JS: That’s the thing with that song, it’s something everyone relates to. And it happens in the music world all the time. You see other bands and you’re like I wish I could do that. It’s a thing that we’ve all gone through and I think it felt really important to sing about that. Like we felt it, we’ve seen almost everyone we know feel it. It’s just a song everyone can relate to.

Last question, what is your favourite pick up line?

NS: This is my favourite, I’ll say it to Jamie. Hey you know there’s 21 letters in the alphabet? Now you say “no there’s 26”.

JS: No, there’s 26.

NS: Right, I forgot u, r, a, q, t.

If this isn’t enough to convince you that Echosmith is one band you can’t miss out on, then I don’t know what is. They released their debut album, Talking Dreams, in 2013 and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it. If you caught them this summer on the Vans Warped Tour, let them know how rad they are.

 




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