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ATP! Interview: Echosmith

With the beginning of 2014, Echosmith has a lot to live up to. 2013 brought them a successful debut album, Talking Dreams, and the opportunity to promote by touring with bands such as Tonight Alive, For The Foxes and The Downtown Fiction. Lead vocalist Sydney Sierota recently chatted to ATP! about the story behind Echosmith, as well as the adventures her and her band of brothers have experienced this past year.

The Sierota family is definitely a musical one – their father is a producer and songwriter, and Sydney recalls growing up “always surrounded by music and musicians and songwriters.” The process of deciding to perform together was anything but forced; their similar tastes and appreciation in music brought around the idea of making a record. Sydney credits post-punk artists such as The Smiths and Joy Division for their sound and the harmonies of Fleetwood Mac for the tone that is ultimately Echosmith. Speaking of the name Echosmith, where did the name come from? Sydney explains the concept of a blacksmith, who shapes metal, and how they thought of Echosmith and the shaping of sounds. Although everyone may not get the concept, she jokes, “You don’t question Coldplay because you don’t know what their band name means.”

As for their album, Talking Dreams, the band wrote nearly 80 songs and through major development they were able to narrow it down to 14. Sydney explains that they really wanted every song to be unique but flow together at the same time. They didn’t want any song to be comparable to each other or make a record where every song sounded the same. Through that process of thinking, they were able to record an album that sounds exactly like one of their live shows. “We wanted it to be a good representation of who we are as people and where we are at in life… we are really excited about life and that is what we wrote about, and we were honest with it.”

Once the album was released, the attention it received was nothing but positive. Through the ATP- sponsored fall tour with Tonight Alive, Echosmith was able to see first-hand how their audience was responding to the new tunes. The tour couldn’t have gone better for these California siblings, who were able to see fans singing along and connecting with the songs each night. Sydney also recalls having great conversations with fans about the album and their connection to it.

“It’s really cool to hear stories of how certain songs saved people’s lives or made such a difference in their life and its really insane to hear that, to be honest. Of course you’re like ‘yeah I hope this song reaches people’ but you never really think of it in that capacity where this song really made a difference in this person’s life and that’s really why we’re doing this. Yeah, of course we love the music and we love making and performing, but I think one of the biggest things in the world for us is meeting the fans and communicating with them and really fostering that relationship. Whether we’ve met them once or fifteen times and there’s a lot of broken kids out there so I think it’s important to realize that and sometimes you get the opportunity to address it with them and for some reason they feel more open with you to talk about what they’re dealing with and sometimes they don’t even mention it to their best friend or their parents or family members so it’s really crazy that music does something that nothing else can and they just feel an openness with us because we’re just a band that they like.”

Such eye opening experiences for the group of teenagers really reminded them of why they’re doing this – not only for themselves, but for those who feel the same way they were feeling when the songs were written. “Not many people our age are making music like us,” Sydney says.

It’s no surprise that Talking Dreams came in at number three on our 'Album Of The Year' list for 2013, but what was Sydney’s favorite album of the year? Trouble Will Find Me by The National. “Something about that album just feels good and the way it sounds and the production of it and also the songs and the melodies and the music is just really solid and really warm-sounding.”

As for 2014, this band isn’t stopping any time soon. Expect lots of touring this year – from their college tour this January and February to touring outside of the United States, the name Echosmith is sure to be everywhere.

- Gina Catalano

Talking Dreams is out now via Warner Bros.

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