Ellis Ludwig-Leone, the brain behind Brooklyn band San Fermin, sat down with Richie T before their show at Salt Lake's Twilight Concert Series. He explains what San Fermin means, (how to pronounce it), and if Richie can join the band as the 9th member.
--- Classical Music Training ---
I was a music/composition student, classical music mostly…Most people in the band have the similar sort of thing going on...I think there’s a lot of different ways to write music and they’re all equally valid as long as you’re being honest. For us, there’s a lot of training, there’s a lot of intention in how we go about writing.
--- From One Man to Full Band ---
I wrote the record right when I graduated and then I took a while to record it. I just got my friends and random people to play on it. We got a record deal before ever really playing…We played one show with 15 people or something at Pianos, this tiny place in New York. Once we got that record deal suddenly it was like, “Oh, this has to become a band”…Allen and I, Allen’s the singer - the male singer, he and I have been best friends for years, since we were really young. Everyone else it was word of mouth or people maybe I went to college with or just, if you’re a musician in New York there’s a lot of through-the-grapevine sort of recommendations.
--- The Band Name ---
It’s the name of the running of the bulls festival. It’s the patron saint in Spain…I liked the idea of people putting themselves in danger for really no reason. It sort of feels like performing...["San Fermin"] was a lyric before it was a band name. So it was in the song “Torero” I think. Torero is Spanish for bullfighter as well. I was thinking about that and once I finished the record I was like, “Well, we gotta have a band name.”
--- Coordinating an 8-person Band ---
There are upsides and downsides for sure. I mean getting 8 people to Europe is a pretty costly endeavor. But when I wrote the record it was for like 20 something musicians, so I figured if you go any lower than 8, you’re starting to do a disservice to the music. Honestly, I chose the musicians as we were putting the band together such that I knew that they were good enough players that they could actually each do a number of things, in terms of the sax lines now sort of encompass sax and trombone and tuba. I’ve sort of smushed them all together into one player. It was an interesting compositional exercise to do that.
Richie T talks with Noodles from The Offspring about his nickname, favorite songs to play live, and what's still on his Bucket list of places to play. Read the brief overview below, or listen to the whole interview at the bottom of the page.
How he got his nickname:
From noodling on guitar. It was Tom Wilson, our producer for the first three records who got tired of cleaning up the takes, all the noodling on the take. Whenever I would mess up I would just kind of go off on riffing and noodling.
The first time we headlined a hometown show in the hometown show in the big local amphitheater was just amazing, just incredible.
Favorite song to play:
I love all our songs, honestly. I love playing them. You gotta understand, I don’t listen to Offspring records. I don’t know any musicians that listen to their own records. You want to be inspired by stuff, you’re too close to it. I do play along to the records, I put them on when I’m rehearsing or recording. In fact, whenever I’m just rehearsing guitar I love putting on our whole catalogue on shuffle. And whatever song pops up, just play along to it. I love it, but it’s also frustrating because I’d love to play more of these songs every night on stage, but you can’t play all the songs, not enough time.
Still on the Bucket List:
There’s still places we’ve never been, we’ve never been to Honk Kong, we’ve never been to Indonesia or Malaysia, there’s a lot of places in Asia that we haven’t been that I’d love to go to. There’s still places in Eastern Europe that we’re slowly still hitting. We did Bulgaria for the first time just a few weeks ago.
Catch The Offspring here TONIGHT at The Complex. Buy tickets HERE
Richie T talked with Andy Tongren of Young Rising Sons about the success of their single "High", achieving the dream of being signed to a record label, and produce inspiring songs. Check out the overview below, or the full audio at the bottom of the page.
Formation of the band:
We’ve been playing together for 4 and a half, 5 years now? The other three guys have been playing together even longer. I was going to school in New York City, and just playing acoustic down at this bar and they happened to be there looking for a new singer, and approached me afterwards and said “hey, come jam with us” and it was just instant chemistry. We became best friends first and then band mates second. We’ve been going ever since and yeah, finally put all the right pieces together and started seeing some progress so it’s been really exciting.
We’re very collaborative, usually one person will come in with an idea, melody, lyric whatever it may be and we’ll bounce it off each other so it’s something we can really stand behind and something that we’re all proud of.
“High” was the same thing, it’s about our band really. You know we’ve been playing for 4 and a half, 5 years and a lot of what we did didn’t work so it’s kind of about those lows and the lows making the way for the high, and making them that much more worth it, once you actually get there.
Being signed to Interscope:
I think growing up playing in bands our whole lives, the ultimate goal was to sign a major record deal and once it happened we were like ok, well now what do we do? We know the hard work is just starting, we’re ready to kind of get down to the bare bones and just work, and we’re really excited to do that. But signing with Interscope was very very exciting and has been nothing but wonderful.
We heard our song on the radio for the first time, I wanna say three weeks ago or so? We were driving to LAX to fly home from our first tour and we heard it on the radio. It was just such a surreal moment, and that’s what this whole thing has been, it’s just been a collection of very surreal moments. You kind of have to pinch yourself every once and a while and remind yourself that this is real life.
“King Of The World”
Steve came up with that melody while he was working at a grocery store. He was stocking produce and wrote that melody and brought it to us.
How they met:
Kyle: Brandon and I met at a show years ago and then randomly ended up moving in together at this crazy old flop house with nine other guys and just started playing music together there. We had no car, we had nothing but a ton of equipment.
Brandon: I'd been living in this, I mean literally like a flop house. It was the nastiest bachelor pad, the kitchen was unusable, the bathroom was completely unusable because they were so filthy. I was sitting out front having a beer one day when Kyle pulled up and I was like “what the hell is going on bro?”. We started playing music I think that first week after he moved in and immediately we just clicked and it was kind of just a done deal.
The Flop House now:
It's been condemned, they tore it down, we drove by the other day and it's gone and they're building something where human beings can live.
Star-crossed band mates:
Kyle: We both went our separate ways, Brandon became a ferrier, he shoed horses and I went and worked at a non-profit… and came back together about five years ago and started this band. Brandon: It was like three years. I went to Oklahoma, I went to horse shoeing school in Oklahoma and then came back to Northwestern, trying to set up a business.
Kyle: It's changed over this album. We had toured on a record before for about a year and a half and on the way back from one of the last tours Brandon and I looked at each other were like we've gotta do this thing our way. We built the studio ourselves and started recording this record. We quit every other day job and every other interest and basically clocked regular hours, 50 hours a week plus, and just wrote music every day. We just kind of held each other accountable that way and basically learned how to create in that environment.
Brandon: We've completely outgrown our old record, we made it really, really fast. Honestly, we didn't know what we were doing. We cranked out a collection of songs and immediately got ourselves a vehicle and got out on the road. And after about a year being out on the road and doing whatever, playing shows, we just realized this is not what we wanted to do. And Kyle and I, when we first started playing music together we spent a lot of time talking about what we wanted our sound to be. The infusion of electronic beats and really nasty synthesizers, but then with a really strong contrast of acoustic instrumentation and well thought out harmonies and melodies. We at that time, when we started, we didn't know how to execute, but after spending enough time, three or four years together, we figured out a system.
Check out Priory at the 2014 X96 Big Ass Show! Buy tickets HERE or at any Graywhale location
A few weeks ago at Vans Warped Tour, Richie T and his team of expert producers recorded 5 straight hours of interviews - that's around 25 artists FYI. Over the past few weeks, we've been releasing videos of these interviews on the daily: bands like Less Than Jake, Real Friends, The Maine, Anberlin, and tons more!
In today's installment, Mercedes of Courage My Love details her thrill-seeking activities, and German duo Captain Capa help us Americans understand the cool electro-punk scene happening in Germany now.
Watch the interviews and read a short write up below!
Courage My Love
From: Ontario, Canada
--- Her Identical Twin ---
My twin sister and I – she’s in the band, she’s the drummer…Yeah we’re identical twins…We don’t look exactly alike, but I’ve had people come up to me and I’ll be like, “Oh, what’s your name?” and they’ll be kind of bummed out . They’ll be like, “We met you like half an hour ago.” And I’ll be like, “Nah dude, that wasn’t me! I promise.” --- The Band Name ---
So we went to this old repertoire theatre and we saw this 1936, Black and White, sci-fi movie called Things To Come, and it’s a line from the movie. So the movie’s kind of post-apocalypse. These parents are standing overtop of their kids, wondering what their future will hold and the father is just like, “Have courage my love,” to his wife. So we thought, that’s kind of cool. I like to think of it as a call to our generation, to our youth because a lot of problems from previous generations have fallen on to our shoulders. You have to have courage to make a difference in this world, and you have to have courage to be the change that you want to see in the world.
--- Runner-Up Band Names ---
I always wanted to be in a political punk band called Marie Antoinette…Or we were sitting in my friend’s basement, and Phoenix thought about, what about Catches like Matches. I think we were lighting matches or something. But Courage My Love stuck.
--- Thrill-Seeking ---
My boyfriend lives in Malibu, so there’s all really cool stuff to do in Malibu. Just this year, he’s been pushing me to do all that cool stuff. We’ve been surfing, we’ve been parasailing, we’re gonna go cliff diving, we’re gonna go skydiving which I’m terrified of, but it’s gonna happen…Somebody stop me! I’m going crazy over here!
EXCLUSIVE content in the audio below!
Hannes & Maik
--- Their Sound ---
Hannes: I would say basically it’s like electronic pop music. That’s the big overall wording for it, but we have lots of influences from independent music and old emo rock stuff. So it’s a really wild mixture, but it all comes together with electronic instruments.
--- How they got on Warped ---
Hannes: It came together because we grew up with music like that, we grew up with Warped music. With Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World, stuff like that. and parts of that are still in our music so I think we might be, music-wise, we might be the connecting dot between the EDM scene that’s going really crazy right now, and the kind of emo-influenced Alternative stuff that’s going on at Warped. I think we fit in here really well. That might be how we found our way
--- Self-Taught Musicians ---
Hannes: We’ve known each other since kindergarten like since really really early. Then we went to this festival together where we saw electronic bands performing for the first time, and we saw what was going on onstage, and we’re like, “This is so much different than all the punk bands we did before, and it looks like so much fun! It looks like the musicians have actually, they’re playing with stuff on stage.” We wanted to do that. We just bought ourselves some synthesizers and without any knowledge of it, we just started doing it, and it worked out so well.
--- The German Music Scene ---
Hannes: We have a strong scene of like electronic punk music going on, which is really crazy because I haven’t seen it in any other country. We have political-influenced bands that are really close to the punk rock scene but they make electronic music and that’s the scene where we kinda came out from.
Maik: I think we have a good independent scene in Germany. I like it.
Hannes: Yeah. Every band knows each other and every festival is like a family meeting.
--- Other Warped Bands They Suggest ---
Hannes: Bad Rabbits
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