Echosmith, consisting of siblings Jamie Sierota (age 20, vocals/guitar), Sydney Sierota (age 16, vocals/keyboard), Noah Sierota (age 18, vocals/bass), and Graham Sierota (age 15, drums) released their debut album, Talking Dreamsearlier this month in New Zealand.
Formed in Southern California, Echosmith became the breakout band of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour.
I caught up with the band's front woman Sydney Sierota, where we chatted about the album, the Vans Warped Tour and what it's like being the only sister in a band full of brothers.
When did Echosmith form?
We've been a band for six years, but we picked up our instruments individually not even thinking about being a band a long time ago. We've kinda been doing it our entire lives as we come from a really musical household.
Where did the name Echosmith come from?
To be honest I can't remember who came up with the actual name Echosmith. I know that someone in the group came up with the idea of a blacksmith and how they shape metals, and we got the idea of shaping sound. So the name really seemed to fit with us.
Who were your musical influences?
We were really drawn to early 80s New Age music. Bands like Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Echo And The Bunnymen... stuff like that. Also really loved Fleetwood Mac and their melodies, and we're all about the melodies too. They'd have the melody coming from a bass line instead of the vocals sometimes. I thought that was really cool. We also love Coldplay and The Killers too, those are two very solid bands that we love.
How did you learn to play your instruments?
It was really natural actually. I've been singing my entire life, ever since I can remember. And the rest of the guys just picked up their instruments really naturally. It's funny how we all picked perfect instruments to go together in a band without even planning it.
How does the songwriting process work within in the band?
It's cool because it's really collaborative with us. It's really fun to do it like that too because there are no rules with us. We all get in a room together and write. And even though Graham plays drums, sometimes he'll come up with the melody or Noah the bass player will come up with the guitar line. There really are no rules with sticking with their own instrument, which is fun. It keeps it really refreshing.
How's it being the only girl in the band?
It's pretty different. In general it's pretty interesting because there aren't too many girls in this industry anyway. I don't really understand why, but it's interesting being on tours where I'm literally the only girl except for maybe one crew member. But it is cool and it makes it a bit special when I meet a band that has a girl singer. Stuff like that is really exciting for me. But I grew up with three brothers anyway and never had any sisters, so I've always been used to it anyway.
Echosmith appeared on the Vans Warped Tour recently. How did you get involved with that?
Kevin Lyman heard our music and seemed to really like it. He put us on the tour for the first half of last year and then a week or two in he actually asked us to do the rest of the tour, which was really cool. That was really a big step for us because not too many people knew us and we hadn't toured much before then. It was really cool to have a lot of people discover us and to learn how to work in that kind of situation. It's so hot and it's so crowded, and it's hard as there is a lot of competing going on. There are seven bands playing at the same time as you, so obviously it's going to be a little difficult getting people to your stage sometimes, especially if you're playing at the same times as another band that you both have fans of. But it was really cool and we're doing it again next year which is really exciting. It was a really great experience.
Your debut album 'Talking Dreams' has just been released in New Zealand. How did the recording process work?
The process of recording it was really awesome, because we really decided to take our time, and we had all the time in the world. So I think it's really awesome that we got to take that time, especially for our first album where we could really dial in every single thing and make sure that we love every little thing... every part and every lyric, every note that came out of it.
Who produced the album?
Mike Elizondo. He was super cool and very easy going. He knows when to give input and when not to, and gives room for the artists to breath. So it was a cool experience for us and he's a really nice guy too. So it was all very pleasant.
Have you guys got plans for a follow up album?
Not yet. I think right now we are putting writing a little bit on hold. We still write once in a while but we're mainly focusing on this album for a little while yet.
Any chance of us seeing Echosmith perform in New Zealand in the near future?
That would be super cool. I'm sure we'll make it there either this year or next year. I'm not exactly sure when yet, but we'll definitely make it there as we've gotten a lot of response lately. Everyone I meet from New Zealand is really awesome and are some of the nicest people I have met, so I'm really excited to make it over there.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
The 4-piece genre-melders Hellions are getting ready for their biggest Australian headline show yet. The tour will be taking place this May and stopping off in all the major cities; Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
It howls. It's grindingly beautiful. It's dangerously sentient. It’s The Sisters of Mercy returning to Australia and New Zealand this October and November. Due to demand, The Sisters Of Mercy will be adding Perth, Adelaide and Auckland to their tour in 2019.
Who Loves NZ The Most? Following a Sold-Out Winter Tour in 2018, Kiwi icon's The Jordan Luck Band today announce their massive 19 date New Zealand Winter(ish) Tour. Trekking the whole country; the massive NZ tour begins the last weekend of April with shows through to late June 2019.
Psychedelic heavyweight Earthless have announce their supporting acts for their Australia/New Zealand tour. The support line up is heady and heavy, meaning that each show is going to be stuffed with rock n roll greatness.
Due to incredible demand, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer TIM MINCHIN has today announced a third and final Auckland show as part of his Australasian tour of his live show BACK.
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band FLEETWOOD MAC today announced an Australian and New Zealand tour, set to kick off on August 9 with two shows in Auckland on September 16 and 19, along with a welcome return to Dunedin on September 21.
California’s radical sons, The Growlers arrive in the country this week for the start of the Australian leg of their mammoth worldwide ‘Beach Goth’ tour. In what is guaranteed to be a rollicking, majestic wave of movements all around our golden coast,
Timaru’s iconic Soundshell in Caroline Bay will host two of the most well-known bands in New Zealand in a one-day entertainment extravaganza this January. Katchafire and The Black Seeds will headline the R18+ event at the Soundshell on Saturday, January 26, 2019. They’ll be joined by The Butlers.
In true kiwi summer tour tradition Marlon Williams will now take The Tūrangawaewae Tour to a further six markets this February making it a total of 12 shows - Marlon’s most comprehensive New Zealand tour ever!
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.