Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:53:08
"It's a very visual album,” Echosmith singer Sydney Sierota says of the band’s Talking Dreams. “When we were writing, we'd always picture what kind of music video would go with the songs or a movie. We're very visual people too. It's part of our writing. We do want to tell a story. That's how we connect with things. We relate to songs that tell stories."
That’s precisely what the band does so well over the course of the album. It’s a pastiche of personal aural diary entries punctuated by unshakable hooks and upbeat melodies. That combination of storytelling and harmony makes for a rather stunning collection.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Sidney Sierota of Echosmith talks Talking Dreams and so much more.
Did you approach Talking Dreams with one particular vision or vibe in mind?
We wrote eighty songs for this record. As time went on, each song started to blend and fit together. They became more and more Echosmith as we kept writing. It's funny because, in the beginning when we started writing for this album, we had no idea what it was going to sound like except for the fact that we were going to be playing everything and that's it. We went into it without a vision—other than to make the record we wanted to make and not what other people thought we should make or what artists our age would normally create. That was a big thing for us. We really took our time writing. It's funny because the last batch of songs was Talking Dreams. There wasn't too much deciding in terms of what to put on the album because it was all so natural to us that the last few songs were when we started to find our sound and what we wanted to do. As we started to finish, the same vision was there when we were writing, but we had no idea the record would sound like it does now.
When you struck that vibe, did it just make sense?
Yeah! We had written all sorts of songs. Some of them were just acoustic, on piano, or with the full band. We tried everything. When we got to the last bunch of songs, we finally found a song that felt natural to us. It really fit for us. It came naturally. "Natural" describes this whole band and situation. We're family. We didn't think about doing this. It naturally started to come together this way. As time went on, our sound really started to become what it is now. It took a lot of time and songs to get there. Once we got there, it was like a switch clicked. That was a really important process for us to get there. If we hadn't written that many songs or taken that much time, it would be a different record, and that's the truth. I'm really glad it took that long, and we gave ourselves that time.
What's the story behind "Surround You"?
With every song we write, all four of us are involved in writing everything together. Every song means something different to each person in the band. Generally, that song is about love. In case you didn't notice, we wrote a lot about love [Laughs]. For me, love is about your significant other, of course, but it's also about other things too. There's your family, your friends, and the people you're interacting with on a daily basis—strangers or not. "Surround You" is about love. Love is so widely spread. People love to put labels on it or put it in a box and say, "That's only for whoever you're with at the moment". For us, love is bigger than that and has a bigger title than that. That's why we wrote about it so much. That's what this band is about too. We wouldn't be doing it if we didn't love each other. We wouldn't be here. It just wouldn't work. It's the love for our fans too. We appreciate them too. Literally without them, we couldn't do this. I wouldn't be sitting in our bus right now. We're very appreciative and have a lot of love for a lot of people. It's important to go through life with that mentality.
What song means the most to you right now from Talking Dreams?
Right now, it's "Tell Her You Love Her". That song just hits home for me when we play it, which is every day [Laughs]. It's also fun for me to see how people are responding to that song. There are people who will put their arm around their friend, or sometimes people will start making out. I always think that's funny. It's great to see how people respond to that song. At the beginning, I always say it means a lot to me, and I want them to really relate to it as well. It's cool to see how people take that. A song can mean something to an artist, and it can also mean another thing to a fan. It can mean something completely different to another fan standing next to them. It's great to see what people do during that song, it warms my heart.
If you were to compare Talking Dreams to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Oh man! I'd say The Notebook for the slow songs. We wrote a lot about adventures so I'm just going to go for it. I'm going to say Tropic Thunder for the fun of it. There's definitely adventure in that. If you think of Tropic Thunder and The Notebook together, that's our album.
Echosmith 2015 Headline Tour
2/10/15 – Iowa State University – Ames, IA
2/12/15 – 3rd & Lindsley – Nashville, TN
2/14/15 – Fitzgerald’s Upstairs – Houston, TX
2/15/15 – Emo’s- Austin, TX
2/18/15 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
2/20/15 – The Social – Orlando, FL
2/25/15 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
2/26/15 – 930 Club – Washington, DC
2/28/15 – Theatre of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
3/01/15 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
3/03/15 – Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre – Montreal, QC
3/05/15 – Virgin Mobile Mod Club – Toronto, ON
3/06/15 – Beachland Ballroom & Tavern – Cleveland, OH
3/07/15 – Shelter – Detroit, MI
3/11/15 – Deluxe @ Old National Center – Indianapolis, IN
3/12/15 – Metro – Chicago, IL
3/17/15 – Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO
3/18/15 – The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
3/20/15 – Wonder Ballroom – Portland, OR
3/21/15 – Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA
3/22/15 – The Rio Theatre – Vancouver, BC
3/25/15 – The Regency Ballroom – San Francisco, CA
3/27/15 – The Fonda Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
3/28/15 – House of Blues – Anaheim, CA
3/29/15 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
The Colourist support
For tickets and more info, visit Echosmith.com.