Sydney Sierota (Echosmith)
LA siblings Echosmith are slowly taking over the indie pop world and are about to head to Austin for South by Southwest. If you haven’t heard them yet, don’t worry, you will (sooner if you scroll your mouse down and press play on that video). Sydney, Jamie, Noah, and Graham Sierota come together to produce an original and refreshing sound that is much-needed in today’s music industry
We had the chance to chat with Sydney about the origins of the band’s sound, their upcoming trip to Austin, and her place as a potential role model for young girls.
And while you’re reading, be sure to check out the video below of an acoustic version of their song, “Tell Her You Love Her”.
Echosmith’s sound definitely stands out from the sea of indie pop bands that are around these days – did you set out to make something different?
When you’re doing anything, I think it’s really important to try and do something that’s unique because there’s already a million people doing exactly what you want to do – so you might as well do something that’s unique to you and that people have to come to you to get. People love taking the easy way and doing the same kind of music as this person or that person and we really wanted to be original. And at the same time, Echosmith’s sound really came together in a very natural way for us – in the writing process and the recording process – it was what we wanted to do and make music just like that. It took us some time to get to that point, but we finally got there and knew that it was right.
The “other” bands that you do seem to share some musical heritage with are 20 and 30 years old – how/when did you get introduced to those artists?
Our dad is a music producer and songwriter and musician himself, so we grew up in a very artsy family with our mom being a painter, and they were both really into 80s New Wave, so we grew up hearing that as well as artists like The Strokes. We kind of took from that and thought it was very different and original sounding and we loved it – and we still love it, obviously. We grew up hearing it and then finally it sort of clicked as to why we really loved it.
You were interviewed for a piece about International Women’s Day – and you had some pretty strong feelings about how female artists are portrayed in the music industry. Do you think it’s important to try and represent yourself a certain way, to act as a role model for your younger fans?
Yeah, that’s really important with what I’m doing to be aware of everything that I do, everything I say, everything I wear, everything I sing about – and even the way I act. People are watching – people are always watching – and you just have to be aware of that. And it’s not ‘people are always watching me that’s so great’ – it’s more of the fact that people are always watching me and how can I show them that this is how life should be – or this how I think life should be. And I think even having joy is really important and that can show through, even in how you dress. I remember looking at these magazines and every single picture of a girl was all about ‘how much skin can I show without getting too much crap for it?’ – and that’s disappointing to me.
When I was younger, while I never dressed like that, I did think for a second that if I did dress like that that more guys would like me – things like that. I think that’s what girls get caught up in so much and I feel like this industry keeps telling girls that that’s the way to do it, that’s the way to get a good guy, and to get attention in general and just look pretty. I think that we should use clothes as a statement – and not be taking them off as a statement. I feel really strongly about that. I think the modesty thing is cool – it doesn’t hurt to be more modest. And you’re never going to see anyone have something bad written about them for being modest. I really feel like whether I am a role model or not to people, I want to live a life that can be [looked up to], and live the life that I enjoy and feel strongly about and passionate about. [Click here to read Sydney’s interview with Alter The Press]
What was the first really difficult thing you had to learn about being out on tour?
We had to learn that nothing’s going to be perfect – whether the entire band and the crew have to share one hotel room, to not being able to take a really nice shower, to all the things that can happen before a show – you just have to accept it and make some fun out of it.
You’re set to play 6 showcases next week – in what free time you do have, are there any other bands you’re looking forward to seeing?
Yeah, we are playing with some cool bands at some of our showcases like Aloe Blacc, and it will be really cool to see some friends like Tori Kelly and For The Foxes, as well as a few other people we met at Warped Tour [last year]. And I know that Coldplay is playing, but I doubt I can get in to that, but we’ll see – they’re my favorite band in the world.
[Note: If anyone from Coldplay is reading this (hey, I can dream, right?) – Sydney Sierota, add her to your guest list. Thanks!]
What can we expect from Echosmith over the next few months, between SXSW and Warped Tour?
We’ll be doing some more touring. Some one-offs in LA and some college shows and radio shows. We’re really excited about what’s to come and to see how this year goes.
If you’re in Austin for SXSW, be sure to check out Echosmith at the following showcases:
Sun 3/9 — 4:30pm — SB Proects Sunday Funday – Banger’s (79 Rainey St.)
Wed 3/12 — 11pm — Home Grown: LA – The Velveeta Room (521 E 6th St.)
Thi 3/13 — 4pm — Cricket/Muve Music Acoustic Performance (4th and Congress)
Thu 3/13 — 9:20pm — Live from Live Nation Labs – (1100 E 5th St)
Sat 3/15 — 2pm — Dickies Road House SXSW Showcase – Banger’s (79 Rainey St.)
Sat 3/15 — TBD — Stubbs Evening SXSW Showcase – Stubbs, Indoor Stage (801 Red River St.)