Of Echosmith Interview;
Echosmith wants to be like the cool kids. Well, with the resurgence of their ten year old song, thanks to TikTok, they are!
The band is currently comprised of siblings Sydney, Noah and Graham Sierota. They have just released a hip, new single titled "Gelato" and the band will be appearing at The Beachland Ballroom on October 25th.
We had the chance to chat with singer/keyboardist Sydney to discuss the bands new single and their upcoming appearance in Cleveland.
Greg Drugan: Hey! Where are you Zooming me from today?
Sydney Sierota: I am Zooming in from San Diego, California.
GD: So how has the tour been going so far?
SS: We actually don’t start until the thirteenth, but there’s been a lot of preparation. We’re doing a music video, a photo shoot, lots of fun press things and of course, rehearsals. It’s been kinda crazy leading up to it but we’re real excited to get out there and play this show. We’ve been working on this show for months. We’ve never put so much effort and time and thought into a show, ever. I’m excited to finally do it, we just haven’t gotten to it yet!
GD: So Cleveland is an early date on the tour. That’s fantastic. We’re gonna get you nice and fresh out of the gate.
SS: Exactly! It will be all of that fresh, new tour excitement.
GD: I wanted to congratulate you on your TikTok success with “Cool Kids.” That had to be unsuspected with a song that’s over eight years old.
SS: I can definitely attest to that. It was unexpected and very random but we were happy to welcome it. It was so cool to see people still relating to that song. We wrote it ten years ago. It actually came out nine years ago. To think we’ve had this song a part of our lives for a decade now and people are still compelled to share it and use it to tell their story, that’s more than we could ever ask for as musicians and song writers. It’s been a special journey this past summer and fall to see how people are just discovering it. People might be hearing it for the first time. I love that! People ask me, “are you sick of playing “Cool Kids?” You are probably sick of talking about “Cool Kids.” Honestly, I’m not. When we play it live, it’s a special and new experience because of the people. It’s more than our song, it’s everyone’s song. I think it’s so fun.
GD: What are your thoughts on social media taking an older song and making it popular again? I think that started with Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” on TikTok. Are you discovering new songs or older songs that way?
SS: I haven’t discovered anything new that way. But I am excited to see what other people are discovering. We have always loved the eighties. My brother Noah, our bass player, he’s always been obsessed with Kate Bush. “Running Up That Hill” couldn’t have been bigger on TikTok either and I think for a lot of people, that was the first time hearing that song and her in general. It’s cool to see all of us rediscovering new music or falling in love with something again. Even if you know the song, you may relate to it differently now then you did before, or you hear it differently. I think it’s cool as musicians and artists to see that because no matter what your song is doing today, you never know who it can reach and when. I think TikTok is a great example of that.
GD: Very good. Speaking of “Cool Kids” what made you record the “our version” of that song?
SS: Once the song came back this past summer. We asked ourselves, “what if this song isn’t finished yet? What if we have a little bit more to say? What if we don’t?” Because “Cool Kids” was top of mind because it was everywhere, we also wanted to be intentional and not do it just for the sake of doing it. You could easily go that route and say “let’s do it because of TikTok!” Because it was a sped up version, let’s speed it up on this new version. But we didn’t, it’s the original tempo. We wanted to see what happened naturally. We were just messing around and that’s when we wrote the bridge. This is kinda special because it brings me into the equation for the first time, lyrically. Before I was talking about a girl who felt this way and a guy who felt this way. Everyone feels this way. But it was a cool moment to bring me into the story on record for the first time. We used to use that little instrumental section in our live show for me to share my story of why I relate to the song. It felt really cool to put that on the recording and once we got to the bridge, I was like “wait, I think this could be special.” I’m glad that we did because I think it captures who Echosmith is musically and personally now, ten years later.
GD: You also have some new songs that have been released, “Hang Around” and your latest single, “Gelato” which is coming out soon. Are these songs a part of a full length album?
SS: Yes. We haven’t done an album yet but we’ve written a lot for it. Technically, we have enough for an album, but we are in this new mindset of just deciding to put out a song and not wait to put out an album. Our first album and second album were so many years a part and we didn’t want to do that again. The reason we wanted to put out new music is because we are really excited about these songs and we know for sure that these songs capture the sound of Echosmith for the next chapter. I think after the tour is when we are going to buckle down and record the rest. I think we have pretty much all of it written, but you never know what you can write on the road. We are going to play at least one unreleased song that will be on the album when we are on the road.
GD: Very good. It’s kinda interesting now with the technology that you can release singles and not worry about an album. Back in the day, you had to finish the album, put a bow on it and there you go.
SS: I still think there’s so much beauty in having a full length album and that’s why we love it and still want to create an albums forever. It’s still cool to give yourself some freedom and let yourself see it differently along the way in how you get there. I think it’s so special to have a full body of work that you are sharing and it’s all a part of the same family. It determines an era as a band and as a person. It is a new world now, and there is so many different ways to do it which is really freeing.
GD: Let’s talk about the new single, “Gelato.” I just went to Italy this summer and there is nothing like Italian Gelato. Just the title brings back great memories. It is a very catchy song and I think it’s going to be a hit.
SS: Thank you so much! You going to Italy, you were not alone in that. Apparently everyone did and so did we! We had a show out there and it was amazing! We actually wrote the song before we went to Italy, but I can’t deny that it inspired the music video we will be making this weekend. I think it’s a great reminder for all of us to take a step back and just be here and now. Yes, we have plenty to worry about and there are things wrong in the the world but you have to force yourself to be present and choose to be okay with what’s not knowing what’s happening tomorrow, Even just for a moment. The song brings all of us into that and we need that. I love the title too. I think it’s just so fun and I love gelato!
GD: You are going to be hitting the road in a couple of weeks. Is there anything that you bring with you or something you do to break up the monotony of travel?
SS: I’ve really been thinking about that. I just started making my packing list. I am really trying to find a way to bring a piece of home with me on the road. You are going to be in a different place everyday. It’s going to be tiring but it’s going to be so fun. Even if it’s just making my coffee the same way. I have an espresso machine at home. If I can make an Americano on the bus. I also got into running during the pandemic, so it will be cool to go on runs while you are on the road. You can do it anywhere, as long as it’s not icey. Bringing a book, I like to bring candles. Anything to make it feel more homey. I also bring my own blankets and pillows because it makes me feel more cozy in an inconsistent environment. I will bring lots of snacks and maybe I’ll bring our Nintendo Switch so we can have some good sibling rivalry competition.
GD: You guys are a totally live band. What is your take on artists that play and sing to backing tracks?
SS: I think that it’s totally great. There are so many ways to do it. Someone who totally redefined that for everyone was Twenty One Pilots. It was just two guys on stage and we toured with them. They put on one of the most amazing shows ever. You never thought twice that there is technically just two people up there. But they are playing a bunch of different instruments. They are running around the stage and getting the crowd engaged and creating some really special moments. Of course it’s about the music, but how you get there and how you execute it, it doesn’t have to be one way anymore.
For us, we introduced some tracks a few years ago. It’s been really cool because we can free up myself so I can interact with the crowd and not feel like I’m playing every single thing. At the same time, I am running around on this next tour I will be playing so many keyboard lines and I will be playing guitar and electric guitar for the first time. We are actually going to be a three piece on this tour for the first time. It’s forcing us to fill in the gaps in ways we’ve never had to before. It will be really fun to just have family up there. As long as you are putting on a good show, but I still think you have to still sing live and play your instruments live, but if you have a little help in the background, it still needs to be in the background and not the foreground. People are coming to see you perform and you have to stay true to that. I think there is a balance to it all.
GD: That’s a great answer. You mentioned that opened for Twenty One Pilots, some Ohio guys! What was it like touring with those guys?
SS: It was one of those tours that you wanted to go out and watch their show every night that you could. That was really inspiring because they put so much thought into their show and their set. The lighting and the theatrics. Even in 2013 and 2014 they were playing (smaller clubs) they able to put on such a powerful show, in a venue that small. You don’t have the luxury having fire on stage and all these things. If you can put on a show in a small venue, I think that’s one of the most incredible things as an artist. I’ve really been inspired by them the whole time.
GD: Do you have any memories of playing in Cleveland either as a headliner or opening act?
SS: Ooh. i believe when we played in Columbus, which I think it’s their hometown, it was the biggest show on the tour. So we were like this is awesome because it was a bigger venue. I think it was that night, Taylor Swift was playing the same night at another arena. Her and I became friends and she was like, “come sing with me tonight! Are you cool with pyro?” So after our set, I went over and sang “Cool Kids” with her and there was some fire on stage. That was one of the coolest nights! You are at your show, which is in an arena and then you go next door and sing with Taylor Swift in a bigger arena. That was a really fun moment. It’s cool to connect with people that inspire you. Ohio is memorable for me and I’m excited to come back and make more memories.
GD: Very cool So you will be playing the Beachland Ballroom at the end of the month. You talked a little bit about it but what can fans expect from your show this time out?
SS: Fans can expect a beautiful night. We are gonna have a lot of fun, there are exciting, cool moments. There are fun production things as well. Our main goal is to connect with everyone. We want to connect as people. There are a lot of moments in the set where we connect with the crowd in a way we never have before. We are thoughtful about each and every moment but creating space for organic things to happen. I’m actually going to bring a fan on stage, once if not twice on tour. We might do a randomly chosen song out of three to have a fan help me pick that. We have a fun way to do that. You never know what’s going to happen at a show. If I bring someone on stage and it happens to be their birthday, we will sing happy birthday to them. It’s honesty the best show we have ever put together. There will be an unreleased song, of course we will play “Gelato,” “Hang Around” and I think the new version of “Cool Kids” or at least a part of it. We will throw in some older songs too. It’s going to be impactful and hopefully people will walk out with a smile on their face. That’s our goal!
GD: Sounds like it’s going to be a fantastic show! Sydney, i want to thank you for your time today. I’m going to get the word out and we’re going to pack the Beachland Ballroom for you. I wish you nothing but success with your new single and tour.
SS: Thank you so much. I hope the same success for you. Thank you so much for taking the time, I really appreciate it!
Check out Echosmith when they play the Beachland Ballroom on October 25. Tickets are $25 and VIP tickets are $79, both can be purchased here.
Check out Echosmith's latest single "Gelato" below!