May 17, 2018 Interview – Sydney Sierota of Echosmith
Going from musical dreams in the comfort of their home studio to international Pop Rock stars, Echosmith has accomplished a good deal in a relatively short time. A band comprised of siblings – Sydney, Noah and Graham Sierota – Echosmith has toured the world over, attained triple platinum success with their 2013 hit single “Cool Kids,” and they are only between 19 and 22 years of age!
Hardworking, dedicated, and passionate about their music, they continue to make strides forward with more big tours as they prepare to release their highly anticipated sophomore album later this summer. Recently we caught up with Vocalist/Guitarist/Keyboardist Sydney Sierota to talk the wild ride of the band, life on the road, their hot new single “Over My Head,” and much more.
CrypticRock.com – Echosmith began for you back in 2009, and the band has really blossomed since then with a hit single, a successful debut album in 2013’s Talking Dreams, and touring internationally. How would you describe the ride the band has been on thus far?
Sydney Sierota – The ride has been so exciting, hard, exhausting, fun, and really a dream come true. We’ve probably played close to a thousand shows by now and had countless meet and greets, selfies, interviews, and radio visits. We went to Europe 7 times in 11 months in 2015. We had so many 4AM lobby calls where we’d land and have TV 4 hours later, a concert and a meet in greet all in the same day. Days off were rare and there was so much jet lag and moments where we got sick, but through it all we got to play our songs we wrote in our backyard studio to so many people. We are so grateful for the fact that we’ve gotten to do exactly what we love, so it’s really been a great ride!
CrypticRock.com – Wow, it certainly seems like it has been a fun, yet exhausting, run thus far! You are in fact a band of siblings. When you were growing up, did you ever think that you and your brothers would be in a band together?
Sydney Sierota – Originally, no! We picked up each of our instruments on our own without thinking of becoming a band, even though we all picked the perfect instruments to become a band ironically. (Laughs) I thought that maybe I would be a solo artist and the boys would be session musicians, but when I was 9, someone asked if our dad knew of a young band who would play this benefit concert for free and we all looked at each other and decided then and there to play together. We had such great chemistry and it was just so much fun. So we started writing and recording songs with our dad in our home studio and have been doing it ever since.
CrypticRock.com – That is awesome, just look where it has led you! Being that you are all still very young, how are you handling the success, and what do you think the key is for Echosmith to keep yourselves balanced?
Sydney Sierota – I think being family focused and making time for friends and relationships is really important in staying balanced. When you’re really driven and motivated, it’s easy to get caught up in the “work” aspect and focus too much on your career, so you need to remember to have a real life too.
CrypticRock.com – Absolutely, and it is great that you can make that balance. The band’s debut album, Talking Dreams, was released in October 2013 and was in fact re-released in October 2014 with bonus material. The record has done enormously well and certainly has a very mature, full sound. That in mind, was it a challenge to prepare the forthcoming album?
Sydney Sierota – The hardest part about making our sophomore album was that there were expectations, whereas with the first album, nobody really knew who we were so there were zero expectations from fans. So it’s a great problem to have, that fans care and are asking every day how the album is coming along, but it also adds a lot more pressure. At the end of the day, we are really so grateful for the success of Talking Dreams and for the fact that people care this time around.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, and people certainly are buzzing to hear it once it comes out. Speaking of the new album, what was the writing and recording process this time around? Additionally, when can we expect the album to be released?
Sydney Sierota – The process was so different this time because, first of all, we are all four years older, and second of all, our oldest brother Jamie, the guitar player, found out his wife was pregnant a couple years ago and decided to leave the band to focus on his new family. That had a huge impact on our writing and recording process and it took a lot of time to figure out who we were outside of him. We decided to make keyboards the center of the approach to the sound instead of the guitar. Although the guitar is still a huge part of it, it’s not the only driving force like our first album. Also, our dad who co-wrote the entire first album ended up producing this new album which made the process a lot of fun. We really challenged each other in so many new ways and we wrote probably 70 songs to get to these final songs. We are really happy with where Echosmith is at now and the stories we’ve told through these news songs and how this album sounds. We are looking to release it late this summer.
CrypticRock.com – Interesting, it should make for some fun new music. Best of luck to Jamie and his growing family. The band had released the Inside a Dream EP back in September to a very positive response. Now, most recently, you released the very addictive single “Over My Head.” This song is a bit of a different direction for the band, as you said, more keyboard driven. Is the song a good sample of what fans can expect from the forthcoming album?
Sydney Sierota – I think both the EP and “Over My Head” are great samples of our sophomore album. There will be some songs from the EP that will be on the album, but there will be tons of new songs as well with a lot of different vibes, but all part of the same family. We have a lot to say and we’re grateful we could release both an EP and full length album. We have songs about hope, love, fear, and frustration. We have a point of view about the world and thankfully people are connecting to it.
CrypticRock.com – Well, it will be great to hear the new songs, because “Over My Head” is really a wonderful track. You mentioned you have a point of view, and as we get older, our interests change, our views change, and we grow. What was your headspace in the writing of these new songs?
Sydney Sierota – I honestly just felt older, which affects your views on almost everything. For example, I was able to write about love for the first time in depth and in detail because I am actually experiencing it in real life, as opposed to writing about my favorite romantic movies and guessing what love meant 5-6 years ago. We also wanted there to be songs that addressed pain, we have a song “Everyone Cries” that does just that and it’s honest, raw, and stripped down to pretty much just me and a piano. More and more, we are wanting our “art” to be a beacon of hope for people. Our mission statement has always been “to spread hope and love through music to the world,” so we really tried to capture that on this next album.
CrypticRock.com – That is certainly something people of all ages could use right now. There is entirely too much negativity, we need love and hope. In regards to the music, there is clear very classic 1980s Alternative Rock sound in many of Echosmith’s songs. Is it safe to say the band is heavily influenced by artists from that genre, and if so, what turned you on to those artists?
Sydney Sierota – Our whole family loves ’80s music. Our dad was the first person to introduce us to that decade of music and I’m so glad he did! It was definitely more a natural influence on our music, simply because we love it, not because we tried to make “’80s influenced music.” Also the songs from the ’80s have such a timelessness to them that we feel we captured with these songs.
CrypticRock.com – Agreed! That in mind, What are some of your musical influences?
Sydney Sierota – Coldplay, The Killers, U2, and Switchfoot are some of our biggest influences. All these artists have an incredible point of view of the world.
CrypticRock.com – All great selections. As you said, you really have been busy and it seems in the past few years touring has really picked up for the band with a spot on 2013 as well as 2014’s Vans Warped Tour. You then toured with Neon Trees, American Authors, and Twenty One Pilots. What has life been like on the road, and what are some of the most important things you have learned?
Sydney Sierota – We actually adjust to life on the road pretty well and as each tour happens, we get better at it. Of course there are things that are really hard, like missing our loved ones and wishing we slept more, but you just adjust. Considering we get to do what we love, the pay off outweighs the hard times. We’ve learned to be more intentional about getting alone time to recharge as humans, but also spending quality time together is important since we work together so much.
CrypticRock.com – Again, it is all about balance, right? Speaking of touring, you just wrapped up a string of shows this spring. For those who have yet to see Echosmith live, what can they expect from a live performance?
Sydney Sierota – The show we put on for our most recent tour was so much fun! We had so many new aspects and spent months planning every single moment of the show. Of course certain shows had some happy accidents but it makes it more memorable for everyone.
We all got to have more creative freedom too. I played acoustic guitar for the first time on the road and even hopped on Graham’s kit for the drum solo, you also get to hear Noah really sing on a song, which is amazing. There’s a lot of energy and a whole new stage and light design and some deeper moments in the show as well. It’s very interactive too. Also, there was so much confetti which makes everyone of all ages happy.
CrypticRock.com – Very cool, hopefully we will see you out on the road later in the summer more once the album finally drops! My last question for you is pertaining to movies. Beyond music, CrypticRock also covers Horror and Sci-Fi films. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorite films and why?
Sydney Sierota – We do appreciate Horror/Sci-Fi films! Although, I am such a baby when it comes to Horror so I can only handle so much. (Laughs) The Sixth Sense (1999) is one of my favorite movies of all time. I watched it for the first time only 2 or 3 years ago and didn’t have any idea what it was about or that there was the iconic twist at the end. Now I bring it up in every conversation I can, but people don’t care as much, considering I’m almost 20 years late to the game. Also, randomly, we just got asked about doing our own Horror movie, we’ll have to see where that leads…
CrypticRock.com – That sounds compelling, you will have to fill us in where that goes. Beyond Horror, do you have another genre of film you enjoy?
Sydney Sierota – I’m such a sucker for Rom-Coms. No matter how cheesy, I love them all.