Blending melodic rock with power-pop, The Chordaes, influenced by the likes of The Cure, Coldplay and The Strokes, recently brought out their debut album Touch The Ground and are certainly making a name for themselves as a band to keep an eye on. Looking to get back in the studio to work on new material in the near future and with tour plans in the works, Leo and Ethan from the band kindly agreed to this interview to chat social media, dream shows and advice for upcoming artists.
PW: Please introduce yourselves.
The Chordaes: We are Leo Sawikin and Ethan Glenn, founders of The Chordaes. Leo is the songwriter and frontman; Ethan is the drummer. We’ve been playing music together since high school.
PW: How would you sum yourselves and your music up in a few words?
LS: Musically complex, but accessible.
PW: Which bands and artists did you grow up listening to and how did they influence you? Have such influences changed over the years?
LS: I grew up listening to artists like The Cure, The Beatles, David Gray, Coldplay, and The Strokes. I'm sure I have been influenced by them subconsciously. In recent years, I have found myself more drawn to artists like Brian Wilson, Radiohead, and Todd Rundgren. I still love the Beatles, though!
PW: When did you first realize you wanted to be part of the music industry?
LS: When I was in fourth grade, I saw School of Rock, and I knew that that was what I had to do.
PW: Is there a band or artist out there you might say you're similar to?
LS: I would say we don't have any contemporaries who really sound like us. If I were to compare our sound to any artist, it would probably be Todd Rundgren.
PW: Tell me about your latest release "Get The Feeling". How would you sum it up?
LS: “Get the Feeling” isn't really about anything specific. I just was feeling good one day and wrote a song about it.
PW: The track is taken from the album Touch The Ground. Could you pick a favorite track on the collection?
LS: “Cry Another Day,” is the one I’m most proud of.
PW: How easy/hard do you find the song-writing process, and who/what most inspires you?
LS: Song-writing can be either easy or hard depending on the day.
Writing music has always come very naturally to me. I tend to need a bit more time when it comes to writing lyrics. I'm inspired by emotions that come up — when I think about girls, when I reflect on my past, and also when
I see things in the world that aren't the way they should be.
PW: Which song, in your opinion, is the greatest ever written and why?
LS: “God Only Knows” is the greatest song ever written. There is such an overwhelming amount of brilliance packed into under three minutes. The chord progression of the song leads itself into a different key and then gently brings it back to the original key with incredible subtlety more so than any song I've ever heard.
PW: If you could play one venue anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?
LS: If we could play anywhere it would probably be MSG. It was where I saw my first concert, and it's always been a symbol of success to us.
PW: If you could share a stage with four other bands or artists, who can be living or dead, who would they be and why?
LS: If I could share the stage with any two people, it would probably be Brian Wilson because he's my biggest influence, and his validation would mean more than anything in the world to me. Also, I would love to play with George Harrison if he were alive. I think his guitar sound would work very well with some of our songs!
EG: Levon Helm and Bruce Springsteen. Levon is one of my favorite drummers, and Bruce is one of my favorite performers.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media, and do you agree that it's a necessary tool for bands and artists today?
LS: Personally, I think social media is taking the mystery out of life. A person shouldn't feel like they have to share every single activity they engage in with everyone in the world. People are constantly taking life in through screens rather than their own eyes. That being said, if a musician wants to make it in this business, they need to be prepared to use social media frequently. In this day and age, trying to fight your way into the music scene without social media would be like trying to fight a war with swords against men armed with machine guns.
PW: What does the rest of the year have in store for you?
LS: More live shows, and then we hope to get back into the studio with some new material we’re really excited about.
PW: Finally, then, what's your ultimate ambition as a band, and what advice would you give to anyone looking to make it in the industry?
LS: We wanna be the very best like no one ever was! My advice to young musicians would be to find and hold on to the people who are as committed to the project as you are.
Check out the video for "Get The Feeling" below, and, for more information on The Chordaes, visit their website, give their page a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Their album Touch The Ground is available now on iTunes.