Echosmith first caught my attention this past summer at Warped Tour. I was blown away by sixteen-year-old frontwoman Sydney Sierto and her equally talented band of siblings, whose ages range from fourteen to twenty years old. This family band crafts a unique brand of dreamy, indie pop and has been generating a ton of buzz, from opening for Owl City earlier this year to snagging the coveted iTunes Single of the Week for “Cool Kids” this week.
These troubadours released their full-length debut, Talking Dreams, on Warner Brothers Records this week, and on the eve of its release, Sydney sat down with the LA Music Blog to discuss her unique position in the music scene, her hopes for the new album, and the band’s “The Other Side Tour” this fall (where you can catch them perform with Tonight Alive at The Roxy on November 19th!).
You are way cooler than I was at sixteen. What is it like to be performing and touring at such a young age, especially in Los Angeles, which is such a competitive market?
I don’t know anything different. I have friends who just hang out and don’t know what they’re going to do with their lives, which is fine…it’s rare to know what you want to do so young. It makes me thankful that I already know what I want to do for my entire life. It’s very relieving. [laughs]
Being so young and doing this is the best. It’s a fun way to grow up. I’m only sixteen, so I have a lot of growing to do, and I’m doing it on the road while meeting thousands of people. It’s the coolest way to grow up.
I’d imagine you grow up a lot faster doing it that way.
I think that might be the case. We’ll see. [laughs]
When I was in a band, everyone thought I was the merch girl or a girlfriend. What’s it like being a female frontwoman?
[laughs] That’s pretty funny you say that ’cause I see that happen. People have very interesting views on girls, especially girls in bands. It’s like, “A girl can’t load their own gear.” I mean, it’s nice when people offer to load my stuff, but sometimes when I want to fix my monitor and turn it a certain way, people are like, “Wait, I can do it!” and I’m like, “It’s fine. I can do it. It’s just a monitor!”
That’s what I see being a girl; it’s just people being nice, though, and wanting to help. I haven’t gotten the girlfriend thing, not yet at least. People in interviews will ask me if I’m dating any of the guys in the band, and I’m like, “Nope, I’m related to them! That’d be weird!”
What is it like being in a band with your siblings? I know they were overprotective on Warped Tour.
I love it. I think it helps that we all genuinely like each other. Obviously we have our moments and fight, but any band is going to have that. I think it’s great and things work because we’re on the same page musically and lyrically. That’s another advantage we have because we all listened to the same music growing up. We’ve known each other fourteen years. Not every band has that. It’s funny, they are a little protective sometimes, especially band guys. They get very worried, but I think they trust me, so it’s fine.
Speaking of music, your debut album comes out tomorrow! I know it took two years to write and even longer to pare down. How are you feeling on the eve of its release and what do you hope is the response?
I can’t believe it. It’s funny because it’s something you spent so much time on and invested so much energy in. It’s something you love and you are so proud of and finally the world is going to hear it. It’s an interesting thing, especially because we love this album. It’s crazy we can love our first album.
I’m excited, but I don’t know what to expect. You never know, but luckily we are all happy with where we’re at right now, so it doesn’t matter. I mean, of course we’d love for it to be huge, but we’re all super happy with how it’s going now and how much it’s connecting with fans we have now, so it’s fine no matter what.
Do you have a favorite song? I know that’s a tricky question to answer, but if you could pick one that you’re particularly proud of or excited to play live…?
It’s hard to pick, but “Surround You” or “Tell Her You Love Her” are probably my favorites. I love those songs because they tell stories in different kinds of ways. They both really connect with my heart, and the guys’ too.
“Tell Her You Love Her” might be my favorite because it connects so well with so many people that we perform it for. It’s about taking the opportunity to tell someone — it doesn’t have to be a relationship; it can be a family member or friend — how much you love them and care about them. I don’t think you can ever regret complimenting someone in life. You’re not going to regret saying that rather than the opposite. I think everyone can kind of relate to that song.
Sounds like a great positive message! Coldplay has been one of your number one inspirations. Who else inspires you writing or musically?
Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, all those bands we love. We love that they are so honest with their lyrics. I mean, they’re dark but at least they’re honest. Also, their music doesn’t sound like anything else. You gotta be original in the music industry if you want to make an impact. Those are the big influences, but we also love The Killers and those kinds of bands. We love all sorts of stuff, though.
With those kinds of influences, how would you classify your music? What would you describe it as? It’s rock but not punk or pop. I think it’s much more chill rock.
I think genres are hard. I mean, we’re not straight pop. A lot of people use “alternative pop” or “indie pop,” but I don’t know.
What are you looking forward to with your “The Other Side Tour” this fall?
I’m really excited because For the Foxes and Tonight Alive were both on Warped Tour, and we already hung out with them a ton and watched each other perform all the time. I haven’t seen The Downtown Fiction, but I’ve heard they’re great, so I’m excited to see them.
It’s awesome to tour with people we’ve already toured with because it’s more fun knowing each other and hanging out. I’m also really excited because we have a lot of crossover fans, so it’s going to be really great.
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