Hilltops
Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
  • Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
    Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena
Photos submitted by SUNY Oneonta student Zena

Oneonta Fall Concert 2015:

Exclusive Student Interview with Echosmith

09.22.15

Kayce Savoie


This year, Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta joined together to host the Fall Concert during Labour Day Weekend to both school’s student

bodies.


Students had the opportunity to attend a concert with acts that included Naughty, Oh Honey, Finish Ticket, and the headlining act, Echosmith. The band, consisting of Jamie, Noah, Sydney, and Graham Sierota, has been a family been for close to 10 years and have been touring nearly nonstop since 2013, from Warped Tour to opening for Neon Trees to headlining their own tour. The band was down one member, eldest brother Jamie, who was at home with his wife and new born child.  


Interviewer 1: As a family band, you have fights and tensions rise, how do you deal with that tension?

Noah: I think, I mean we’ve just had years of practice. Cause a lot of bands get into fights and they’re like “How do you do this?” with each other, but thankfully, like, we know how to do that. When you’re siblings, you kinda know how to fight and get over it and kinda go through those kinda stages, like when you’re with people as much as we are you’re going to kind of butt heads a little bit, it’s bound to happen cause we’re with each other a lot, spend a lot of time. But you work through it and find ways to do it better and kinda just do it a humble and joyful kind of sense where you just kind of willing to work something out. Cause if you’re sticking to yourself the whole time then you aren’t going to go very far for sure.


Interviewer 2: So I saw that you guys did a collaboration with Lindsey Stirling, and your voice and her violin together were just beautiful, but I wanted to ask if you could pick any other artist, like in the world, for each of you to do a collaboration with, who would you pick?

Sydney: Eh probably, I’d probably chose Coldplay.

Noah: I think it’d be cool to do something with, like a huge men’s choir from like Russia or something, where they sang ‘Cool Kids.’

Graham: I’d do a collaboration with Against Me.

Sydney: Wow, our answers are all so different. Mine is the one that we always say.


Interviewer 3: I actually had a question specifically for you Sydney, in a lot of your interviews you kind of explain your inspirations and who you take love from, and it’s from a lot of 80s bands, but they’re also predominantly male, so I was just wondering who, for you personally, is your ‘lady leader’, who you take inspiration and courage from?

Sydney: That’s a good question, you know it’s funny cause I always grew up, you know, naturally we would listen to more male-fronted bands from that era, especially that we just are drawn to. But, you know I was never really drawn to those like, I mean I’ve always loved Katy Perry and Taylor Swift, you know what I mean, but growing up I never really had a specific one girl singer that I was like, “Man, I want to be exactly like her.” You know, I would take little things from a community of a whole bunch of different singers and bands and things like that. Like, “Oh I love the way blah blah blah wears her shoes, and that girls dress, and that girl’s voice.” So you know what I mean, it was more like I was inspired by a few, just random people. But, I mean, I know it’s kind of not the best answer, but I never had that one girl I wanted to be exactly like, I think that really has to do with I want to become the girl I always wanted to have to look up to. Because I never thought that there was, especially when I was little, a girl that was modest and could sing really great and could sing the music I liked exactly, and I think it’s still hard to find somebody who’s not naked all the time, so “Well if I can’t find somebody to be that for me, I guess I’ll have to.”


Interviewer 4: We have like a lot of music industry majors here, do you have any advice for them going into the business?

Sydney: Patience is a big thing. You definitely have to wait, and you have to make sure you love it enough to wait, because if you don’t, you’ll get impatient and get bummed out that it hasn’t happened within the six months that you’re trying, or year, two years, cause we have been a band for ten years now, so that’s a while. But anyway, it is a patience game to see who can wait the longest and can continue to do their best the whole time.


Interviewer 5: So you guys didn’t start in it, but you were definitely part of the Warped Tour scene for a bit. You played Warped Tour two years in a row, you were on Tonight Alive’s headlining tour, my question had to do more with, when was the moment you realized you surpassed that scene and transcended into even bigger things?

Noah: I mean for us, Warped Tour when we were first asked to do it, we were all first kind of like, “What, no, we can’t do Warped Tour.” Cause a lot of the bands are, like Tonight Alive, is one of the softer bands, compared to a lot of the other acts that are on it. For us, it was such a foreign concept, and none of us, except for James, had ever even been to Warped Tour, so we didn’t even know the world really, but truthfully, we just started thinking about it more and how this is such a  different kind of world for us to have a bit of a start in. Cause we were able to not be so standing out, we were able to play there and stand out in a way that would make it work, where people would kind of notice the kind of music we were playing, so we played it the first year and it went really well and the second year, we did it again, and it went amazing, and we never felt like we were ‘too big’ for it, but we always saw ourselves as, like we never imagined ourselves in the Warped Tour type of scene kind of band. And we saw it as “We did it, let’s try some other thing, let’s do some other things.” We loved what we got from and the times we had on the tour. I think it’s just cause, from the beginning we didn’t ever think that was our main goal, we didn’t think of it as that, it just ended up being one of those things that went amazing, it was a complete surprise we didn’t really expect at all, so I think it worked out really well.

Interviewer 6: Do you have one experience or one show or maybe a certain memory, that really stands out?

Sydney: I think one of, probably, the best and probably the most significant memories, for me at least, was in Denver, when we heard more than one person sing along to our song, it was ‘Cool Kids’ of course. And it was crazy, I took a video of that and I take a video almost every single show since, and to watch that video of maybe 50 people singing, I was so excited I remember sending it to people at the label being like “Check it out!” and the to look at things now, it’s funny to look back and like that was so small but, it was so significant for us because that was the first time they’d sung along to a song that was written by us. So that definably was a big, big memory, and it’s a fun thing, maybe eventually we can combine all those videos somehow, and we can see the real live progression of, maybe, just that song, which really just signifies where our career has gone in the past two years.


Interviewer 1: What’s your favorite of venue to perform in?

Noah: I think they are all different, I mean, for a lot of people they love a small show cause you can kind of feel the people in the front row and even in the back, so there is a special feeling when you’re playing a club, especially a small one, especially when you’re playing, like, three feet away from someone, like they’re literally at your ankles, so it is an amazing, such a communal feeling. But there is something amazing with playing in front of a giant crowd of thousands and thousands of people, cause it’s like you can feel that massive amount of human beings out in the crowd, singing your song. Even if you can’t touch them in any kind of way, cause they are 15 feet away from you, it is another kind of thing for us. We do enjoy either, and with our career we get to have a balance of all these different kinds of things and we could be playing music at huge festivals in the U.S, and play for a bunch of people, and go to Paris and play a smaller club show there, we these different kinds of shows and environments to play our music in and see how people react, cause either way the people react when they’re enjoying it, not much of the like throwing things at us, as long as that’s not happening, we’re stoked.


Interviewer 2: Following up to that, how was touring Europe and what do you think of Oneonta?

Sydney: Well we haven’t been able to see literally any of it, so you guys are our, how do you say it? One-on-ta experience, so it’s been great! But everyone has been really great, from what I’ve noticed, like a little extra nice, so that’s always cool. And I had never heard of it really until we got asked to do the show.

Noah: I mean it’s beautiful, the trees behind you guys, I keep looking out and like, “Wow!” I feel like I’m in the ‘Sound of Music’ and the weather is nice.


Interviewer 4: So you were on Jimmy Fallon, and I know a lot of people view that as a big step for a lot of fans, what was your experience on that show like?

Sydney: It was great, we played it twice, so that is something that is almost unheard of, but I think the only people that have played twice on one record cycle is us, and his friend, Johnny Marr. It was a big deal that we were able to do it twice. That is one show that we make time to watch, when we can. We’ve always been big fans of him and the show and his humor, and to know he was such a big fan. There was even a schedule conflict the second time we were supposed to do it and he was just so flexible, and they made it work so we could do it. They said “Play whatever song you want, Jimmy just loves you so much, he just wants you to come.” So that was like on our most significant like “What the heck?” But, yeah it definitely, I think did a lot for our career, and just to have support from somebody big enough like that or like Justin Timberlake to see the episode and become a fan because of it, so even despite anybody else, if Jimmy Fallon and Justine Timberlake like it just because of that show, would be a big step.


Interviewer 5: So talking about your careers, are there any lessons that you’ve learned over your 10 years of playing music together?

Sydney: I think we’ve learned really how to adjust to different situations and learning how to, like, be okay even though you might be throwing up all day because you have a virus, but you have to play at night, you know what I mean? Cause that could be really bad if you just don’t show up. I think we’ve only had to cancel like one show ever, and that was just a month ago, and I was just too sick, I didn’t even have a voice. So yeah, I think it is definitely something that teaches you about work ethic and about adjusting not matter what job you do. Whether, you know I hope we are doing music the rest of our lives, but for some reason, voice is gone forever and I have to do something else, it will teach me a lot about how to adjust no matter what and this definitely teaches you how to be okay even if you’re tired or sick or you’re just not used to a different climate or, I don’t know, anything that can happen with being in different parts of the world. We’ve been through just about a lot of it. So it is just something that we have learned, that will probably still relate to everything.


Interviewer 6: What was the inspiration behind your band name?

Noah: We were thinking along the idea of how blacksmiths, and how the shape metals, and we thought of shaping sounds, which is what you do with music anyway and so we created the word Echosmith to mean that.


Interviewer 3: This question is actually for Graham, so you being the youngest, when did you realize, and feel, from going from just playing with your siblings to actually becoming like a full-fledged band trying to make it somehow, how is that perspective for you being the youngest?

Graham: Well I love it, it was so fun. Like I get used to it each time we do it, it’s so fun.

Sydney: It’s funny cause he is right, we definitely get used to it, like the more you do it, the most you get used to it.

Noah: Play as you go kind of thing.

Sydney: Like we have been playing for a long time, but not straight for 10 years, obviously, but the past two, more like three or three and a half years now, we have been going like really straight, and when you are thrown into something where you are nonstop it is easy to get used to, but you know how this challenge is, it’s been great ride. It’s been cool to watch it grow in front of us.

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