Catch up with Leo Sawikin of New York-based post-power-pop band The Chordaes and watch the video for their single, "Get The Feeling", off the band's debut full length album, Touch The Ground, out now.
What brought you all together?
Leo: I think the thing that made me want to start music, back when I was ten years old, is when I saw School Of Rock. A friend of mine saw it and suggested to me that we should start a band and this was when I was very little, I had no idea that I could be any good at music or anything like that, but I met Ethan a few years later and somebody mentioned that he played the drums and ever since then I had been looking for somebody to be in a band with and so me and Ethan started playing together and we really clicked. Then, Jesse came onboard about 2014 I think, right after we had recorded our first round of recordings, and I found him through somebody online. And then, Max was just less than a year ago; he was just at a show and he really liked it and we were looking for a keyboard player.
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
I'd say that the most profound influence any one artist has had on me would have to be Brian Wilson; I just feel like there's really no one else out there who has songs that sound quite like him. I've always been very, very inspired by the incredible chord progressions and the amazing production and I feel like, with The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, I can't think of another group where more thought goes into those two things and I want to try and model this project on that as much as I possibly can.
How would you describe your sound?
It's basically a hybrid of music like that that's very composed with very complex chord progressions but it also has aspects of heavier rock bands with more guitar based things. I write everything on guitar so, that being said, my songs all tend to have a little bit more of a power-pop vibe to them, like The Raspberries or Todd Rundgren or something. So, I'd say it's sort of in those worlds, with a little bit of modern influence from bands like Radiohead.
What were your inspirations behind your last single "Get The Feeling"?
I wouldn't say it's about anything specific, it's just, I woke up one day and I felt very, very good and these words just came to my head, a melody and everything. I'd say that the song that it reminds me of the most is this song called "I Wanna Be With You" by The Raspberries, so I sort of used that as a template. I wanted a song that would lean much more to the pop and rock side and less to the more softer things.
Could you tell us more about your debut album Touch The Ground?
It's a pretty mellow album in terms of there aren't too many heavy songs on it. People who have listened to it have told me that they think it's very mellow, relaxing, something to listen to on a day at the beach or something. But, really, it's different for everybody who experiences it, so I don't really know how to describe it.
Could you sum up that album in one sentence?
I called it 'Touch The Ground' because the place that I was in at the time was just the place of coming to terms with growing up and understanding the world as an adult and what life would be like and so, honestly, to me, it's just about being young.
Is there a track off that album you're most excited for people to be hearing?
Yes! I'm very excited for people to hear the song "Cry Another Day". There's something very special about it.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
I hope that when people listen to my music that it gives them a, for lack of better words, a sort of a spiritual experience but one that's not difficult to engage with and is easy to process so that you can remember it.
Is there anything you want to add?
Just follow us [laughs], check out our video on YouTube.