When did you guys start playing your respective instruments? Are your parents musical?
My brothers Jake and Matt are only 13 months apart in age, and started playing music when they were very young. They played garage rock in venues around our hometown before they were in high school. Matt was like 3 feet tall. I’m the youngest and was an artsy kid. The band needed a drummer, so I filled that spot when I was 13. My low- tops were perfect for drumming, because of the flat sole. The guys were cool enough to let me sing and play original songs.
Our father is very musical, although he practices law for a living. Our parents first met at one of his gigs when they were teenagers. They owned a DJ company together as a young married couple. We grew up with guitars in the basement and lots of vinyl albums.
That’s awesome having supportive parents, how much of a difference did that make in your musical journey?
It’s made all the difference, really. We couldn’t ask for more supportive people in our lives. Our younger sister Rose is amazing, too. She’s the first person I play new songs to- she’s fifteen and has a great ear. We also have many family friends that are musicians and have totally inspired us.
How vibrant a music scene does Minneapolis have? Is it a good place for a young band?
Minneapolis is an excellent place to grow up, both as a human being and as a band. The city is great, because young musicians can get on stages here and get support. There are many encouraging musicians, and Minnesotans are just nice.
What brought you guys to The Grammy Camp? How did that experience affect you musically and beyond?
A family friend encouraged us to audition for Grammy Camp. The camp was in its first year and was new and exciting for everyone there. Teenagers from all over the U.S. went to Los Angeles to experience many aspects of the music industry. We were in the singer/songwriter and instrumentalist groups, so we recorded in a great studio, were loaned amazing instruments and stayed up until 2 a.m. jamming every night. It was heaven. We left inspired and empowered to pursue music.
Did you guys play in bands before you played as a group together?
Jake and Matt have always played music together in one form or another. When I was nine two friends and I were a girl group for a day or two. I think we were going for TLC meets the Spice Girls.
How is it playing in a band with your brothers and sisters? I’m sure you get asked it all the time, but how does that shape your music?
How being siblings shapes our music- that’s a great question. The band’s sound is definitely a mix of our three different personalities. Matt is influenced by alternative rock, especially from the late 90s… Jake is really into singer/songwriters… I’m all over the map. We don’t sugar coat opinions with one another- we can be brutally honest as siblings.
That’s a really mature way of approaching a notoriously difficult business for people so young. Do you guys write the parts together or split them up?
Oftentimes I’ll play the others a song that’s almost done, and we finish it together. Once you play a new song for the rest of the band, it opens the box to everyone’s input. Sometimes Matt plays a guitar riff and we start jamming on drums and bass and creating a song around it- that’s really fun. Matt likes to point out that the lyrics about young men are all mine.
What are our plans for the immediate future? Are you touring and recording?
Yes and yes! We are heading on a national tour this summer. We’ve written many new songs since releasing our album “Field Day” in 2009, and hopefully will record this summer.
Any advice for younger musicians trying to get started?
I think that great songwriting is at the heart of great music, so go for it. Also, just play a lot!
Photos by Collin Hughes and Lee Cherry