We came across The Chordaes earlier this year with the release of their recent music video for “What Do You Want From Me” and it was love at first listen. It is filled with a wonderfully balanced melody and complex chord progressions that is magical. In awesome twist of fate, we were given the amazing opportunity to chat with the lead singer and founding member of The Chordaes, Leo Sawikin. Check out what he had to say about the band, the album, In Itinere, and more. Enjoy!
Lemonade Magazine: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, Leo! Most of our readers are just getting to know your band, so tell us a little bit about your history and how you came up with the band name!
Leo Sawikin: Ethan [Glenn] and I met in middle school and started playing around the city in high school. We grew the band in NYC, locally, and went through many small shows and a member changes until we got it right. We are in a groove right now, growing as a band with Nick [McFly], Dan [Corbert] and Kevin [Foley]. As for our name, Chordaes – also called heart strings – are very delicate membranes inside the heart that expand and contract as it beats. Their support keeps the heart from turning itself inside out when it contracts.
LM: That is a pretty sweet name! Your latest EP, In Itinere, is a refreshing reminder of what melodic rock truly is. What inspired the band’s sound?
LS: This album’s sound is inspired by songs written and arranged by The Wrecking Crew, Brian Wilson, The Funk Brothers, and some alternative rock influences like Radiohead and The Cure. A lot of people have said that we sound Beatle-esque and I take that as an extreme compliment. I strive for the most intricately well-crafted chord structures that I can come up with over melodies that are much more simple by comparison.
LM: Well, you have succeeded and it shows your creativity and innovation. I read a quote from the band stating, “People are hungry for real music again.” Can you expand on this?
LS: More and more bands are emerging that are throwbacks to a time when musicianship and songwriting came first. It is encouraging as an artist that autotune and manufactured ‘talent’ is on the decline.
LM: We completely agree with your sentiment. I also had a chance to check out the video for “What Do You Want From Me”. What was the experience like making this video?
LS: Shooting the video for “What Do You Want From Me” was a great experience. The band did a day of shooting at this club in the East Village. All the other scenes were shot elsewhere when we were not there by the director, Phil Harder (Incubus, Nada Surf). We love the way it came out.
LM: You have been playing a lot of shows in and around New York. Any chance you plan on heading west in 2018?
LS: We would love to come out to the West Coast! We’re hoping to make it out there for a few shows by the start of the summer. There is a lot we want to see and do over there we talk about it all the time. We even have a song called “California” on In Itinere.
LM: Hopefully you are able to hit up Seattle! Looking forward to it! Thanks again!
Check out the premiere of the music video for the holiday favorite, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” by The Chordaes below and pick up the EP, In Itinere, on iTunes now!
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