Q&A with Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
One could say the timing was right for the members of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros to have reached the level of success they have now. Since becoming a band in 2005, they have garnered a large internet fan base, captivated the Australian indie scene, and seen great commercial success with their songs “Home” and “Janglin” appearing in the feature film “Cyrus” and the 2011 Ford Fiesta commercial respectively. Their full length album, Up From Below, broke the Billboard top 100.
With continued success and another Australian tour on the way, guitarist Christian Letts took time out of his busy schedule to talk with Associate Editor Hannah Marney over the phone.
The Blue Indian (Hannah Marney): So what is it like touring with band this size? Does everyone travel on the tour?
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: It’s all I’ve ever really known. The other bands I’ve been with didn’t really travel much so it seems pretty normal to me.There are ten people who travel, but we have other people who show up where they can. Sometimes, we have fourteen people on stage.
TBI: You guys have traveled all over but where is your favorite place to play?
ES & TMZ: Going to New Orleans is always great. We played “When The Saints Go Marching In” and the whole crowd started singing with us. It was amazing. Australia is definitely one of our favorite spots.
TBI: So what is your favorite kind of venue to play? Big? Small?
ES & TMZ: Each venue is great for different reasons, but I like the intimate shows, the really hot sweaty intimate shows.
TBI: You like feeling the energy off the crowd?
ES & TMZ: Yeah, you know there is something about everybody sweating in a room together that makes it feel like one giant movement of everybody’s spirit together. You are kind of all touching each other. We had a show in Australia that was in a room made of recycled wood. There were about 500 people in there, but you could see the water line on the walls from everybody sweating in the room and where it was dry. It was amazing.
TBI: Changing it up a bit, you have known lead singer Alex for quite a while haven’t you?
ES & TMZ: Yes, since we were three.
TBI: So have you dabbled in music together before?
ES & TMZ: Yeah, we have always messed around with stuff.
TBI: So while on tour, what’s playing on your mp3 player?
ES & TMZ: I have been listening to a lot of Old Crow Medicine Show lately. I love listening to that. I really like Mumford and Sons too. He’s My Brother She’s My Sister is a fantastic band.
TBI: Where are they from?
ES & TMZ: L.A.
TBI: We don’t get L.A. bands as much here but we’d love for you guys to play a show here sometime.
ES & TMZ: Sure, we played in Savannah not long ago and I really love the South. Charleston blew my mind. Oh man, there is so much history there. It’s incredible.
TBI: So do you listen to southern music?
ES & TMZ: Oh, yeah, but we all listen to so many types of music. There are ten different tastes traveling with us. We take musical influence from everything. Someone will be listening to something different and pass it on to the next person, saying “Ah dude, you should check that out,” and it spreads.