The Greeting Committee, 4/9/16
The Greeting Committee is an up-and-coming Kansas City-based band. They are signed to Harvest Records, which also features artists such as Glass Animals and Best Coast. They played SXSW and are playing Lollapalooza 2016. I go to a lot of shows, I’ve interviewed a ton of bands over the years. The Greeting Committee has something special. Their well-crafted indie rock and joyous live performances are gaining them fans nationwide.The future is bright for this band. The Greeting Committee features guitarist and lead singer Addie Sartino, bassist Pierce Turcotte, guitarist Brandon Yangmi, and drummer Austin Fraser. I recently sat down with the band to discuss the insanity of SXSW, signing with Harvest and their creative process.
I’m here with the legendary Greeting Committee here, up-and-coming, soon to be legendary, in my opinion, but they already know that. How did you all get started?
Addie: I wrote and performed music as a solo artist and I decided that it wasn’t fulfilling enough. I’d previously written music with Brandon Yangmi, our guitar player. When it came time to make a band, I knew he was the first person to call and from there he got Pierce Turcotte, our bass player, and Austin Fraser, our drummer.
Your EP, It’s Not All That Bad, is out now and doing well. You’re getting radio play, you’re really growing. How does your song writing process work? Do you start with lyrics first, melody first?
Brandon: Usually, it starts off with the music. Someone will bring an idea, me, Pierce or even Addie. One of us will bring an idea and we’ll kind of build it off of that. Usually, it’s like one idea and bringing in the rest of the band. We then mold it together as a whole band. We just kind of jam on stuff. Then, lyrics go on the top of the music that we’ve already written.
You guys really dig into your songs and that’s a beautiful thing to see. You’re really focused and I see a lot of bands that are not focused. You guys are locked in and that’s awesome. How often do you find yourselves writing?
Addie: Writing is more of a continuous project. It’s harder to write while we’re on the road. Since we’ve been on the road a short amount of time, it’s not that difficult. I would say writing is a continuous process and not something that we take breaks from. If we have an idea, we go with it. If not, we don’t put pressure on that.
That’s the thing about being creative, you just have to let it flow. You guys are signed to Harvest Records. How did you get hooked up with him? How did that happen?
Addie: The first email we got was from Republic Records and then Atlantic Records. After that, we spoke with Lazlo, who’s our manager, and he kind of made the connection with Harvest. He’s been best friends with Jacqueline, who is the general manager. They’ve been close for about 20 years or so. After having meetings with Republic, Atlantic and Harvest, it was just kind of clear which one was the best fit for us personally. Harvest just felt like home.
That’s awesome. There are some heavy hitters on Harvest, Best Coast and Glass Animals. These guys are melting kid’s faces off. You’re going to melt their faces off too. Have you guys started tracking your debut album yet? Are you writing right now?
Pierce: We have been writing, but not tracking anything.
Austin: We haven’t recorded anything, but we have been getting ideas and stuff. I think we’re going to record it over the summer. We haven’t recorded anything yet.
The Greeting Committee, 4/9/16
Do you have favorite quoted motto that you live by?
Addie: Peyton Marek and I, she’s our tour manager, we just say, “Be a girl boss,” all the time. I don’t know if that works for the guys. I don’t know if they have their personal motto.
Austin: “I like Dirt.”
You’ll be seeing those boys soon enough. Are you pumped for Lollapalooza?
Addie: I am really excited for Lollapalooza. A lot of my favorite artists that I haven’t gotten a chance to see, like Daughter is on the same day as us. I am really excited for that.
Austin: I’m glad you got the “I Like Dirt” reference. Did you notice us go into it when we played MGMT’s) “Kids?”
Yeah, I did catch that. It was nice. You had a spacey jam segment.
Pierce: I just wanted someone to catch the “I like Dirt.”
You did throw it in there. You’re loose enough too that it works. You guys are really in the moment live. It’s all about being good live. You’re going to rip Lollapalooza apart. Did you enjoy South by Southwest too?
Pierce: Yes, it was a lot of fun.
Austin: South by Southwest was insane. It was definitely a new experience. Besides the venues, just the whole city and the people. It was a great experience. We got treated really nicely. We played a Stubb’s Showcase where a notable artist, Charli XCX, was playing outside. That was a really fun performance. Everything was really fast paced. I’m glad we only dd two shows because I felt like if we did more, then there would have been a lot of things that we wouldn’t be prepared for.
You don’t get burned out. I know people that have done like 12 showcases. They feel like they’re going to die. I went a few years back. You feel great, but you’re falling asleep at the Korean taco truck. It’s like a Hunter S. Thompson music fest put on by Taco Bell. I’m watching Youth Lagoon and people in flannels are shoveling Taco Bell in their faces. It was confusing.
Brandon: That’s the life. People go down to South by Southwest just to sell stuff. They know tons of people will be down there.
So many voices all shouting. What advice would you give to the artists who just starting out? You guys are still young and you got the future in front of you.
Brandon: We are still starting out.
Addie: Play as many shows as you possibly can. You’re never too good or too above anything. Just play music and have fun doing it.
Austin: Practice a lot. Chemistry in the band is one of the most important things for a band.
Pierce: There can be very special things about each individual, but it’s also important how everyone kind of gets together and kind of bonds with the music too. Put in the work and stay humble.
Austin: I think it’s also important to really show off your individuality in the music too, because everyone comes from a different backgrounds. I think it is very important.
Brandon: You shouldn’t set roles for yourself. You shouldn’t be like, “No one else is doing this, I probably shouldn’t do it.” You should do do whatever you feel like you want to do.