We got to chat with an indie band based in Los Angeles, California known as Family of the Year early this month before their hitting the road for music festivals across the country.
Where did the name Family of the Year come from?
Like most bands, we were trying to find a name for our band. We were kind of stressing out about it and we were drawing names out of a hat. Family of the Year was put into the hat because it was a phrase that was going around because we had a song called “Family of the Year” that we never released. It was about the perfect family and how even though a family seems perfect on the outside, most perfect families have skeletons in their closet. So, that was kind of where the idea came from and we picked that out of a hat.
How did the band form?
Joe, James and I moved to Los Angeles from Boston about six years ago together with a different band. We just kind of snowballed over time and met everybody. We were actually all just friends first and we weren’t playing in a band at that time. We just started playing music for fun late at night : we’d cover songs and we’d mess around. Then, we started playing original music, booked a concert and just went from there!
How are you guys different from other bands?
I hope that when people see us in concert or meet us in person, we come off as just being really real. We don’t really put on any “act”, we just try to express ourselves as best as we can.
Which artists influence your band?
I think a lot of our influences are the classic singer-songwriters from the 60’s and 70’s, a lot of mix from the Britpop of the 90’s. It’s kind of all over the place because we listen to everything: like folk and country sometimes. We just listen to all sorts of stuff.
What inspires you to write?
Each other, our friendships, our experiences we share together, our hopes, our dreams and fears.
Which album/EP is your favourite? Why?
I really like Loma Vista. I feel like it’s the first thing we’ve done that really shows who we are as a group of people and how we play as well. The other ones were kind of bits and pieces of songs and ideas that we put together to create an album. This one we wrote and recorded them all with an album in mind. So, it’s more cohesive and the whole album hopefully has more of a general feeling to it.
What is your single “Hero” about?
It’s almost like an anti-hero song. There are a lot of undertones of love and fear in it. It’s also a strong song and it’s almost like a liberation of realizing that it’s okay to not be what everyone wants you to be.
Speaking about singles, will you be releasing another one soon
Yeah, “St. Croix” is going to be the next single. It’s already being played on the radio in the States and it’s coming out soon.
What are you most excited for this summer?
Very excited to play festivals. We’re playing in Downsview Park with fun. and Tegan and Sara. I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to Lollapalooza in Chicago.
What’s different about touring and playing in festivals?
In festivals, you get to see so many bands that you love at once, drinking beer during the daytime and just the whole general festivity of it all.
What do you have planned after your summer festivals?
We’re going to be on tour all fall until November with Atlas Genius; we’re going to be touring for months and months!
What’s a regular day like for Family of the Year when you’re on tour?
Wake up, try to find some healthy food somewhere, do interviews, go to soundcheck, get dinner, have a beer, get loose and then we get ready for our show and it gets pretty routine. Afterwards, we go out and have a good time in the city because it’s amazing to be in all these cities.
What are the pros and cons of touring?
Missing all your friends and family and not really having a home. We’ve been on tour for two years straight, so none of us have homes. All of our stuff is in storage spaces. But on the other side, we get to see all these cities together; you’re travelling with your best friends. I feel so fortunate; it’s the best job in the world!
What do you absolutely need to bring on tour with you?
Dental floss and socks.
List three songs from your playlist?
“Carry On” by fun., “Closer” by Tegan and Sara and “San Francisco” by The Mowgli’s.
Check out Family of the Year new single “St Croix” below!