You guys. We don’t think you truly understand how much we’re into Andrew Miller and Ben Richards, a.k.a. The Electric Sons. They have more than just catchy hooks and pristine sound production, they have that something that most bands spend all their lives trying to chase down. So naturally, we caught up with the guys behind the dangerously infectious tunes to discover just what that something is all about. If you didn’t know already, ELS submitted their music to us just as we were hunting for the perfect song to feature in our Fall Lookbook video. It happened as if by fate, it was the night before the lookbook shoot and we were frantically searching through our emails. When we had just about given up all hope, there ELS was in all their electronically synthesized glory to save the day. We’ve done enough
gushing talking for them this past week though, so we think it’s best you get to know them a little better with their own words. So without further ado, may we present to you: The Electric Sons.
TS: Quick, say the first word that comes to mind.
Ben: Bats. Because I was watching Planet Earth this morning.
Andrew: Sean Connery. Because awesome.
TS: Now let’s get real. How did “The Electric Sons” come to be? How did you guys meet?
Andrew: Real talk– We met at the Savannah College of Art and Design in balmy Savannah, Georgia. We were in a music theory class together, I had a guitar and Ben was on the keys. There was an assignment that everyone had to write a song and perform it for the class, and he really liked mine and I really liked his. We started writing together and the rest is history. It’s a very sweet story.
TS: How would you describe your music? What sets your music apart from other bands?
Andrew: That is the hardest question to answer. It’s tough because we are so close to our music. When you write music you’re dealing with the songs on a molecular level, and sometimes this makes it hard to see the whole picture. The best way to get to know our music is to listen to it, people!
Ben: I think it’s good that we’ve never really found a genre title that gives the full story. A genre contains your music, and I don’t really want to take boundaries into consideration. But if you’re pushing me for a description, it’s sort of a crazy mash-up of electronic and pop elements over a tricked-out beat.
TS: Has music always been your calling? What gravitates you more towards electronic music?
Ben: For each of us the answer is yes, but for a long time we didn’t KNOW it was our calling. For me, music had always been such a private place but as I got older I started wanting other people to hear it. It took a while for me to realize I could do it for a living.
Andrew: Yes for me too. I just remember at the end of each day feeling a sense of relief to go home and be solitary with my guitar for a while. As far as electronic music, I have no idea really. I was always the overly emotional guy at coffee shops with his guitar, but this music allows me to try being someone else. I enjoy working with sounds that are foreign and can be crafted. Every time we find a new sound it’s like discovering music again.
Ben: I think the draw of electronic music comes from two places. One– just the staggering amount of things that can be done musically. Two– I’m really comfortable in front of a computer. I grew up during the blossoming of the Internet, so the digital workspace is a really familiar place to be creative.
TS: Your all-time role models (doesn’t have to be music related)?
Andrew: I would have to say John Mayer and Chris Martin. There is something really genuine about the music those two make. John is really eloquent with what he says in his songs. Chris has this delightful, almost whimsical way of creating lyrics that are emotional and real. I can’t listen to Coldplay and not feel something.
Ben: Aaahhh… a lot of my friends are my role models. You wouldn’t know them but they’re really awesome people.
TS: What inspires you guys keep doing what you’re doing?
Ben: There’s an intrinsic reward in putting together a song that I can’t get anywhere else. It’s a productive addiction.
Andrew: Other people’s creativity– music, movies, etc. When I see someone being creative I want to create something too.
TS: Any recent music finds? Feel free to suggest any artist recommendations.
Andrew: Starfucker (or STRFKR for the kiddies). The Black Keys did a little known project called Blakroc that I love. I’ve been listening to a lot of Louie Armstrong recently. The guy’s incredible. Most of all I can’t wait for Phoenix’s new album.
Ben: Reptar. Imagine Dragons. Stepdad. Kimbra. Jack White’s new album.
TS: We’ve read that Andrew used to be an illustrator for the FX show Archer, could we expect some awesomely gnarly illustrated music videos in the future?
Ben: Yes, absolutely.
TS: What do you enjoy most about performing?
Andrew: When I get on-stage, I’m no longer Andrew. I get to do things I couldn’t do in the real world. Performing gives me an opportunity to jump around, sing, and say how I feel in front of people who really connect with our music. It’s the best kind of therapy you could ask for. I love it.
Ben: Yeah, it’s that feeling of going completely crazy in front of a massive crowd of people and everybody’s with you.
TS: Creating music and performing…do you guys prefer one over the other?
Andrew: I refuse to choose. I want that on a t-shirt.
Ben: They’re sort of two sides of the same coin. Writing in-studio is very tranquil for me, very calm and peaceful. Performing is the opposite– nerves, excitement and energy. You need both to stay balanced.
TS: What were your goals as a band when you first came together? Do they still remain the same?
Ben: Good question… I think we started out very much beginner songwriters, so we always wanted to push ourselves towards writing better music than we did the day before. That’s still very much where our head’s at.
Andrew: This is our first E.P. and we’re making more and more music. My goal is to keep reaching for the stars. I know I may never actually arrive, but trying to get there is the best part. Being a little unsatisfied is the best way to stay motivated to improve.
TS: Whenever you are conscious of the public eye, how important is appearance as far as fashion goes? Do you both have your own style?
Andrew: Ha ha ha, we do our best. We need someone who can pick stuff out for us. That’s how you know you’ve made it. I’ve got a pretty good eye for awesome shoes, though.
Ben: We try to make sure the people who come to our shows have something cool to look at. I grew up with my brother’s hand-me-downs, which geared me towards becoming a thrift store kid. I guess I like the unique stuff, a shirt with a story.
TS: What has been the toughest thing about being in a band? What has been the most rewarding?
Ben: The hardest thing was figuring out what the hell we were going to name this band. The most rewarding is seeing more and more people at our shows.
Andrew: It can be tough to have a life outside of the band. The more opportunities we get, the more time we spend in studio or on the road. But it’s all part of the job and I’m getting better at balancing stuff.
TS: Before we let you go, any new projects/shows coming up? Is an LP on its way? If so, do tell us about it!
Andrew: We’re headed to NYC for a blog appearance on Sept. 19th and then we’re in Boston to play CollegeFest on September 22nd.
Ben: We’ve got a lot of really good songs in the workshop right now, too– this next set of tunes is going to be even better than the EP. We’ll have to see whether it’ll be a digital release, EP, LP, or album. We might even be releasing a single in the near future. Stay tuned!
And if you’re anywhere NEAR the vicinity of Boston (for instance, the moon is too far), you should check ELS out at College Fest this weekend. (Sept 22, on at 3:30pm)
Introducing awesome people, one interview at a time,
Teresa and Melissa