Artist Spotlight: The Chordaes
The Chordaes is a New York-based band and features Leo Sawikin (Lead Vocals/Guitars) and high school buddy, Ethan Glenn (Drums) along with Jesse Serrano (Bass), and Max Ventura (Keyboards, Backing Vocals) . Their music is a hybrid of classic rock and power pop and their single, "Get the Feeling" will get you feeling all happy and hopeful inside.
Leo and Ethan have been playing music together since 9th grade. How has that been, working side-by-side, while growing as people and as musicians over the years?
Ethan and I definitely have personalities that complement each other in a lot of ways. He’s more in the moment, while I tend to be inside my head a lot, and he helps pull me out of that. In the six and a half years we’ve been playing together, we’ve definitely learned quite a bit from each other.
Leo, you’ve cited your musical influences being Brian Wilson and Carole King. What do you remember when you were first exposed to this music as a child and what was the impact it had on you?
With The Beach Boys, I was about 19 the first time I really got to focus on and enjoy them. I was so blown away by the beauty of the chords and the production. I must have listened to Pet Sounds and the Smile sessions every day for a month.
Deli Magazine named you guys the No. 1 NY-based emerging alt rock band of 2015 and said, “Elegant melodies, measured arrangements … this is a group of young and talented musicians with noteworthy songwriting chops and a vocalist who can touch hearts in ways reminiscent of unforgotten NYC hero Jeff Buckley.” Wow … a Jeff Buckley comparison! But they’re right. There’s such a beautiful depth to your songwriting – very intelligent and introspective. Are you a prolific songwriter or is it a long process? What/where do you draw from?
Thank you. I would say my process tends to lean to the prolonged side. I like to take my time with my songs to make sure every single component makes sense.
Your single, “Get the Feeling,” is a hit! It’s being heard across the country at retail as it’s the perfect “out and about” song. What was the story behind it?
Get the Feeling isn’t really about anything specific. I just woke up one day feeling very good and decided to write a song about it.
Okay New Yorker ... help me out here:
Best place to see a show in NYC: Good Room in Greenpoint
Best place to shop for music in NYC: The Crate in Bushwick
Best late-night dive to grab a bite after a show in NYC: Great NY Noodletown on Bowery
Best date location/activity in NYC: Threes Brewing in Gowanus
Shameless Plug: What would you like our readers to know?
We really love the video for “Get the Feeling.” It was shot over two days this spring, using all sorts of special effects equipment, and we had a blast with the directors (Chris Antonelli and Tamino Castro) and crew. Plus I got to smash a guitar, which really was kind of satisfying. You can find the video on The Chordaes’ YouTube channel.