written by Teyquil Skelton
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Noah Sierota of Echosmith and I have nothing but genuine and sincere respect for him and the band. We began our conversation about California and its beautiful weather in comparison to the changing temperature in the Northeast. I asked what season best represents Echosmith and Sierota explained, “California has its moments.” Sometimes it can be 80 degrees for a week and sometimes the temperature can drop as low as 60 degrees or so.
Sierota also said that he’s aware of other people living in other places that’s not California, who may have experiences with 60 degree weather who feels that it’s quite nice, but to him, being from Chino that point of degree is a little cold.
The band recently released their sophomore record, Lonely Generation, following their debut album for Warner Bros. Records, Talking Dreams. I asked if there was a specific song from either their debut or sophomore record that had them thinking about a life lesson.
Sierota began, “‘Cool Kids’ is still a song that I connect with.” He explained that he wasn’t one of the ‘cool kids’ in high school and often experienced anxiety as a result of worrying about what others thought of him. He continued, “it kept me from opening up, interacting with other people and connecting.” Sierota noted that it can be damaging to mental health when you find yourself in these struggles.
The song “Cool Kids” captures that want and desire of being accepted, loved, respected and appreciated and as we all know, anyone who is a ‘cool kid’ receives that undoubtedly. In many cases, high school is a popularity contest.
Sierota stated the song has been incredibly well-received since its debut in May 2013. He added that by performing the song “Cool Kids” at their shows, they have been able to help others have a voice, and share their struggles. He added that being content with yourself and learning to love and accept who you are is a challenge worth giving a go at.
We continued the conversation and I asked if the band had any experiences showing the possibility of a lonely generation existing. Sierota briefly spoke of the difference between having and not having access to social media and what it is to find balance for both.
Sierota wanted to bring attention to just how much we unconsciously rely on social media, how much we’re thinking and talking about it, how much we spend on it, etc. In some ways, it most likely contributes to mental health issues, as it can become like an addiction.
It’s incredibly important to be mindful of it and aware how we perceive ourselves online. Sierota encourages people to be open to having a conversation about social media so that we can detect when social media is helpful and when it can become problematic.
The next question was what record represents the meaning of world peace to Echosmith. Sierota mentioned Paul Simon’s album, Graceland, and how his story emerges through other stories is something really moving and beautiful. It plays with the tension and problematic issues that occur in our lives and the world, Sierota explains.
The cries, the hurt, the pain, the suffering are all things we experience in this thing called life and on the Graceland album Paul Simon expresses that by sharing with us his scars and battle wounds without shame. Sierota also loves that it was recorded in South Africa with South African musicians.
That, to Sierota, was a representation of world peace by engaging with other cultures from different parts of the world. You didn’t see much of that in the 80’s and for something to take place in that time and era was a pretty big step to making change in our society.
What an insightful time spent with Sierota talking about music, growth, awareness, love and world peace and getting to know him as a person and not just the musician alone.
It’s always an honor and privilege when you discover other sides of a person in a positive, interesting and exquisite way aside from their profession.
It’s comforting to know that when you’re invited into someone’s world, there are no hats worn. It’s just them in human form and they’re just as eager to open and receive as you are to give. That’s what I got from this interview and I must say that I’m a lucky charm in that regard in having a chance to experience it.
Be sure to grab the new album, Lonely Generation, out now! Catch Echosmith live tonight, Saturday, February 15 at World Café Live.