Edinburg took a night off making music to sit beside his phone and chat about the band’s debut album and their upcoming Australian tour. Edinburg opens the conversation by explaining that he considers the Internet the reason for the soul revival that his band is benefitting from.
“I feel that with the Internet it has allowed for more types of bands to get out there. Major labels are on the decline because one has to consider that their large corporate structure makes them too slow to react to the constantly changing tastes of the music fans because you can literally cruise through 100 styles and genres in just one evening on a computer!
“That being said however, we came to Stones Throw Records’ attention through a friend passing our music on to another friend,” Edinberg laughs self-effacingly. Stones Throw Records is an LA based label that was established in 1996 by DJ/producer Peanut Butter Wolf but the label has recently skyrocketed in notoriety off the back of Aloe Blacc inroads into the mainstream through his super catchy song I Need A Dollar.
All three members of The Stepkids are supreme musicians in their own right, with Gitelman throwing in the towel as guitarist for Alicia Keys so he could concentrate on writing The Stepkids’ debut album. Recently, the three members’ credentials as backing musicians for major pop artists were used against them by music website Pitchfork.
“It really annoyed me that he tried to pigeonhole us with information about our background that, while being interesting, is not particularly relevant to the band’s sound or success,” Edinberg says. “We’re not just a one album band and I feel that over our career we will prove ourselves as an inspired and varied group. I mean, we have a second album that’s almost done.”
After listening to the album and in particular, the song Suburban Dream, one can’t help but be overwhelmed by the band’s positively drenching harmonies. Edinberg explains that growing up in Connecticut had a major influence on his and his fellow members passion for vocals. “In Connecticut there’s a majorly awesome gospel scene, it’s funny that we’re so into it because two of us are Jewish but we’re very obsessed.”
Explaining the band’s other influences, Edinberg says, “We’re influenced by so many different things, it’s more a general ideas and concepts that inspires us to create music. I mean we’re all hugely into 20th century classical music like Scott Joplin, Strauss and so many others. We wrote an album before this one that is pretty much straight up rock but then the funny thing is that when I was at high school I was into, almost exclusively, soul and R&B so it’s nice now be back into making that style of music.”
He now revisits the topic of their second album, “You know, on this next record we’re going to have a really strong jazz influence, but I’m not talking cheesy easy listening. I mean like jazz that really rocks – you know like Rick James and Prince.I honestly believe that we are fostering something really unique that no-one else is doing right now.”
Capping off our chat, Edinberg expresses his and the band’s excitement to be coming to Australia for shows in January. “I’ve never been to Australia before so I’m super excited to be coming. Jeff our guitarist has been out before with Alicia Keys and he loves it. Hearing that got me so excited to be coming there.”