THE chaps of Origami Crane…
have been talking about their new single, Turn Around, and its story. The New York band reveal how they got together and whether more material is due; their individual career highlights to date; the albums that mean the most to them – they select upcoming artists we should look out for.
I ask them whether there are tour dates booked and the advice they would give to musicians coming through; what it feels like getting up on stage and connecting with an audience – they each select a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey! We’re doing well. It’s been a nice week, getting back to life in N.Y.C. Jake just returned from Japan and Noah just returned from Colorado. The trips were both incredible but we’re excited to be back here working on our upcoming releases.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Jake Fine, Noah Wilson and Max McEwen, A.K.A. Origami Crane. We’re an Indie-Pop band based in New York City. Our music is first and foremost a lot of fun; it’s made for dancing but it also has a lot of heart. We like to describe it as playful, flirtatious and packing a punch for a three-piece band.
Turn Around is your current single. What can you say about its story and background?
Absolutely. Turn Around is based off one of our early experiences in N.Y.C. Long-story-short; Jake met a cute girl at a concert and they hit it off. But, Jake was afraid to ask her out so we (Noah and Max) encouraged him to turn around and go for it because then, in our new lives in N.Y.C., we decided we couldn’t let any opportunities pass us by.
Anyway…Jake got rejected but we got a great song!
What was it like working with Brent Kolatalo and Arthur Indrikovs on the track?
Brent and Art are fantastic to work with and amazing at what they do. It was very humbling to have professionals on our team who have worked with artists such as Ariana Grande, Jay-Z; Calvin Harris, One Direction and more. The tracks wouldn’t be the same without them.
Do you think we might see an album or E.P. next year?
We’ve definitely got more releases on the way so stay tuned!
How did Origami Crane get together? What drew you to one another?
Noah and Jake met week one of their freshman year at Berklee but the real story is how we met Max. We saw him in the local burrito shop in our neighborhood in Boston, wearing his signature trench coat and purple Converse and thought: ‘We need to know that guy!’ Don’t worry; he doesn’t wear either anymore.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Well; the end of 2018 is pretty close. We plan to release Turn Around and two more singles by October and share them as far and wide as we can. Our band is now a little over one year old and we’re still completely independent, doing everything on our own. We are ready and looking for the right people to bring onto our team and help bring O.C. to new audiences.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Jake: One that sticks out to me especially is the recent experience of recording at Quad Recording Studios in Times Square. Tracking guitar and vocals in the same room that many artists I look up to have recorded in (including Coldplay, John Mayer; Beyoncé, Mick Jagger; Bob Dylan and more) - with a view of Time Square to accompany - somehow felt both dreamlike and absolutely natural simultaneously. I felt elated but also that, in a quite simple way, I was exactly where I’m meant to be, doing what I love most.
Max: The drive out to N.Y.C. from Colorado, where we used to live, to start our careers here. While at the time it seemed a little bit like torture, now it’s a bit nostalgic. We towed a trailer that was entirely full of music equipment and was bigger than the van, and weighed it down so much that it looked like the axel would break. Thankfully, it didn’t! But, what did happen was the van overheated and broke down just across the state line into Illinois.
We spent the day at a dealership getting it ‘fixed’ - with the $100 we could spare – then, later, had to sign a waiver that essentially said the car wasn’t safe to drive and that they warned us and weren’t responsible. The rest of the drive was all done at night - so the engine wouldn’t overheat – and in partial delirium from exhaustion. When we finally made it to N.Y.C. we had to move everything into the apartment immediately. We slept for fifteen-hours-straight that night and it still wasn’t enough. Good times.
Noah: One of my favorite memories is actually the single worst gig we ever played. Back in Colorado, we got booked to play in a small mountain town called Eagle. We drove four hours both ways in the dead of winter (and at the time our van was missing a door, so we had it patched up with a tarp and duct tape). We finally arrived to play at a draughty bar in support of an artist - who we won’t name - that treated us very disrespectfully. Despite everything, we played our best and the gig certainly made us closer as a band. It’s times like this when you know that you’re on the right path.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
It’s funny you ask that because, for each of us, our favorite albums aren’t of the genre we play. However, they each influence our sound in many ways…
Jake: Certainly, one of them would be the album Bon Iver by Bon Iver
It was released right as I began a musical education at eighteen and became a cornerstone for my sense of beauty and musicality.
Max: American Idiot by Green Day
Because it came out right as I was starting to play drums and guitar - and my brother and I used to jam on the whole album for hours. It’s what really set me on the path of playing music for fun instead of just for recitals and school.
Noah: If I have to choose one, I’d say This Empty Northern Hemisphere by Gregory Alan Isakov - for its stunning lyrics and soothing arrangements.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
We would want to be the supporting act to Coldplay. Their fanbase is amazing and their music has shaped our sound vastly.
On our rider, we would ask for a case of Colorado’s Left Hand Milk Stout to be included for after every show.
Might we see some tour dates coming up? Where might we be able to catch you play?
We have an upcoming headlining show at The Bitter End in N.Y.C., Sept 21st at 11 P.M. Other than that, we’re in talks but nothing is set in stone in respect to an upcoming tour. We’ll be sure to let you know!
Do you all love being on the stage? What is it like travelling between gigs and bonding with one another?
Being on stage is exhilarating. It’s our favorite place to be. Gigging and traveling together has certainly brought us closer and has done so through both bad and good shared experiences. There’s a certain sense of comradery that is unique to a band and is only cultivated through the feeling of playing and traveling together.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Perseverance is key. Music as an art has so many aspects that are fun and fulfilling but participating in the music industry can be taxing. It requires a certain level of commitment and tenacity and our advice would be to approach your goals with those hardships in mind so you can instil in yourself the ability to overcome them.
IN THIS PHOTO: Skogsrå
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
It depends how new: certainly Skogsrå has been a big influence of ours, despite being lesser-known in the U.S. Sam Wills is an amazing British musician that’s definitely a must. Having just released their new album, Fickle Friends is one of our absolute favorites.
IN THIS PHOTO: Sam Wills
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Well; we all field several jobs in N.Y.C. to keep the finances afloat but, when we do get time off to chill, Max plays a lot of video games; Jake watches anime and Noah does yoga and always has a stack of books he’s reading.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can all choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Jake: Light on Me by Sam Wills
Max: I Am You by Haywyre
Noah: Into the Ether by Leif Vollebekk
Thank you so much to Music Musings and Such for taking the time to talk with us!
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