Echosmith on nonalcoholic entertainment in wine land

Echosmith, Sydney Sierota


I interviewed Sydney and Jamie Sierota of Echosmith when they last played in San Francisco, a headlining show at the Regency Ballroom. We spoke about working with family, traveling, their next step, and a few other things. Some made the story. Others did not. In fact, most of Jamie’s comments are shared here with you right now.

And if you’re going to BottleRock Napa Valley next weekend, catch their set.

Of the four siblings (Sydney, 18; Noah, 19; Graham 16, Jamie; 22), only Jamie is old enough to drink. Any other ways to entertain yourselves in one of the world’s wine meccas during this festival?

Jamie: We were in Napa for “A Night at the Vineyard” … a couple months ago. That was our first time there.

Sydney: We picked some fresh grapes off the vineyard, which is cool enough for me. It was the best grapes I’ve ever had. Maybe I can do that again.

Jamie: And I’ll go wine tasting.

What is your favorite place in the Bay Area? (The band has performed from Santa Cruz to San Francisco and Oakland.)

Sydney: I’ve spent the most hang-out time in Santa Cruz, which has been nice. There’s some good restaurants. There’s a cute little street.

Jamie: The last time we were (in San Francisco) … we thought we would go and get some Blue Bottle Coffee. So we were walking (and) we had realized we hadn’t walked around the area before. I guess we were walking right through the Tenderloin. So all of a sudden, we turn a corner, and there’s dudes pooping on the street. We had always thought of San Francisco as really clean, and then we took a wrong turn and started walking really quickly.

Your dad is a producer and songwriter. Did he ever tour before?

Sydney: Tiny tours, I think.

Jamie: He used to play in some random ska bands, but he mostly worked at a studio.

Have you started writing a follow-up to “Talking Dreams” yet? What’s next for you, in terms of touring or new music?

Jamie: We’ve started a little bit. Last year there was so much transitional stuff happening. And this year we’re starting with a good-size headlining tour. … Now we’re starting to settle in a little bit. The record’s been out for a year and a half. It’s probably time to start thinking about another record.

Do you have a favorite songwriter?

Sydney: I think Chris Martin is a really great songwriter… (Coldplay) have a message, and they have something that they’re writing about, not just random stuff. They have a purpose, and I think that’s awesome. That comes across in their songwriting.

Jamie: Someone else, as a songwriter and as a musician and an artist, is David Byrne. I love his songwriting because he talks about all kinds of things, whether it’s a weird story like “Psycho Killer.”  We do a cover of “This Must be the Place” a lot. Lyrically, that feels very intimate. He tells stories in very interesting ways.

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