Posted On 06 Feb 2018
The Chordaes recently released their new EP In Itinere. In Itinere is now streaming in full along with an exclusive track by track breakdown of every song on the album. The indie rock outfit enlisted the help of renowned director Phil Harder (Prince, Matchbox Twenty, The Afghan Whigs) to bring their lead single “What Do You Want From Me” to life. It was recently released exclusively on PopMatters. In Itinere is available for purchase today but fans can listen to it now, here: http://bit.ly/2gVr2rR.
When asked about In Itinere, songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Leo Sawikin said: “The record is about a journey – from a really hectic, emotionally charged place to a much more relaxed, peaceful one. I wanted to be few words that say a lot. It needed to be more involved than just “the journey” because I feel like these songs say more than that. When I found “In Itinere” it felt right – it was a journey, a walkabout that justices made throughout the kingdom to try cases.”
The Chordaes are on a mission: to bring back great, melodic rock, with a contemporary spin. As the band’s songwriter, Leo Sawikin crafts intricate harmonic structures and heartfelt lyrics. Along with Leo, The Chordaes’ lineup includes Ethan Glenn (Drums), Nick “McFly” Haberstroh (Bass and Vocals), Dan Cobert (Keyboards), and Kevin Foley (Lead Guitar and Vocals). The band has been in residency this year at Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and with each show they have come closer to reproducing the lush, rich sound of the new EP. The Chordaes also play frequently in Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore, near where Nick and Kevin live and where the EP and the album were recorded, both under the production of veteran Marc Swersky (Joe Cocker, Roger Daltrey). Additionally, the band has garnered nothing but positive attention from the likes of Baeble Music, BlackBook Magazine, Diffuser, The Huffington Post, The Deli Magazine and many more on their last record release Touch the Ground. To draw without snobbery on fifty years of the best rock and pop—on everything from Abba to Zeppelin—to reimagine it, and to bring that sound to a mass audience: this is The Chordaes’ dream.appy New Year!
Learn more about The Chordaes in the following All Access interview with them:
Thanks for your time for this All Access interview! Where does this interview find you today? What is one song that you are loving right now? What is a song that you all disagree about loving right now?
Leo: We are doing this interview from our home away from home, Shorefire Recording Studios in Long Branch, NJ, while recording our next single, Venus.
Kevin: On The Nickel by Tom Waits
Leo: Heaven Or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins
Nick: See You Again by Tyler, The Creator
Ethan: Banana Boat (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte
Dan: Haley by Big Thief
So first things first, what all are you most excited about for 2018? Did any of you make New Year Resolutions?
Leo: Releasing our newest single, playing more live shows, writing more songs and generally growing as human beings
Ethan: Very excited about releasing new music and playing out of town some more. I try not to make New Year’s resolutions because I always break them. There are always tomorrows anyway.
How did this group first come to be? Can you recall the moment when you all thought you could be in a band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you all thought fit your sound and who you are?
Ethan: Leo and I met in middle school and started playing together early in high school. Since then we have been through many versions of the “band.” When Nick joined the project in December of 2016, it felt like we had finally struck a good chord 😉
Nick: We played together as a three-piece for several months while searching for a keyboard player. Keys are really important to our sound and Dan came to us on high recommendation. After that it was just good timing. Kevin, who I’ve been playing in bands with for the better part of a decade, graduated from UVM and joined us.
I’ve got to ask what it was like working with the legendary director Phil Harder on your latest music video for your single “What Do You Want From Me”? How creatively involved were you all with the video? It is visually stunning!
Leo- Phil is a visionary and artist and just a great guy! We talked about the concept and he then did his thing.
Can you talk about the creation of a few of the songs on your EP “In Itinere”? Typically, how did the song making process go?
Leo: Our first single, What Do You Want From Me, started with the chord progression and a Southern soul feel. The lyrics came about around the time Trump was elected when I was feeling frustrated and powerless.
Nick: When we first started working Run & Hide into our live set I asked Leo what had inspired him to write the song. Turns out an episode of Game of Thrones had sparked his imagination, and it’s turned into a powerful part of performances.
With all the many features this band has had recently, I’m curious to know what it was like when you read the first article or first interview you had done online or in a publication?
Nick: I really enjoyed Leo’s feature for High Times Magazine. Kevin and I were headed up the parkway on our way to practice and he was reading me the interview as I drove. It really felt surreal for my goofy friend to be giving a serious interview.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
Nick: We were recently turned on to The Lemon Twigs, they seem like they’d be cool guys to gig with. We’re all fans of Tame Impala and would love to collab with Kevin Parker.
Leo: I’ve been listening to a lot of Beach House and think it’d be interesting to vibe with Victoria Legrand.
While this may be difficult to answer, where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music or elsewhere?
Nick: I don’t know if it’s that we’re in the midst of recording at the moment, but I think I would say I’m happiest in the recording studio. We’re beyond lucky to work with Marc Swersky and Joey DeMaio, our producer and engineer respectively. Joey is the epitome of professionalism and a truly talented, humble man. Marc is the captain who keeps the ship on course, we’d be lost without him.
What shows will you be starting the year with? Where can people see you perform live next?
Nick: We’ll be stopping back at our favorite Philly venue, The Grape Room, on January 18th. We’re playing The Standard Hotel for their Annie O Music Series on January 26th. And our usual spot, Rockwood Music Hall, is hosting us on February 3rd.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think
being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Leo: Being in the band has allowed me to travel more than I otherwise would have. We had the opportunity to explore Charleston, SC last year and had a great time.
Nick: It’s pretty special to be able to get together with your friends and create something, and I get immense satisfaction from it. It’s safe to say all music is a reflection of the time it’s created, it just depends on how explicit you want to be.