Posted On 12 Sep 2014
Tag: Ariana Grande, Beach House, Boyhood, Charlie XCX, Christina Schroeter, Conan, Ellar Coltrane, Ethan Hawke, Family Of The Year, Hero, Iggy Azalea, James Buckey, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Joseph Keefe, Lana Del Rey, Late Night With Carson Daly, Patricia Arquette, Preatures, Richard Linklater, Sebastian Keefe, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Willy Mason
Los Angeles based band, Family Of The Year includes Joseph Keefe (vocals/guitar), Sebastian Keefe (drums/vocals), James Buckey (guitar/vocals) and Christina Schroeter (keyboard/vocals).
Their song “Hero” has already hit #1 at AAA, Top 10 at Alternative, and is also an international Top 10 hit in Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland. The song is prominently featured as the theme song for the movie Boyhood starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. What makes the film so unique is that the main character (Ellar Coltrane) was cast for the role at the age of six, and the story follows the actor through age 18 receiving near unanimous acclaim from film critics.
Learn more about the band and how they got involved with Boyhood below:
How did you come up with the name, “Family Of The Year?” Does it have anything to do with brothers Joseph and Sebastian Keefe being in the band?
It was the name of an old song of ours that we never put out about a messed up family that hid behind that old idea of a perfect picket white fence. We must have felt we were perfect on the outside and messed up on the inside, so that’s us. I guess that there are brothers in the band adds to the meaning of it.
Your song “Hero” recently went #1 at AAA, Top 10 at Alternative, and internationally. It is now featured prominently in the new movie Boyhood which is currently in theaters. The movie was unique in the way it was filmed over a period 12 years with the same cast. What are your thoughts on this film and how does it feel to have your song as the soundtrack for what appears to be a history making film?
We are honored to be a part of such an iconic film. Every moment is beautiful. It’s kind of surreal.
Can you tell us how your song was selected for the film?
I read somewhere in an interview with Richard Linklater that an intern had told him about the song and how it had comforted him, maybe in a time when he needed it. I think it’s pretty cool to have your song selected by someone who actually connected with the song rather than someone who is just trying to get a job done. Makes it that much more special to be a part of a film this beautiful.
What was the inspiration for writing, “Hero”? And why is it that this song fit the movie so well?
I think it’s about just not wanting to be responsible for so much. Feeling too much pressure and wanting to just live a normal life with no worries. I think the song and the movie are similar. They’re very simple in a way that the movie isn’t telling you what to feel, meaning people can relate in their own ways. It’s almost like you’re drawing on your own experiences. I think the song has a similar vibe. People have told us how “Hero” helped them get through so many different situations and it’s cool that it can mean something different to them than it does to us.
Congrats on just wrapping up your summer tour in Switzerland. Do you have any memorable moments from the tour or favorite venues that you’d like to mention?
We arrived in Bern on a beautiful day in July, and something about it was so magical. The river was so blue and we saw people floating down like it was some sort of waterpark. We decided to go to the “beach” and float on down the river which is something none of us had ever done before. We found out later it was dangerous but everyone else was doing it…
Family of the Year has made a run of late-night TV appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, and two episodes of Late Night With Carson Daly. Please tell us about your first experience doing a late night show. Do you still get nervous or does it get easier each time?
Doing late night shows are pretty crazy. You get to the studio super early and rush to set everything up to sound check, and then you sit around for like 6 hours waiting to perform. It’s kind of a mad rush, then mad chill, then a mad rush to get ready, and then you play and it’s over. I honestly can only remember the first 3 seconds of every performance. They go by so quickly. I feel like everything happens so fast so you don’t even have time to get nervous.
We listen to a lot of Beach House and Lana Del Rey. Personally, I just discovered the Preatures and I’m pretty into them. I also like a lot of pop music like Charli xcx, Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande. Those three are killing it right now!
What sets Family Of The Year apart from the other bands out there now? What is the one thing that you would like to see people come away with after listening to your music?
I think we write what we like to hear and what we want to say. We’re kind of crazy and it all depends on our headspace. It’s cool to put something out that can mean one thing to us and mean something else to someone else.
How have you grown as a band and musicians since you started performing?
We’ve played a lot of shows so we’ve gotten better at playing our songs musically and we have kind of gotten better at just being together. We were always good at it, but we know when each other needs space and kind of don’t act as wild out on the road anymore. I guess we’re finally becoming adults.
Welllll, we try not to start drinking tequila until an hour before we go on stage. We get ready and compliment each other’s sexy outfits, and then sing one of our friends Willy Mason’s songs right before we go on, followed by a few high fives and we’re off…