Interview with the Walking Sticks
- by Dawn Reed
Photo credit: Tomas Ritzell
Deli: How did the band start?
Chelsea Lee (lead vocals/keys/percussion): I’ve known Max and Spencer for almost 7 years now. The first 5 of those years we were great friends and wrote some songs together, but we were exploring different musical ventures. I was with Atlantic Records and Max and Spencer were signed to Cherry Lane. We got out of our deals around the same time (2 years ago) and finally got the chance to play together.
What's the story behind the band name?
We love to hike in the woods with our walking sticks :)
What are your biggest musical influences?
Chelsea: Feist, Patty Griffin, B-52s, Frank Sinatra, and Laura Veirs
Max Ernst (vocals/keys/bass) and Spencer Ernst (vocals/guitar/keys): Radiohead, Wilco, Etta James, and more recently Tame Impala
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
Haim, Phoenix, and Beach House
What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
Chelsea: First concert was Dave Matthews when I was 11 I believe. I saw a drunk girl pee on a lady’s purse and the night was basically ruined from there. The first album I bought was Ace of Base, incredible album.
Max and Spencer: We saw Coldplay in 2001 when they were touring “Rush of Blood to the Head” - still one of our favorite albums. During soundcheck, Chris Martin was walking around the audience. Our mom spotted him and told us to “follow the black hat.” We chased him down and got his autograph. First album we bought was Third Eye Blind self titled. That was all we listened to for 3 years! Thousands of times.
What do you love about DC's music scene?
First of all, we love that it is so connected! Everybody knows everybody. Secondly, DC has some of the greatest music venues; DC9, Black Cat, Rock and Roll Hotel just to name a few.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
We wish there were more opportunities for local artists to open for national touring acts at some of the bigger venues.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
To tour our EP “Send the Night” and release a new single every month. That might change.
What was your most memorable live show?
We played a show at the Mason Inn in DC a few months ago. A homeless man busted through the window and jumped on stage.
Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
We began working with Brian Goddard, our manager/producer, about 3 years ago. He’s made his living as a bass player in DC for the last 40 years. He co-produced our two releases, "World So Bright" album (2012) and our new EP "Send the Night." We love him like a frozen reeses.
Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
Our Universal Audio Apollo Quad. It has incredible verbs and delays which we run our vocals, keyboards, and guitars through when we record and play out.