[German version below.] With “Renegades” X Ambassadors do not have landed a big hit only in the US, but also in Germany. This was followed by tours with Imagine Dragons, Muse and collaborations with Eminem or Machine Gun Kelly. And now they have announced their new album “Joyful” with their single “Do not Stay”. Before their show in Cologne, we talked to the Casey (keyboard) and Adam (drums), while singer Sam sat next to them and could only participate by nodding and gesturing, since he had to spare his voice for the concert.
96s.info : In the last few days you have already played the first concerts in Europe. How was it until now?
Adam Levin: It was incredible! We have been to London, Paris and Amsterdam so far. These shows are much bigger than the ones we played in the past. Over the last year and a half they have doubled in size, that’s really fun!
Casey Harris: The people on this side of the Atlantic finally know who we are.
Adam : Yes, it’s really fun and it’s exciting to watch it.
96s.info : Did she have time to visit some places? ?
Adam : We had some time in Amsterdam, which was really the only place we had time. In Paris we were only one day and therefore did not really have much time. But we were able to eat well a few times and that’s usually what we’re all about. Touring is all about food.
Casey : Exactly. My wife and I actually looked at the cathedral here in Cologne. That was pretty cool. It’s mostly things like this. You have two or three hours a day to look at things, eat, and then go back to normal daily routine.
96s.info : You play a lot of live shows all over the place of the world. How does touring in Europe differ from touring in the States?
Casey : It’s a different experience. The bus is very different, that would be one thing. It’s a double-decker bus, you would not get that in the States. But we are also less well known here. We play smaller halls, which is really fun. We have not played these sizes for a while and that’s pretty cool. Especially, I think all the spectators we had here were really enthusiastic and eager to hear us. I think, hopefully, because now they know our music, we have not played here for a long time and they have been waiting for us. But that makes it so intimate and exciting every night that there are people standing right in front of the stage, really waiting for the music.
Adam : Yeah that’s cool! The shows are different due to the size, but for us the difference is really in the culture and what we do outside of the concerts. It is more exciting to have a day off in Amsterdam than in Ohio. The part makes it more exciting and also just because we have toured the US so many times. It’s also exciting to tour in the US, but it’s just new places and experiences that we do not really have there.
96s.info : You have your single a few weeks ago “Do not Stay” published. I especially like the contrast between the sad, thoughtful lyrics and the music where you still want to dance and sing along. What was your idea for the song?
Casey : Yes, well! It was a song that came out of a collaboration with Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic. The song was created organically. It’s essentially a song about telling someone that no matter how much you want that person to be with you and you love having them there, it’s probably best if you let them go. As much as this is a sad thing, it is also needed somewhere and sometimes an uplifting thing to do. Keep moving on, even sticking when the lyrics are rather depressed.
96s.info : You also have a new album, which will be released soon. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Adam : “Do not Stay” and “Joyful”, that’s the single we wrote 2 or 3 weeks before “Do not Stay “came both very early in the process. When you’re working on a new album, it’s more like shooting shots in the beginning. Just experiment and I think these two songs have set the pattern for the album. When we got together for the first time to write, there was no previously formulated idea of where the album should go and through experimentation the music has shaped itself. The process has It was fun and really exciting. We’re really looking forward to everyone else listening to all the new music, we have so much new material.
Casey : We probably wrote enough material for three albums and had to open it break one down. But there are many soul and R’n’B influences that we have not really dealt with before. And definitely a lot that sounds different from what they did before, but it remains a fairly consistent thread, it always sounds like us. But I think people will be surprised, pleasantly surprised by the new sound.
96s.info : Your debut album was a concept album. Will that be the case with the next album?
Casey : To a certain extent yes. Without anticipating too much, it’s definitely an album in which all the songs are on a similar theme and it tells a bit of a story that goes from the beginning to the end of the album. But I do not want to give too much away from the release.
96s.info : And what about you when you write new songs? Are you all doing it together or are you all on your own?
Casey : It’s both. And everything. Every single type of writing songs that you can imagine, we’ve tried at least for a song. It usually starts with one of us sending an idea to the others by mail, but sometimes we’re in the studio, or just in a room, figuring out something. It’s really every style, every style, and every method you can think of.
96s.info : What made you learn an instrument and make music yourself? ?
Adam : I grew up with two older brothers who are both musicians, my father is a musician, my uncle is a musician. Therefore, it is very much in the culture of my family. For example, when I was 4 or 5 years old, it was almost a duty to learn an instrument. I started learning violin and oboe, and then, when I was 14 or 15, I was totally into drumming. I just learned it with my friends, my teen band. I think it was very similar for Sam and Casey.
Sam nods in agreement
Casey : Yes, it’s a similar situation to Adam’s. We grew up in a musical house. Our mother was a singer and our father has been trying to be a songwriter for at least a year in his life. We had a lot of records and a great sound system and stuff like that. So music was always in our lives from the moment I remember it.
96s.info : And what kind of music or artist did you hear then?
Casey : Everything. I mean, we grew up with our dad giving us a lot of classical rock, folk and soul music. Our mother is a jazz, cabaret and show tunes singer. But of course in our teenage years we found our own bands and artists that we started to like. I like a lot of Progressive Rock from the 70’s and we all have common influences from different artists of many different styles and we try to do it as well as possible.
96s.info : So the music of those days still influences the music you’re doing now?
Adam : It was stuff like this that’s embarrassing, that you’ve heard it, and stuff, that still affect us today. For me, it’s a lot of hip hop and stuff that influences me a lot, but I also like to hear Korn and Limp Bizkit. That did not affect me as much as I’d like to admit-or not-but certain things, including current music, still affect us and are very important.
Casey : We’re trying stay up to date.
96s.info : One thing that I really like about you is that you use the band to draw attention to topics such as equal rights or together works with ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). Why is that so important to you?
Casey : For me, it’s a responsibility that I have to try to make the world a better place. I believe that this is not enough people, especially those with money and influence, realize, take the time and take their responsibility to the world and try to make the world a better place. We have grown up to always have respect and try to see the world from the perspective of another person. It is impossible, if one seriously tries to see the world from another perspective, to remain silent. Or just stand there when you see injustice, when you see things in the world that you know are out of order. Therefore, believe It’s a matter of course that we do, no matter if you’re in a band or not. But the fact that we’re in a band gives us a bigger platform to reach more people.
96s.info : Another thing I noticed with you is that you before you recently announced your second album, released many singles and collaboration. And then I wondered if you still believe in the classic concept of LP etc. or do you think that especially with streaming etc, the whole thing will move more in the direction of several and smaller releases?
Adam : That’s a good question! I think it changes a lot. I think we wanted to do albums because we wanted to create a coherent piece. I would like to buy albums myself as a musician and I think the newer generation has a shorter attention span for music. Not even in a negative way, but simply because of how music is published and you just always – you can open Spotify and have access to everything. Not like when you had to go to a record store and bought the album that was in front and then it was dead because you owned it and you had no other choice. But I think it changes a lot. I think albums will still be there, and that’s how music is published, but I think albums will be released sooner in the future. The two can exist together. You can release singles and albums at the same time, and if you do not want to release any albums, you can just release singles and that’s ok too.
Casey : I do not think anybody has that Formula really found out. Everybody tries everything that comes to their mind in some way, how to publish music, to find a way that works and we are also there somewhere. We release albums and singles and we do collaborations, we make soundtracks. We just like to write music. We like to bring music into the world and I believe everything we can do that we will do.
Adam : Yes, I think that’s a good thing. Before, you could not release songs between albums because at least the business model wanted you to release an album and then maximize the profits. But as the stuff actually works now, it allows artists to publish more music faster and the accessibility is very high. If you look back into the history of music, that’s the way it always has been. If you wanted to hear music in the 19th century, you had to …
Casey : … buy sheet music! (laughs)
Adam : … you had to listen to musicians live while playing. There was no other option and then you could buy recordings, then CDs, then iPods and now you can pay $ 10 or less a month and listen to it all. Of course, I do not know what that will be the next model of it …
Casey : It will be like this that it will be sent directly to your brain! (everyone laughs)
Adam : Yeah I do not know, but I think it’s a really cool thing!
96s.info : Do you have any tips for newcomers or bands to check out?
Adam : When we find new bands we try to take them on tour. That’s really what we do and that’s what people did for us and that was pretty important to us. We’re taking Son Little and Jacob Banks, a band called The Aces …
* Sam nudges Adam *
… and MORGXN who are touring with us. There’s a lot of good music out there and when we find something, we seriously try to contact and collaborate with them, or bring them on tour, watch them live or whatever is possible.
96s .info : What are you looking forward to the most over the next few months?
Adam : I think releasing the album is really what we’re most looking forward to. It is a really difficult process. Making the music is the simplest part of the process. The business plan and the politics behind publishing music at our level is really tough. There are many things to worry about with the timing and stuff, but it’s really exciting and we’re almost done with all these things. We will soon release an album to tour and write new music for the new album. It never ends. And I think that’s what we’re most looking forward to.
And that sounds like this:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
96s.info : You already played a few concerts during the last couple of days. How much so far?
Adam Levin : It’s been amazing. We’ve been to London, Paris and Amsterdam so far. These shows have been amazing. They are much bigger than the ones.
Casey Harris : People finally know who we are on this site of the Atlantic.
Adam : It’s been really fun and exciting to see that.
96s.info : Did you have time to visit some places?
Adam : We had some time in Amsterdam, it was really the only place we had time. We were in and out of Paris in a day so did not really have much time. But we’ve got to eat some good meals and that’s usually what it’s all about for us anyway. On tour it’s all about eating.
Casey : Me and my wife actually went to see the cathedral earlier in Cologne. That was pretty cool. It’s usually things like that. You got two or three hours maybe during the day to see things and eat. It’s just back to business as usual.
96s.info : You’re playing a lot of live shows all over the world.
Casey : It’s a different experience – I mean the bus is very different for one thing. It’s a double-decker bus which in the states you never get that so it’s a very different bus. So we are less well known here. We are playing these smaller venues, which is really fun. We have not played these great venues in a while and they are really cool. Especially, I think the crowd was really enthusiastic and excited to hear us. I guess, hopefully, because they now know our music. We have not been here in a while and they’ve been waiting for us.
Adam : The shows are different. But it really makes it so intimate and exciting because of the size, but the difference for us is really culture and what we are doing outside of the shows. It’s more exciting to have a day off in Amsterdam than in Ohio. The part of it makes it more exciting and so just because the United States so many times.
96s.info : A few weeks ago you released. It’s not like this your single “Do not Stay”. I really like the contrast between the sad, thoughtful lyrics and the music that you just want to dance to and sing along. What the idea behind that song?
Casey : Yeah exactly. Well put! Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic. The song came about really organically. It’s probably best if you let them go. As much as it can be a sad thing to do, so it is a sort of a necessary a
nd sometimes really uplifting thing to do as well. And I think it’s sort of jives with the feeling of the music.
96s.info : You have a new album coming up. Can you tell us something about it?
Adam : Both “Do not stay” and “Joyful”, which is the single we released about 2 or 3 weeks before “Do not stay”, came really early in the process , When you are working on a new album, you are taking a bunch of shots in the dark at the beginning. Just experimenting almost and I think those two songs. When we first read it down, we read it as a preconceived idea of notion of the album. So it’s been a fun process, it’s really exciting.
Casey : We probably have written 3 album worth of material and had to tear it down to one album. But it’s a lot of Soul and R’n’B. And definitely a lot of stuff that sounds I think it’s really different than the stuff we’ve done before, but keeping a sounding consistent thread, keeping sounding it like us. But I think people want to be very surprised, pleasantly surprised at the new sound.
96s.info : Your debut album What kind of a concept album. Will this one be so?
Casey : Sort of. Without giving too much away it’s an album with all the songs in a similar way. But I do not want to give too much away before release.
96s.info : And generally, how do you write songs? All together or everyone on their own?
Casey : It’s both. And everything. Every single way of writing a song you can think of it. It usually starts with an email, but sometimes we can be in a studio or just in a room and come up with something.
96s.info : What made you start learning an instrument and start making music on your own?
Adam : I grew up with two older brothers who are both musicians, my father is a musician, my uncle is a musician. So it’s just very much like the culture of my family. Like at age 4 or 5 something like a requirement to learn an instrument. I started playing like violin and oboe and then really got into playing drums when I was thirteen or fourteen. Just learning it with my friends at the time, my teenage band. Sam and Casey.
* Sam nods his heads *
Casey : Yeah it’s a similar situation to Adam. We grew up in a musical house. Our mum was a singer and our dad tried at least one year in his life to be a song writer. Had a lot of records and had a big sound system and that kind of thing.
96s.info : And what music / artists did you listen to growing up?
Casey : Everything. I mean, we grew up listening to a lot of music, so we just played a lot of classic rock and folk and soul music. Our mum is a jazz, cabaret and show tunes singer. But then of course as we got into our teenage years we each had our own bands and artists that we would start to like.
96s.info : So that’s what makes you listen to music?
Adam : What are you doing that you’re embarrassed that you’ve listened to and things that I still continue to influence us today. For a lot of hip hop and stuff I also listen to like Korn and Limp Bizkit.
. Div> div> div> div> div> div> div> div> div> Casey : We try to stay up to date.
96s.info : One thing I really like equality for example or work with ACLU. Why is that so important for you?
Casey : For me to try to make the world a better place is a responsibility to do that. I think it is not enough, especially people with money and influence, take the time and do their duty by the world and try to make the world a better place. I think we are, and the world from other people’s point of view. When you see things in the world you do not feel alright. And so I think it’s just a natural thing that we would do in a band or not.
96s.info : Another thing I noticed was that they were releasing a lot of singles or collaborations before announcing the second album now. I wondering, if you still believe in the classical concept of releasing full length albums or do you think that, especially with streaming etc., it will change to more and smaller releases?
Adam : That is a great question! I think it’s a lot. I think we wanted to create albums because we want to create a cohesive piece of work. I want to listen to albums personally as a musician and I think the new generation has a short attention span for music. Music is released and because you can listen to everything – you can open Spotify and have access to everything under the sun. Just like that in the morning where you would go and buy whatever album was in the front and then just listen to that one death because you owned it and had no other options. But I think that’s a lot. I think that albums want to be quiet and enjoy music around, but I think that albums are going to be released more quickly in the future. The two can be together, you can release singles and albums at the same time and if you do not want to
Casey : I really think it’s time to make a statement. Everyone is trying everything that they can think of. And we are sort of in that camp too, we are releasing albums and singles and we want to do collaborations, we’ll do soundtracks. We just like to write music.
Adam: Yes, I think that’s a great thing. Before you could release songs in between albums cause the business model at least of all you want to release an album and then maximize the sales of that. But I think that’s actually a really good thing and I think streaming and all that is really huge. Looking over the history of music that is always how it’s gone. In the 19th century if you wanted to listen to music you had …
Casey : … buy sheet music! (laughs)
Adam : you had to listen to musicians play live. There is no other option and then you can buy a record and then CD, then iPods and then you can pay 10 dollars a month to listen to everything. I think that’s just going to continue. Casey : Casey : Casey : It’ll be straight into your brain! (everyone laughs)
Adam : Yeah I do not even know. But I think it’s a really cool thing.
96s.info : Do you have any tips for some newcomers / artists? One should check out?
Adam : When we find new bands we try to take them on tour. That’s really what we’ve done and it’s been really important for us. We are taking Son Little and Jacob Banks, a band called The Aces,
* Sam nudges Adam *
and MORGXN who is on tour with us right now.
96s.info. There is a lot of amazing music out there and then we can do it.
Adam : What are you looking forward to in the next few months? It is really a hard process. Creating the music is really the easiest part of the process. The business plan and politics behind releasing music is hard at our level. There are a lot of things to deal with and all these things but it’s really exciting and we are almost through all that stuff. We’re going to be releasing an album soon and touring and writing new music for the next album. It never stops.
The rights of the title photo are owned by Universal Music.
* Affiliate link: You support 96s.info about your purchase. This article will not be for you