Lollapalooza UPDATE: The below poster is indeed the real lineup for…
- Posted on Dec 17th 2012 4:00PM by Nicole Pajer
"We were on tour and driving out by Austin and my brother was like, 'Steven Tyler's on the phone.' I was like, 'Yeah right. Whatever. You're kidding.' But that wasn't the case," says Family of The Year frontman James Buckey. Tyler, who is represented by the same attorney as Family of the Year, got a hold of the band's debut album Songbook and subsequently described them as "The Mamas and the Papas on acid."
"One spring day, as the story goes, [our attorney] was giving Mr. Tyler a ride back to his place and she had Songbook in her car and played him some songs. He seemed to fancy it," Buckey says, recalling the time bandmate Joseph Keefe got a call from the Aerosmith frontman. "He said some very nice things and a few weeks after that Joe and Sebastian [Keefe] were able to meet him in person and he gave them a few pointers, one being that we needed a shtick -- scarves, clown masks, blood, whatever -- to stand out. We're still working on what would work best."
As far as the band being compared to a Mamas and The Papas spinoff, Buckey says it's a fitting description, in a strange way.
"Isn't there some story about how the Mamas and the Papas went down to St. Thomas and wrote a bunch of songs and got to know each other while maxing out an American Express card before everyone moved out to L.A. from the east coast? None of us have an American Express, but I'd say that would be more our speed."
Since forming in 2009, Family of the Year toured with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and were deemed one of the "25 Must Hear Artists" by SPIN.com. Just months after their formation, they were chosen out of a pool of 700 bands by Ben Folds and Keith Lockhart to open for Ben Folds and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall in Boston. They also had their song "ChugJug" featured in an Advil commercial in 2010.
"The commercial has given us a lot of exposure we'd normally not be able obtain in more traditional ways," says Buckey, who explains that the band has had fans approach them at shows and say, "I heard your song on a commercial and I found you guys and now here you are!" In terms of their headache reducing drug preference, however, Family of The Year admits to preferring Aleve. "If Advil wants to send us a big box of headache medicine, that's cool too! We can be converted. That shit's expensive!" jokes Buckey.
Family of the Year's current focus is touring in support of their recently released album, Loma Vista. Buckey describes the band's current sound, which consists of a blend of male/female harmonies and folksy lyrics, as "'radio-friendly MIDI-folk recession rock." The LP, which dropped on July 10, has been going over well with fans, says Buckey who jokes that while it may take people a while to stumble upon Loma Vista, everyone loves it once they come into contact with it.
"It's like the awkward kid at the high school dance who no one knows but once he gets coaxed out onto the dance floor people seem to gravitate toward his magnetic personality and secret sick dance moves."