Recording session with Zac Rae 

Finished a full day of Hammond Organ and piano recordings with the amazing Zac Rae (Santana, Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple) before he runs off to a world tour as the new keyboard player for Death Cab for Cutie! We're stoked to have him on the new album, he's the best. And he's got a great beard, too.

Interview in Under The Gun 

A recent interview we did for Under The Gun

the great escape

California’s The Great Escape is sure to be on the rise in 2015. With a strong debut under their belts, only beginning to make the rounds, the three-piece are poised to take the jam-rock world by storm, with the powerful vocal presence of Amie Miriello leading the charge. With Malte Hagemeister on guitar and Kristian Nord on drums, collectively laying the foundation, the band draws influences from Woodstock-era luminaries like Hendrix, Joplin, and Cream and fuses them with a modern twist that would appeal to fans of The Black Keys and The Dead Weather as well.

With their Ram Jam-ish single “All I Think About” just recently receiving an accompanying music video, The Great Escape are showing no signs of slowing down in the promotion of this album, with plenty of plans to continue on in 2015. We had the chance to talk to them all about it as Hagemeister and Nord provided insight into their musical roots and plenty more. Read through below and get the scoop from two thirds of The Great Escape, then check out their brand new video for “All I Think About.”

How did the three of you come together to form The Great Escape and how was the name decided upon?

Kristian: Malte and I had the vision for the band and have worked with Amie before writing songs for other artists. Since we’re big fans of her as a singer and songwriter we asked her to start writing songs with us and then everything went by itself. In the very first session we wrote and recorded “All I Think About.” For all of us creating and performing music is the best way to forget everything around you. For us, The Great Escape is to listen to yourself and do what you love to do. It’s the escape to your inner self, but in a very active way, following your dreams.

You three have a lot of soul in your music, which is nice to see in such a young band. So I’m curious about your influences. What music did you grow up around, what are you listening to now, and what artists do you think had the biggest hands in the sound you all developed?

Malte: Thanks! Our music obviously has its roots in the 60s and 70s. Hendrix, the Stones, The Beatles, Sly And The Family Stone are definitely big influences. But we listen to a lot of new music as well, like The Black Keys, The Heavy or pop artists like Adele. We love the rawness of the old stuff, but try to put it into a new context. And we love melodies and story telling, that’s the essence of a song.

You seem to have a strong love for California as well. How does The Golden State play into your music and personality as a band?

Kristian: None of us grew up in California but we all love the land, the lifestyle and the spirit. When I came here for the first time when I was 16 years old I knew with the first stinky breath at LAX that this is my home and where I want to live. It’s the land of letting loose, surfing, the ocean and the sun. And it’s the land of freedom and opportunity.

Malte: There’s something light in the air that you hardly have anywhere in the world. It has a strong history of people who were different and expressed it. People who had big dreams and went for it, LA has been a great inspiration.

Do you happen to remember anything specific about the very first time you all jammed together?

Malte: The whole record is a big jam starting the first day when we wrote “All I Think About.” Usually we wrote a song within three or four hours, then went upstairs in the studio to lay down a guitar track and the lead vocal.

Kristian: Those almost always stayed because they had the right feel and we jammed around them. There’s a certain kind of chemistry that takes over – in a way it’s very innocent; it’s just us having fun like when we were 15…

When beginning work on this album, was there anything in particular that you wanted to focus on or make sure came across clearly in your sound or lyrics? A mission statement of sorts I suppose.

Kristian: Not really. The music pretty much reflects the way we’re living. You can kind of hear the sunshine through. Positivism is definitely an important point…

Malte: Which doesn’t mean though that you can’t be sentimental or reflect on difficult things like on “I Just Can’t Help Myself.”

Kristian: But it’s funny, a lot of times happiness is a point of view, it’s the perspective on things. There are people who experienced such horrible or intense things but still are the happiest people in the world; it’s a decision.

Malte: Yes, it’s seeing the good or the bad aspects of things. We try to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Well, maybe even three quarters full.



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