Encore Interview: X Ambassadors

We had the pleasure of interviewing X Ambassadors recently for our Tour Update series and we have to say, they were pretty excellent interviewees! So much so, that their episode of Tour Update didn't include all of the greatness from their interview with us.
We did some transcribing and broke out our favorite bits from the interview, read below!
On the importance of collaborating with their producer Ricky Reed
[Sam] Some artists operate better when they are the masters of their universe completely, and some artists operate better when they're collaborating with other people and can kind of get more objective opinions, and get outside of their ego. I think for us that's definitely been the case.

On playing new songs live for the first time
[Adam] For us it takes like ten shows before it feels like "oh this is great," the first ten it's like you're learning to ride a bike.
[Casey] It's like you're trying to write with your left hand or something.
[Sam] I'm loving these analogies right now. It's like if you sit on your hand for a while and make it fully go to sleep and then try to pick up a fork and eat with it. You can do it and you know the mechanics of it but it feels so weird, but then it obviously gets easier and easier the more you do it. It's mostly just concentrating on not fucking up.

On playing the familiar hits VS new material
[Sam] The crowd has a sense of comfort cause they know the song so well and can sing along. The audience gets a little less bored when its a song that they know. But I also think that you're less inclined to be taking a video on your phone when its a song you don't know. Maybe you're a little more bored but if we make it exciting enough for you, you're gonna be paying a little bit more attention.
"Definitely the way Casey plays on "Jungle" and on "Unsteady" now is completely different then the way that he played when we first started performing." - Sam
On how playing the older songs now has changed from their original performances
[Casey] It's totally different playing the old songs now, we've changed the way we play them live so much and they've just naturally evolved so much that I think if you listened to recordings of us playing them, you know, three of four years ago versus now it sound drastically different. I think in a better way though.
[Sam] Structurally the songs have kinda been the same the way that we've performed them but there are slow gradual changes. Definitely the way Casey plays on "Jungle" and on "Unsteady" now is completely different then the way that he played when we first started performing.
[Casey] Even some aspects of the structures of the songs (have changed), we've added extra sections to "Jungle" and "Unsteady" since they were first released, we've been playing those new sections live for a while but it's different sounding then it originally was when we first started playing those songs.
"We've done our jobs well if you walk out and feel like you have really taken a journey." - Casey
On what it takes to feel like they've performed a great show
[Casey] I think we want our fans when they walk out of our shows to feel like how you do when you've just seen an amazing movie. When you walk out and you're still thinking about it and sort of in this other place. We've done our jobs well if you walk out and feel like you have really taken a journey.
[Sam] Yeah, and taking a journey with people who are ultimately just like you. I've always loved performers who go above and beyond in their live show but who are also so grounded and who you really feel like you can hang out with.
[Adam] A lot of things have to go very right to feel like we've nailed it after the show. One factor of that is how the audience responds, if it's a crazy good audience and there's crazy energy in the room, that's amazing but you can still be disappointed in yourself if you miss one hit or mess something up.
[Casey] We're all just perfectionists so...
[Adam] Yeah, that's actually come down a lot, just by doing more shows you can accept mistakes and get over it and it's not a big deal but in the early days it was like if you missed one note it was like tear down the green room and everyone's pissed. But for us now it's really measured on more so how the crowd responds and if we feel that energy then we know it's been a good show.
Catch the rockers on tour this summer, you can find their dates over on their website!
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Last updated: 17 Jul 2019, 14:18 Etc/UTC