Hoppla, da hatte die Band, die wir schon ein bisschen länger kennen, plötzlich einen Song zum Soundtrack eines Schweighöfer-Films beigesteuert, eine Top-Ten-Platzierung, eine Tour mit Phoneix und Haim und dann auch noch einen Auftritt bei RTL zur Primetime am Freitagabend. Die Rede ist von der Family of the Year.

„Hero“ ist ihr bislang größter Hit, ein Wahnsinnssong wie ich finde, ihr Album kann aber mehr. Und sie sind nett: Denn völlig gleich, wer alles über sie schreibt, die Family of the Year hat sich auch noch Zeit für uns genommen und uns zwischen RTL, Konzert und Heimflug in die USA ein paar Fragen beantwortet.


Let‘s start with your name: Has it been a good year for Family of the Year?
it’s been a crazy year for family of the year. we all gave up our apartments to tour for the year, and we are about 2.5 shows away from being done. we’ve done the same thing almost every night this year (drive around, load our gear into a venue, eat dinner, get dressed and play music) and it’s scary to think we don’t quite know what exactly is going to happen next. for the first time in a long time, we will be in control of our lives… we will be real humans! not sure if we’re ready.

What about the family part? Do you still see yourselves as a family atop “The Stairs“?
of course. but instead of living in an apartment above 200 steps, we live in a moving vehicle careening down highways all over the world. we have no choice but to be family at this point, but i think once we get home we will be happy to have a little —just a little! — break from each other. but really we will end up hanging out with each other every night anyway…

How would you describe your musical style?    
cool pop music with heart

What or where exactly is Loma Vista?
it’s „the stairs“ you mentioned earlier. it’s a stair street in the silverlake neighborhood of los angeles. we lived together there for a long time. there is no real street to get to the apartment we lived in, so you had to park at the bottom of the hill and hike up 200 steps to get to our place. we all had great butts back then.

You write a lot of songs about everyday, probably your life. Is it hard getting all personal in front of a big audience (on a record or even live)?
it’s easier. i think when you sing about something people think about how they themselves can relate to it, and don’t really think why you felt that way. it’s a cool way of expressing yourself to the fullest, without getting too scary personal.

How did you come up with the idea of the rodeo cowboy for the “Hero“ music video?  
we liked the american theme, but the director came up with the idea. we thought it fit perfectly with the song, without being too cliche. it meant a lot to us to film that video on location with real bullriders who seemed to really understand the sentiment of the song.

Your touring with Haim and Phoenix was like a very special treat to the audience – like a mini festival. Did you guys feel the same? How is life within a touring artist community? Do you share a lot of things with the other bands or do you keep to yourselves?    
forget the audience! it was a treat for us!
we just finished our tour with them and it was one of the most amazing experiences of our lives. we are all huge phoenix fans, some of us loving them since the first record. to see them play live, let alone share the stage with them, was such a treat every night. i don’t think we’ve been so star struck before. music struck? it was surreal. they are the nicest people in the world i think. they can’t possibly be human.

Are you working on a new record?
yes! we just started doing preproduction on some songs today and will be recording them in berlin… we are very excited to share new music with everyone who wants to hear it.

Fleetwood Mac or The Velvet Underground?    
we love both bands, but this one goes out to lou reed.

Sunset or sunrise? 
whenever we’re awake, that’s the one we wanna see.

Converse Chuck Taylors or dress shoes?   
we love chucks, but now that we’re pretending to be adults maybe we should start saying dress shoes. nahhh, bury me with my chucks!

Does your music have an overall message or are you just letting people in into your personal world?
we don’t have an overall message. we just wanna be honest.

Wer sich jetzt noch nicht sicher ist: Diese Band besteht nur aus guten und netten Menschen. Sie haben mit „Loma Vista“ ein fein ausgeklügeltes Folk-Pop-Album veröffentlicht, das in meinen Augen auch live gut funktionieren kann (sofern der Mischer gut drauf ist). Die Family of the Year ist eine Band, die das, was sie tut und worüber sie singt, ernst meint, aber sie ist auch eine der Combos, denen der Folk irgendwie zufliegt und die man sich dank ihrer entspannten Art an gar keinem anderen Ort als Golden California vorstellen will.

Besonders erfrischend: Das F**k-Wort in diversen Songs – und damit meine ich nicht „Folk“. Und ich möchte mich vielmals bedanken für die Songzeile aus „The Stairs“: „They made the sunrise for people like us. So we have an excuse to watch it come up.“ – Nie klang eine Ausrede viel zu spät ins Bett zu gehen schöner.

Foto: Universal Music