The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter played host for The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza during the festival's 20th anniversary installment this past weekend in Chicago's Grant Park. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including Pete Wentz's new electronic/pop project Black Cards and indie rock rising stars Cults.
Black Cards members Bebe Rexha and Wentz talked about how they met and launched their new project, the evolution of their sound this past year, their forthcoming album, interacting with fans, and more. Rexha also recounted her experience in performing at the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Career Day program.
"The nature of the consumer and your fans is that they want to keep hearing your art, and they want to keep being able to access it," said Wentz on the topic of fan interaction. "There's lots of different ways to keep yourself out there and keep interacting with your fans."
With a sound featuring elements of reggae, electronic and dance music, Black Cards have completed work on their forthcoming untitled debut album, which will feature special guests such as reggae artist Shaggy, Neon Trees' Tyler Glenn and Cobra Starship's Gabe Saporta. In addition to Rexha and Wentz, Black Cards' lineup features guitarist Nate Patterson and drummer Spencer Peterson.
Cults vocalist Madeline Follin and guitarist Brian Oblivion addressed topics such as forming their band, songwriting, the pros of being an independent artist, their love of physical formats such as CDs and vinyl, and advice for aspiring musicians.
"We just started sending our music out to friends, and friends starting sending it to their friends, and it just kind of got out," said Oblivion when asked about the Cults' breakthrough. "It was the power of the Internet," added Follin.
In June Cults released their self-titled debut album, which peaked at No. 52 on the Billboard 200 and features "Go Outside" and "Abducted." They are currently on tour performing dates in the UK and are scheduled to tour this fall with fellow Lollapalooza performers Foster The People.
Come back to GRAMMY.com later this week for more exclusive backstage interviews from The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza.
(The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza: Videography by Colleen Mares and Thomas Brankin; Interviews by Kiana Basu and Max O'Kane)
The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza 2011: Arctic Monkeys, Atmosphere, Black Cards, Haley Bonar, Cage The Elephant, Cults, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Deadmau5, Dani Deahl, Deluka, DJ Lady D, Fitz And The Tantrums, Foster The People, Gold Motel, Ellie Goulding, Skylar Grey, Mayer Hawthorne, Kids These Days, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, My Morning Jacket, Tab The Band, and Young The Giant