The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter played host for The GRAMMYs At Lollapalooza during the festival's 20th anniversary installment from Aug. 5–7 in Chicago's Grant Park. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including indie pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and eclectic Chicago-based eight-piece band Kids These Days.
Singer Daniel Zott and multi-instrumentalist Joshua Epstein spoke about their project Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., playing live, their love of sports, technology, and provided advice for aspiring musicians, among other topics.
"Our big thing is we want to put on a show and give people their money's worth," said Zott regarding touring. "We try and be present and make every performance a special thing," added Epstein. "It's not the band's show, it's the people who are there — it's their show."
Featuring a blend of folk, pop and electronic elements, Zott describes Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s music as "Simon And Garfunkel with hip-hop beats." Hailing from Detroit, the duo released its debut album, It's A Corporate World, in June on Warner Bros. Records. The album features "Nothing But Our Love," which is also featured on their 2010 EP, Horse Power. Avid sports fans, the duo author a weekly column for ESPN.com.
Kids These Days consists of Lane Beckstrom (bass), Liam Cunningham (guitar/vocals), J.P. Floyd (trombone), Rajiv Halim (saxophone), Greg Landfair Jr. (drums), Vic Mensa (rapper), Nico Segal (trumpet), and Macie Stewart (vocals/keyboards). The eight-piece band discussed their Chicago roots, playing Lollapalooza, their unique configuration, and what it's like to be a new band in today's music industry.
"I think it comes from the way we write," said Segal regarding the band's unique sound. "We write together in the same room and jam and then turn our jams into songs. When it's all eight of us jamming, all of us put in our own emotion, our own influence, our own feeling, [and] our own music. All of that combined creates Kids These Days."
With three horns, heavy bass, keyboards, guitar riffs, rapping, and male and female vocals, Kids These Days creates a sonic mixture ripe with hip-hop, jazz and soul elements. In December 2010 the unsigned independent band released the EP Hard Times, which features the single "My Days."
Come back to GRAMMY.com tomorrow 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, Liz Gassner 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