Leagues(Consisting of singer Thad Cockrell, guitarist Tyler Burkum and drummer Jeremy Lutito), came together with the intent of making enjoyable music, both to listen to and create. We were able to reach out to the band and get an inside look at what drives their creation.
When listening to your music, a level of excitement is carried through to the listener, implying a conscious effort in involving the audience. Can you tell us about how that process starts in the songwriting stage?
We definitely consider the listener. Not in a way that panders, but we think it’s important to be conscious of what will bring people a sense of joy and connection with each other. We want to find that common spirit that can put people in the same room that you wouldn’t think belong in the same room together. We consider them the secret 5th member of the band when writing.
Each song of yours sounds like a group playing in complete harmony. Are there important factors in developing that kind of close musical relationship in a band?
I think we have been in music long enough now to be self-less in the music making process. Or to say it better, we’re less aware of what we’re each individually bringing to the table because we’re more concerned about the song itself. When we first got together we all had to shake off our go-to creative patterns. It took some work and maturing but we started to realize we were all doing something we didn’t know how to do, and that’s when the best stuff comes out. When you’re willing to do something you don’t know how to do. We also have immense love, respect and admiration for each other as people. Each guy brings something the next one can’t. It’s a great balance.
What are some other artists¹ songs that influenced the sound of Leagues?
“Everyone Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. Such a captivating track and song. It’s all encompassing. It stops you in your tracks at the
intro. Those are the kind of songs we want to write- so are these.
“Sledge Hammer” – Peter Gabriel
“Dreams” Fleetwood Mac
“Miss You” Rolling Stones
“Let’s Dance” David Bowie
“Harvest Moon” Neil Young
“I Can’t Tell You Why” The Eagles
From the biography on your webpage, the way the band came together sounds like a very natural process. What were some of the important factors in this formation?
It happened very naturally yet there was some mystery there. Also, that doesn’t mean it was easy. There where a few monumental things that have taken place since the beginning that have saved the band and kept it going. There’s nothing ambitious or dangerous about starting a band in your 20s. In your 30s however, with families and real lives, starting a band is not only ambitious but it’s borderline delusional. We’ve been fortunate to have just enough of a wind at our backs to inform us that we need to stay on the path. Things like a TV placement, or a radio add at just the right time that enabled us to not bleed out there on the road. It sounds dramatic but it’s been little victories like that keep us poised.
Are there any new artists that you listen to in your spare time?
Been wearing out Atl-J, James Blake, Blake Mills and Local Natives. Also, Roman Candle is about to put out an incredible record.
Which artists would you like to share a stage with?
We opened up for Local Natives in Nashville and it was fantastic. We’d like to do that more. Fitz and the Tantrums bring the party and so do Vampire Weekend. We’re in the dreaming business so why not Coldplay, U2, and
If your audience could take with them one overall feeling or message after seeing your performance, what would you like it to be?
Pure joy. To forget themselves for at least an hour. Maybe to lose their self-awareness and just have fun.
Leagues will be playing with Andrew Belle at Vinyl on November 20.
Doors at 7:30. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance ticket sales end at 4pm day of show.