A 3 piece from Nashville, the band is singer Thad Cockrell, guitarist Tyler Burkum and drummer Jeremy Lutito. For those into name dropping do a quick web search of each member and get ready to be blown away.
The band released their first album, ‘You Belong Here’ at the end of January (2013). Comprised of a U2-esque sense of rock ‘n roll and a modern touch of soul, the album processes a depth that comes from unique melodies and intricate lyrics. That depth, I’ve found, gives it long term enjoyment escaping any fleeting moment in the spotlight.
To get further acquainted with Leagues, here are a few questions with Jeremy Lutito about the band and new album.
'You Belong Here’ on iTunes
Can you talk about the overall theme of the new album, ‘You Belong Here’?
This record has taken us through an interesting process. One that really challenged all three of us in different ways. The title is “You Belong Here” - which is the second track on the album. That song came about really organically and the lyric just came out with Tyler and Thad. Later on in the middle of the recording process, It dawned on me that it was the perfect theme/title for the record. The whole spirit of it really resonates with us. It’s a phrase that gets tossed around without much thought, but if you take a moment and think about it, it can hold a lot of comfort and depth. Like walking into a party and everyone is genuinely glad you are there. It’s the celebration of togetherness, really.
We’re really happy with how the recording turned out. We spent 2 separate weeks in remote cabins in Siren Wisconsin and another in Leipers Fork, TN. We then went straight into the studio and finished 10 songs in 12 days. When you’re immersed in that process it’s really hard to get a grasp on the fact that you love what you’re creating. So, for us we had to step away from it for a few weeks after it was finished to finally take a deep breath and say, “ok, this is good” The process was never rushed, but it was very focused and intense.
Is being without a record label something you guys are striving and excited to do or is it mostly out of necessity?
We will be releasing [You Belong Here] independently. This excites us. We had spoken with a few labels but we found that it makes more sense to release independently for now. We want to be the ones to throw the rock in the pond and see the ripples. Right now, the rock hasn’t been tossed yet, so we completely understand why a label wouldn’t want to take the risk at this stage. We feel energized and equipped to do this on our own for now.
What’s your take on renting music vs buying it. Basically the spotify model vs the iTunes one?
Honestly, at this point, whatever it takes to get people to listen to and engage with our music is a good thing. Going the independent route is harder work for the artist/band to do themselves, but the benefits in the end are greater. If people want to buy it, then great. If they just want to stream it, that’s fine too. We believe there’s a lot of value in our music. When you really look at the hard work that went into it, it’s pretty absurd. We all made huge sacrifices just like other countless bands. If making good money was the main reason we were doing this, I believe the art would suffer. However, now that the label era is all but over, if you really want to put a price on the life long value of great music, I think it should be $10 per song, not $10 per record. When I was a kid my dad would get a decent cup of coffee for 69 cents. Now you pay upwards of $4 for a really fine cup or $4 for just an “ok” cup. I don’t have to pay $4 for a nice pour over at Stump Town, but I’m such a fan of it that I’m willing to pay that much. In the end, true music fans don’t mind paying for music.
Who is a lesser known band you’d want people to check out?
Right now, loving Among Savages, Matthew Perryman Jones, Floating Action, and Foreign Fields are making some beautiful music.
Why didn’t you guys go the alternative funding method for this album like using Kickstarter?
After a lot of thought, we came to the conclusion that Kickstarter makes a lot of sense for more established acts. We put the feelers out there on facebook and twitter and received mainly positive feedback, but something just didn’t sit right with us. The idea of fans being able to directly support the art that they want to be a part of is a pretty incredible thing. We’ve seen artists use Kickstarter in really tasteful and intimate ways, but we’ve also seen it used in ways that come off desperate and very distasteful. So for us, it just wasn’t the right thing for now.
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Visit the band’s website