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INTERVIEW: Secret Someones Talk Gas Station Food, Bonaroo, And Sharing Men

Drummer Zach Jones laughs with Hannah Winkler as she rocks out down to the floor at the El Rey theater in Los Angeles Monday night.
Drummer Zach Jones laughs with Hannah Winkler.

Infectious Magazine’s Lindsey Goetsch hung-out to chat with Secret Someones after their performance at the El Rey in Los Angelas, CA. Check out the interview after the jump and purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.

Infectious Magazine: Other than having a kick-ass name that came from Laura Veirs, your style is on point for everything you represent! You guys just killed it!

Bess Rogers and Lelia Broussatd: (laughs) Thank you, thank you very much. We’ve been having so much fun on this tour. Sir Sly and Wolf Gang are great guys.

Infectious Magazine: On your website, Zach Jones, previous long-time drummer for A Great Big World, is noted as “joining as the shared drummer.” For those unsure, what does that mean?

B: Oh, that just means we all used to share him, you know, everyone wanted him, and he wasn’t really officially a part of us.
L: Yeah, that just means he’s like, a super-pro musician, and now he’s a part of our band. He’s great, we are like family. He plays a ton of instruments too, other than the drums.

Infectious Magazine: Where was your first live performance and what do you remember most? How did it go?

B: Since we’re all from Brooklyn and live in New York, we got to play at the New York Rockwood Music Hall, two months after we had started playing music together. It was also our favorite performance, but it was crazy. A disaster. We wouldn’t change anything though. We learned from it and took away a lot. Hannah and I lived in the same building. She lived upstairs, but we never had played music together until about a year later.

Infectious Magazine: Hannah Winkler was mentioned as, “a pre-school teacher making music.” Is she still teaching?

L: No, no. No more teaching for Hannah.
B: (laughs) She was a pre-school teacher, was and is still really great with kids, but she just decided to commit to music, and doing both was overwhelming for her.

Infectious Magazine: Two important topics (as seen by your posts on Instagram): Food and Netflix. Other than ribs for family dinners, what else do you love to pig out on?

B&L: (laughs) We love food.
B: It’s usually the first thing I think about in the morning. I always am on Yelp looking up good restaurants.
L: We do think about food a lot. We travel in a van, so it’s like Starbucks for breakfast, gas stations for snacks…
B: I don’t eat at gas stations (laughs). I like real food. It’s always so fun when we’re on tour, because there’s so many different places to try. I’ll find several little restaurants and we all will agree on one. It’s fun trying different foods. Hannah bakes too! So that’s always nice.

Infectious Magazine: And Netflix… Shows? Movies? Anything in particular?

B: I’m into shows. This is a throwback. I’m into Buffy. I just recently started watching it. I had never seen it before, but I’ve become obsessed.
L: We also like shows like Breaking Bad, and I have a favorite but it’s so weird. I’m embarrassed to say it! I love Criminal Minds. It’s something I love.
B: She is really obsessed with Criminal Minds. We will be in the van all doing our own thing, and we hear Lelia yelling at the TV or gasping like she’s scared, then we know it’s just her, watching Criminal Minds again.

Infectious Magazine: How do you feel about festivals? Any in particular you have been to/love/hate/wish to perform together?

B&L: Oh, we LOVE them.
L: Coachella is definitely one we would love to perform at, and also the one in San Francisco. Yes, Outside Lands!
B: I don’t think we will ever be oppossed to any festival.

Infectious Magazine: Lelia Broussard, I read you’ve performed at Bonaroo and on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. What were these experiences like, and how did you manage to land them?

L: Bess and I have performed at Bonaroo and it was incredible. The feelings and everything is something I will never forget. And about Jimmy Fallon… he’s just that guy. He is exactly who he is when you watch is show, the same exact person. He is hilarious and a really great guy. I performed solo, with my band. I love him.

Infectious Magazine: Bess, what was it like touring with Ingrid Michaelson as her guitarist and background vocalist? How is this gig different than performing as a member with Secret Someones?

B: Ingrid is awesome. We’re really good friends and it has been a blast. Performing with her wasn’t too different than with Secret Someones, other than this like my family, we spend a lot of time together, and we’re all really close. My husband Chris toured with a band for about 7 years and he found me the gig. I’ve been very lucky.

Infectious Magazine: Your debut EP, I Won’t Follow, was produced by Chris Kuffner, Bess’ husband. Does he treat it like business and control things or do you still have the creative freedom?

B&L: Oh, no. He doesn’t do that at all
B: He’s really good about it and works with us to help us improve.
L: We’ve all known him for a long time and we’re very close. He always lets us do our thing.
B: Chris is basically our George Martin of the band. The three of us, plus Zach.

Infectious Magazine: Because the market is so flooded these days, it’s hard to stand out as artists, yet alone be signed by a record label. How did you get picked up by Cherrytree and Interscope?

B: We were just making the music we wanted to make.
L: My manager at the time, who is ours now, clicked with us.
B: We did get very lucky. They both are a blast to work with. We love them. I think the point is that we did what we wanted.
Infectious Magazine: What do you think about downloading music online?

L: Downloading illegally is something I am really against. I can’t stand it. I think people should pay. I find it very disrespectful, especially when it takes so much time, money, and resources just to produce a song. When an artist chooses to give out a free song or free EP, that’s different. But I feel strongly that everyone should pay. The value in music is something you’ll listen to forever.

Infectious Magazine: You are incredibly unique and true to yourselves. What personal advice do you give to individuals/artists who might be battling insecurities/doubts?

B: Believe in what you’re doing. If you worry about others and what everyone else is doing, you’re not going to be happy. There are too many people on this Earth.
L: Believe in you and do what you want.
B: Put your blinders on to the world.

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