Jake Fine, Noah Wilson, and Max McEwen make up the rising indie-pop band, Origami Crane. I got the chance to talk with them about the inspiration behind the band’s name, who their musical influences are, the story behind their new single, “Like a Flame”, and so much more. Keep reading to see what they had to say!
For those who might not have heard of Y’all, can you give us a brief history of the trio and how you guys came together?
The three of us met at Berklee College (now University) of Music when we were all around 18 years old. We all were in the same group of friends, and likewise played a lot of music together. We used to write and perform music together and, after many different forms, we all found ourselves in the same place at the same time at around 24 years old, and that’s when we decided to form Origami Crane and move to NYC.
I’m totally intrigued by the band’s name. Where did it come from?
It’s a wonderful symbol of both intricacy and simplicity, and we had all been struck by the imagery of an origami crane itself. It felt mysterious yet playful, and we couldn’t get it out of our heads.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. So how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
Our music is playful, flirtatious, syncopated, and fun to dance to. That being said, all of our music has a certain element of depth – some desire that has meaning, and lyrics that while easily understood, can convey a lot of emotion.
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
Individually, we have very different musical tastes! Max listens to mostly EDM and Jazz instrumental music, such as Haywyre and Snarky Puppy. Noah listens to a lot of Acoustic Folk, such as Gregory Alan Isakov, Leif Vollebekk, and enjoys unique rock bands like Spoon. Jake digs EDM, Folk, Indie Pop, and Pop – such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Madeon, Dermot Kennedy, Oh Wonder, and Zedd.
Moving on to talk about “Like A Flame.” What’s the story behind that song?
The story is, to quote Max, “about what everyone wants: that passionate summer love with a person that blows your mind, and ‘keep[s] burning through the night.’” The idea is that the singer unintentionally falls for someone after a casual one night stand — we think it’s especially relevant nowadays because a lot of people our age view emotional attachment as a negative thing or something to be unexpected from either party.
What was your writing process like for this song? Are you guys a band that likes to keep it in-house or do you like to collaborate with others?
Generally, we keep it in-house – we’ve been writing together for so long now that the workflow is pretty seamless. It starts with a musical riff and maybe a single line of lyrics from Jake, expands to Noah writing the bulk of the lyrical content, and then a refining process begins between all of us. We try to ensure consistency in the lyrics and take a fair amount of time together choosing all the sounds for the song.
You guys worked on this music with Brent Kolatalo (mix engineer and producer) and Arthur Indrikovs (mixing and mastering engineer). What was that like and what impact did they have on your music?
It was wonderful working with Brent and Art. Both of them have worked with such amazing people in the industry and they are true wizards at their craft. We felt that we could communicate quickly with them and receive valuable insights and speedy work. We’ll certainly be looking to work with them in the future. They helped make our final product smooth, crisp, and have that radio-ready sound.
Musically, what can people expect from you for the rest of 2018? Is there an EP or a full-length album release coming anytime soon? Any tour plans?
We’ll be releasing another song, titled “Sq 1”, in one month to start! We’re looking into getting some remixes going with our singles, to offer some variety to our listeners, and to possibly release an EP this coming year! At the moment, a full-length album isn’t really on the table – at least not yet. We’re in an age where we can release music at a more individual level, and see what has the most impact on our audience. The opportunity to do that is invaluable to us as we move forward. We’ll be looking into to touring, likely in Boston, Philly, Washington DC, and more, for this coming Spring of 2019.
You guys are still very new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
This is something that is definitely on our mind a lot. We feel like we have a grasp of the scene in NYC, and would like to begin to expand our live shows to more cities. This involves trying to build an organic fan base in more locations, which is something we’re working on currently. Being that we play all the vital roles in our own band – management, funding, release planning, etc – we’re looking to add members to our team that can help take our project to new levels. Whether that’s a manager or signing to a label, we don’t know yet. It depends what kind of offers come our way.
Last question — we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner-nerd. What is something, besides music, that you nerd out about?
Oh man, that’s an understatement.
Noah is a total nerd when it comes to photography. He’s got an impeccable eye for details and actually majored in Photography in Denver. He’s fairly immersed in the subject, and can nerd out about various photoshop processes and photo editing tricks.
Max is an avid video game player, both online and offline across multiple platforms – such as Xbox, PlayStation, and PC. He spends on average 2-4 hours a day playing various games typically. Some of his favorite titles include: the Call of Duty franchise, Runescape, the Bioshock trilogy, the Fallout franchise, and many more. He grew up playing games like Super Mario and Ratchet and Clank and was hooked right away.
Jake is addicted to anime. Being that he studies Japanese, it’s a super fun way to passively educate yourself on the language while having a fun time watching. He keeps up-to-date with the best anime of each new season, and while he doesn’t have a Netflix subscription, he has a subscription to anime streaming services online. Hunter X Hunter, Naruto, Durarara!!!, No Game No Life, Samurai Champloo, Shingeki no Kyojin, Btooom!, and many, many, more are on his list of watched anime.