Sunday, April 1, 2012

10 Seconds With: The Strange Familiar

Photo: Chris Owyoung
Kira Leyden and guitarist Jeff Andrea, the husband and wife songwriting team behind Strange Familiar, make the kind of timeless music that long careers are built on. They have been writing and performing together since they met in grammar school in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. “I was in seventh grade when I saw Jeff’s band playing (Pearl Jam’s) ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ at our school dance,” Leyden recalls. “The singer forgot the words and walked off the stage, and I remember thinking, ‘I could do better than that!’”. A life long partnership sprang from that serendipitous beginning, forged by their mutual love of music and each other. By the time they were in high school, their band had morphed into Jaded Era, one of the top indie groups in the Akron, Ohio area.

When Jaded Era splintered, Kira and Jeff headed to the Leyden family basement, where they set up a studio and started writing songs that would become the foundation of The Strange Familiar. After months of performing around town and experimenting with new sounds, The Strange Familiar decided to make the move to Los Angeles.

Here to make you more “familiar” with the “strange” is Kira Leyden…!

MS: You have an album coming out “Chasing Shadows”.

KL: I’m so excited, “Chasing Shadows” is coming out on April 10th.

MS: Cool, tell me what you hope to accomplish with it?

KL: “Chasing Shadows” is the first time I feel we have been able to get into a studio as a band and do something really cohesive. The band played on all the tracks and it feels like the first time something wasn’t done in pieces. It feels like the most honest we have ever been musically. I think that it is really honest and uplifting, and it will inspire people and help them through tough times.

MS: Very cool.

KL: You know, I really can’t write anything that’s frivolous, “Being Me” is about as frivolous as it gets. (laughs) But we are still trying to send a message - “be happy with who you are”.

MS: It’s more whimsical, than frivolous.

KL: There you go! I’m going to use that from now on. Last year we did a mini school tour. We played a lot of High Schools & Grade Schools. We want to put out a positive message and ended up doing a full show….I looked at those kids and thought: “Wow! That was me a few years ago, trying to fit in”. Our overall message is be yourself, and I’m proud of that.

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