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Interview With 'Been Stellar'

Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?

Sam: Been Stellar is, at its core, me and Skyler. But besides that, there are two crews of members that help us record and play live, one in Michigan and one in NYC. Skyler and I started playing music together during our freshman year of high school, and now both attend NYU.

What were you all up too prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?

Skyler: It has pretty much always been the dream. I have pursued other things on the side, for example, currently I am studying philosophy and politics, and preparing for law school, without real intentions of going to law school, as I want to succeed in music.

Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.

Sam: Our last album, 'Sells Out' perfectly encapsulates the feelings Skyler and I had about graduating high school and moving on to college. I’m very proud of the final product, having written, recorded, and released the entire thing on our own in my attic back home.

Who would you say is the bands main song writer or is it a group effort and where do you draw your inspiration lyrically and musically from?

Skyler: Sam and I are the main songwriters, but we have begun to incorporate elements from the other members as well. Our bassist in Michigan, Dominic wrote a lot of the bass parts on 'Sells Out'.

Sam: As far as influences… the Strokes, Car Seat Headrest, Interpol, the Velvet Underground are big for us musically. Lyrically: Ezra Koenig, Alan Ginsberg, Morrissey, Modern Baseball.

As a band what do you believe is your greatest achievement to date and why?

Skyler: The self-production and self-release of our last album. Playing sold out shows in New York.

Sam: I’m super happy with the production we did on a single we did a couple weeks ago, called Midwestern Holiday.

Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?

Sam: We were walking to practice on 4th ave about a month ago and ran into Paul Banks from Interpol, that was super surreal. Skyler kinda freaked him out I think though.

Skyler: Meeting Albert Hammond, Jr. was awesome, but his show gave me tinnitus for three years, so.

What do you enjoy most about touring? Skyler: We haven’t toured.

Sam: But the shows we’ve been playing are fun, we hope to do a small tour this summer. If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect? Sam: Our shows in New York so far have been pretty nuts for us, especially coming from suburbia. Packed bars with drunk college kids, lots of moshing. Good stuff.

Skyler: Highlights include our other guitarist Nando jumping from tables to stage dive and me rolling around on the ground.

If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why? Skyler: It wouldn’t be the Strokes or someone big like that… someone smaller. together PANGEA or FIDLAR would be a blast.

Sam: Car Seat Headrest would be killer. You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?

Skyler: Julian Casablancas… or, yeah, Julian Casablancas.

Sam: John Lennon, Ian MacKaye, Frank Ocean

What is next for yourselves? Skyler: A lot of live shows in New York, recording new material… probably in the form of singles or an EP.

And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?

Sam: It’s the only Christmas movie.

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