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Q&A: The Lumineers talk Boston, songwriting, and social media

Posted by Katie McLeod  August 9, 2012 02:19 PM

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From left: Jeremiah Fraites, Wesley Schultz, and Neyla Pekarek. Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

The Lumineers, comprised of guitarist Wesley Schultz, percussionist Jeremiah Fraites, and cellist Neyla Pekarek, performed a stripped-down version of a handful of songs off their self-titled album "The Lumineers," including their hit “Ho Hey,” for RadioBDC before heading over to play the House of Blues while in Boston. After the set, sat down with the band's founding trio to ask a few questions about Boston, songwriting, and their thoughts on social media. Group members Stelth Ulvang on piano and mandolin and Ben Wahamaki on bass were not present for this show. Read more about The Lumineers at The Lumineers put unique shine on folk rock. RadioBDC launches Monday. What are your thoughts on Internet radio?
Schultz: One of the first stations to play us was KEXP...they set the bar really high. [Internet radio] is kind of a natural progression.
Fraites: I think everyone thinks it's a negative thing. But it's not. Internet-based radio alludes to the private lifestyles people have. What are your thoughts on Boston? Can you share any Boston memories with us?
Schultz: We played a show at PA's Lounge in Somerville. We opened for Faces on Film.
Fraites: We did a blog the next day. Band in Boston. Look it up. [Also,] I remember I was walking on a bridge and my fedora fell off, I don't know what bridge. For new fans, describe your sound. Is it pop, folk, rock?
Schultz: We just prefer to let people sort that out. You don't want to put something in a box. Can you tell new fans something they should know about The Lumineers right now?
Pekarek: I think it's great for people to get out to the live shows.
Fraites: We never thought "Ho Hey" would turn into what it's turned into. Come to a show.
Schultz: It's really been nice for people to buy the whole record. Fans know the record and that's been really refreshing. Reviewers are calling your lyrics memorable. Who writes your songs and where does your inspiration come from?
Schultz: Jer and I write the music together and I write the lyrics. A lot of it is a combo -- it's your own life, creating a character you think is interesting ... There
is no certain formula to it. Just whatever resonates with us. Right now you have almost 74,000 people following the band on Facebook and more than 15,000 following on Twitter. How does social media affect your relationship with your fans?
Fraites: I don't think we're a band that wants to be known for cool tweets. We want it to be sincere. Some bands think they are too cool for school (for social media). And I used to think that way. Not anymore.
Schultz: There's a certain level of connection and intimacy. But it can't be confused with truly knowing a band. Our main goal is to play shows and play music.

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The latest news, commentary, and reviews on music in Boston and beyond.


Sarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.

Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.

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