Unlike many other genres and music communities, the indie/alt culture appreciates new and rising artists that create diversity and new insights within the genre.
We constantly feature notable indie and alternative artists on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview, the New England based synthpop duo Admiral:
We recently talked in-depth with Ethan Kascenska and Tyler Kittleman. Read on to find out more about the duo's influences, creative process, and of course their take on alternative culture.
Well we grew up listening to Bruce Springsteen, so that was a big factor. Albums that inspire me to do what I'm doing now would be Long Live by The Chariot, anything by Alkaline Trio and currently music by bands like Chvrches. It’s really encouraging just to know there are people out there making a go of the weird things we like.
What are your fondest musical memories?
We're basically hardcore kids who make electronic music. So Tyler and I's shared experiences at countless DIY shows with small bands is amazing. There's such an immediacy and sense of community at events like that.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
Lately, we've been getting a lot of inspiration with the UK grime scene. Those artists sense of rhythm a lyric emphasize is pretty impressive.
How did you two meet and when did you decide to start making music together? What were your musical backgrounds before collaborating? How did Admiral come about, in terms of name and sound?
Well Ethan was a part of an indie-punk band and Tyler was the General Manager of a radio station, and was putting on a huge event and was able to get 90s Nickelodeon star Kel Mitchell. He needed bands so Ethan’s band was one of those bands to play the event. After that Ethan and his band at the time figured if he Tyler can book a guy as big as Kel Mitchell he could manage a band. So Tyler started managing Ethan and his old project.
Along the way, Tyler picked up other acts to manage and tour manage. Ethan’s band broke up. While Tyler was on tour, Ethan called him to talk about his new project that was going to be his solo act but he needed a drummer, keyboard player, and bass player. Tyler was at the time getting into Ableton and launch pads and synths and suggested that he be the other sounds while Ethan sings and plays guitar. Ethan and Tyler thought with was such a cool a create project which they could morph all their favorite genres into one. They thought it was too good to be true and it had to be a trap and then they went we’ll call it Admiral.
How would you describe your band's sound and aesthetic? What has influenced you into creating this type of performance vibe?
We are a synthpop band from the perspective of people that have spent years working in punk and other guitar based genres. As far as the performance goes we really pull from the DIY community by keeping it as personal and close knit as possible with our fans.
Tyler usually starts with the synth and builds the song from there while Ethan starts out with the drums. They sometimes plunge into the creative process with an idea of what they want it to sound like; however because they are so indecision half the time they wing it until something eventually comes together.
Something we find interesting here at IndieBeat is how the base city of artists impacts their creative process and sound formation. How has the North East, specifically Vermont inspired into developing your sound? How would you describe the music scene?
Both of us love the northeast, it’s where our hearts are. We both started out in music within the New England hardcore scene and that carries over into anything we do, regardless of genre.
It’s all about that independent toughness and self-sufficiency. We do everything ourselves, in house and because we have that ability we also love helping others get their start too.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
I think digital sharing, whether it’s free or paid is a wonderful opportunity to reach fans across a larger demographic than was previously possible. On the other hand it’s still important to focus on quantity over quality. its very easy to put out loads of content, but that can oversaturated your target audience. With Admiral everything we release is only through digital formats, but we make sure that any content we create, whether it’s a single or artwork is quality.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
We would love to get involved in helping produce with a hip hop artist—just as a different way of being creative without the constraints of melodic vocals and Ethan's range as a singer.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects? Can we expect any shows or albums in the year to come?
We are currently working a few singles and looking at releasing an EP early next year. We just recently started our single series we released a new single “So It Goes” a few weeks ago and we are planning to release another single in the next few months.
Finally, a question we ask all of artists: which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
Tigers jaw, Drowning Men, The Wombat, Miniature Tigers
Stepdad- “My Leather, My Fur, My Nail”
Kisses-”The Hardest Part”
Son Lux-”Change Is Everything”