Q: What is the primary message you want to convey with the music you create? What influence do you hope it will have on others?
MIDCENTURY LLAMA: Our music describes a lot of the feelings and situations that we have experienced and seen our peers experience at this stage in our lives. We’re getting used to being on our own and supporting ourselves. We are finding out what really makes strong and serious relationships. It’s harder to get by than it used to be. We hope that listeners can identify with what we’re trying to convey.
Q: The three of you played music together as kids. What inspired you to come together as adults to create Midcentury Llama and how did you go about recruiting the other members?
MIDCENTURY LLAMA: In 2019, the three of us that grew up together, Eric, Sam, and Frank, were all living near each other in Chicago after time away at school and living elsewhere. We pretty much fell into playing music almost every time we hung out together. This slowly led itself to completing our original songs and performing at open mic nights. Eventually, we were introduced to Nick Witek (bass and vocals) and Sam Macduffie (saxophone). I think we met them both at almost the same time and we started renting rehearsal space and recording this album.
Q: Walk me through the process of creating a song. Is the entire process fully collaborative or do certain members take the reins on certain parts? Or does it depend on the song?
MIDCENTURY LLAMA: Our song writing process varies depending on the song. Some of the songs started out as an idea one person brought to the table and we worked on completing it together, such as “Meet Your Ghost.” Other songs, such as “Look to You” or “Oh Love” were brought to the group pretty much fully formed by Sam Okrent (keys and vocals). “I Get Confused” stands out as the vocal hook in the chorus was created by a friend, Charlie Zhang, while guitarist, Frank O’Meara, was playing around with the chord progression he came up with.
Q: What has been the most fulfilling part about being part of this band and creating this EP?
MIDCENTURY LLAMA: Definitely the response we’ve received from friends, family, and other musicians in Chicago. At our last show we could hear the audience singing all of the words to “I Get Confused,” it was surreal. We are so eager for everyone to have access to this album and hear which songs resonate with them.
Q: What is your favorite track on the EP and why?
MIDCENTURY LLAMA: We love all of the tracks on the album, but “Charlie From Chicago” is probably the song we’ve worked on the longest, so it’s exciting for it to finally be complete. We started writing “Charlie” back in high school, about 10 years ago, and it’s gone through many different iterations. Now it feels like it’s exactly how it’s supposed to be and we’re so happy with it.
Q: What’s up next for Midcentury Llama?
MIDCENTURY LLAMA: Right now, we have a few remaining shows booked for 2021. We will be releasing a music video around the holidays. In 2022, we’re planning on playing even more and travel to other cities to play after everyone has had a little bit of time to stream and get to know the music.
Interviewed by Kat Rendon