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What I Learned at Bandcamp: The Leeway

The Leeway, Bandcamp, interview

The Leeway is a new indie-folk band based out of New York. The five piece formed less than a year ago and has already released its debut, self-titled album. The six-track EP was recorded at The Bunker (The Black Keys, Tune-Yards), mixed by Brad Bivens (Punch Brothers), and mastered by Gavin Lurssen (Oh Brother Where Art Thou).

Below, read The Spec‘s interview with The Leeway and listen to tracks from the album…

Tell us a little about yourselves…
We formed earlier this year (2014). It all started with me (Pedro Barquinha) and our banjo player (Bennett Sullivan) a few years back. We’d had the idea for a project that contained both the lyrical easiness of folk songs, and the compositional precision of classical music. Though we did work on some music then, the project was put on hold for a while. Late last year, I decided to start writing with that concept in mind once more. In January this year, I spoke to Bennett about the project and we recruited the rest of the band. In March, we recorded our self-titled debut EP at The Bunker Studio in Brooklyn, NY.

How long have you been making music?
Though the band itself only began under the name The Leeway earlier this year, we had all been playing music together in different projects for the last three or four years. We all met at The New School for Jazz.

Who/what are your influences?
We pride ourselves for not following one or two specific musical paths. We really try to draw from as much music as possible, so this is always a tough question. The truth is that it really changes a lot depending on what we’re listening to at the time of writing. Currently, I’ve been listening to Mahler, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, and Blake Mills a lot.

What is your favorite song you’ve released and why?
I think our strongest song in the EP is “Mother.” I think it has a certain organic flow to it. It seems to play itself. On the other hand, l’m also really proud of “Come Back” because of the way it makes use of motives and because of its unusual structure. It manages to be a pop song without being predictable.

Upcoming projects, where do you want to go from here?
I’m originally from Portugal, so I hope to be able to do some touring in Europe next year. Perhaps a full-length record as well.

If you could no longer be a musician, what would you be or do for a living?
I’ve always been really drawn to science in general. I think I would be an Astrophysicist. I’m so fascinated by the vastness of the Universe.

What musicians or bands do you look up to?
We really look up to The Dirty Projectors, Punch Brothers, Radiohead, Randy Newman, Bob Dylan, and many more. I won’t go into classical composers.

Why do you make music?
I think it’s because it offers me a satisfaction that I haven’t been able to find through any other medium. I love how it makes me feel and how subjective it is. It also presents me with really tough challenges, which keeps me interested and always learning.

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