Super Sampler band The Walking Sticks are a 3-piece dream pop band that makes you want to be in your early 20s and living in a major metropolitan city and biking with a crush and feel good feelings. Think My Bloody Valentine with less gazing at shoes, more keyboards and a love of New Order. They’re an extremely pop-friendly band that can and should be a ‘big deal’ in these parts quite soon. Rather than listen to my glowing prose about the band, listen to the song that made me pay attention.
The Walking Sticks are Max and Spencer Ernst and Chelsea Lee. Max and Spencer agreed to say their name before their statements for the purposes of clarification, but that soon went out the window. It’s incredibly difficult to distinguish the voices of 24-year-old males that happen to be in the same band and happen to live in the same house and happen to have majored in the same thing at the same university. So there some be some crediting errors.
Why the Walking Sticks? Why is the band name the Walking Sticks?
Spencer: We were trying to come up with a band name and we like hiking.
You like hiking!
Spencer: With walking sticks
How old are you? You’re 22 and 24, right?
Chelsea: They try to hike in the woods everyday and when Im alone I try to hike in the woods
What woods are we hiking in?
Max: The Northwest Branch, Anacostia Water Shed.
Chelsea: They’re environmental science majors.
Why are you making signs with your hands? This is an audio recording for print. I’m keeping that in. You’re in college then?
Spencer: We just finished, we graduated.
Spencer: Environmental science majors
Both of you?
Chelsea: Same classes, same everything.
Max: Same shit.
Chelsea: How can I be separated by these two? I can’t.
You’re in school?
Chelsea: Yes, I’m in school.
I’m at NOVA, I’m going to George Mason in the fall studying early childhood education
So you want to help the youngsters grow up?
Chelsea: No, I want to have a career doing this.
So your band is more important than the future of America. Your band is more than important education is what you’re saying?
Chelsea: Yes, absolutely.
And these guys just want to walk around in the woods?
We all want to do music full time that’s our full time and then part time it would be cool to have a daycare that does a music programs.
Oh that’s nice, I can’t make fun of that. You guys are kinda like Fleetwood Mac, you started with one sound and morphed into this one. Chelsea, you weren’t in the first incarnation of the band?
Chelsea: I was on two songs. I was on Atlantic as a solo artist so I couldn’t be apart of this band.
What happened to Atlantic?
Chelsea: I kicked them in the nuts! I’m just kidding. I left Atlantic because they weren’t doing shows for me and it was a waste of my time.
Would you ever want to do that again? Would you guys ever want to do major label stuff?
Max: We’re definitely open minded but I think the major label is going on the outs and its more towards like minor labels that are working with the artists.
Whats your ideal label?
Max: Sub Pop has a lot of awesome artists.
Who is on your ideal tour?
Spencer: It would be sweet to open with Heim right now, they’re killing it
Chelsea: London Grammar.
Who do you like locally?
Max: We like Pressure Curses.
Oh, that’s nice!
Chelsea: Yes, we love Pressure Curses. I love 80’s music and they just remind me so much of it.
How would you describe your music? I know that’s a horrible boring question but you can just lie.
Max: I don’t know, we call ourselves dream pop
I get that.
Chelsea: We’re pretty pop, we’re bringing 80’s back but in a 2014 kind of way.
When were you born?
Chelsea: So before Counting Crows wrote, what’s my favorite song from the Counting Crows?
“A Long December”? “Mr. Jones”? Was it a cover? Was it from the first three albums?
Chelsea: It’s from August and Everything After.
So it’s from the first one. “Round Here”?
Chelsea: Yeah! I used to cover “Round Here” and everyone would be like “That’s before your time,” and I’m like, “Yeah, everything is before my time.”
So you’re proud of covering “Round Here” by The Counting Crows.
Chelsea: I was when I was doing that. I hate doing covers now. Actually we just covered or just finished covering “Senorita” by Justin Timberlake but in like a decked out —
That makes me not like your band anymore. Who sings it? All three of you?
Chelsea: No, I sing it. Trust me trust me but its on the outs. Trust me you’ll love this horrible thing we made our own.
You like Vanessa Carlton? I’m asking because this setting looks like the cover of a Vanessa Carlton album.
Spencer: We all love Vanessa Carlton
Chelsea: She had a great album, did you hear the other album? Guys, that’s when I was like in middle school. I loved Vanessa Carlton. I also loved whats her face, the other one that was exactly—
Chelsea: Michele Branch. I was digging Michelle Branch. I was also buying every single Now CD that was ever made
If you continue doing this I’m going to kick you off the show. That’s the end of the interview.