MEET X AMBASSADORS
X Ambassadors’ music is all about exploration: looking for new ways to combine acoustic, electric and electronic sounds then adding some hip hop or massive arena rock riffs to make something all their own. The band is made up of singer/songwriter Sam Harris, his keyboardist brother Casey Harris and childhood friend and guitarist Noah Feldshuh. They added drummer Adam Levin in 2010 to complete the lineup. They’ve released three EPs and have had their music featured on TV shows, video game series and in movies. Their song "The Jungle," a collaboration with Jamie N Commons, was featured in a commercial for Beats by Dr. Dre® and has appeared in multiple movies and TV shows.
Download their smash hit RENEGADES from their new album VHS.
ON THE ROAD
WITH X AMBASSADORS
Follow the band as they head home to upstate New York to shoot their video, go for a spin in the woods and gather around the campfire. Then check out their trip to Berlin as they bring their music to the Juventus Football club celebrations.
Get to know more about X Ambassadors straight from the mouth of singer/ songwriter Sam Harris.READ THE INTERVIEW >
About the Band We're a band from upstate New York comprised of two brothers, Casey and Sam Harris, our childhood friend Noah Feldshuh, and west-coast transplant/college bestie/final-piece-of-the-puzzle, Adam Levin. We make alternative music, infused with a bit of soul and R&B. We are also four lovely Jewish boys who will make your momma proud.
First shows The first show me and Noah ever played was the Boyton Middle School talent show in 7th grade. Casey wasn't in the band yet, because he was my brother and I was being very territorial. A few years later, I finally caved (I was outvoted by the rest of the band) and we played our first show together above a cafe in Ithaca called The Lost Dog Cafe. After we moved to New York and Adam joined the band, we played our first gig as the final four members at a crazy DIY venue in Bushwick, Brooklyn called Goodbye Blue Monday. There were maybe 10 people there.
Concerts we played The biggest show we ever did was when we opened for Imagine Dragons on their arena tour last year. We were in Montreal one night and played in front of 18,000 people. That was the biggest one on that tour. One of our favorite shows was at a venue in Norfolk, VA called The NorVa a couple years ago, before we were signed. We'd found ourselves a loyal fan-base down there and sold out the show. There were around 1400 kids there, all singing along to our songs. It was the best feeling ever. One of our strangest shows was the first college show we ever did, we were so excited because it was the most we'd ever been paid to do a show...around $2,000 dollars. We were stoked. We arrived at the college, it was somewhere in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. The show was in a cafeteria at around, 10:30pm. No one showed up. Our only audience member was a guy playing a pinball machine in the back of the room. And he left halfway through. Getting the check at the end of the night almost made it worse. We felt so horrible.
Memorable Concerts Noah and I went to see Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age and the Mars Volta in Albany when we were in 7th or 8th grade. It was our first big concert we'd ever been to-seeing the scale of it all, how enormous the venue was, how many people were crammed in there, it was as close to a religious experience that I'd had up to that point. It was probably that show that made the two of us decide that we wanted to be in a band for the rest of our lives. My favorite concert was one night when I was around 16, my girlfriend and I got into a fight about a concert she hadn't invited me to.
She left and I ended up wandering around town by myself. I happened to bump into my friend Taylor and she said she was going to that same concert. I didn't know who the band was, but she said if I just X-ed my hand with a marker I could get in for free. It was in a cafeteria at Cornell University, and the band was a group I'd never heard of called the Arcade Fire. It was a mind-blowing show. There were maybe 150 people there.
Their musical journey We've always recorded ourselves, from the very beginning. Our first studio was my parents' basement, and when we moved to New York we graduated to our bedrooms. The majority of our new album was recorded on the road in our van and in hotel rooms. I write best when I'm traveling. Mostly I write in the van or on long plane rides. Going back to upstate New York is always so inspiring for me because of how nostalgic it makes me feel. I also love LA because every time we go out there, we get to stay with Adam's family (who are lovely). Plus, we get to experience the place where he grew up; to see the differences/similarities to where Noah, Casey and I grew up.
On the road When we’re on the road I always have a book with me, my laptop, my recording apparatus and my notebooks. I have so many filled-up Moleskins lying around in the van, all filled with my deepest, darkest secrets. We use Logic 9, Ableton Live and Apogee Duet/Quartet interfaces. All of this stuff is very portable so we can use it on the road. That's how we did the majority of the record. The worst thing about being on the road is not getting to see girlfriends/parents/friends whenever you want. We basically only hang out with each other, no one else. I'm surprised we haven't killed each other yet...come close a couple times, though. There are a few things we have to leave behind I wish we had. I have a couple nice pairs of Jordans that I have to leave at home...and my vinyl collection. Wish I could listen to those in the van somehow.
Your vehicle A good sound system with either a USB or Aux input is key. We all have to be listening back to things all the time-new mixes of songs, ideas for new songs, etc–and a car stereo is one of the best ways to tell if something sounds good or not. Before I get in the car, I have to do the basic check: wallet, keys, phone. Then I'm good.
SEE THEM LIVE THIS SUMMER
X Ambassadors will be performing at venues across the country. Rollover the X to get the details.
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