LOCAL SOUNDS: Strangers By Accident
Editor’s note: Strangers by Accident are a Boston based indie rock band who describe their sound as a mix of alt-country and traditional folk rock. Last week, they released a brand new single, titled “Clean” their first release of new music since their Reckless EP. They’re making a name for themselves on the local Boston music scene and just last week performed at one of Aeronaut’s outdoor summer shows.
We chatted with Brian Sousa, lead vocalist for the band to find out a little more about them. Read through our chat now.
How would you describe your sound if talking to someone who has never heard your music?
We’ve found our niche somewhere in the alt-country, folk-rock side of things, but I’m not sure that defines us musically. Our goal has always been to combine the fragility and emotion of bare-bones folk with the energy of rock. One song we’ve been having fun covering this summer, The Black Keys “Little Black Submarines;” is indicative of that fusion between a lyric-driven acoustic ballad, and an all-out guitar and drums rocker. Ideally, we’re searching for a sound that can do both.
How did Strangers by Accident first come together? Is the band still all original members?
The core of our band, Brian Sousa and Amy Wynne Doran, met years ago on Craigslist. Brian was searching for a female vocalist, and Amy was searching for a new project. As SBA’s sound evolved, from acoustic to a vibe with more texture and power; we’ve had a lot of fun playing with other musicians. Right now, we’re lucky to have Heidi Crampton, who joined in 2016, playing drums for us; we love her style.
What show would you consider to be your “breakout gig” to this point?
We’ve opened for some great bands, for example, we played the Middle East Downstairs when Jeremy Loops, from South Africa, sold it out. Our trip out to SXSW a few years ago also helped us expand our range. I don’t think we’ve had one ‘breakout’ gig yet; it has all been the culmination of smaller steps and a lot of hard work.
What does it take for a band to stand out in a music environment such as Boston?
We love calling this area home, for sure; there are lots of music fans out there, especially in Somerville, where we’re based, and a ton of great bands to team up with. I think bands that are having fun, on stage and off, expend a type of energy that stimulates crowds and energizes people- which is cool because we love being on any and every stage.
What should people expect from your live performance when coming to see you?
You’re going to get a little bit of everything, from loud drums and guitar solos to quiet harmonies, from blues-based rock to ballads. We work hard on our harmonies, and we tend to leave it all on the stage. Oh, and there may be some whiskey involved since brown liquor seems to go well with sad songs, whether they’re loud or soft.
Who is the primary songwriter in the band?
Brian writes music constantly; sometimes just a fragment, sometimes an entire song. Amy takes those songs and pieces of songs and adds new parts, reorders, and shapes the songs into cohesive works. For our next album, we’re hoping to continue that process but also write more freely and expansively.
What should people expect from the band in 2019?
We’re super pumped to have received a grant from Club Passim in January 2019 to make our first full-length record. Right now, we’re writing, and thinking, and letting the new songs make their way into our set. Our focus is on making a record that will define who we are as a band right now, what we’ve been through as individuals and a group, and where we’re going. Coupled with that, we want to bring the new songs to light on stage, which is always twice as awesome as it is nerve-wracking.
What was the first album you purchased?
Brian: Led Zeppelin 3.
Amy: TLC CrazySexyCool and Nirvana Nevermind were interchangeable in my walkman on the bus to school when I was 7.
The first concert you attended?
Brian: The Beach Boys. I was tiny; my parents took me. Great harmonies.
Amy: The Spice Girls. Oh yeah.
Most influential band to you personally?
Brian: So many; tough question. I’ll go with the Grateful Dead, for their risks, creativity, unpredictability, range, and of course, Jerry Garcia’s guitar playing.
Amy: the Beatles. I fell for them hard in middle school, and to this day, I still study their songs for new ideas on chord progressions and interesting melody lines/song patterns.
Strangers By Accident online:
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