Who's in the band The Lumineers
As a young boy, Wesley Schultz loved to work on drawings together with his friend Josh Fraites. In Ramsey, New Jersey, a suburb of New York, there was nothing to indicate that said Wesley would one day form the band The Lumineers, whose lead singer he is today, together with Josh's little brother Jeremiah Fraites.
But the road to success was not easy. In 2002 Josh died of an overdose at the age of 19. Brother and best friend find music together through the tragic event. "It affects what we talk about and what we write about. To some extent, we grew up overnight. It does something to the band that is difficult to describe - there is hopelessness, but also sadness and a depth that makes you who you are"says Wesley today.
While Wesley and Jeremiah played in different bands since high school, the two now write their own songs together, Wesley on guitar and vocals, Jeremiah on drums, and a little later appear all over New York. But the high cost of living soon becomes a problem for them.
"I lived in Brooklyn and had three jobs just to pay the rent. I was really mad at moving to a city that was supposed to help us grow musically and then didn't have time for music. So I decided to do something about that."
With a few suitcases and a trailer full of instruments, "Wes" and "Jer" set off for Denver, Colorado. Once there, they are looking for a cellist via an advertisement. Neyla Pekarek, born in Denver and classically trained, who has just finished college and actually wants to become a teacher, answers. From now on, it complements the sound of the trio with mandolin and piano.
The three musicians gain their first concert experience in Denver at open mic sessions in the basement club "Meadowlark" and subsequently hone their musical style, a mixture of acoustic rock, pop and folk.
The real career of The Lumineers began with the release of their self-recorded debut album in 2011 and a specially organized tour through the USA. The song "Ho Hey", infused with Americana elements, was awarded platinum in the USA for over a million tracks sold, and the second song "Stubborn Love" is also very successful.
In January 2012 the band signed a contract with Dualtone Records. "It's very surreal"says Wes."If you suffer from defeats for about seven years and then suddenly something works out, it feels weird. We don't quite know what to make of it after all that time nobody has heard from us. Fans are a new venture for us."
And the fan base is growing: The Lumineers are going on their first European tour in autumn, the album will be released in Germany at the end of August and reissued three months later. Despite the success, the band is still humble.
"We only recently managed to quit our jobs and make music full-time. We have been very lucky recently and it would be greedy to wish for more for the moment. It's a very volatile industry and hopefully things will continue like this. I feel happy"says Wesley.
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