By: Jacob Elyachar
Jake’s Take is happy to welcome Los Angeles-based band Sweetwater & The Satisfaction to the site!
The group’s lead vocalist Alana Sweetwater and producer Scott Feldman are the latest artists to take my 5 Question Challenge!
The duo met two years ago at one of Alana’s shows and they instantly clicked. Alana and Scott created multiple tracks that produced a debut album that combines old soul with blues and rock and roll!
Several of their songs have appeared on multiple TV shows including The Real L World, Sons of Anarchy and Franklin & Bash. In addition, they have also performed at some of LA’s finest venues.
Alana and Scott talked about the group’s origin story, their latest single: “ Maybe Just Pretend” and the challenges they have faced finding a place in the overcrowded music industry.
Jacob Elyachar: When did you decide that you wanted a career in the music industry?
Alana Sweetwater: I’ve wanted a career in music since I knew what music was, however wasn’t certain i was going to make a long-term career out of music until I started getting great work in the production/writing world. Until then, I was very wary of letting go of day jobs and plan B’s, while still pursuing jobs in performance and production. At some point, like any good nihilist, I realized that was absolutely too far down the road of musicianship to turn around and basically unhireable for any other career. Thank god for that.
JE: Could you please describe the group’s origin story?
Scott Feldman: A mutual friend in publishing introduced Alana to me in the summer of 2011. The goal was to write specifically for said publisher for film and TV. We quickly realized that we wanted to go in a very different direction than he/they wanted us to. Alana convinced an extremely reluctant version of myself to put a band around the songs we were writing. We performed for the first time as Sweetwater & The Satisfaction in the early months of 2012, had our first TV placement on Sons of Anarchy that fall, and evolved into the eight-piece mini orchestra that we are today.
JE: Recently, you released your latest single: “Maybe Just Pretend.” How long did it take for you to record the song from conception to release?
AS: The single “Maybe Just Pretend” was our first time back in the studio after releasing our self-titled, debut album, and probably took a month from the first semblance of chords to the final mix. We wanted to make sure that we wrote and produced something that made us at least as happy as everything we had done previously as well as something that pushed us somewhere; I think most artists are petrified of being stagnant. We were thrilled to end up with our most up-tempo and probably hookiest song yet, and still have immense pride about it. However, that stagnant thing is always lurking around the corner, and you can expect something heavier and darker from our next single, “Chasing Blue” (Nov. 12 exclusively at www.sweetwaterandthesatisfaction.com).
JE: What have been some of the challenges that this group has faced in the music industry? How do you overcome them?
SF: Our biggest challenge is being 1 of 1 million talented independent bands vying for the attention of fans in every demographic as well as tastemakers and the people that make our industry move. We’ve been lucky enough to have some great TV placements, which helped get us on the radar of all those people. At the end of the day though, it’s great and interesting content that gets you noticed. We’re very lucky to have a team of people to help us package our music, videos, artwork, and images in a unique way to keep people interested. We also have stellar music – that helps.
JE: How has social media helped you connect with fans?
AS: Social media has been huge for us. We just successfully crowd funded our next EP, and some videos with a Kickstarter campaign. While family and friends were instrumental in getting the ball rolling, this was funded because of our ability to reach fans that genuinely love our music on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve also had the benefit of being featured on the online radio station, Earbits.com. It has gained us an immense amount of Facebook fans and mailing list sign-ups, directly correlating to album, single and ticket sales.