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Interview:
After waiting, success is sweet for X-Ambassadors
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

» See more SOUND CHECK



X Ambassadors' Sam Harris says that "it's hard to have any true perspective when you're in the eye of the storm, so to speak" about his band's success.

But with a Top 10 album ("VHS") and a No. 1 Alternative Rock single ("Renegades") he and his three bandmates know it's happening, a sweet pay-off after six years of working to get to this point.

"We have spent more years with nobody knowing who we are than the time that has been spent with people knowing our songs and coming to our shows," says Harris says by phone on his way to a tour date in Maryland. "The four of us have been playing together for almost a decade, and Noah (Feldshuh) and myself and Casey (Harris, his brother) have been playing together since we were kids. So this feels like a long time coming."

Nevertheless, adds the Ithaca, N.Y., native, "I think we've always really believed in ourselves and I don't think we would've been able to continue for as long as we have if we hadn't thought there was something important we were doing. So it's nice to see people are noticing."

X Ambassadors formed originally as Ambassadors, releasing a debut EP in 2009 before a radio disc jockey played one of the group's songs for Imagine Dragons. Liking what it heard, the band clued in Alex Da Kid, its producer and record company chief, who subsequently signed X Ambassadors to his KIDinaKORNER label for two subsequent EPs and "VHS."

"We didn't really know what to make of it at first, because we had been starting to get some offers from labels," Harris recalls. "Most of those were directly from (executives) and Alex was a producer. But then it was like, 'Oh, wait, he has a label? Oh, he has Imagine Dragons?' It was like one discovery after another, and we got really interested.

"So we went into the studio together and tested the waters and it felt great and we worked well together, and before we knew it we were signed. It happened very quickly, and it's brought us to where we are now. So we're grateful and exited for what's ahead."

89X Chill On The Hill

1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12-13.

X Ambassadors performs at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and will DJ a Silent Disco set at 5 p.m.

14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights

Remaining tickets are $70 and $95, with a $339.50 pavilion four-pack.

Call (586) 268-5100 or visit ChillOnTheHillFestival.com.




Web Site: www.ChillOnTheHillFestival.com

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