Triple Threat

The electro-pop trio is giving listeners ear candy. 

When Apple picked up SHAED’s single “Trampoline” for its MacBook Air commercial lat year, the ripple effect was real. The ethereal song shot up on recognition app Shazam to more than one million searches and upward of 68 million listeners on Spotify, ultimately solidifying the hit as “life-changing” for Virginia native Chelsea Lee (vocals) and twin brothers Max and Spencer Ernst (vocals and production) from Silver Spring, Md. Fame came quickly to the humble group who fondly remember meeting 10 years ago and quickly clicking. Spencer and Lee married last year. This summer, the inseparable trio can be found touring the festival circuit, traveling to perform for their most loyal fans in Japan and looking ahead to a homecoming at the 9:30 Club in October.

 

WHERE DID YOUR LOVE OF MUSIC GROW FROM? 

CHELSEA: We all grew up in homes filled with music. Max and Spencer’s mom plays guitar and taught them how to harmonize at a young age. My parents love music and were always blasting alternative ’80s, jazz, and Led Zeppelin.

NOW YOU ALL LIVE AND WORK TOGETHER IN SILVER SPRING. WHAT’S THAT LIKE?

CHELSEA: It’s a dream. People can be skeptical, but we’ve been together for so long that it’s just natural. We spend 99.9 percent of our time together and have a studio in our house, so we’re all set.

THERE ARE OBVIOUS CHALLENGES OF BEING CLASSIFIED AS ONE GENRE. HOW DO YOU THINK OF YOURSELVES?

SPENCER: We’ve never thought about our music in terms of genres. When we released “Trampoline” we didn’t think of it as an “alternative” song, but it ended up at #1 on Billboard’s alternative chart. We’d rather see our music span over multiple genres than be confined to one thing.

WHAT DOES YOUR MUSIC-MAKING PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

MAX: It typically starts with Chelsea making a delicious breakfast, then sitting down in a room together with a piano or guitar and writing something from scratch. Then taking turns dancing around a microphone and throwing out melodies until something sticks. Then Chelsea going to her office to record some vocals while Spencer and I produce out the music on a laptop.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE SPOT TO PLAY LOCALLY? 

MAX: It’s going to be the 9:30 Club. It’s our favorite venue in the country and where my brother and I met Chelsea for the first time. To be headlining there on October 10 – a decade after we met – is very special.

 

QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS: 

DREAM MUSICAL COLLABORATION?

King Princess

PRE-SHOW RITUAL?

Loosening up by jumping up and down for about a minute and then an inspirational huddle/speech led by Spencer.

WORDS OF ADVICE TO UP AND COMING MUSICIANS?

Always put the music first. If you don’t believe in your music, no one else will.

SONG THAT IMPACTED YOU?

Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding.

WEIRDEST TOUR EXPERIENCE

A fan got a tattoo of our signatures on her arm in Seattle which was wild.

 

Printed in our Summer 2019 issue. 

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