PROVO — Fronted by energetic vocalist Chris Crabb, featuring a funky horns section and an avid group of devoted musicians, We Are The Strike is known for its larger-than-life performances and musical expertise.
Not long after the band began playing together, it won the America's Freedom Festival contest to play at Provo's Stadium of Fire for more than 63,000 attendees, serving as the opening act for Carly Rae Jepson and Kelly Clarkson. We Are The Strike has also performed on the same ticket as Jason Scheff of Chicago, The Piano Guys, Vertical Horizon and Mason Jennings.
With a clean sound and a clean look, the band is bringing classy back in a big way. We Are The Strike is on a mission to bring the art of true musicianship back to popular music. Although the boys are already preparing for their EP release on Friday, guitar player Chase Baker gave us some insight into the band's sound and methods, and revealed some exciting news about recording with a couple of music legends next week.
KSL: What's your "origin story?" How long have you been playing music? What inspired you to create a band? Chase Baker: Each one of us in the band has been influenced in one way or another by the likes of Stevie Wonder; Michael Jackson; Earth, Wind & Fire; and other bands whose focus on musicality and a great groove dominated their music. The desire to bring our own version of that back is ultimately what brought the band together.
KSL: Give me the thousand-foot view of your sound and style. CB: High-energy pop infused with funk, soul, jazz and dance music.
KSL: How did you find the members of your band? CB: We didn't all come together at the same time. It all started as a jam session with a few of us, which led to getting more horn players and adding more musicians. We all came together one by one through playing in corporate party bands together and BYU's music school. Most of us had already been friends for quite a while, so when we came together, things already felt natural.
KSL: What inspires you? Who are your musical influences? CB: Personally, I'm inspired by Stevie Wonder. Not only is he an astounding singer and keyboard player, but his songwriting chops are spot-on as well. He wasn't afraid to write what felt natural, even if it musically stepped outside of safe boundaries.
KSL: What do you tell yourself before a performance?CB: Let's just go have fun.
KSL: What is your five-year plan with your music? CB: Influence as many people as possible on a world scale with our music.
KSL: What has been the most exciting thing to happen in your career to date? CB: Our Stadium of Fire experience was one to remember, for sure.
KSL: Who have you most enjoyed collaborating with, and who is your dream collaboration? CB: One of our most exciting collaborations is actually about to happen very soon. We'll be in Los Angeles next week working with some of the team that recorded and helped produced Daft Punk's latest album, "Random Access Memories." We're all extremely excited. It's kind of already a dream collaboration come true.
We Are The Strike's EP release show at Velour is sold out, but you can purchase the band's new tracks on iTunes starting March 22.