The nice thing about peace and quiet is that you can get a lot done. For Family of the Year brothers Joe and Sebastian Keefe, the proverbial sound of silence provided the impetus for their early forays into music and songwriting.
Their hometown on Martha's Vineyard can be a bit of a madhouse in the summer time, but if you venture out there in the winter, you'll find a very different environment. It's a quiet place at its core, where people work hard and go about their business.
The Keefe brothers admit that there's not a whole lot to do on a New England Island getaway in January. Fortunately, they developed an interest in music and began writing songs in their teens, laying the foundation for what would become their band's fourth album, Goodbye Sunshine Hello Nighttime, available now via Warner Bros.
"It's so cold and snowy and quiet outside, we spent a lot of our adolescence sort of holed up in basements learning how to play music and write music with friends," Sebastian tells Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke.
But the hardest part for most musicians is getting an audience. After putting a few thousand miles on their car trying to find a break in New York City, the brothers turned their attention west.
"We had spent quite a bit of time traveling to New York, trying to play gigs here, trying to get signed, trying to get attention," Sebastian continues. "Ultimately, we had a better experience when we'd been in L.A. on tour, so we decided to go there."
There, Family of the Year established its core, including the Keefe brothers, guitarist James Buckley and keyboardist Christina Schroeder, in about 2009. The ensuing years of persistence won the band some breaks, most notably their song "Hero" was included on the soundtrack to the 2014 movie, Boyhood.
"It was gradual at the start and then we woke up one day we're like, 'Wow, everybody knows 'Hero' now,'" Joe recalls. "Everybody was listening to it. Everybody wanted us to play it."
Check out the full interview in the video above, including the band's acoustic rendition of "Let Her Go."
Get all Family of the Year's tour dates here.
Here’s a video of Family of the Year's single, “Hold Me Down”: