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Interview – The Bergamot + Song Stream

Stream ‘Forget About Tomorrow’ below. The track comes from the bands forth coming album ‘Tones’ which is out February 11th.

-Who are you and what are you doing here? (what is your name, what is the band and what is your role in the band?) 
My name is Jillian Speece, I represent one-half of the indie pop/rock duo called The Bergamot.

As far as my role in the band goes, I am a singer-songwriter, tambourine shaker extraordinaire, tour bus Tetris packer, finder/maker of delicious food, and social media tycoon.

-How did the band start?

Back in 2003 Nathaniel and I met in high school. He gave guitar lessons, and I just happened to need guitar lessons. We’ll just say we ended up hitting it off.

A few years later we found ourselves with division-one golf scholarships under our belts at the same college. When we were not hitting the books or playing in tournaments, we would write new songs and gig out.

There came a time in 2008 when we looked at each other and said, “Ok, we really need to figure out a name for our band.”

Shortly after, Nathaniel came across this lovely and uplifting citrus essential oil called “bergamot”. When we were hanging in his studio later that week he said, “Jillian, what would you think about naming our band The Bergamot?”

We sat on the name for a week, it stuck, and the rest is history.

-How would you describe your band? 

We are independent singer-songwriters whose sound delves into the indie pop/rock spectrum.

Our live performances are high-energy, filled with uplifting introspective songs, and luscious harmonies. The Bergamot sounds most like Echo Smith, Fitz + The Tantrum and Regina Spektor. In our music, we seek to write happy and authentic music in the same way The Beatles did.

Together, my husband Nathaniel and I craft songs that allow us to throw down some seriously fun live performances.

Our goal with a live performance is to have everyone in the crowd singing together by the end of the song. It is important for us to break down the barriers that exist between the stage we stand on, and our wonderful fans, by inviting them to participate with us during the performance. At the end of the day, for us, music is about spreading joy and creating unity with our fans and the world.

-If you had to choose one song you’ve written that best defines your band which one would it be?
Gosh, this is such a tough one. I would have to say it’s a tie between Tones and Forget About Tomorrow. Both of these songs capture the essence behind The Bergamot, lyrically and musically. They showcase our signature mantra of staying true to oneself, and living within the power of now.

-In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?
1. 13 Years of Collaboration
Nathaniel and I have been a couple since we were teenagers in high school. We met when I was fifteen and he was seventeen. Yep, that means we have been writing and performing together for well over a decade (2003), and are still in our twenties.

We have the unique perspective of growing up together, falling in love, and staying together through thick and thin. Our love comes through in our songs, and certainly inspires our stage dynamics.

You can especially tell we have been performing together since we were teenagers when we are harmonizing. It is pretty rad for us when we nail out tough harmonies live. It radiates some crazy energy into the audience.

2. Musical Chops
Nathaniel and I are both trained musicians. I have been performing and singing on stages since I was five years old. I began studying the voice at fourteen and even began songwriting at twelve.

Nathaniel has been singing and playing guitar for nineteen years. When he was thirteen years old he started writing and composing songs. As crazy as it is, I still listen to, and love, the songs he wrote when we were in high school.

In 2004, he furthered his studies by learning Segovia classical guitar, and in 2010 he taught himself piano. Now, after five years, he is wildly proficient.

3. Grit
We could have given up a long time ago, but we didn’t and we won’t. There is a determination in us that pushes us forward day after day, year after year. So, yeah we have grit. Bring it.

-Where are people able to hear your songs?
Our new album TONES drops February 11th, 2016. You can find it on iTunes, Amazon, our website www.thebergamot.com, Apple Music, and Spotify.

-Are you playing any shows anytime soon (if you live outside of Australia, do you have any plans for a trip down under)? 
Currently, we are out on “The Unity Collective USA Tour”. I am actually writing you from our touring vehicle, a 2002 Volvo with 273,000 miles on it!

Life has been awesome and crazy. With our new album TONES about to drop (2.11.16) we wanted to create a special experience, so we designed The Unity Collective USA tour.

This is a 50 state tour, spreading our music and delivering a message of peace, hope, and unity to all our fans.

At each show, we are inviting our fans to sign “The Unity Car” with their inspiring messages of peace and unity. With so much fear in the world today we felt called to cultivate peace by collaborating with our fans and bringing forth unity, together. So far, the tour is going exceptionally well and we have hit five states (NY, NC, SC, FL, GA). Now, we have only forty-five states to go. (Haha!) Perhaps once this fifty state tour is done, we will take The Unity Collective to Australia. That would be pretty rad.

-What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a band? 
One of our proudest moments was winning The Bud Light Battle of The Bands and getting to open up for Pitbull in front of thousands of die hard fans on a mega stage in the Bahamas. After our show we hung out with Lil Jon, and swam in the ocean with Young the Giant.

-Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?
Glass Animals –
Our song pick: “Black Mambo.”
We get super pumped when we listen to this track. We don’t usually get an instantaneous reaction to songs – but this one laid us out flat. Love it.

Wavves –
Our song pick: “Way too Much”
This reminds us a lot of one of our favorite bands “12 Rods”, so we connected with the track immediately. It feels right in so many ways.

Speedy Ortiz –
Our song pick: “Raising the Skate”
Reminds me of our youth. Growing up loving Nirvana and the rock sound that ensued. Speedy Ortiz seems to have some of that early 90’s angst.

-Anything Else you’d like to add?
Do what you love, love what you do, go forth and set the world on fire. While you’re out there making the world a better place make our new album TONES (2.11.16) your life soundtrack.

Shine ON,

Jillian

P.S. Thank you for this interview opportunity with Cool Try. We look forward to touring through Australia and meeting up with you fine folks. In the mean time, take care and rock on.