Sound Check: Wardell's Theo and Sasha Spielberg

BY Sofia Cavallo | Mon. October 28, 2013 | 12:00 AM | Sound Check
Ever floated down the Amazon river, mimosa in one hand, favorite housepet in the other, and felt like something just wasn't quite right? Did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, it was because the perfect soundtrack was missing? Well, the wait is finally up: Wardell has the answer to your prayers, as you'll soon find out below. Sis and bro Sasha and Theo Spielberg, two LA natives who grew up under the same creative roof (mom's an actress and dad made E.T., Jaws, and a handful of other films you may have heard of), make up the band that must be onto something, given their recent signing to Roc Nation. This past week, the band wrapped up a visit to the East Coast, where we caught up with them and talked desert island discs, Instagram, and more.

Photos by Brayden Olson

Sofia Cavallo: You guys have been involved in other music projects prior to working with each other. What's different about working with your sibling?
Theo Spielberg: I think it's easier to work with Sash just because we have such a shared history. She'll understand a weird reference to a song we loved when we were seven. It's also easier to disagree with each other because we've gotten used to doing that over the last 20 years.

Theo, I've always known you to be involved in music in college; and Sasha, I know you've collaborated with some of your creative classmates at Brown, like Nico Jaar. How would each of you characterize the music/creative scene at your respective colleges?
Theo: The music scene at Yale was a whole bunch of a capella. Beyond that I never felt like I totally fit into whatever was going on there, so I started organizing my own shows and having my friends' bands come and play, like Papa, Chief, the Harlem Shakes, and Ra Ra Riot at one point. Creatively, it was great for the more tangible arts. In the end though, the academic process always ended with skipping class and writing songs.
Sasha Spielberg: Brown had quite an eclectic music scene. Nico Jaar, Will Epstein, James Hinton––we were all in the same group of friends, so it made for very fun gatherings and challenged my own musical taste as school progressed. As far as the creative scene goes, every one of my friends was doing something insanely creative, always. From painting to playwriting, it was just always very stimulating.

Have you always gotten along? What would you fight about growing up?
Sasha: We have always gotten along, we've been really lucky perhaps in that regard. We definitely have fights but they almost always are about nothing, and they happen when one of us is tired or hungry. It's sort of boring that way.

If your music were the lovechild of two or more things, what would it be?
Theo: Freeways and sandwiches.

What's your favorite Wardell song and why?
Sasha: We love some of the newer ones because they're a bit darker and more explorative, but "Opossum" will always be my personal favorite as it was the first song we wrote together!

What is the weirdest thing you have seen on tour so far?
Theo: It may be because we were still in Breaking Bad mode but I saw a woman on meth? Is that crazy? I thought it was. She was barefoot. 

What's the best place to blast Wardell?
Theo: Floating down the Amazon River with a mimosa and the pet of your choice.

What other bands/musicians are you guys listening to right now?
Theo: Been listening to Lorde, Haim, Drake, Danny Brown, Ry Cooder, Nick Lowe and Arthur Russell, The Preatures, Haerts, Schoolboy Q, and always Fleetwood Mac. 

What's your desert island disc?
Theo: Desert island disc is Blonde on Blonde for sure.
Sasha: Can I take a greatest hits of some sort? Also, where is my iPod??!

You guys are both pretty active Instagrammers. Who are your favorite people you follow?
Sasha: Favorite "person" to follow would be my dog hamlet, @hamletsw. He's so silly! But really, @jessebochco. Some gems in there. Because, let's be real, Hamlet doesn't know how to type.

What's in the cards for Wardell?
Theo: The Jack of Hearts.

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