After much anticipated demand for a live music festival in Los Angeles, Budweiser's Made In America delivered the goods on a beautiful and sunny Labor Day Weekend. The festival bought out the best of the best from seasoned veterans such Kanye West, Steve Aoki and John Mayer to relatively new artists YG, Imagine Dragons, Capital Cities, and X Ambassadors. On Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014 Examiner.com got a chance to sit and down talk with Sam Harris, the lead singer of the band X Ambassadors, right after he delivered an electric performance on the Marilyn Stage.
During their 45 minute set, X Ambassadors showcased their talent in front of a cheering crowd and blazing hot sun. "I’m a little in a daze, I got totally sunstroke," said Sam. But that didn't stop Sam Harris from crowd-surfing, something he did for the first time 2 years ago during X Ambassadors' first major performance at a venue called The Norma in Northfolk, Virginia. "It was great. They started pushing me around. They were trying to start a mosh pit with me." It was all smiles as he was carried back on the stage to rock out.
They bought out fellow collaborators, Jamie N Commons to play the last couple of songs together. But the most thrilling moment was when they invited The Buskers to the stage to play "Jungle" for their very last song. You should have seen the stage, it was as packed as a full court basketball game. It was iconic moment for The Buskers, who were scouted in Rio de Janeiro, Philly, London, and New York City to add a hint of culture to the massively popular song. It was an epic way to end the Budweiser "Made For Music" campaign.
X Ambassadors have been playing together since their teenage years and one dream was realized on that stage Saturday, but Sam Harris was adamant about the consistent need for the band to stay hungry. "From the outside it seems like we’re doing all this great crazy stuff, but we still want more. We still are nowhere near where we wanna be as a band," Sam Harris uttered passionately as he described his vision for the band'a future.
It seems like the X Ambassadors won't be slowing down anytime soon, especially after such a killer abstract performance Saturday evening at Budweiser's Made In America Festival in the heart of Downtown, Los Angeles. Local LA natives and people from all over the world gathered at Grand Park to have a good time with friends, chop down delicious food from some of the best food trucks in LA, and listen to some good vibes. A skate park along with a ferris wheel bought a touch of culture to the already awesome Jay Z curated festival. Wrist bands were handed out to those 21 and over so they could enjoy a little Budweiser beer pong session in between the diverse lineup of musicians. All in all, the one of a kind Budweiser Made in America festival that took place Labor Day weekend is sure to ignite a spark of future festivals in Los Angeles.
Read our exclusive interview with Sam Harris of the X Ambassadors below:
How does it feel, you just performed at Made In America.
I’m a little in a daze I got totally sunstroke. I went out into the crowd for “Jungle” and climbed off the stage and went into the crowd of people and then climbed back up on stage and then I threw up in the middle of stage. It feels good that we got this whole thing together.
How was the energy when you were amongst the crowd?
It was great. They started pushing me around. They were trying to start a mosh pit with me. I think I decked some poor girl with my elbow.
Is that something that you always do when you perform?
I love interacting with the crowd. I think some of my idols I grew up watching like Iggy Pop, he’s the king of that. There’s something so primal about it and breaking that fourth wall. That’s cool. I love that and I love it when people do that. Its cool to see and be apart of.
Could you recall that first time you actually jumped in the crowd?
I did my first crowd surf at a show we did in Northfolk, Virginia at this beautiful venue called the Norma and we headlined it and we sold it out and it was our first big show that we had done on our own. We had two hundred people and on the last song I just went for it man I threw my bass down and I dove into the crowd and they did not catch me. But I dove threw the people and they kind of broke my fall and I like was bring me up and they brought me up. It was cool.
How long ago was that?
That was almost two years ago.
Describe your evolution? In what ways have you grown over the past two years?
I started off playing music with these guys when I was in seventh grade. So its been me, my brother and our guitar player Noah since then. We met Adam in college. We grew up playing music together. And this was always the dream. So it was a long, its been a long long process and we started off near terrible. Absolutely terrible and then we started getting a little less terrible and a little less terrible until finally we were like okay we think we’re kind of good. And you just gotta keep at it. This is something we all love. And we believe it and its been crazy. From being in the crowd watching bands go up on stage thinking I want that and then being up there, it's cool but you want more. You gotta stay hungry. Rihanna’s manager Jay Brown told me 'always show your ribs, always show them your ribs.' Gotta stay hungry. So I try to keep that in mind.
Would you say that’s the best advice you would give to an up and coming artists like The Buskers?
I’d say just don’t give up. It’s a waiting game. This whole thing’s a waiting game. You’re gonna get your shot if you just keep yourself up, keep your chops up, believe in what you’re doing you’ll find a place. It may take a long time, it may happen over night, you never know. But you just gotta go for it. For us its like we’re still in the middle of it all. From the outside it seems like we’re doing all this great crazy stuff but we still want more. We still are nowhere near where we wanna be as a band. And just gotta stay hungry.
Predict the future for me - in the next two years, where do you see yourself?
The next two years, I see myself on a beach. Right now I see myself in the catering tent. We want to be as big and good as we possibly can be. We did not come into this, to try and just be like another band. We want to really change the way people think about music. And part of our M.O. is that, I’m always satisfied if I’m doing the exact opposite of what everyone else is doing. As long as we keep doing that I think we’ll be good.
Hakeem Animashaun contributed reporting.