Interview with The Greeting Committee: From ‘All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ to “Can I Leave Me Too?”

The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda
The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda
Kansas City band The Greeting Committee are ending their pandemic hiatus to grace our ears with “Can I Leave Me Too?” – the lead single off their upcoming sophomore record, ‘Dandelion’.
Stream: “Can I Leave Me Too?” – The Greeting Committee




There’s always this period after something traumatic happened where you get to see a silver lining.

What do you get when you mix alt-rock influences, thoughtful lyrics, and energetic live performances together? Right, it’s none other than Kansas City based alt-rock band The Greeting Committee, who are finally back. The four piece band consisting of Addie Sartino (vocals), Brandon Yangmi (guitar), Pierce Turcotte (bass), and Austin Fraser (drums), are gracing our ears with the lead single of their upcoming record, “Can I Leave Me Too?” After the release of their debut record This Is It, the band have several achievements under their collective belt, such as supporting Bombay Bicycle Club on tour and providing three of their songs to the Netflix film series To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Can I Leave Me Too? - The Greeting Committee
Can I Leave Me Too? – The Greeting Committee
Why does everybody drive the same car you do?
I’m scared of myself without you
I’ll change my ways for a few days if it means you’ll stay
I’m filthy, creepy, clingy for you always
If you go, can I go with you?
If you leave me, can I leave me too?
I’m afraid that I might need you
If you go, can I go with you?
If you leave me, can I leave me too?
I’m afraid that I might need you
If you leave me, can I leave me too?

Their new song “Can I Leave Me Too?” is the beginning of a new era for the band. It’s a bracingly intimate portrait of post-breakup grief, revealing frontwoman Addie Sartino’s gift for bringing the listener into the world inside her head. The track was produced by Jennifer Decilveo (MARINA, FLETCHER, Bat for Lashes) and mixed by Dave Fridmann, who has worked with The Flaming Lips.

The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda
The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda

The music video, which is co-directed by frontwoman Addie Sartino and Malik Lemonthe, is a visual collection of intimate post-breakup moments, showcasing the different stages of being alone after heartbreak. It shows how time drags when you’re devastated, each day blurring into the next. Atwood Magazine sat down with Addie Sartino to discuss their new single, the history of the band, and how Lorde influenced their new music.

The Greeting Committee most recently released the single “Float Away” in mid-July, followed by their sophomore album announcement: Dandelion is set to release September 24, 2021.

I’ll never say your name again
if you don’t want me.
Don’t want to lose you.
Don’t want you to lose me.
Ain’t it funny how nobody’s laughing
at the way you circle the deep end?
Trying to get you but you won’t say nothing.
Baby, say something. Baby, say. Say.
Lost in waiting.
Can’t eat. I just sleep.
Days on days end.
Baby, call me when you get this.

— —

:: stream/purchase The Greeting Committee here ::



A CONVERSATION WITH THE GREETING COMMITTEE

Can I Leave Me Too? - The Greeting Committee

Atwood Magazine: After your debut record This Is It in 2018, there has been some silence in terms of musical releases. Earlier this year, you had three songs featured on the To All the Boys: Always and Forever soundtrack. How did it feel to be featured in a film that is globally watched by young people?

Addie Sartino: That was super crazy. It’s something you can show your grandparents and they can understand how cool it is, like being able to say we’re in a movie. It’s nice to have something to make your family and friends proud of. My friends and I were fans of the movie series anyway so being able to be a part of it was just really surreal. We’re really grateful for it.

I can imagine! I heard the songs and they are amazing. Your new song “Can I Leave Me Too?” is about to be released. What is it like releasing a song in times when live shows are not happening?

Addie Sartino: That’s the thing. I feel like I forgot how to do a release. I am trying to figure out my calendar right now, and I don’t remember how busy I’ll be on release day and not being on the road whilst something is coming out. I think it’s nice to have time to figure out how to perform these songs live in the best way possible. The band has definitely grown its sound. I think it’s made it harder to perform live because it started out just the four of us playing music that we wrote together, so what you got to hear was what came out of our jam sessions. Now, we’ve added so many layers to our songs, so I am appreciative of that time we have now to figure out how to perform them in a smashing, successful way live because it has to go hard.

The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda
The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda

Yeah! When I heard the song for the first time, I kept thinking how amazing it will be to hear it live.

Addie Sartino: It will be really fun when it goes to that house drop beat. I know we will be able to do that part cool; we just gotta figure out how. Because the thing is, a great studio song does not necessarily make a good live song.

That is very true. Speaking more about your new song, what inspired it and what was the writing process like?

Addie Sartino: Our bass player Pierce brought in the idea of “Can I Leave Me Too?” It was sort of his attempt to get me doing a demo. I am a huge Lorde fan, and he knows that he can trick me if he does sort of Lorde influences. I don’t know if the Lorde influence on this song stuck till the end, or maybe now that I am pointing it out, it will be heard. I think it’s subtle enough, but it worked. He trapped me, he caught my attention, and I loved that song. And from there, I kind of just got the idea for the chorus. It was a voice memo I actually already had on my phone. And I was like, “This will go really well with this idea that he had presented.” I think it makes a really good first single and it will also be the first song on the record. Because it’s the beginning of a story that is about to unfold. It’s going from the beginning of a grief process. It’s just like this really whiny, pathetic song. It’s like, “Oh my God, you need to pull yourself up and we’ll get there eventually. But we have to start here, it’s the beginning of the story.” So, I think that’s really special about that song.

I heard the Lorde influence. I am also really excited for her to release new music. I really related to the lyrics of “Can I Leave Me Too?” – it captures the intense feeling of a breakup.

Addie Sartino: It’s not really a secret, but Elise [my girlfriend] and I have been together for five years. But in 2019, we broke up for about four or five months and I was just devastated. And that’s what this song is, this absolute devastation of what’s happened to this person that I’ve been with since I was 16 years old. It was the process of not really recognising her, not really recognising myself. Life was crumbling. It’s like, “Gosh, this horrible thing is happening but at the end of the day I just want to be with my best friend.” It’s like, “If you go, can I go with you?

Lost in waiting.
Can’t eat. I just sleep.
Days on days end.
Baby, call me when you get this.
The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda
The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda

That’s such a deep story to the song. So what was the context behind the “if you leave me, can I leave me too” lyric?

Addie Sartino: So, it’s me getting dumped and getting my heart broken. And it all worked out in the end, we’re good now. Like I said, you kind of get through the storytelling of that. But what I think is really beautiful about life-changing events like that is even though it’s hard to see the beauty in them when it’s happening, it’s the growth that happens; the realizations that you make about yourself. There’s always this period after something traumatic happens where you get to see a silver lining. I am grateful that it happened and that we’re back together. I was whining, pathetic and devastated at the time for sure. I think it has definitely been really important for our relationship. I listened to a lot of “Supercut” by Lorde at the time while looking out of the 15-passenger tour bus window.

The end of your new track is filled with distorted sounds (it personally reminded me of your other song “Velveteen” on the Meeting People Is Easy EP) – what does this mean for the song?

Addie Sartino: That’s like a hidden gem. I feel like that’s definitely the influence of the boys, I’d say. That’s just them being music nerds and messing around with pedals and cool sounds. But I think the distorted sound at the end of “Can I Leave Me Too?” really helps to convey the chaos going on in my heart at the time and how heavy it was. That’s how it feels when you go through those traumatic, chaotic experiences. You can’t sit still or be anywhere stable. It was always just rocking back and forth.

''Velveteen'' is definitely a hidden gem. I discovered you as the supporting act for the band Bombay Bicycle club when you played a show in Toronto. It was one of the coolest show’s I’ve ever been to. How was supporting and touring with them like?

Addie Sartino: They are so talented. Watching them perform was just incredible. Like I said, being a fan before, that was just a dream tour. I remember screaming so loud when we found out. They were so nice and really kind. There were a couple of moments where it funny, like American humour vs. British humour. They had Liz Lawrence with them as their female vocalist, and she became someone I enjoyed being around as well. I remember being in a diner and Jack and Liz came up to me because they were eating there too. We ended up eating together and it was just a very surreal moment. Jack was very complimentary of our band, which of course made our hearts like gush so much. It’s really cool to be able to work with your heroes. Sometimes it can be scary because people don’t live up to it. And then sometimes, you get a group like the Bombay Bicycle Club, and they are very gracious and kind and it sort of seals everything up with a bow.

That show was truly amazing. So, you are a band of four members. What is the story of forming the band?

Addie Sartino: I made my own music when I was a freshman in high school. And I went around and sold CDs to everyone in my school. And then I played in some coffee shops, I played at the art museum in Kansas City. And I just hated playing by myself. I really wanted to be able on stage with people and be able to let loose. I knew Brandon at the time, I called him and said I wanna make a band. And from there, he got Austin Fraser our drummer and then Pierce Charcot our bass player, because they knew each other from marching band.

I was off doing other activities and then we got together, and it just worked. Then we played the school talent show and released our EP “It’s not all that bad”, and just softly blew up around Kansas City. From there, we played shows and got signed to Harvest records over at Capitol, and just kept growing. I knew that that was what I wanted for my life, but I didn’t know how it would come together, and now I am still with those boys.

The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda
The Greeting Committee © Elizabeth Miranda

How did the name The Greeting Committee come together?

Addie Sartino: It’s a rip off. So, there’s a picture of John Lennon wearing a shirt that says “The Greeting Committee”. One of our band members is a huge Beatles fan, and he said this would be cool… And then it stuck.

That’s so cool! What kind of music did you listen to whilst making this song and how has it influenced your song crafting?

Addie Sartino: A lot of “Melodrama” by Lorde, and “Masseduction” by St. Vincent. I don’t even know if those are influences necessarily, but that’s what we listened to. I the four band members have fairly different music tastes, but we overlap. For example, we all listen to Bombay Bicycle club or The Strokes. I make a reference to the strokes in our new record, and I also make a nod to Death Cab for Cutie, which is one of my favourite bands. In the new record will be little drops of references…

You have released a handful of singles and EPs alongside your debut record. What is your favourite song you have ever released?

Addie Sartino: The song “Call in the morning” from our latest EP. It’s the most beautiful, honest and painful song I have ever written. Also, I love sad songs, they are my favourite to write.

One of the records I like to put on when I want to dance is your first album, which was full of energetic rock anthems - what can we expect for your sophomore record?

Addie Sartino: For our sophomore record, we are definitely still focused on making people dance. It’s just in a different way. This is it was a groovy record with background singers. This record will be making you dance with HipHop influences.. I know that Brandon and Austin’s intention was it to really go through the percussion elements. I think This is it is also a broader record. It explores more sounds than our upcoming record. There’s something nice about that. I was really intentional with our second record. And I referenced Lorde. Melodrama is very much like this record. There is not a ton up for interpretation, and that’s what I wanted from this record. The tracklist is very much the storytelling of the album.

There is not a ton up for interpretation, and that’s what I wanted from this record. The tracklist is very much the storytelling of the album.

I can’t wait to listen to it when it comes out. When live shows happen again, which song are you the most excited to play?

Addie Sartino: I really like playing “17.” People pop off to that song and it always surprises me for some reason. People also go nuts for “She’s a Gun,” and that cracks me up. Probably one of those two cause I wanna see people uproar. That’s what I miss.

That’s crazy! Final question- what is the last song you played on Spotify?

Addie Sartino: Let’s see. It’s “favourite crime” by Olivia Rodrigo. Oh my god, it’s so good.

— —

:: stream/purchase The Greeting Committee here ::



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Can I Leave Me Too? - The Greeting Committee

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