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Edelweiss: “We Hit the Frickin’ Lottery Meeting Each Other.”

September 15, 2015

EdelweissOnline01Text by Tim Mulhern. Image by Rachel Del Sordo.

 Philadelphia is an appropriate title for electro-infused math-pop group Edelweiss’ upcoming EP.

 The band spent five days recording the four-song EP in Headroom Studio with Drexel University alumnus Joe Reinhart, and the city is also where drummer Lexi Campion and guitarist Tony Young presently call home.

“We’re as much a Philly band as any of those other bands are,” guitarist and vocalist Niko Porlier says. “A lot of kids know our names, apparently. We’ve just been playing [here] for a couple months.”

Porlier, Young and bassist/vocalist Thomas Vitale grew up together in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Today, Porlier studies liberal arts at LaGuardia Community College in New York, Young studies music industry at Drexel University and Vitale works in New Jersey and lives in both Stroudsburg and New Jersey. Campion grew up in central New Jersey and studies music industry at Drexel.

After small lineup changes throughout the band’s early years, Porlier, Young and Vitale searched for a drummer to finalize the lineup. Drexel professor Ryan Schwabe introduced Young to Campion, who joined the group in October of 2014.

“We hit the frickin’ lottery meeting each other,” Young says.

Edelweiss is each member’s first band.

Young and Vitale learned guitar and bass, respectively, when they joined the band. Porlier says the fact that they don’t have a background in music theory allows them to write songs without being bound by technical rules.

“We just play what sounds good,” Vitale says.

Bands like Foals, Bloc Party and Arctic Monkeys influenced Edelweiss’ early songwriting and helped the group develop its sound.

The members say their sound sets them apart from other bands in the scene but this individuality also presents them with unique challenges. They often struggle to find shows with similar-sounding bands on the same bill.

“People are really into us,” Campion says. “It’s just like, nobody else is really doing the same thing we’re doing, so it’s a little hard.”

Young says the group often feels like they don’t have a home. Recently, however, Edelweiss has found success in Philadelphia. In February, Edelweiss signed a deal with Drexel-based label Mad Dragon Records and in March, they went into the studio with Reinhart. Mad Dragon Records facilitated the partnership between Edelweiss and Reinhart.

“We could not have been thrown into a better situation, producer-wise,” Campion says.

On the final day of recording, the band entered the studio to put the finishing touches on the EP and did not leave until early the following morning.

“I didn’t sleep that night,” Campion says.

Reinhart, who was a member of Algernon Cadwallader and now plays guitar in Hop Along, left to tour to shortly after wrapping up his time recording with Edelweiss.

“He mixed one of the songs on the road for us,” Young says. “He was very sincere about his time working with us. He enjoyed it. He enjoyed the music.”

After finalizing the lineup, the group has found success as friends and musicians. The EP will be the band’s first recording pressed to vinyl.

“Since coming to college, I’ve tried jamming with a couple other people,” Young says. “I know these guys really well and I’ve written with them a lot. I don’t want to work with anybody else.”

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