[Interview] The Broadcast: The Earl, Jim Scott, and NPR. What's next?


By Lauren Purcell

Photos by Sara Vogt

If you didn’t get a chance to check out The Broadcast with Autumn Attics at The Earl on Thursday night, you missed out on a powerhouse vocalist and band filled with passion and soul. Caitlin Kristo, front woman for the band, belted out her heart and soul with hints of Grace Potter and Stevie Nicks. Her talented quartet of musicians supported her range of vocals with upbeat drums, heavy bass, and jamming guitar rifts.

After sound check, The Broadcast discussed their current tour, the changes over the years, and their quick rise in the music industry.


The Broadcast is slowly releasing their new album, From the Horizon during this tour. What has that been like so far?

Caitlin: A very last minute change happened just before we hit the road, which is amazing news. We just got a distribution deal with RedMRI, which is a really huge national distribution company for records. I believe the tentative working date of release is May 27. On this tour, we are debuting some of the songs off the record. People that sign up for our mailing list will receive a download of the first single. When the record is released, it will be released in record stores across the country and certain markets we tour and go through.

The Broadcast's new song, “Every Step” seems to have a very powerful meaning about prevailing over things keeping you down and to keep moving forward. What’s the meaning behind this particular track, musically or lyrically?

Aaron: Originally, you {Caitlin} came up with the song and verse, musically and lyrically.

Caitlin: I think the theme of the song just came through a really transitional time in the band and our lives. It just felt really appropriate to capture the experience in a song.

The band moved from New York to North Carolina. Do you think that transition influenced the band musically?

Caitlin: Absolutely. I’m a total Yankee and I was born in Detroit and raised in Brooklyn. Moving down to the south had a really deep affect and impact on the band, lyrics, and song writing. Also, when Aaron joined the band, when we first moved down to Asheville, we became song writing partners. It really solidified The Broadcast sound and allowed it to have cohesiveness.

What was it like, working with Jim Scott for the new album?

Aaron: That was really amazing. He had an energy and vibe about him that was really experienced. You could tell he had been in the studio for countless hours over the years. He was really no nonsense, everyone plays together in the room. It’s not separately layered. It’s not cut up. There is no autotune. It is just us, playing together. That’s what you hear on the record. He was just a G. He was really cool. In the past he worked with Johnny Cash, and earlier last year Tedeschi Trucks.

Caitlin: It was incredible. We couldn’t believe it was happening. It was a dream come true for us. Aaron and I had written a letter to his manager, expressing our interest in working with him. And he wrote back almost immediately to show interest in the demos we sent. I knew going into it, with him producing artists like Grace Potter, Natalie Merchant, and Dixie Chicks, I was in really good hands as a female vocalist.


The Broadcast and Otis Redding III performed at The Foundry last night, how did it go?

Caitlin: He actually opened for us.

Aaron: We got to hear him sing “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” He told stories all night about his dad. It was really cool and very inspirational.

Caitlin: We’ve actually been really lucky to play with soul singers recently. We been able to play with Charles Bradley, Bettye Lavette, and in Washington, we are opening for Mavis Staples.

You are almost halfway through this tour, what are some of your favorite or funny moments so far?

Jaze: We’ve all ventured into doing Snapchatting.

Cailtin: It’s from all of our perspectives too.

Tyler: There are some funny things that only last for 24 hours.

Caitlin: The keyboard player for Otis Redding III; you just couldn’t walk away from him as a musician and not be deeply grateful that you are a musician in this lifetime. It’s cool talking to older musicians and them believing that the music is what actually keeps them young and what keeps them healthy.

Aaron: We got to see Charleston for the first time, for real. We go there probably fifteen times in the past couple years and we spent two days there.

Caitlin: We got to see a lot of the city, which was beautiful.

Tyler: Also, the festival we played, SpringFest. It’s an Americana fest and that’s kind of new for us coming from a rock, soul, and jam band scene. We got see a lot of stuff we don’t normally see and meet people.

Aaron: Bluegrass land!

Tyler: We were kind of worried breaking into this new territory, but then we ended up selling the most CDs that weekend. It super affirming, to us, that we don’t need to stick with just one style. We can kind of crossover.

Caitlin: I was personally a little nervous about the fact that it was a really sweet bluegrass festival. I mean, there were some heavy hitters there, no doubt. I just didn’t know how they would receive us and the reception was overwhelming.


What’s the story behind the band coming together?

Caitlin: We {Caitlin and Tyler} met in New York City, in college, and we started a band. We started The Broadcast and it was a completely different line-up. We didn’t know any of these guys.

Tyler: Caitlin used to sit on a stool and play acoustic guitar and she was a singer/songwriter. But her voice is beyond just one acoustic guitar and some percussion.

Aaron: It starts with you two in New York, like 8 years ago when they moved to Asheville, I joined the band. Pretty much right from the beginning. I was just living in Asheville, playing locally, only 21, and floating around looking for something new.

Jaze: I knew of The Broadcast from a different band. I ended up doing this crazy Monday summer night gig in Ashville and I met Aaron and Tyler. We played together, like four or five years ago, and I met Caitlin at that particular gig. A few years went by and it turns out, a spot opened and we had already built a relationship over the few years. So, yeah!

E’lon: I played in another band and my band opened up for these guys at a venue in Boone. About two years later, after that gig, they gave me a call and said, “Hey. We need a bass player.” I hopped on for a little while and couldn’t do it. They called me up a year later, asked me again, and I said, “yes.”

Caitlin: I think that things happen the way that they do when you are with the right people. I didn’t realize going into this life, and this band, that it would lead me to the places that I’ve been and people I have met. Even Tyler and I knowing each other in New York and then we move down to Asheville and he meets his future wife. That would have never happen. (Their wedding date is August 27!) I met my life partner in Asheville, someone who I’ve built my entire life and creative career with. These people have become my family and there are things that I really wanted so much, like 5 years ago. I’m so glad they didn’t happen until now because I’m so glad to be sharing it with these people. These are the people it is suppose to be happening with. I just feel really lucky we have found the family.

Aaron: We were a lot younger a few years ago and we were going a lot harder, farther, and faster. It kind of feels like we slowed down, just enough, to be able to start taking things and making them better.


Have you noticed a difference from previous album releases, compared to this one?

Aaron: It’s not out officially and we’ve already received ten times the opportunity, ten times the press, ten times the acclaim. We made the right decisions and worked with the right people and we made the right sound.

What's next for The Broadcast after this tour and the album release?

Caitlin: Stephen Colbert. We want Colbert so bad.

Aaron: We want to go on the road, open for The Shakes, and then, we want to write another album and record it with an even bigger person.

Tyler: What’s literally next is Europe.

Caitlin: Seven weeks, starting October 10. We are definitely playing Belgium, Germany, Austria, France and a few others for those seven to eight weeks. We will be at some festivals {between tours}, city events, and smaller tours. Maybe another month-long tour right after Tyler’s wedding. Luckily she is a touring musician too, so it’s okay.

The show was a beautiful display of their talent and chemistry between members. Most of the songs were from their new album, such as “Every Step,” “Eyes of a Woman,” “Electric Light,” and “Sirens.” However, they did play a few classics like, “Loving You,” and “Don’t Waste it” from their 2013 album, Dodge the Arrow.

Caitlin’s energy and passion poured out of her vocals and the band followed lead, with wicked guitar solos from Aaron and heavy bass from E’Lon. The combination of Jaze on the drums and Tyler on percussion, The Broadcast produced a new vibe to the Americana music scene. The Broadcast’s stage performance was purely fueled by their love of their music, instruments, and members. They performed a super funky jam session, Caitlin busted out the tambourine and the band really showed their talent as skilled musicians.

If you missed the band on Thursday, their first single off the record is premiering on World Café with David Dye on NPR, March 29 at 7 p.m.