Danseurs Turned Bandmates: 20 Eyes

Posted by on 05.04.2014

When contacted by the Southern California band “20 Eyes,” I was delighted to check out their music video featuring Russian Danseur, Alexey Kulpin.  The video showcases their song “Lost” while following Kulpin through his warm up routine and showcasing his tricks in an empty studio.  I couldn’t help but wonder what inspired these young, hip musicians, to incorporate ballet into their work.  So I asked them about their story.  It is not every day that ballet brings together a rock band:
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Rebecca King: Tell us a little bit about your band, “20 Eyes.”
Wolf Bradley, lead singer of 20 Eyes:  We are 20 Eyes from San Pedro, CA. My name is Wolf Bradley and I sing and play guitar. Andrew Macatrao is the drummer, and Chris Gomez is the bassist. One of our goals as a band is to inspire and break the boundaries between arts many different shapes. This music video is a good example of who we are, both lyrically and visually. We want to show the world that it’s OK to be different and lost from time to time. The important thing is to be who you are and never give up on a dream.

RK: How did this band come together?
WB: Andrew and I  met at my parent’s ballet studio. I was around 13 and Andrew was a little older. We strongly disliked each other at first, mostly because of a competitive element in dance and a lack understanding of each others personalities. Then, one night he was at my house and I told him I had just received a brand new guitar. He told me that he was drummer and we rehearsed together for the first time that night. After that, the friendship we have now, started to grow. We were still borderline rivals, but we enjoyed making music together so much, we became brothers. Chris joined the band a few years later. He was Andrew’s best friend from middle school and after starting the band, quickly became close with me. He would roadie for our shows almost every time before he was actually even in the band.

RK: What inspired you to create a music video highlighting ballet?
WB: I love ballet. I was born and raised holding on to the barre and pointing my foot. I’ve always wanted to make a video including this beautiful art form. Music and dance go together better than anything. This video was a very spur of the moment occurrence. Alexey Kulpin was in town to perform in my parent’s rendition of “The Nutcracker”. He’s also been a fan of our music, and when I asked him if he’d be interested, he was elated and we filmed that day.

RK: What is your connection to the ballet world?
WB: My connection to the ballet world is simple, I live in the ballet world. Although music has taken most of it’s place creatively, I still definitely consider myself a dancer. My parents own a ballet studio in San Pedro called The San Pedro Ballet School. There, they trained Misty Copeland for years. We shared a room, and a bunk bed, when I was a young boy and she is still a real sister to me. We talk as much as we can. She is one of the busiest dancers in the entire world right now. She’s a soloist at ABT and has countless accolades to her name. In her new book, I am mentioned, along with my parents, an immense amount. So being close with her connects me greatly to the world of ballet. 

RK: How involved were you in the making of this video?
WB: This video, along with all of our videos, was written and directed by myself and the band. 

RK: What projects are you working on now?
WB:We are taking our song, Friends Like You, to KROQ’s Locals Only show, in hopes to get some airplay. Besides that, we are constantly playing shows and making videos. Our next show is in LA at Club Moscow on May 14th. I can’t wait to make another ballet video. There is just something very magical about it. 

 
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Check out their very cool video here:

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