If you’ve never heard of The Greeting Committee, you’re about to. The local powerhouse indie pop group based in Kansas City, Missouri, has recently been busy on tour selling out venues across the country, recording and releasing new music, and graduating from high school.
Vocalist Addie Sartino, guitarist Brandon Yangmi, drummer Austin Fraser and bassist Pierce Turcotte met at Blue Valley High School and formed the band in 2014.
“All of us grew up playing music, but I initially was the one to pull the four of us together,” Sartino says. “I released solo music my sophomore year of high school and played open mic nights and coffee shop gigs, but found that to be, in a sense, almost lonely on stage. After being introduced through our parents, Brandon and I started playing music together. He was the first person I thought of the summer leading into my junior year when I decided to form a band.”
Their danceable and energetic self-released debut EP “It’s Not all That Bad” caught the ear of Lazlo Geiger of 96.5 The Buzz who propelled them into the spotlight in 2015. Once their song “Hands Down” hit the air, The Greeting Committee picked up gigs far greater than their high school dances and talent shows. They became an overnight sensation, opening performances of several thousand at KC Live! in the Power & Light District, the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland, the Granada Theatre in Lawrence and the RecordBar and Blue Note in Columbia. The warm welcome from the music community quickly turned into a record deal with Harvest Records, the renowned Los Angeles-based label.
The Greeting Committee has played on the stages of festivals like Boulevardia, Lollapalooza and SXSW, opening on tours for Saint Motel, The Mowgli’s, MisterWives, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and Jesse McCartney, just to name a few.
Sartino’s honest answer when asked what makes The Greeting Committee unique perfectly explains why this group stands out in the expansive music scene.
“Nothing,” Sartino says. “We create music just like every other band out there. What’s unique is our listeners and the way they respond and interact with us. But that’s how all music communities are, which is pretty cool.”
The creation of each song is a shared team effort.
“Our band writes extremely collaboratively,” Sartino says. “Some ideas are brought in by one individual, but even then all of our songs transform as we jam to them together in practice. We’re currently working on letting things be as they are without pre-editing ourselves. It’s easy to say you don’t like something without giving it a fair chance to grow.”
Sartino says their name pays tribute to the iconic English rock band.
“Brandon was in English class and read the word ‘greeting’ somewhere. Later that week, he came across a picture of John Lennon wearing a shirt that said ‘The Greeting Committee’ on it, which is fitting because Brandon is a huge Beatles fan.”
If you pull back the curtain before the group goes on stage, you’ll see the four friends doing a special ritual crucial to their performance.
“We do ‘shakies,’ which is a routine the boys brought in from marching band. This loosens us all up while also setting our focus. It somehow throws our whole performance off if we don’t get to do those.”
The band spent their summer months on the road, touring nonstop from June through September.
“Personally, I’m a homebody, so I’m very grateful for these opportunities that push me outside of my comfort zone,” Sartino says. “We’ve all gotten to see and experience incredible things we never would have if it weren’t for the road. Aside from getting to meet amazing people and form connections that help us grow as individuals, touring is basically a whole lot of driving and struggling to eat healthy on a budget. Thank God for Wendy’s apple pecan chicken salad.”
Sartino says The Greeting Committee is currently working on a new album.
“It is so exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. In the music industry, it’s almost like you haven’t released anything until you’ve released your full length, so I think all of us feel the pressure from that. We want to write thoughtful lyrics with thoughtful music that is also catchy and danceable, so it’s all a balance we strive for every time we create.”
It’s easy to get lost in the music with their effortless ability to come together as one, proving The Greeting Committee has a promising career ahead of them.
“When we made The Greeting Committee, we never knew it would take us to where we are now, so we could guess and tell you we’re going to do this and this, but we really don’t know. And that’s kind of the fun of it. We hope we develop a larger group of listeners. We hope we play more cities and new cities and revisit cities. And in addition to all that hope, we’re going to work as hard as we possibly can to make those things happen,” Sartino says.
Listen to their collection of bright, high-speed songs for every mood on iTunes, YouTube and Spotify. Follow their journey on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and on their website at TheGCBand.com.