Streets of Laredo: The Kiwis of Bushwick

There’s something about indie folk music that makes it the perfect summer tune while you’re laying on the grass enjoying the nice weather. Streets of Laredo is a Brooklyn based band that makes you want to do exactly that while forgetting all about your problems for a few sweet moments. Their Governor’s Ball Music Festival debut officially marked their 3rd year anniversary in Brooklyn after moving from New Zealand as a three piece. “Me, my brother, his wife were a three piece for a little while and we kind of gathered members as we went on. They picked up a few more players over a couple of years to make the band “more legitimate.”

You might be thinking, why would anybody think of leaving such a beautiful country and move to Brooklyn? “I think we’ve all been in bands and we’ve all been doing music back in New Zealand. We wanted change and wanted to challenge ourselves. Throw ourselves into a big pond.” Dan continues talking about how much of a tight community it is, and that it’s a great place for musicians. “I think it kind of helps musicians to be in that culture and create relationships/friendships. LA is really different. Its cool and all but it’s not so closely knit. The music scene here in Brooklyn – there’s so many bands, so many venues, so many bands kind of doing stuff here and there. And we kind of wanted to put ourselves in the middle of it.”

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Moving somewhere halfway around the world, I expected they must have experienced some sort of culture shock or been through some struggle adjusting to the American environment. “It was really hard to order a bagel because nobody understood my accent! I would go to the deli in Bushwick and the guy just didn’t understand me. I literally just had to say bagel so many times and change the way I pronounced it. Sometimes I’ll get something a little different, but I just go along with it. You probably still can’t understand me. [laughs]”

Their performance at Governors Ball was sensational and perfect to start off my festival groove. Though they haven’t had many previous experiences of playing on such a big stage, they seemed calm, collected, and very experienced. “Man, I’ve just always wanted to play it so it was a highlight. It was a highlight for the whole band and we were so honored and humbled to be a part of the bill!”

With such talent and great musicianship, I feel as though they don’t get as much attention as they should. I go on and ask Dan about how they started getting into music. “My mom was the musician of the family who was in a women’s choir group, so she’d play guitar and sing. She would teach me how to harmonize, which was really annoying. She would pick me up after school and play choir tapes in the car and she’d make me sing along. Sometimes I’d have a friend in the car and my mom would be singing. That was embarrassing. I joined choir for a little bit but it wasn’t for me. It was a big melting pot of music. There was a lot of music around me growing up.”

Their latest EP was released in two parts last fall which outlines a narrative story of their musical journey, and their struggles of moving to a new environment. “The songs are about all of us in the process of moving here and living here for a couple of months. Then we recorded the records over in New Zealand. There’s this sort of really strong narrative adventure, missing home, and the tough emotion we used to be in especially forming a band.” Their EP cover with two dear heads fighting each other also illustrates their blood, sweat and tears. “We met a really great artist in New Zealand, Alexandra. I think she called it struggle or something, and we really liked the visual of two dears struggling. It’s that kind of narrative of struggle, triumph and heartache, and things like that really kind of buried the songs individually.”

They recently released a new song “Diamonds” so be sure to check it out!