Theo and Sasha Spielberg make music as Wardell, an indie rock outfit that is playing small rooms and building buzz on a slightly smaller scale than is typically expected for projects from Steven Spielberg's family. But that's totally fine with them.
"It would be great to have an album out by this time next year, but also we just want to play as much as we can," Theo Spielberg said in a recent interview in advance of the band's performance on HuffPost Live on Nov. 22 at 5p ET. "We have to take it one step at a time." (HuffPost Live Music is sponsored by Citi Thank You Card).
Theo and his sister Sasha have been part of various musical endeavors before, but it wasn't until recently that they recorded "Oppossum," their first track, in "literally 45 minutes." In October, they celebrated the one-year anniversary of their first live performance as a Wardell, and say that stepping on stages like New York's CMJ festival have sharpened their focus and taste as a band. "I think since when we started out, it was primarily recording and you learn so much playing live, that our sound kind of changed," Sasha said. "We'd sometimes mess up a note but then be like, 'Oh shit, that note sounds kind of eerie in this song,' and we'd only learn this by playing live. For our next album, I think we would love to have that sort of open, live sound that we have in our shows."
It took the Spielbergs -- both now in their early-to-mid 20s -- a good amount of time before joining efforts. "Growing up, it didn't really even occur to us that we could and should be playing in a band together because of all of our shared musical tastes and experiences," Theo says, while noting that once they did, "things felt very natural."
While the siblings come across completely unpretentious and affable, it's not blasphemy to note that they've been given a bit more attention than a pair whose last names isn't Spielberg would have enjoyed. Case in point: A New York Times article on Wardell, entitled, "Forget Their Dad; Just Listen to Them." Neither say they've encountered any backlash since. "We haven't really interacted with that many things positively or negatively," Theo muses. "It kind of just was. We've been keeping our noses down and just trying to keep working."
It's also unfortunately possible that many who have heard of Theo and Sasha's music careers think they're a DJ duo, in part because a photo of the pair posing with a console went somewhat viral. The pair sigh and laugh when asked how that happened. "We are not a DJ duo," Sasha says emphatically. "I love how on some of the websites it was like, DJs and just the band as a side project in parenthesis."
"Wardell is definitely our main project," Theo adds. "It's always really fun to DJ at a party or what have you, but all of our focus is on Wardell. We had a blast DJ'ing that party, but it's funny how a press outlet can latch onto one thing and that becomes the story." The pair are signed to Roc Nation as a band, but still accept offers for DJ gigs.
Wardell's performance on HuffPost Live will be streamed live here.