In concert

It’s a whole new world for indie band

 
Jason Merritt / Getty Images

A Great Big World’s Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino drink herbal tea to improve their vocals. Singing with Christina Aguilera will inspire you like that.

“We’re in a different place now,” Axel said. “It’s a really surreal, beautiful experience for me.”

The two former New York University students behind indie pop turned mainstream success will perform Friday at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The new album Is There Anybody Out There? dropped Tuesday. And, the guys are still basking in the success of their emotional single, Say Something, which features vocals from Aguilera.

Axel said the song, which draws on personal experiences, is “fresh,” even though he and Vaccarino wrote it four years ago.

“It doesn’t really hurt when I perform it,” Axel said. “I’ve learned to love myself more.”

The track, which includes such lyrics as “You’re the one that I love/And I’m saying goodbye,” became complete when Aguilera sang the song. However, the version with The Voice judge has only been performed a few times, according to Axel.

“Christina added the female sound and texture to the record. It’s kind of like these two parallel worlds that are happening at the same time. She actually made the song universal,” Vaccarino said.

Axel says the rest of the album as a “bit different,” filled with songs of hope, harmonies and a general upbeat theme. He said he is “excited and nervous” to see how an audience responds.

One song in particular, entitled Everyone Is Gay, has a clear message. The guys drew inspiration from everyoneisgay.com, a site that gives advice to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth.

“We’re coming from a place where you don’t have to define yourself or just the fact that we all live on this spectrum of sexuality,” Vaccarino said.

For Axel and Vaccarino, the rise to stardom started as a “leap of faith.” The duo met while taking music classes at NYU. Between balancing day jobs and music, they raised the funds for a six-song EP on Kickstarter after their label folded.

Axel worked as an Apple store personal shopper, while Vaccarino was a personal assistant for a record label.

“It’s an emotional roller coaster,” Axel said.

Vaccarino can relate. The Port Charlotte native’s family lives in Coral Springs who will be in attendance at the Fontainebleau. Fans can expect a barrage of supers: crazy, energetic — and nerdy, because the guys like to poke fun at each other’s appearance (in this case, Axel’s).

“Chad likes to call me a nerd,” Axel said, citing his glasses and choice of attire.

Meanwhile, Vaccarino will be sure to take advantage of the venue… by partying. He is well aware of the popularity of LIV nightclub.

“I’m super excited about that,” he said. “[The Fontainebleau] is sort of like a legendary place.”

Oh, and do not expect any Super Bowl picks from the guys.

“I don’t even know what month we’re in,” Axel said.

Anthony Cave

Doors open at 8 p.m.; ticket packages, which include dinner, start at $175 a person and can be purchased from fontainbleau.com

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Designer David Bromstad arrives at the Premiere of Summit Entertainment's "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

    La vida local

    Interior designer David Bromstad designs labels for Nestle

    David Bromstad can make his coffee and design the creamer, too.

  •  
(FILES) A file photo taken in Melbourne on January 14, 2014, shows US musician Redfoo, best known for his electropop band LMFAO, watching a men's singles match at the 2014 Australian Open tennis tournament. US pop star Redfoo suffered a cut above his eye and had blood streaming down his face after a man allegedly threw a glass at him in a Sydney pub on August 28, 2014. Redfoo, a judge on Australia's "X Factor" talent show, said he was celebrating the release of his new song -- New Thang -- at the bar in Sydney's up-market suburb of Double Bay when he was struck in the early hours.

    Celebrity birthdays on Sept. 3

    Actress Anne Jackson is 89. Rock singer-musician Al Jardine is 72. Actress Valerie Perrine is 71. Rock musician Donald Brewer (Grand Funk Railroad) is 66. Rock guitarist Steve Jones (The Sex Pistols) is 59. Actor Charlie Sheen is 49. Singer Jennifer Paige is 41. Dance-rock musician Redfoo (LMFAO) is 39. Rock musician Tomo Milicevic (30 Seconds to Mars) is 35. Actor Garrett Hedlund is 30. Hip-hop singer August Alsina is 22.

  • Oops he did it again: Justin Bieber charged with assault

    TORONTO (AP) – Canadian pop star Justin Bieber faces new charges after police said Tuesday he was arrested for dangerous driving and assault following a collision between a minivan and an ATV that led to a physical altercation in southwestern Ontario.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category