By MIKE CHAIKEN
Emblem3 reached the top four in season two of “X Factor.”
And their debut album, “Nothing to Lose,” has achieved a landmark for the reality competition. Debuting at No. 10 on the Billboard charts, the three-man group has become the show’s biggest hit. And the first single, “Chloe (You’re the One I Want)” started off on the Top 100 at 99 and as of last week was
The band, which is Drew Chadwick and brothers Wesley Stromberg and Keaton Stromberg, has a high-profile gig this fall opening for Selena Gomez. The show comes to the Mohegan Sun this Saturday.
In a phone call from Washington D.C., Keaton was asked how it felt to have its debut album out, and out on a major label like Columbia.
“It’s such an honor to be working with Columbia,” said Keaton. “It’s so cool to be where I am in general.”
The new album has a definite pop feel to it with reggae beats, some reggae style toasting, and a little Latin flair. It’s definitely something that will appeal to Selena Gomez’s top 40 oriented crowd.
But dig a little deeper and Keaton said you can definitely find some alt-rock roots to Emblem3’s sound. Keaton said the band’s influences include Sublime, which is a staple on modern rock stations, and The Dirty Heads, another fave on modern rock. Additionally, Keaton said, the band likes a lot of pop punk bands like Blink 182. (The Madden brothers of pop punksters Good Charlotte helped some of the songwriting on Emblem3’s debut). And they like a lot of the pop stuff out on the radio today.
As for the band’s songwriting, Keaton said, the lyrics literally can come from anywhere. Sometimes, the stories are based on real life, he said. Other times, it can come from their own imagination.
The band’s big hit, said Keaton, actually has a funny story to it.
Literally, he said, the band wrote the song the morning after they had a chance to attend the Kardashians’ Christmas party. The song wasn’t meant to be a tribute to Khloe Kardashian. But when they were writing the song, they were tossing in filler words as they came up with a melody. And just for fun, they used the name “Khloe.” Things clicked from there.
The song is not really about the Kardashian sister, however, said Keaton. Keaton said the song is more about Emblem3’s fans. So the trio tweaked the name to “Chloe.”
Right now, there probably isn’t a singer/ actress hotter than Selena Gomez. And her fans have been anticipating the tour with bated breath.
Asked how it felt to be opening up for such a high profile act, Keaton said, “It’s so surreal to be in front of such of a big audience.”
And it’s the perfect situation for the opening act. “Selena is such a sweet person,” said Keaton.
When Emblem3 takes the stage on Saturday, Keaton said the three members feel it is their job to get the crowd excited for the headliner. It’s also their job to win over as many of Gomez’s fans as possible.
To do that, said Keaton, Emblem3 tries to have as much as fun as possible jumping all around the stage.
As noted Emblem3 is turning into one of the break-out acts from “X Factor,” which is the brainchild of former “American Idol” judge Simon Cowell.
“‘X Factor’ was amazing,” said Keaton. “It was a great learning experience, if not the biggest learning experience (for Emblem3).”
“It was a lot of work,” said Keaton of competing on the show. “It was really tiring. But it really, really helped us in the music industry.”
And the show gave Emblem3 plenty of opportunities to speak with the renowned Simon Cowell, who also helped with the debut album. “He had a lot of input (on ‘Nothing to Lose’)… He was great to work with.”
As for what kind of advice Emblem3 received from Cowell, Keaton said he told the band to keep being who they are. “And just have fun with it.”
The band is just getting on its way in terms of its musical career trajectory, but Keaton was asked to peer into his crystal ball. He was asked where he would like to see Emblem3 in 10 years.
“If we could just be a touring band and have songs on the radio,” Keaton said he’d be happy. And he would like it if the band members could move on to writing songs for other artists and maybe become producers.
Emblem 3, along with Christina Gimmie, opens for Selena Gomez at the Mohegan Sun on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $66, $46, and $31. For more information, go to MoheganSun.com, or Emblem3.com
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com
By MIKE CHAIKEN