In mid August, I attended the MOSAICS hometown show in San Francisco where I was fortunate enough to spend the evening with the talented indie pop band.

I arrived at the venue in time to catch MOSAICS during their soundcheck. The first thing that became undeniably clear was the feeling of joy of simply performing shared by all the band members. Each member sparkled in each of their respective talents as they worked together to bring their sounds to performance ready heights. Just from experiencing their soundcheck, I knew I was in for an wonderful night.

Fast forward to dinner time, I was surrounded by a loving family at a table at local outdoor bar/restaurant near the concert venue. The family was the amazing individuals that make up the MOSAICS who were ready to share their journey with me.

The story of the band is an intriguing one, it begins 4 or 5 years ago when MOSAICS’ Devon Kelts and one of his best friends from college moved to San Francisco to make music. Kelts describes they came up with many different ideas but nothing was set in stone. “We ended up doing our own thing until we sort of came together and came up with MOSAICS.”

The band name, MOSAICS came about by the “bedroom sampling of guitars” being made and were arranged into tracks. Kelts shares that in the beginning, the tracks were instrumentals and they began to call them mosaics because “they were kind of mosaic samples.”A couple of years later, MOSAICS scored their first male vocalist and released their first EP which failed to satisfy their vision after two live shows. It wasn’t until Maryam Sadeghian joined the band and brought her songwriting talents and ultimately became the missing piece of the puzzle when the vision was full filled. Kelts says, “We released an EP, it was a total rebirth, we felt like we had found the sound with the project to produce shows with.”

The MOSAICS signature sound can be labeled as “glitch pop” but there are many music influences embedded in their unique soundscapes. Sadeghian tells me it’s a mixture of her love of contemporary pop, Indie and Electronic music that make up the band’s style.

The band bring their own personal influences to their individual talents, Kelts shares his biggest influence is Brooklyn based Yeasayer, Sadeghian tells me Alicia Keys, John Mayer and (her favorite band) Radiohead are hers while MOSAICS’ Guitarist Scott Holdridge names Chris Whitley and John Lee Hooker as his personal influences and finally, MOSAICS’ drummer, Mike DeLuccia (who played his last show with the band that night) says his playing style is heavy influenced by the band, Hiatus Kaiyote.

The band’s music process is an intriguing one, Kelts tells me, “May (Sadeghia) and I present a sketch to a friend who is a producer, he’ll take it, arrange it and pushes it back to us and then we will add more touches to it, it’s kind of a back and forth.” Sadeghia calls the process “pin ponging” which also happens in her songwriting process.

As many artists and musicians know, there can be many challenges to face head on including making money. “Anything with art in general we need to get funds for it, it always comes down to the money.” However, Kelts is quick to add, “We have a good artist community here, we feel very supportive in San Francisco.” It can be most challenging when you have everything else to do in order to do music as Sadeghian tells me, “Having your day jobs, maybe people around you might not understand and you feel like you’re working so hard to do other things, but definitely the love of music triumphs the other stuff you have do.”

It can be difficult in our current culture not to be affected by the events happening around the world. I ask the band if it affects them when making their art: “I would say the current culture, definitely, like the cellphone culture. We definitely resonate when it comes down to viewpoints,” comments Kelts. “For me It always comes from an emotional place whether it’s current events now or something from before. If something about the current events is angering me, I like to channel it into art,” says Sadeghian. Holdridge further elaborates, “Subconsciously at level it has an effect but it’s always hard to tell when you’re writing a song but you don’t know what it’s about until you play it in front of people and after that it’s really not yours anymore, it’s kind of whatever it means to them.”

Live shows can mean many different things to different people so what is the goal the Mosaics have for their audiences to take away from their live shows? “I want them to feel the force of music, pure intensity. I want people to be so riveted that you can’t tell when the show starts and when it ends,” says Kelts. “I would love for them to connect musically whether it’s a lyric or the song or a melody, something that makes them feel we are the same,” adds Sadeghian.

As our interview concludes I ask them what can we expect for MOSAICS next, Kelts excitedly answers, “We just want to go on tour and we are finishing up some new songs and we are debuting a new song (“Vices”) live tonight that we are finishing up in the studio, excited to release it and tour in December.”

Catch the latest news on Mosaics on their official website.

Ryan Herceg Photography

Stock photos courtesy of Ryan Herceg Photography
Live Photos by Angie Aparicio/Screen Reels

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