The Greeting Committee has been welcomed warmly and swiftly into the music world.
On Saturday afternoon, roughly five months after Harvest Records (Best Coast, Glass Animals) rereleased the Greeting Commitee’s homemade EP, “It’s Not All That Bad,” the band of four friends who met at Blue Valley High School are sitting outside the Vans Artist Studio on Red River Street in Austin, Texas, the day after the second of two showcases at the South by Southwest Music Conference. They are discussing an impending road trip
On Tuesday, they will leave for a two-week tour, opening for the band Kitten. The tour includes a stop at the Balcony at the Trocadero in Philadelphia, where the Greeting Committee is getting airplay on WRFF-FM.
A record deal. A two-week multistate tour. Airplay in another time zone. That’s a lot of momentum for a band whose first show was less than 18 months ago at a Blue Valley High School talent show.
“It’s all happened so fast, it’s kind of weird,” said Pierce Turcotte, the band’s bassist. “It’s nothing we expected at all. It hasn’t really hit us yet.”
For certain, none of the above was anticipated when the Greeting Committee was founded in the summer of 2014. Addie Sartino, guitarist and lead singer, had been writing songs and performing solo since she was 14. After a year or so, she felt she needed something different, something bigger.
“I’d sing solo and play guitar and piano and ukelele, but I felt like there wasn’t enough energy on stage. I wanted something more,” said Sartino, now a senior at the school.
So she got together with guitarist Brandon Yangmi, now a junior, and they began collaborating. He brought in Turcotte and drummer Austin Fraser, friends he had been in marching band with, and the Greeting Committee was formed.
In March 2015, they self-released “It’s Not All That Bad,” a collection of bright, high-speed punkish indie-pop songs that express the kinds of sentiments you’d expect from teens on the cusp of young adulthood.
A copy made its way to Lazlo Geiger, programmer and on-air personality at KRBZ (96.5 FM), “The Buzz.” He played a track on the air and has since helped the band in other ways.
After the song “Hands Down” hit the airwaves, the Greeting Committee began picking up gigs bigger than high school dances. It has performed opening gigs before a crowd of several thousands at KC Live in the Power & Light District and the Arvest Bank Theater at the Midland and at the RecordBar and the Blue Note in Columbia. It has performed as an opening act opening gigs before large crowds in the KC Live courtyard in the Power & Light District, at the Midland theater and at the RecordBar in Kansas City and at the Blue Note in Columbia.
“That was incredible, surreal,” Sartino said of the Power & Light show.
The band is also signed to Paradigm Talent Agency, an international firm that hosted one of the SXSW showcases. (Harvest hosted another.) The two-week, 11-stop tour with Kitten will start in Atlanta, then head up the East Coast to Washington, D.C., New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.
It also includes a stop March 31 at the Tank Room in Kansas City, . The tour ends April 5 in Salt Lake City. Because of the airplay on WRFF, the Greeting Committee will have fans waiting for them in Philadelphia.
“We get tweets from people there saying, ‘We love hearing you on the radio here,’ ” Sartino said. “We get that in Kansas City, too, which is great, but it’s cool to get it from other cities.”
All four members of the band are in school. Sartino will graduate in May. Fraser, like Yangmi, is a junior. Turcotte is in his first year at Johnson County Community College.
So with a two-week tour coming up, what about school?
“What about it?” Sartino said, smiling. “Actually, we haven’t really figured that out yet.”
Some figuring out might be required if opportunity keeps greeting this fast-rising band.
“It has been incredible, “ she said. “We seem to get hit with one thing after another. We are so grateful.”