If you’ve seen Shawn Levy’s quirky family comedy-drama This Is Where I Leave You, you’ve heard Distant Cousins. The Los Angeles-based trio of had their song “Are You Ready (On Your Own)” selected for the end of the Jason Bateman and Tina Fey-led film, as well as included on the soundtrack album. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the band also released their self-titled EP and now they’re doing what all good bands do: hitting the road.
But who are Distant Cousins? They’re not related to the English band of the same name from the late eighties and early nineties. In fact, they didn’t even know that band existed. These Distant Cousins are Ami Kozak, Dov Rosenblatt and Duvid Swirsky, singer-songwriters whose musical and personal connections have them feeling like family, hence the moniker. We caught up with them recently to discuss being approached to have their song featured in a major motion picture.
“It’s the greatest feeling. It feels a little surreal at first,” they told us. “There’s a whole process involved when it goes from creating in the back studio where you work [to the finished product]. Everything we do is sort of DIY; we do it ourselves. To have somebody in the industry use it, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Unlike many bands, they weren’t trying to capitalize on the momentum of the movie by dropping their EP around the same time. “The truth is, we haven’t been working that long,” they said. “The songs have just been pouring out. We all produce stuff and write stuff, so there’s lots of ideas coming. We have a lot of music swirling around ready to get out there.
“And then we started to get reactions from placements, and it’s all kind of just coming together, and now there’s a need for an EP so we put it out. Music kind of leads the way.”
That’s been the band’s modus operandi for a while now: just make good music, and see where it takes them. So far, that’s included the Macy’s “Denim Nation” ad campaign, a German commercial for Lift soda, and TV placements in a diverse array of shows including USA’s summer hit “Graceland,” CBS’s long-running procedural “Criminal Minds,” and CW’s period drama “Reign.”
Now, with plenty of filmgoers wantign to know who you are, they’ve put the finishing touches on an EP to share with the world. The band has also released an inspiring lyric video for “Are You Ready (On Your Own).” And they’re playing shows at great Los Angeles-area venues including Room 5, Hotel Cafe, and the historic Troubadour. It’s a good time to be Ami, Dov and Duvid.
But they’re just taking it all in stride. “The coolest thing that’s happened to us so far is that we get to do the thing we love for a living,” they reflected. “That’s by far the coolest thing. We’re alive, we have food, we have families and loved ones, and we get to play music.”
This Is Where I Leave You is in theaters now. For more on Distant Cousins, you can visit the band’s website (dcousins.com). You can also download their self-titled debut EP on iTunes.