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Formed 20 years ago in Southern California, Cold War Kids are celebrating life in a rock band

Peter Larsen, The Orange County Register on

Published in Parenting News

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Singer Nathan Willett says he rarely ever paused to think about the history of Cold War Kids, the indie rock band he and three friends started in an apartment over an Italian restaurant in Fullerton in 2004.

There were albums to make, concerts to play, and publicity to do – like this phone interview before a recent Cold War Kids show in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“Strangely, I’ve spent so little time looking back,” he says. “But this 20 Years Tour, I’m spending more time working just on how we did it.

“We played a show in Austin at Stubbs, and I was reminded,” Willett says. “We were that story where we went to South By Southwest and found our booking agent and our lawyer and our first label. Like, it all happened right there. Those people are still in our lives. It’s really wild.

“So yeah, that was just like a totally electric time that was very special. Like a total shared vision and all this stuff.”

Cold War Kids‘ 20 Years Tour comes home this month for a pair of shows at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood and a third night at Pappy & Harriett’s in Pioneertown.


There’s a terrific recent record, the band’s 10th studio album, which, oddly, is the first to be self-titled.

The title, Willett explains, is reflective of a rock band that’s reached middle age. While two of the original members left years ago, Willett and bassist Matt Maust have been Cold War Kids throughout, and the current five Cold War Kids, who have been together for the last 10 years or so, continue to feel right, he says.

“I think the record in a way, even the reason for calling it self-titled, a lot of it was just being able to kind of embrace that renewal or full circle,” Willett says of an album that sounds as powerful and fresh as the band’s 1996 debut, “Robbers & Cowards,” or 2014’s “Hold My Home.”

“To be where we are now, and to be on this 20 Years Tour, it’s really special,” Willett says. “We’ve had just a tremendous fortune.”


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