True Renegades: An Interview with X Ambassadors |CULTURE|


Renegade: A person who behaves in a rebellious, conventional manner.

The X Ambassadors are a group of Renegades. Even before they were a band they had the odds stacked up against them. In fact Casey, their keyboardist, is blind. They've had to barge their own path through life, and go at it their own way. But they never gave up, and they never slowed down. They personified the saying "If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything." Their story is inspiring, and we just had to talk to them. Thankfully, Adam Levin, the drummer was down to sit down with us to chat...

Being a fighter means different things to everybody, what does being a fighter mean to you guys? How would you describe being a fighter?

A fighter is someone who overcomes obstacles and continues down their path regardless of what’s in the way. That is one of the main themes of our song “Renegades”, and was the message we wanted to deliver with the song and music video. Casey, our keyboard player who has been blind since birth, has overcome incredible odds to achieve things that many sighted people cannot.

Your music talks a lot about facing your fears, and overcoming challenges in life…  What advice do you have for people who feel like they’re at rock bottom with nowhere really to go? What type of advice do you have for people to face their fears?

We always tell people that the most important thing is to not give up. We have overcome so many challenges during our journey as a band, and there have been so many times where everything felt completely hopeless. But we kept our heads down and stayed focused and worked hard in the face of adversity and after some time and luck, we started seeing some success.

How important is it for you guys to try and stay in shape and eat healthy when you’re on the road? Is it possible? Do you have any tips or secrets?

It’s so hard to stay in shape while on the road, but we do have some advice. The most important piece is to eat right. It’s so easy to eat all the junk food because you’re bored, but you have to avoid it! We also find time to work out on our off days when there’s a hotel gym. Luckily for us, playing a show is a pretty good workout.

You guys are in a different city every night, are you able to keep any kind of morning routine, or any type of routine to keep your head clear?  What about pre- stage rituals, do you guys have any of those?

We all try to spend a lot of our free time writing music to stay productive on the road.  Also we try to work out and get some physical activity going to keep our heads on straight.

Our pre-stage ritual is that right before the show we all get into a huddle and say a Jewish prayer called the Shehecheyanu.

It’s important to be inspired, who or what do you look at for inspiration?

We find inspiration in everything around us. We’re inspired by film, music, nature. It can be hard to stay inspired when you’re just creating all the time, but you just have to work at it.

You guys have had some pretty amazing shows. Does any one performance stand out? What would you say is the most memorable performance you guys have played so far? What has been one of the strangest? Was it being on the View? Were the View ladies nice?

My favorite performance of ours was at the Osheaga festival last summer. We played the main stage in front of 20,000 people and it was really incredible. We’ve had lots of strange performances in the early days of the band. Mostly just depressing poorly attended shows in shotty venues.  The ladies on the view were so nice!! We had a great time and it was a good experience.



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