Albuquerque Journal - September 22nd, 2011
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Not many people would admit that the relationship between Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass on the TV show "Gossip Girl" would inspire a song.
Unless you are Willem Hartong.
"My wife watches a lot of questionable television," he says during a recent phone interview. "I did fall for the TV show and I am tickled at the relationship between the two characters."
Hartong, lead singer in Brooklyn, N.Y.-based indie trio Breaking Laces, admits that he got sucked into the teen drama by his wife but it became the basis for two of the band's songs.
Hartong says "What We Need" and "We Can Be Great" give the band a chance to show its softer rock/pop sound.
"We're a balanced band who makes great music," he says. "We have a soft side and an edgier, funny side."
Breaking Laces are touring in support of its May release "When You Find Out."
Hartong says the current album took over a year to get out because of the business side of music.
"We were getting on a new label," he explains. "The songs were done for awhile, but we had to wait for the company to release it."
Breaking Laces has only been around for a couple years, but have become a critical darling in the indie world.
Hartong says he met bassist Rob Chojnacki and they started performing together.
Chojnacki later called up drummer Seth Masarsky.
"The band itself came together really quick," he says. "We were all on the same page from the get go and we got serious about making music."
Hartong says being a trio makes it a lot easier for traveling purposes.
"You only have to look for two other people," he quips. "But having less bodies in the van means that we have more room for our machines and instruments."
Breaking Laces is one of the bands who finds success on the Internet.
The trio regularly posts videos on You Tube and the videos don't really have a format.
"We like to chronicle what our lives our like on tour," he says. "Sometimes we get creative and do spoofs of TV shows and game shows. It's a way for us to give something back to our fans."
Hartong is the main songwriter of the trio but says he's been collaborating with the band more as the band grows.
"I'm one of those 2 a.m. in the corner type of guys," he says when it comes to writing. "I'll go into a coffee shop when I have some sense of desperation or loneliness and just write. The songs may not reflect my feelings but it really gets my creative juices flowing."