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Where piano meets rock, where tender meets gritty, where Ben Folds goes to play bass guitar every once in a while… that’s where you’ll find Echo Location.

Formed in 2010 by songwriters Jay Gogel and Christian Johnson, Echo Location is the culmination of more than seven years of recording and performing together. Along with friends and collaborators Tim Johnson and Ken Nigro, the guys’ previous bands ranged in genres from rock to experimental.

Echo Location’s first EP, "Through the Screen Door," will be released April 26, 2011.

Because the band members live on opposite coasts—Christian in Los Angeles and Jay, Tim and Ken in New Jersey—they write songs together exclusively via email and need to make special arrangements to record.

How do they get creative from miles apart? “It works surprisingly well,” Jay says. “We tend to write songs on our own and then share them with the group. If everybody likes a song as it is, then we learn it.”

Adds Christian, “Sometimes we start with partial ideas and ask each other for input. If Jay or Tim asks me to add drums to something, I might end up arranging the song differently, or suggesting we add strings or a bass line.” When it comes to lyrics, everybody takes a turn, again fleshing out each others’ ideas to fruition.

This ease of collaboration comes from years of practice. Before Christian moved to L.A. three years ago, the guys spent many hours together riffing off each other in Jay’s garage, Ken’s basement, and the Johnsons’ living room.

Echo Location began organically through friendship and musical ambition, as many bands do. Christian and Tim Johnson grew up together playing music at home and at school. Jay and Ken, friends since elementary school, met the Johnson brothers at William Paterson University, where Jay and Christian roomed together.

Together the four guys share musical inspirations, create songs, record and play live, all the while holding down steady 9-5 jobs. Level heads and lofty aspirations keep them driving toward success, crafting their own special brand of piano rock.

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