About Real Estate
Real Estate is an American indie rock band from Ridgewood, New Jersey, United States, formed in 2009. The band is currently based in Brooklyn, New York, and currently consists of Martin Courtney , Alex Bleeker , Jackson Pollis , Matt Kallman and Julian Lynch .
To date, the band have released five studio albums: Real Estate , Days , Atlas , In Mind and The Main Thing .
Courtney, Bleeker and Matt Mondanile were childhood friends in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Courtney and Bleeker first met in third grade, and became friends in eighth grade over a mutual interest in Weezer, Built to Spill and Pavement. When Courtney and Bleeker were students in Ridgewood High School, Courtney met Mondanile, who was a year above him, while on the school bus. Mondanile was listening to the Impossibles on his Walkman and asked if Courtney wanted to listen. From there, Courtney became acquainted with Mondanile and his friends, and even auditioned to join the latter's band as a bass player before being rejected in favor of an older kid who had a car. Mondanile and Bleeker also took guitar lessons from the same teacher, along with school friend and future Real Estate guitarist Julian Lynch. After lessons, Mondanile would teach Bleeker how to play Pixies songs. Meanwhile, Courtney was a proficient bassist who played in the school's jazz band.
On Courtney's 15th birthday, he organized a show in his parents' back yard, with performances by all of his friends who were in bands. This was the first time that he, Bleeker and Mondanile performed live together. Throughout high school, all three would play in various bands, facilitated by the school's Open Mic Nights.
After graduating from Ridgewood High School, they went their separate ways to study in college. Courtney attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington; Mondanile attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts where he became involved in the burgeoning local noise scene and started his own recording project which he named Ducktails; and Bleeker attended Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. Each would continue writing songs on their own and pass them among each other.
During a summer break while they were in college, Courtney, Mondanile and Bleeker reunited as Lese Majesty, the recording and touring backing band for their high school friend Julian Lynch, with Lynch as the lead singer and guitarist, Courtney on Fender Rhodes piano, Mondanile on bass and Bleeker on guitar. Playing drums was Etienne Pierre Duguay, an acquaintance of Mondanile's in Massachusetts with whom he had formed a band called Predator Vision that was named after watching the movie Predator while listening to a cassette recording of them jamming in the basement of Mondanile's house, high on acid. Lese Majesty recorded an album at Courtney's uncle's house in Maine and embarked on a U.S. tour, though Courtney had to opt out due to still being in college and not having the freedom to tour.
Courtney's songs in particular inspired the others to suggest forming another band to perform them. Courtney shared some song ideas with Mondanile over G-chat and, when they moved back to Ridgewood in summer 2008, they wrote more songs which formed the basis of what would become Real Estate. After recording several songs, they were eventually joined by Bleeker and Duguay. They would jam in the basement of Courtney's parents' house, and during a night of drinking vodka by the backyard pool, Courtney came up with the bass line for "Suburban Beverage." Bleeker briefly moved to Philadelphia while the others continued developing the band, and when Bleeker asked to rejoin, he took up the bass so that Courtney could play guitar, making it easier for him to sing. Spurred on by the success of local bands Titus Andronicus and Vivian Girls, they decided to take the band seriously. After lengthy deliberation, they chose the name Real Estate because Courtney was studying to acquire his real estate license at the same time the band started, and even managed to sell his grandmother's house. While rehearsing at Courtney's house, his parents also suggested that they all get real estate licenses. The band also had the idea of working for Courtney's parents' real estate agency in case their music career didn't achieve success.
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