Photo by Denny Renshaw
No matter how successful you are as a band, there’s always the underlying knowledge that everything could suddenly end. The listening public is a fickle creature, and you never know when all the blood and sweat you pour into your art will no longer satiate it. So when you’re a bandleader like Ellis Ludwig-Leone and you have cohorts sacrificing day in and day out for the success of a group like San Fermin, there’s a lot of pressure to bear.
That anxiety of letting down the people who have given so much to you is laid out plainly on San Fermin’s latest single, “No Promises”. The track was the last Ludwig-Leone wrote for the group’s upcoming album, Belong, and though he doesn’t sing on it, the words are addressed directly to his bandmates. “I won’t promise you/ If you follow me around/ I won’t let you down,” go the lyrics, revealing an author who wants to give his friends the world but can make “no promises.”
“We’ve spent the past few years together,” Ludwig-Leone tells Consequence of Sound about San Fermin, “I just realized how much of their lives they’ve devoted to being in this band. It’s overwhelming to think about. The verses are about how touring can go from this exciting thing to feeling like you’re quite literally going in circles. The bridge is a rapid-fire list of things they’ve been required to do: early flights, all-night drives, maintaining long distance relationships, etc. But really the song is about the fear of disappointing the people you love.”
Take a listen to “No Promises” via its lyric video below.
Belong is due out April 7th via Downtown/Interscope Records; pre-orders are going on now. To hear more from the album, including previous singles “Open” and “Bride”, tune into a special live streaming performance from San Fermin via the CoS Facebook page today at 1:00 PM ET/12:00 PM CT. NPR’s Peter Sagal will be on hand to talk with the band about the new album.