Speechwriters LLC Can’t Stop Making Music









Band Members:

  • Dave Lowensohn – Guitar/vocals
  • Misha Chellam – Guitar/vocals


SVR: Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?

Speechwriters LLC: Speechwriters LLC was initially conceived as a cautious alliance between West Coast songwriters Dave Lowensohn and Misha Chellam, who quickly became inseparable and spent most of the Bush years touring the country in borrowed minivans. They have since managed to strike a delicate balance between California sunshine and Northwest navel gazing, resulting in a weirdly three dimensional folk-pop that resonates with Red and Blue staters alike. The Speechwriters have toured 38 states, won countless, meaningless awards, and once loaned Jay Farrar their amp.

SVR: Who are your major influences?

Speechwriters LLC: Ben Harper, Ben Lee, Ben Folds, University of Oklahoma professor J. Rufus Fears.

SVR: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?

Speechwriters LLC: We make music because we have to. We tried to stop once, and we couldn’t. We’re like vampires in that regard. At the end of the day, we just want to connect with people. Music is very important in both of our lives, and we know what it’s like to be on both sides of that connection. Music inspires, creates communities, and makes these sometimes absurd trips around the sun a little more awesome. We’re incredibly lucky to be able to do what we do.

SVR: What are your day jobs?

Speechwriters LLC: Dave makes websites in Portland, Oregon and tours with a number of local indie rock bands. Misha runs the Founder Institute‘s flagship Silicon Valley chapter, and is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Blumberg Capital.

SVR: How does your music influence your work or vice versa?

Speechwriters LLC: Music provides sanctuary, solace, and a refreshing break from staring at screens all day. Whatever you want to call it – right brain vs. left brain, Apollonian vs. Dionysian – music and tech go together like the two sides of a McDLT.

SVR: Why is music education important?

Speechwriters LLC: Music is the universal language. Music triggers parts of your brain that nothing else touches. Music can get through to kids when nothing else can, and sometimes save lives. In the age of standardized tests, budgets for arts education are depressingly easy to slash – these programs need all the help they can get.

SVR: What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?

Speechwriters LLC: For Dave, it was an old Maxell tape in the family sedan, with Joni Mitchell‘s “Blue” on side A and Steely Dan‘s “Aja” on side B. Those 80 minutes of music irreversibly planted the seeds for every couplet, chord change, and guitar solo he’s penned since.

For Misha, it was having a crush on a girl named Katy Garlinghouse in 6th grade. After he overheard her say, “If a guy ever learned to play Romeo & Juliet (by Dire Straits), I’d go for him,” he promptly learned to play guitar.