Interview: Infantree — "Our records are like documentaries…"
Mon, 28 Jun 2010 07:21:16
Infantree are one of those good old fashioned rock bands that might just make you think a bit. The Los Angeles quartet conjures up intelligent and memorable jams about the earth and so much more on their EP, Food For Thought. You'll hear everything from banjo to mandolin to electric guitar within Infantree's organic soundscape, and it'll keep pulling you back.
Infantree's Alex Vojdani (vocals, lyrics, guitar, keys) talked to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about the band's creative process and so much more in this exclusive interview.
How do songs typically start for you?
They start pretty naked and stripped down. They end up sounding a lot different than they start out, especially with those six songs on Food for Thought. We tend to start writing on guitar. The harmonies, keyboards and beats come in after. Depending on who wrote the song, we'll have a pretty good idea of what direction we want the song to go in and what color we want it to have, so to speak. Generally speaking, it takes the whole band to give it that Food for Thought-sound. We all have strong points in what we do for the band and in the band. Definitely at the end of the day, it all comes together to make it sound like it does.
What's the story behind "Oil Can?"
That's actually Matt's song, so my translation probably won't be the best for the meaning of the song. Of all of the songs, I think that one sticks out in terms of the style. That's the direction we're leaning towards going in with our new music. There are elements of that song we'd like to bring around for our new songs. Generally speaking, with all of these songs, whoever writes it will usually present it to everyone else on an acoustic guitar. That's how Matt brought "Oil Can" to us. If you can pull off a song raw and acoustic, you can pull it off anyway. Sometimes, it's hard to get the idea if you present a song with too much there.
If this album were a movie what would it be?
Wow, that's a crazy question. I can't say a film by name, but if it were a film it'd be a documentary. That's as far as I can go with it [Laughs]. Lyrically, that's typically what we try to do. Usually, the lyrics for a song, depending on what song it is, are usually like a time capsule so to speak. We can see where we were at when we wrote certain songs. In a lot of ways, that's what a documentary is. It's documenting where we're at during this time in the band. Albums work that way too. Our records are like documentaries for what we're doing. It's not necessarily just a recording of that song, but that moment in time in our lives.
What records shaped you?
I grew up on Nirvana's Nevermind, and I also grew up on hip hop. Matt's most influential album is Neil Young's Harvest. Donald loves Tom Waits. Gordon loves Radiohead. Nirvana make you want to play guitar when you're young [Laughs].
Have you heard Infantree yet?