November 11, 2008

Misquoted w/ The Little Ones

Misquoted: w/ The Little Ones

Luke Hunter James-Erickson: Hey all you cool kids in The Little Ones

Ian Moreno: Hi you cool cats at some love music!

LHJE: People have compared your music to many things, the one striking me the most being the comparison to the Elephant 6 Collective (myself being a huge fan of almost anything that comes out of the collective). What do you think these comparisons have done for your group? Do you agree with them?

IM: Wow. To be honest, haven't really heard that one in a while. Early on that one would come up and to this day I'm not really sure how much it had to do with our label we createed, Branches Recording Collective, or the music itself. Either way, I think we all honored to be even compared as we're all fans of that collection of artists. I don't think it's really done much for our group, other than make us feel tingly inside. When we get the nods, I think it's just good to know that people listening out there have a broad spectrum of references. there's a lot of "camps" you can get plopped in to, so it's always nice when people can connect the dots to something you have the utmost respect for.

LHJE: I know that when you're in a band it's hard to really tell what kind of music you're making (it's hard to be objective), but what kind of music would you say you're most akin to? Do you try to go for that kind of sound, or are you just doing what comes naturally and whatever comes out is whatever comes out?

IM: When we first started out and self-released our Sing Song EP, one of the first reviews we ever received coined us as "sunshine psyche". Granted it was probably like our 4th review ever, that one has kinda stuck with me and i guess kinda resonated over the years. Seems appropriate. Not really sure who said that, though a clever google search can probably figure it out. As for the sound itself, that would be the latter. It's funny, it feels a lil pretentious to say, "this is what naturally comes out", though I'd be lying if I said otherwise.
In the beginning, as we added each band member, all songs would be dropped and we would start fresh as a group. This band thrives on colloboration, so the end product or song is always a result of all 5 of us. Everybody contributes their bits and bops and sprinkles his character and style in there somewhere. In the end you have what you have and I think it was apparent to us early on about the upbeat-ness, quirkiness and for lack of a better term, happy aspects of the music. Though with Morning Tide we'd like to think their is some natural growth in there. And with this records we show some diblets of moodiness in there, especially with tracks like Waltz and Farm Song. After all, we are human.

LHJE: What drove you guys to become musicians? It's not really known for being the best career choice, and so many artists suffer much of their career just to keep up with all life throws at them, so what made you guys sit down and say "hey, this looks like it's for me" ? Was it just that there didn't seem to be any other logical path, or was it more that you were doing it and all of a sudden people started to really catch on to your sound and you just started to take the steps to get you to where you are today?

IM: I'd say a little of both. Record labels, touring an records aside, we would all be musicians and all be playing with each other on weeknights and weekends. For some
of us it was always a weekend warrior thing. You do it while going to school, then you do it
after and around a work schedule. Nobody here is a professional session player, though several are very capable of being one. I would love to say that there was a point where we were like lets do this and only this, and there was in some way, but on a personal level it was never practical I think. Like you said, it's hard out there, and for someone to go into that field head first is ridiculously commendable and brave. Talk about no room for compromise. For this band, like I said, it was a mix. Some were already working and some were in school. Some were studying music and some had jobs in the industry. But I can tell you now, nobody was getting paid for their passion. Or at least first love.

At some point, this band took on a life of its own and we were all faced with a huge decision. That's the point where you want it to be as you said 'this look like it's for me', and where you question if it's the logical path. So there was a bit of a gamble, a leap of faith so to speak. We were very lucky and fortunate to have people noticing this little ep we put out early on and it has definitely been the foundation for the steps we took afterward. A lot of that has to do with the internet and the accessibility of music, but that's whole other conversation.

LHJE: What is your creative process like? Does one guy come in with a riff or a beat and everyone just jams on it, or is more spontaneous, like someone just starts playing something randomly during practice and then other people just build on it? Or is it something entirely different?

IM: Both really. Someone can come in with a vers/chorus idea, or a riff idea, and we have written songs based off a random practice jam that suddenly evolves into a song. We kinda run the gamut. One of the first things we always do it figure the groove out. After we get the basic idea, we break it down even more, deconsturct it a bit, and go to drums and basss to figure how the songs is gonna groove and what rythmic devices we can implement. From there we buid like any other band. Like I mentioned it's extremely collaborative so people contribute changes, new chords, leads, percussion, etc... We really try to be mindful of each other. With a 5 piece you can easily run into a sound that sounds like, well, an argument. We like to think we compliment each other well and are mindful of each others' parts and allow the song to breathe.

LHJE: I saw that you guys just toured a bit of Europe. What was it like to tour another continent? Did you expect a completely different reaction to your music? What kind of reaction did you get? Where are you planning on touring in the future?

IM: we've done UK many times now. I think like 7 trips in 07. We've only now started to venture into other parts of europe. Reaction varies, as it does here in the states I think. I used to think there was this disparity and that UK crowds went off, whereas crowds in the states are more subdued. Though there have been accounts on both sides of the pond to contradict that. I've always thought it's a symbiotic relationship. if you give the energy, the audience will feed off of it, and give it back in return. It's a recipe too. If you have those 10 mega fans up front siinging along it can charge and infect a crowd. Overall, the reaction is positive. From manchester to barcelona, dublin to hamburg, crowds like to have fun and so do we. We had a complete blast and people on this tour have been lovely, energetic and kind. We're ridiculously lucky to get to tour these places and are very thankful for it.

As for future touring, after finishing this west coast jaunt we're on, we'll be done for the holidays, minus a benefit we're doing in december. 09 should hold some more US touring and promoting the album in our backyard. perhaps some waterparks in wisconsin, who knows. w00t.

LHJE: Thank you so much!
IM: thank you!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

booo, the little ones are terrible