Before their show at The Vera Project in Seattle, WA, indie rock band From Indian Lakes took the time to sit down with our newest writer, Tamala Aown, for an interview, which can be read after the jump.
(Note: It was difficult to distinguish who was who from my recording, so From Indian Lakes represents all the guys in the band. These are direct quotes.)
EMP: Hey guys, how does it feel to be in Seattle this weekend?
From Indian Lakes: We love Seattle, finally in the West Coast again! After a long Midwest trek, Seattle is the first city in the West and it is really, really good to be back again. The sushi here is really good and there has not been an exaggeration about the coffee, the coffee is incredible and we love coffee. The people have a far different vibe, super cool, no one was exaggerating about that either.
EMP: How has your tour with Tallhart been thus far?
From Indian Lakes: Awesome! Tallhart is a great band, it’s fun to see them play. They just released an album a week ago.
EMP: How does the title Able Bodies reflect and tie in the individual songs on the album?
From Indian Lakes: Good question, nobody has ever asked me that before. Able Bodies was taken from one of the lyrics of one of our songs and it just seemed to fit with the rest of our songs because it sort of ties in all the different sad things that have happened and somehow there is still a positive side that kind of comes out of each depressing situation. Basically it says that everyone is technically capable of finding something positive in every sad situation, everyone is able bodied in their own way.
EMP: What is the meaning of “Till I Can Walk” and have you found your happy song?
From Indian Lakes: With that song, I started out trying to write a happy song because I kind of wanted to show people I could. Then in the end, I kind of proved I wasn't able to yet. So the song ended up sounding like I was asking why other people get to write happy songs.
EMP: Doesn’t that contradict the title of your album? If everyone is able to change their outlook positively, wouldn’t that make you capable of writing a happy song?
From Indian Lakes: Oh yeah, for sure, music is medicine, slightly purposeful irony.
EMP: Which leads into the next question, is writing and playing music personally therapeutic?
From Indian Lakes: We are always in a better mood after we play.
EMP: Do you ever feel a hole if you are not playing?
From Indian Lakes: None of us would be in a band like this if we didn't feel a hole. You see, we could try to do a pop thing which would be way easier, the type of music where if the audience doesn't like it you just move on. We just can’t force, if your heart and soul isn't into it, we can’t force our lyrics onto the audience.
EMP: I can definitely see that, Able Bodies isn't what I would call light listening. With lyrical honesty, the artist can cut off a certain crowd of people.
From Indian Lakes: It isn't easy to stomach for people who aren't necessarily patient.
EMP: Is there any specific story in which you have heard of someone really connecting with the honesty in your lyrics?
From Indian Lakes: I’m trying to think of something that isn't weird. Well, actually we were just reading about some guy today who was saying how his music has touched so many lives and I thought that sounded rather arrogant. It’s funny that you would ask that, now I don’t want to sound arrogant. So yeah, great, well I can say our music really changes lives, like it saves lives on a constant every day basis. (laughs) I was just kidding, in all honestly, if you write sad music people are going to connect with that a little more than other types of material. Most shows have more of a sad beginning that end with a positive note, I just hope my music helps people get through whatever they are dealing with at the time.
EMP: Do you find a correlation between your personal style, performance and fashion wise, and your music?
From Indian Lakes: Not sure. We all have a different style and others of us have no style. At the end of the day, we are just kids from the mountains, simple. We end up feeling like we are in an industry where management wants us to be presentable, that’s generally the case.
EMP: Is there anything visually that inspires you?
From Indian Lakes: Being in the mountains, being in the outdoors. Also when someone is talking, I see pictures and stories in my head. But Able Bodies was almost entirely written outside, surrounded by hills and waterfalls, so even if a song doesn't touch on themes like the wilderness, being surrounded by that really inspires creativity.
EMP: What inspires you musically, what was last playing in your headphones?
From Indian Lakes: Nirvana! We listened to them on the way here, totally a Seattle thing. We tend to listen to music that connects us to the city we are in.
EMP: Can you explain your album art (pictured above)?
From Indian Lakes: That piece is from Chicago, it’s twelve feet tall. We were on tour and we were walking through the Art Institute of Chicago and an artist was setting up his gallery and that piece was there. It was so crazy and inspiring, we immediately connected with it. We talked to the artist for a little while and he mentioned he let his friends use his pieces for different things, and that piece just spoke to us, so I eventually asked him if we could use it. It just looked like the album, it really spoke.
EMP: Lastly, was there a specific moment where you knew you wanted to devote your life to From Indian Lakes?
From Indian Lakes: You know, we don’t think we really want to commit too much to this band. You know, I really don’t know. I just woke up and the band was moving and I was just stuck. (laughs) But seriously, it was just gradual, we couldn't have stopped once it started. It was luck, random, and serendipitous all at the same time, we honestly just wanted to be in a band. One day we were talking about all these cool bands we liked and it was like, “hey, let’s start a band.” We just started writing music and teaching each other instruments, all the time thinking, “Can we do this?"And it really just went from there. It’s like a movie, it really shouldn't have happened, maybe a romantic comedy. Cue the montage!
About the Author
Brooks Ginnan is the editor of Exiled Music Press. He is usually crying over the fact that we will never see a reunion of The Smiths or Cocteau Twins.