Like L.A.’s Dawes, Infantree are another rootsy California band whose members still aren’t old enough to drink. Also like Dawes, despite their youth, Infantree sound like they’ve been recording and playing music for years — with no shortage of expert musicianship in any corner of the stage.
Basically endorsed by Neil Young — they’re signed to his Vapor Records imprint and have played Young’s Bridge School Benefit festival — Infantree are currently touring to support their 2010 full-length, Would Work. They also released an EP last year, called Food For Thought, and Would Work is scheduled for deluxified re-release this March.
Infantree will play the Casbah on February 15; in anticipation of their show, the band provided us with lists of their influences. Since the band prides itself on collaboration, we weren’t surprised a bit when all four members sent us individual lists.
Alex Vojdani’s Top Five Influences (Right This Second)
1) Day-to-day life: Most of my musical inspiration/influence doesn’t come from music. You’d be surprised how many seemingly trivial things throughout my day have ended up as Infantree songs.
2) Nirvana: That’s all I have to say.
3) Michael Jackson: As a little kid, I would dance relentlessly to his music. The first cassette tape I ever bought was his “Bad” single.
4) 2pac: My favorite rapper. This wasn’t really even a choice of mine. My cousins listened to him when I was younger, and it was impossible for me not to as well.
5) YouTube: I don’t watch TV, I watch YouTube. I try to make use of any extra minutes I have away from music, so I spend them learning my way around all the fun new softwares and DAW’s that are out nowadays. Logic, Reason, ProTools, Ableton, oh my! I must admit, though, it’s becoming an addiction.
Jordan Avesar’s 5 Influences
These people are not in any specific order. Also, there are many more people in this world who are huge influences that are not on this list, but these five people/groups came to mind.
1) Nirvana: I don’t remember when I first heard Nirvana, they were allways around because my big brothers bought their albums when I was very small. Their melodies always stuck with me as a child, and now that I am a little older, I try to dissect the lyrics. It is hard to know exactly what Kurt Cobain was trying to say all the time, but the way he talks from different perspectives is awesome to me. You can tell that he was a troubled soul, and the music was truly his medicine. He always played from the deepest part of his heart, and even though he wasn’t the most technical musician, his songs have done so much for the world of music. What a cool, haunting vibe the band portrays.
2) John Bonham: To me, John Bonham is confidence. He always had such great time, tone, feel, etc. But above all, he is such a confident drummer. When have you ever heard a Led Zeppelin song where he didn’t sound as strong as thunder? Even when they were out of time, their confident parts made it sound like it was supposed to be that way. He continues to teach me to trust my instincts.
3) Radiohead: This is a band who has truly stepped outside of the box. Experimenting with all sorts of instruments and vibes; digital and acoustic. But above all, they never get carried away and forget about what the song is trying to portray. They keep the vibe and meaning behind every song. They end up with amazing complete albums, full of strange ambient noise that is rarely heard, that are still totally catchy.
4) Mitch Mitchell: He has been one of my favorite drummers since I first heard him. His complicated, tasteful, bad-ass drum style has always been inspirational for me. Every time I listen to Jimi Hendrix I’m blown away by his style. He always adds to the song, and he plays so many fills, they have pretty much become beats!
5) Goku: Now, I know he isn’t real, only a cartoon character. But he still influences me today. Goku is the main character in the anime Dragon Ball Z. He always trains and reaches new levels of fighting, beating every opponent he ever encounters. For Goku, no task is too great, and as long as his opponent is evil, Goku will find a way to destroy him or change him into being good. No questions asked. Also, Goku all ways laughs and never takes life too seriously. I think this is a valuable lesson because life is fun, and you should always remember that having fun is the most important part in whatever you are doing. (Jordan Avesar)
Donald Fisher’s Top 5
1) Rain Dogs by Tom Waits: Love this CD with a passion. Something about it makes me feel like I’m in a movie every time I listen to it. Especially songs like “Jockey Full of Bourbon.”
2) Radiohead: I like everything about this band. I saw them play live twice at the Hollywood Bowl, and both shows were the most amazing shows I had ever seen. Something about their sound is so perfect that it makes every other band seem like they’re not working hard enough. I think my favorite CD is Hail to the Thief, but sometimes it changes.
3) The Chronic 2001 by Dr. Dre: The beats that Dr. Dre produced on this album are so clean and precise that they should be considered standards for the rest of hip hop eternity. I can’t help but be in a good mood when I’m listening to this CD, especially while I’m driving. It’s also a fun one to sing along to.
4) Athena: It’s the name of my bass. When I saw it hanging up on the wall at this music store, I knew immediately that I had to have it. It was a bit pricey, but after some convincing from the band mates, I decided I would go broke for it.
5) The Moon: “Moon” was my first word on this earth. I used to cry when I was really young if I didn’t see the moon before I went to sleep. Needless to say, my parents hated me on nights when there was no moon. My dad would sometimes try and fake it by shining a flashlight up at the night sky, but I was smart enough to tell the difference…which means I still cried.
Matt Kronish’s Top 5
1) Neil Young: What a coincidence that my number one influence also happens to co-own the record label that Infantree is signed to! I often can’t believe that we are so lucky. Over many years his music has helped me grow up and he continues to inspire me because everything he does feels so real and pure. Harvest is basically the best album I’ve ever heard.
2) Blues: Since the beginning of my musical life, I have always felt such a love and connection with the blues. I can’t describe how big of an impact this music has had on me, but I can mention Son House, Muddy Waters, Charlie Patton and Gus Cannon as some of my favorite fellows.
3) Paul Simon: I think he is a brilliant songwriter and his music just makes me feel good. The album Still Crazy After All These Years is the epitome of creativity.
4) Infantree: It sounds hokey, but they are my life and I love them.
5) My Pop: The greatest role model in the world.