Michael Forde & Little Wooden Indian release new album [Interview]
(5/6/20 Atlanta, GA) Are the quarantine blues still gettin’ you down? We here at Smiling Eyes Media understand and are here to help. Look no further than the newest studio release from Michael Forde and Little Wooden Indian. I had the pleasure of chatting with these fellas about their upcoming album that hits all streaming platforms Friday May 8.
This interview was conducted by Ross Talbott.
Why don’t you all fill everyone in on what instruments you play on the record?
Michael Forde: Guitar, Synthesizer, Drum Programming. Little Wooden Indian (Anthony Martinelli): Bass, Synthesizer, Drum Programming
What is the album titled and when is the release date?
Album title: "MAA Volume I", Release Date May 8th, 2020
How long has the band been working on this single/EP/Album?
We have been jamming the material on this upcoming album for roughly six months and had played three shows when we decided to record it all. We recorded two albums worth (the first to be released May 8th) in three days and then the mixing/mastering stage took roughly three months.
Are there any personal favorite songs of yours on the album?
Michael: My favorite track would have to be "For You". I wrote this song for someone special to me and it serves as a peaceful meditation or mantra whenever I play it. I also got to take a back seat on playing lead guitar. This song has a wonderful bass solo by Anthony. I just love it!
Anthony (LWI): I would say my favorite song is "The Loaf". It was written so organically; it was already there and we just tapped into it. Playing it live, it always inspires new voicings
and pushes my boundaries as a bass player.
What’s been the band’s inspiration for this album?
We both have similar influences that make up our musical DNA. Bands like Pink Floyd, Radiohead, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a few bands we share a common love for. For me (Michael), I have been getting deep into musicians such as Alfa Mist, Yussef Dayes, David Bowie, and Marvin Gaye. All these musicians have been influencing the way I approach writing these days and their influence has leaked into these songs a bit.
Are there any collaborations on this album or upcoming ones we should be on the lookout for?
On this album and the follow up album, "MAA Volume II", We feature Anthony Dixon on keys. He is a fantastic keys player local to Atlanta. Anthony's and my friend/drummer collaborator introduced us to him when we played in a band called Bazo Grey. Whenever I need some really solid keys work, I always hit up Anthony Dixon. He crushes it every time and is always a pleasure to work with.
In your opinion what do you think makes this album different from your previous albums?
Anthony (LWI) and I tracked the entire album as if it was a live performance - neither of us had done this before. We would typically piece songs together and record each part of the songs over a period of a few months. I think the way we decided to record this album really brings out the energy and excitement of the songs because you are playing more in the moment. Playing in the same room as other musicians always allows for a level of spontaneity while recording. You almost forget you are tracking songs and just really get into the groove of the song.
Are there any upcoming livestream performances? If so when?
At this time no. We haven't been able to responsibly get into the same room since the virus hit. Hopefully when things calm down, we can do a live stream if the venues haven't reopened yet.
Have you watched any recently? Personal favorite performances?
Michael: I caught some of Ben Gibbard's performance and James Blake's performance. It is crazy to see such big artists play in such a stripped down and vulnerable state. It is very inspiring.
Anthony (LWI): Nope!
Let’s take it back to pre-quarantine days, what was the last show the band performed and where?
The last show we played was on January 9th, 2020 at Smith's Olde Bar
Who are your favorite bands to perform with to date?
We had a great time playing alongside Artimus and Natural Born Leaders! Both are great bands, both on the stage and hanging out before the show.
If you could choose to collaborate with your dream artist, who would that be and why?
Michael: That is really hard to say as there are so many. I would say right now I would love the chance to just jam with Yussef Dayes. His drumming style always makes me want to jam for hours.
Anthony (LWI): It has to be David Gilmour! He is an artist that has inspired me since my childhood. Between his contributions to Pink Floyd's music & his solo work, he has demonstrated an effortless extension of himself through music in a beautiful, egoless way. His melodic choices have always touched me deeply and his demeanor in and out of the studio is admirable; I'd love to be able to sit, talk & learn from him.
What has been the band's favorite venue to perform at?
We had the chance to open up for Micah Cadwell's Frontier Trio at Waller's Coffee Shop. The room at that place sounds fantastic and the audience was great.
Let's talk about how the quarantine affected the band. Are there currently any setbacks?
Once we wrapped up the bulk of the production, quarantine had been in full swing so we had no way of really planning the next step. We did have one show planned prior to the album release that did get cancelled.
How many days has the band (generally) been in quarantine? All together? Separate?
We have been separate from the beginning. We haven't been able to jam or anything since quarantine started which has been a serious drag but we will get through it! Anthony actually recorded and released a new record under Little Wooden Indian after two weeks of being quarantined!
Has there been a silver lining to quarantine? Such as needing downtime, etc.
We both had been busting it pretty hard between practicing, producing the music for this record, other musical endeavors on the side, and our day jobs. So while the quarantine has not been fun, it has allowed us both to put the breaks on, practice some on our own, and reflect on what our next steps are musically and what our general next life steps are.
If you could share with the readers your Pro-Tip on something you've learned from being in quarantine, what would it be?
Michael: Practice! It is such a great opportunity to really connect with your instrument(s) now that there is no influence from gigs, jams, etc.
Anthony (LWI): Let your mind rest. For many of us, all we've known is the busyness of the 21st century - take some time to find peace in quietude.
Little Wooden Indian: