Interview: Joey Vannucchi of From Indian Lakes
From Indian Lakes
7 October 2013
Originating from Indian Lakes, CA, near Yosemite National Park, From Indian Lakes recently set off to perform a couple of in-store performances for fans to celebrate the release of their new record. The band’s latest album, Absent Sounds, carries sweet melodies and intimate lyrics that are sure to impress both old and new listeners. Check out our interview with lead singer/songwriter Joey Vannucchi after the band’s set at San Diego’s own M-Theory Music.
Q: Congratulations on the release of the new album, Absent Sounds, which comes out today, October 7th. How have you felt these past few days with its release?
JV: Now, I feel really good. It’s always scary to make art because everyone interprets it differently. There’s that chance that everyone will dislike it, and music’s sort of judged the harshest of all the arts, I think. But everyone’s been so cool, and everyone likes it, at least everyone who’s been vocal about it. So now, I feel relieved and happy.
Q: What’s your favorite song off the new album?
JV: I like the softer songs. I like “Awful Things” a lot, and “Runner.” We actually just filmed a really cool music video for “Awful Things.” It’s kind of creepy, if you can imagine.
Q: So you’re starting a tour with Relient K in a few weeks, what song off of Absent Sounds are you most excited to play?
JV: I’m excited to play the song “Breathe Desperately.” That one and “Am I Alive.”
Q: You guys have a super unique sound, but what are some artists that influence your style?
JV: Thank you! Like Radiohead, a lot. Which they have a lot of music that covers a lot of ground. I like In Rainbows… and Kid A, that kind of thing. I really love Mew, probably my favorite band. I don’t know if I have a favorite, but they’re close. I also really love Feist, as far as, like, singing sweetly in falsetto, having that power falsetto, but not like, obnoxious. I think Feist has the most beautiful voice of all time, it’s crazy. Yeah, people like that, from off of my head.
Q: What’s one thing you have to do in San Diego?
JV: Fish Tacos! We went today, I got two fish tacos and one mahi-mahi. It was good.
Q: Do you have a favorite music venue here in San Diego that you like to play?
JV: I don’t know, we’ve played at the House of Blues and SOMA, but those are so different. You know SOMA, playing in front of so many people, or playing a more intimate, packed room, I don’t know. Maybe by the time we do another headliner, we’ll play the main room in House of Blues.. actually, I really like that room.
Q: What’s your favorite music venue anywhere? Out of all the venues you’ve played or want to play.
JV: Wow. Off the top of my head, I would love to play Red Rocks in Colorado, it’s this legendary venue that they made out of the red rocks on the mountainside. Miles and miles away you see the city glowing. Before Madison Square Garden or crazy places like that, it’s the “you’re-doing-something-right” kind of venue. I also like Webster Hall in New York City, mostly because the people are really good.
Q: You guys have a lot of unique merchandise. You have mason jars and coffee. What made you choose to sell those items?
JV: That stuff sort of defines us. The sort of person that’s attracted to the type of songs I write are very creative people. So the leather workers just at a show said, “Hey here’s our card, you guys should make these mason jars.” So we did, and that was really cool. For the coffee, Portola, they just won the number-one roaster in the country, and they’re making coffee for us. I don’t understand how we managed to get that.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not on tour or writing music?
JV: I’m back up near Indian Lakes, which is up by Yosemite Park. I’ve been living there again so I’ve been going back into the park and I just did a nine-mile hike, which isn’t that crazy, it was chill. Just things like that. I like to go out and reconnect with that sort of thing.
Q: So how did the band come together? Because you do the writing and recording, so how did you form the band?
JV: I was going to school and working, but when I was back up in the mountains, I used to go to Rick, our keyboardist… I’d just go to his house every other night we just hung out and did whatever. Justin was around as well. It was really random, I was just like, “Do you guys want to play shows?” We’re just all friends, it’s really organic the way it happened. We just kept going.
Q: What’s the place you feel most inspired to play music?
JV: I would have told you that the mountains is where I take all my inspiration from, but that was just sort of where I was inspired at one point. And then I was living in the Bay Area around San Francisco for a couple years, and that was actually really inspiring too in different ways. I guess it just depends on the moment.
Q: What’s the best part of the music-making process?
JV: Playing it live, for sure. Writing and recording is really hard. I mean, I want to do it and it’s sort of like therapy and all the different stuff that comes with doing art. But live, everyone’s there because they already appreciate and love everything that you do, and you can just sort of do it. There’s a momentum that you can build up that doesn’t happen in the studio when you’re just repeating a part over and over. And when it goes well, it’s really cool.
Q: Do you have songs that you recorded for Absent Sounds that just didn’t make it? Might they go onto a deluxe edition?
JV: Well, one song is on an exclusive 7-inch that are at some stores with the records. I’ve been recording a bunch of songs, I just don’t know what I’m going to do with everything yet. There’s definitely going to be a B-side. There’s already about four or five different remixes and we’re gonna collect a bunch of stuff, and see what happens.
Q: Cool! What was your first concert you played?
JV: It was Kuppajoe in Fresno, CA. That was the first place From Indian Lakes played.
Q: What’s your favorite album of all time?
JV: That’s sort of impossible. But if I had to pick one, I would say No More Stories… by Mew. “No More Stories” is the short version, the actual title is like five lines long. It’s a really crazy record. You should check it out, it’s probably the best record that’s ever been made if you’re into that kind of thing.
Q: If you could tour with anyone, who would it be and why?
JV: Oh man, another crazy one. I mean, I don’t want to say Radiohead because it’s so obvious. But…
Q: Dream city or country that you’d like to tour in?
JV: I really want to play in Japan.
Q: Records or CDs?
JV: Records because… so many reasons why.
Q: What’s your favorite food to eat on tour?
JV: Sandwiches. So I can cover a wide array.
Q: What would be an iPhone emoji that describes your life right now?
JV: Probably that lady in the red dress, dancing. You know what I’m talking about?
Q: What’s funny is that Luke from The Kooks said that exact same emoji!
JV: Dang! I hope he sees this. Cool, let’s be friends.
Q: What’s your proudest moment as a band?
JV: It could be today, releasing this record and seeing such an overwhelming, positive response. Or maybe at some point on that first headlining tour we did a few months ago. There were a lot of moments that were really cool and I was just so surprised. Every show was really good.
Watch the interview along with footage from their performance over at USDtv: