Thursday, March 12, 2009

Interview: Edward Nolan Reyes of The Little Ones

As we reported a week or two back, California band The Little Ones is currently on tour supporting their splendid album Morning Tide. Even after one our contributors was an unwelcomed intruder in their green room at Park West, lead singer and guitarist Edward Nolan Reyes was still nice enough to answer a few questions via email about Morning Tide, and what might be next for the band.

NQL: How much of Morning Tide was written when you realized you were being dropped by Astralwerks? And how worried were you about the state of the band, and music business, in general?

Edward Nolan Reyes: Morning Tide was already completed and already had a release date on Astralwerks. So it was a bit of a shock to find out that we were being released from the label. It was unfortunate since we really enjoyed working with all the people at Astralwerks. I think we were all a bit concerned about what was going to happen next. As everyone knows, the music industry is in a state of flux and you just don't know what's going to happen next. Luckily, Chop Shop Records came along and were very excited to release Morning Tide.

NQL: Morning Tide to my ears is a pretty great summer record. Especially the title track. Summer is festival season. Therefore, it makes sense to me that you guys should be playing a few festivals this coming summer. Shall this be the case?

ENR: Unfortunately, we have no summer festival appearances this year. We did a bunch last year here in the U.S. and in Europe. It would be nice to perform in the summer. It's our favorite time of year.

NQL: The Little Ones went from touring with the Walkmen to playing shows with Brett Dennen. That’s a bit of a musical shift. What was the main difference between the two tours?

ENR: I think the obvious difference is the type of music. The Walkmen are the ultimate indie rock band and a bit esoteric. Brett Dennen is probably a bit more accessible for the normal concert going audience. I think you have to prove yourself a bit more when you are playing in front of the Walkmen's audience. Brett Dennen's audience's welcome you right off the bat. Both were great experiences and both band's were great.

NQL: At your somewhat recent Chicago show, a contributor for NQL snuck into the green room and pretended to belong and chatted you up a bit. After telling you guys that he enjoyed your set, he said he felt genuine appreciation for the comment. Is that a product of still being somewhat blown away by the fact that you’re touring the country in a rock band, and making albums? Is the level of success you’re currently experiencing something that was envisioned when the band formed a few years back? (He also wanted to know if Red Stripe was the requested beer or if that was just standard green room beer.)

ENR: So he wasn't supposed to be there? Where's security when you need them? Just kidding. Every show and every opportunity is a blessing for us as a band. Most bands don't even get a chance to play outside their city so when you get a chance you must cherish every moment. Everything that has happened to us so far is way beyond what we envisioned. We are just grateful to be in the position we are in. Red Stripe is not normally on the rider so it was a pleasant surprise that night in Chicago.

NQL: Have you seen this cat? Thoughts?

ENR: That is the most creepiest thing I have ever seen. Is that for real? Did someone do something to that cat? That's just not right.

NQL: The standard comparisons for the Little Ones seem to be the Kinks and the Shins. Nothing wrong with that. But who are your actual influences? And are there any particular bands you’d like to tour with?

ENR: The Kinks are definite influence on us. We are deeply influenced by the music of the Motown era, Tropicalia music, and music from The Band. I think the common thread is that we are fans of pop music as an art form. If you look at these genres or band you'll notice that a great deal of attention was spent on song structure, melody, and rhythm. This is what excites us when we listen to the bands that influence us. We'd love to tour with the Flaming Lips. I think that would be the ultimate tour for us.

NQL: Another standard comment about the Little Ones is that your music is overtly happy, especially Morning Tide. Is this all just a ruse before you guys pen the greatest and most depressing break-up record since Blood on the Tracks?

ENR: Who knows? We didn't consciously set out to write a overtly happy record. It might just be in our blood since we are all from Southern California. We don't really know what the next record will sound like. I guess it will be whatever we are feeling at the time. As long as it is very honest and real.

NQL: Speaking of that, the last track “Farm Song” slows Morning Tide down just a bit. Was this strategic planning, kind of a nice rest after the party that just unfolded?

ENR: We wanted to end the record with something a bit more slow and subdued. That's why we opted for that version of Farm Song. The original version is more upbeat and used our traditional band set-up.

NQL: Any big plans for the band in 2009?

ENR: I think our main goal is to start writing and recording a new record. I think we'll be off the road for a while so we'll just hunker down in our rehearsal space and see what happens. We want to make something special and hopefully we can accomplish that.


1 comment:

Audrey said...

I saw these guys perform at SXSW at a chopshop party. They sounded good, albeit in a very SoCal, image-heavy party. It was a glitzy promo event for an upcoming WB show, Rockville, CA.

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