Thursday, June 22, 2006

Small Talk with the Little Ones

It was bound to happen. Everyone’s soon to be favorite band had some serious questions to answer. Where did they come from, who did they know, and what big dark secrets did they have hiding in that closet of theirs? Fortunately, the Content had the opportunity to have a little chat with Edward (guitar, vox), and Ian (guitar) from the Little Ones - after their show last month at the Prospector in Long Beach. They laid it out for us about sprouting from their previous endeavor (Sunday’s Best), the band’s chemistry, and working with the renowned Jesse LeDoux on the artwork for their debut Sing Song EP.

(Note: Be sure to check out the bottom of the interview for some tunes from the Little Ones and a glimpse into their emo past in their former band, Sunday's Best. All photos by Braedon.)

RC: You guys have known each other forever it seems. Have you always been partners in the creative process?

Ed: Yeah, I think so. We have the same tastes and stuff like that.

Ian: Basically, we’ve been working together since Sunday’s Best, which started in the late nineties. So after that finished, we continued…it was like “we’re done!” but the next day I’m at (Ed’s) place working on new stuff. So, we’ve been working together for some time.

Ed: Kind of like Steely Dan. (laughs)

Ian: I’m Walter Becker.

Ed: Then I’m Donald Fagen.

RC: Everyone is really enjoying your music right now and its basically being described as “happy” music. With all that is going on in the world today with the war and all the politics surrounding that, how do you think that is reflected in your music or is it more of an escapist approach?

Ian: I knew you were going to say that.

Ed: Here’s the thing. I just noticed when we first started making music right after Sunday’s Best, I thought that we weren’t really having fun right away and it wasn’t really “fun” music. And all of a sudden we started hitting this…I don’t want to say “sweet spot” but...we turned a corner and all of a sudden we realized, “Wait! This is what we should be making.” We didn’t say, “Okay, we should write ‘happy’ music.”

Ian: It evolved naturally into what it is now. Like Ed said, we turned a corner and when everybody is doing it collaboratively it is just naturally manifested from whatever it is we are feeling.

RC: Is that how “Uncle Lee’s Rule of Feet” came about? (Note: Uncle Lee’s Rule of Feet is the standard the band set in the writing process where a song was only suitable if all the band’s feet were shuffling.)

Ed: Yeah, exactly. It’s like with anything that you do in life. You figure out “Hey, I’m having fun, so this must be good.”

Ian: Yeah, you can shake your ass to it and the music becomes a manifestation of that, the feet shuffling, everybody moving together as a whole, a collective effort, a positive effort. I wouldn’t necessarily say it is escapism because that would be just like an “ignorance is bliss” type thing. It’s more that, yeah, there is some shitty shit in the world but we don’t have to be completely bummed out about it all the time and have a billion stickers on our car and walk around in a big ball of rage. There are still things to be happy about and its good to have good and great friends. We are thankful for that and we revel in it. I had a time when I was angsty but now I’m an adult and I’m a pretty happy guy.

Ed: No more eyeliner and everything. (laughs) And also, if people have fun then that’s the point. I think it took us a long time to figure out that, part of playing music is for yourself because you enjoying performing, but it’s also seeing people have a reaction to it. I realize now that that is what makes it. You are not going to win everyone over every night but if there is one person having fun then…

RC: You guys have been winning them over though. I think in your live shows and for anybody that we have played the music for is feeling the same way.

Ian: We are fortunate to have that.

RC: The Branches Recording Collective is the label you’ve started up. Is the feeling and emotions that you portray in your music the basic feeling that you are going for in the collective?

Ed: Yeah, the idea of branches and how things grow in different directions. Hopefully that manifests itself in our music.

Ian: We weren’t trying to so outwardly follow that metaphor but that idea and imagery is still one source and it worked really well.

RC: Is there anybody else that you are working with in Branches?

Ed: No, it’s just us. Eventually it would be nice to put out stuff when we have the ability to do that, to put out other people’s stuff and to experiment and do other things with friends.

Ian: But at the moment the collective is us, the five band members.

RC: When I think of collective I think of Elephant 6 and that whole community there.

Ian: Yeah, we don’t have an army of bands. (laughs) Not yet at least.

Ed: Well, Greg has a rap record called Homie.

Ian: Yeah, that’s Branches #002. (laughs)

RC: Your artwork is also a special representation of your music. How did you get together with Jesse LeDoux (who did the artwork for the Shins, Elliott Smith, etc.)?

Ed: It’s always funny when people compare the artwork to the Shins because its like, duh, he did it. It’s the same style. Well our friend Graham McRae knew him and we sent him some of our music and he liked it and decided to do the artwork.

Ian: If there is any imagery to be added to this, that would be it. We thought it was fitting and he did too.

If you haven't given the Little Ones a chance, you really should. Here are a couple of the Content's favorite tracks off their
Sing Song EP (eventhough we love the entire thing).

[mp3] The Little Ones -
Lovers Who Uncover
[mp3] The Little Ones -
High On A Hill

Now take a look into the Little Ones' emo past when Edward and Ian were a part of the now defunct, Sunday's Best.

[mp3] Sunday's Best -
Instead, He Falls

Let us know what you think about their transformation, and the music they are making now. Be sure to catch The Little Ones out and about these next couple months. If you don’t know where to find them then go here. And if you need to carpool to Spaceland in August, let us know.


Anonymous Megs said...

Oh I do adore thems Little Ones! I will most definitely be at their show - and they'll be playing with The Submarines soon , yippee!

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll double that yippee for the Little Ones playing with the Submarines. Double yip-yippee!!!

5:03 PM  
Blogger Will said...

great interview fellas.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous e111 said...

the band is rocking

2:42 PM  
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