Back in the Local Wolves 2014 October issue, indie rock band From Indian Lakes stated that their future goals were to make things “bigger and better in all aspects.” With a new album out titled Everything Feels Better Now, a move from the west coast to New York City, and a world tour, From Indian Lakes have definitely accomplished their goals, becoming bigger and better than ever before. Their newest album Everything Feels Better Now creatively mixes pop elements with experimental, dream-like beats, showcasing their growth as a band. “I think on every album, I get a little more brave and a little less insecure,” admits frontman Joey Vannucchi (JV). This meditative indie-rock sound the band has adopted in their latest album has helped them stand out from other bands, catapulting them to global success and rave reviews from top music critics. From Indian Lakes also made a big move from California to New York City, where they immersed themselves in a whole new music scene. One thing is for sure… From Indian Lakes is not afraid of taking risks… and they sure paid off. Read more about the indie-rock band in our Q&A below:
Let’s first talk about your album, Everything Feels Better Now. What inspired the songs on this album? What does the title mean to you? Take us through the recording process.
JV — This album is sort of the culmination of my wanting to learn how to better record music, and wanting to further stretch the boundaries of the experimental and pop elements of this project. I think my inspiration came from just wanting to do something to separate from the pack. I wanted to write an album that can be just as emotional when at its quietest, just as intense without falling on cliché rock elements. The title made itself clear to me once I had listened to the demos a lot and that line kept popping out at me as something that encapsulated the entire album rather than just one song.
How do you think your music has progressed from Absent Sounds to Everything Feels Better Now?
JV — I think on every album, I get a little more brave and a little less insecure. I’ve always been into a more raw and natural sound, and this is the first thing that has been released that I feel truly satisfied with. It’s a nice feeling to have no regrets on the way.
You recorded Everything Feels Better Now within three months in the basement of a coffee shop. How did recording in such a unique place influence the sounds of the album and work ethic of recording?
JV — Most of the tracks you hear are what was done with Kevin and Gavin at Fairfax. A lot of outlets keep leaving that part out, I’m assuming because it’s a little more interesting to imagine I did it all entirely by myself. Basically, I moved in with some friends and we built a studio in a local coffee shop’s basement. After several months of writing and learning, I went to Kevin’s studio and from there we replaced whatever we needed to. The process is different for every artist, but I think that being alone down there for a long time without anything to get in my head or in the way of the songs really made them what they are. Some artists need more supervision and some should have less. I’m slowly discovering that I am the latter.
Do you have a song on the album that means the most to you or stands out the most?
JV — I really connect the most with “Hello”. I remember writing that and finishing the first recordings and just feeling like I had finally created a song that truly moved me. Something I felt like I could show my idols without embarrassment, which is very rare for me. I am a pretty harsh critic of my own work.
The new album has a more dream-like quality than the first album. What inspired this type of meditative indie-rock sound?
JV — My favorite music has always been dreamier sounding music, but I think it’s the most difficult to tap into without overcompensating with guitar pedals and synths and all that. For me personally, it feels like I needed to write and record a lot of music to get to this place where I could make dreamier music that feels like my own, rather than a rip off of my favorite artists over the years.
How has performing this album to crowds differ from performing Absent Sounds? Do you get different reactions from fans when you play shows with the new album compared to the previous one?
JV — So far the reaction is very nice and energetic. I’ve gotten used to the idea that this is a project that attracts fans that are very supportive of whatever comes out as long as it has an artistic purity to it. They are a sensitive group, and very passionate. I’m very grateful for them.
What has been your favorite place you have performed in so far while on tour? What place would you still love to travel to and perform in?
JV — I think my favorite place so far was Lille, France. We performed a free show on a boat. The town was so lovely and friendly, and the show was great. I want to tour in Spain still, and Australia.
You recently made a big move— from California to New York. How has a city environment, instead of a nature environment, influenced your music and creative process?
JV — I lived in Oakland for a while and then in Mountain View, so I think at this point I’m used to the city environment. I try to keep from divulging in switching to a sound that excludes the feelings of where I come from completely. I want to keep evolving without abandoning the things I’ve built on.
What is your favorite part about living in New York? Least favorite?
JV — I love feeling like I’m right at the center of the world. It doesn’t feel permanent but it is exciting to feel like everything is going on just outside your window. I’m also very into the food and drink, which is unparalleled in any other city. Sometimes you do miss the outdoors though. I’ve gone to the beach, but I haven’t hiked or gone camping in a while and I miss that.
Since your last album release, you have grown a bigger fanbase, obtaining rave reviews from critics and music lovers around the world. What are the pros and cons with the growing spotlight and attention that comes from being in a successful band?
JV — I think that being able to pay your bills is great, and there is a nice feeling when the cool critics are saying nice things about you. I’ve been trying to stay off of the internet and just focus on the music and the important stuff. Because the bigger the audience you acquire, the more vocal some people become if you are making sounds outside of their taste.
Let’s talk about the documentary To and From Indian Lakes produced by Guy Samuelson. How did you come up with the idea of the documentary? What do you want fans to take away from the film?
JV — That was just something Guy wanted to do. He joined us for some touring and he put together the film. I think he did an incredible job, although it’s a bit hard to watch for me. It’s a little uncomfortable seeing yourself in such a raw way sometimes.
A portion of the documentary sales will go to young artists in Yosemite community. How do you use your musical platform to help other communities, causes, and aspiring musicians? What messages do you want to spread to other aspiring artists through your music?
JV — I believe in giving back and making a difference no matter how small. Artists should help each other as well as contribute to things they are passionate about. From paying people well for their artwork, or giving a little bit of sales to a non-profit you care about. We also released a B-side album on Bandcamp, and all of those proceeds go to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In the Local Wolves October 2014 issue, we asked you guys where you see yourselves a year from now, and you answered, “I would hope that a year from now, things are bigger and better in all aspects. Big shows and events and all that.” How does it feel accomplishing your goals from a year ago?
JV — I am very happy. I feel content for the most part.
What are your goals and plans for 2017? Where do you hope to be a year from now?
JV — We have a tour with Bad Suns coming up and another just after that we haven’t announced yet. Lots more shows and touring around the world. I think it’s going to be a very good year.