As Treetop Flyers release their debut album ‘The Mountain Moves’, the London based / West coast five piece speak to Louder Than War.
The album is an inspired fusion of folk, Americana, country and in places psychedelia which merges over the warm sound of singer Reid Morrison’s vocals to produce a thrilling and intense journey between light and dark, joy and sorrow and lost and found. The album has several stand out tracks such as album opener ‘Things Will Change’, the mellow of ‘Rose’ and the touching & reflective ‘Waiting on You’. Produced by Noah Georgeson ‘The Mountain Moves’ is a thrillingly creative and extraordinary album which will surely see them take it to that next level.
Treetop Flyers came together in 09 and are made up of Reid Morrison vocals / guitar, Sam Beer guitar / vocals, U.S drummer Tomer Danan, Laurie Sherman on guitar and yourself on bass / vocals. Louder Than War managed to sneak in a quick Q &A from Treetop Flyers bassist Mathew Starritt about the album, it’s recording, hanging around LA and the music industry today.
Hi Mathew, thanks for chatting to LTW….you and the band have just been to the states playing shows in NY and L.A as well you recorded the album out there so does it kinda feel like coming home, musically?
Mathew Starritt: “Totally. We’re about to play our second show in LA before we head over to New York. It does feel like a home coming of sorts, the music we make just seems to make more sense here.”
You’ve just been out there showcasing the new album ‘The Mountain Moves’ (released 25th June), give us a brief idea about how you describe the new album…is it in any way a departure from the group’s first wave of material? I’m thinking especially of the track ‘is it all worth it’.
MS: Well ‘is it all worth it’ is on the new record as are a few other tunes from the first E.P but our sound has definitely progressed since we cut that first E.P. I’d describe it as freewheeling country soul with generous nods to the folk music of old and psychedelic flourishes.
Was it a shared love of West coast, Americana sound and style which brought you all together, to fix them with your other influences and to make some thing new?
MS: When I got involved the others had been jamming for a few weeks and when I came in I just connected with them musically. We all listen to such a wide variety of music but once we all sang together it just made sense to go down the west coast CSNY route to kick start proceedings and it just developed from there.
Going back to putting the album together, you spent more time out in L.A to record it than originally scheduled, which gave the band time for trips to The Joshua Tree & visiting Cap Rock in honour of Gram Parsons. Do you think the extra time spent in L.A before recording really influenced this album?
MS: Absolutely! It was a real blessing being out there for the extra time. We were able to really take the songs to a new level just simply by being atop a canyon and feeling the surrounding energy. I personally love the place and really enjoyed my time out there.
There have been some pretty tidy reviews for ‘The Mountain Moves’, via Clash, Americana UK and Get Ready To Rock with quotes such as:
“An album that oozes quality, demands repeated listens, and almost certainly signals the emergence of a major new talent.” *****
So can you give me your stand out tunes on there, I love the bluesy ‘Waiting on You’, great voice, I hear Marvin Gaye and Jeff Buckley in there. ‘The Mountain Moves’ and ‘Things will Change’ also stand out…but what are your favourites on the album?
MS: I love Houses Are Burning and Things Will Change. They for me sum up what we are about as a band. Haunted House always puts a smile on my face and gets me moving.
Right now there’s this kinda new recognition for that west coast sound coming through a selection of new groups around the UK, so as a group who has been working and playing those Americana influences for the last 3 and some years, how does that sit with you, being “part of a scene”? We’ve witnessed Mod, Punk, Northern Soul and many more styles come back in recent years so why not that West coast inspired sound and style eh?
MS: I think it’s cool man. Certainly over here in LA there’s a load of bands who have re opened the door for the kind of thing we do. It’s also always a real compliment to be compared to guys like Neil Young et al.
Fair to say Treetop Flyers have built up a handy live rep over the last couple of years, the songs sound great live and Reid has a wonderful rich voice. The band have shared the same stage as Bob Dylan and Van Morrison but what has been the groups best live moment up to now?
MS: That’s a real tough one to answer. London this year was pretty special, the room was chocka block with friends, family and tons of punters having a good time. Opening the main stage for the reverend Bob Dylan ain’t too bad either…
What’s it like being a band ‘on the up’ these days…does the recession effect what you want to do? Has the group had to make compromises with budgets? Is it harder now being a group coming up than it was, say, 10 yrs ago?
MS: I was just talking with a friend about this yesterday. The business has changed drastically to how it was 10-12 years ago and it is really hard to make money playing music these days. Getting a record deal is tough but we’re happy with both our UK and US labels. They seem to really get what we’re about. You just gotta keep on keeping on and hopefully we will start reaping the benefits of all our hard work soon!
You’re on the road now til mid August – which dates are you looking forward to around the UK?
MS: Glastonbury should be pretty cool this Saturday (yesterday now), we’re also doing a few really cool mellower festivals like wilderness and lounge on the farm.
Lastly, where can we get the album ‘The Mountain Moves’ plus what’s the best thing about being in Treetop Flyers?
MS: You can get it from all the regular internet outlets as well as shops like rough trade and other independent record stores.
I guess the best thing is being able to play with other great players who all share the same love for music.