2011 Artist Survey: Lost in the Trees

Jan 25, 2012
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For Under the Radar’s 9th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2011. Pick up a copy of Under the Radar’s Best of 2011 Issue for Artist Survey responses from !!!, Acid House Kings, The Antlers, Art Brut, Beirut,  Blonde Redhead, Camera Obscura, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.,  The Dears, Rose Elinor Dougall, The Drums, The Duke Spirit, Elbow, EMA, The Horrors, I Break Horses, Islands, Little Dragon, My Brightest Diamond, Nada Surf,  Marissa Nadler, of Montreal, Okkervil River, Peter Bjorn and John, The Rapture, The Rosebuds, SBTRKT, S.C.U.M, and Vivian Girls. 

There are even more survey responses in the digital version of the issue and we are also posting more surveys on our website. Here’s a survey from Lost in the Trees.

 

Jenavieve Varga and Mark Daumen
Lost in the Trees

 

Top 10 Albums of 2011


1. Tinariwen:
Tassili
2. Wilco:
The Whole Love
3. Destroyer:
Kaputt
4. The Luyas:
Too Beautiful to Work
5. Sean Rowe:
Magic
6. Yann Tiersen: Dust Lane
7. The Antlers: Burst Apart
8. Braids:
Native Speaker
9. Fool’s Gold: The Dive 

10. Mount Moriah: Mount Moriah

What was the highlight of 2011 for you and/or your band?

We have had way too much fun this year. We're getting giddy thinking about it. Besides the release of Tambovieve, getting an invite from Jeff Mangum to play at ATP was pretty magical. 

What was the low point of 2011 for you?
We got snowed in while we were opening for Neko Case in the Northeast in February. First a few shows got canceled, so we hunkered down in Rhode Island. Then our trailer and van got stuck in the snow. We took shifts digging it out and eventually ended up going bowling to ease our winter blues. 

What are your thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street protests? Do you stand with them? Are they accomplishing anything?  
We stand with them. They have succeeded in changing the national conversation from irrelevant deficit issues to income inequality and corporate malfeasance. 

Several stages collapsed in 2011. Are you worried about festival safety? What else can be done to make stages and festivals safer?
You have to have people who know what they are doing on these big stages. We've had great experiences so far. The union stage guys at LouFest had it going on this year. 

Has it become less financially viable to survive as an independent band this year?

We are very grateful to have great support from [our label] ANTI-. The record was so well received that we feel it was easier this year than years past. We recognize how lucky we are to have this situation and that a lot of great bands do not. While some of the traditional means of making money as a musician (e.g., selling a boatload of records) are less than reliable for an indie band, the climate of the industry is shifting towards creative entrepreneurial ideas that explore new ways to reach and engage fans. Anything is possible!

Which album would you like to see a band play in its entirety?
Any Radiohead album would be a treat!

Which song do you wish was being played in the delivery room while you were being born?

“Another Brick in the Wall.”

What’s been the best day of your life so far and what’s been the worst?
After we played the Hillside Festival in Canada, I hung out with Etran Finatawa. Our conversations were mostly charades and hand motions combined with broken French and English, but somehow I still ended up playing music with Goumar [Abdoul Jamil], the guitarist, till the wee hours of the morning. After explaining his practice ritual, he gave me the rug he takes with him to sit on when he plays in the desert. In exchange, I gave him a postcard of Blondie, a desperate find in my case to return the gesture of kindness. I keep that tapestry in my suitcase, and every so often, I get a call from the Sahara and Goumar plays me a song. Every time it feels like the best day of my life. The worst: When your birthday happens to land on a 4-5 day drive across the country. 

Who has better taste in music, your mom or your dad?
It's tough to compare Stravinsky to Jimmy Buffett.

What’s the smartest decision you’ve ever made in your life?

The smartest decision I've ever made was dropping out of college to travel the world.

What would be the title of your autobiography? 
Priorities, and Why Yours Are Wrong

Which two artists, not including yourself, would you like to see collaborate with each other?
Sean Rowe and Blondie.

Are there any songs that make you tear up? Which ones?
Wilco: “Black Moon” gives me goose bumps. The string arrangements!!!! 

Hindugrass (John Heitzenrater): “Songerie.”

In 2011, what was the best movie you saw, book you read, comic book you read, video game you played, and/or TV show you watched?
The best movie I watched this year was Bronson, the story of England's most violent prisoner. Tom Hardy's performance was to die for. The best comic book I've read is TURF. The best TV show I've watched this year is a three-way split: Modern Family, Mad Men, or Boardwalk Empire

(www.lostinthetrees.com)

 



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