Manzanita Falls: Philosophical Ghosts

manzanita-falls-interview-golden-mixtapeThis has never happened before, but the following interview was done by Ashley. You can see that because her name appears to be in bold, BUT she’s currently finishing up her last minute packing for a month long trip to Europe. So I’m (Kendra) and sitting here editing this fine interview she did with Manzanita Falls.

From board games to philosophical thoughts, it seems like all the important bases were covered when it comes to interviewing a band like Manzanita Falls. As say a mini goodbye to the girl who helps me out here, we’ll say hello to Manzanita Falls. They’re a band from the bay area of California with an indie rock sound that’s for those who swear Wilco is the best thing ever. So keep on reading on to see what they had to say about everything under their sun, including their latest album, Vinyl Ghost.

Ashley Jean: Looking ahead: How does it feel to be back on the road with a new album behind you after last year’s events?

Manzanita Falls: It feels good to get back out there. Some bands never come back from accidents like ours. Matt Coit, our drummer, was the most injured. He suffered a fracture in his neck that kept him from being able to play drums for months. Fortunately, the band was patient and Matt was determined to move forward. In fact, he booked most of our tour in a neck brace. We are all very excited about the future, and feel more confident in the band as a whole.

Ashley Jean: Your music is very scenic; I imagine trees or some sort of beautiful greenery when I listen. When writing a song, is there ever a specific image that continuously stands out?

Manzanita Falls: When we write songs, we do try to get the listener to imagine a specific image or feel through the use of our lyrics, and our use of space in the arrangements of our music. However, when it came to this album we did not, per say, have a specific, continuous image in our minds. We were going for more of an ambiguous feel that may lead the listener in a certain direction but, ultimately leave the listener to interpret the specifics on their own. One thing we did have continuously in the album was the use of color. I.E. silver spoon, green grass, yellow papers, white and blue paint, red-eyed flights, red hands, black cars, and black clothes.

Ashley Jean: People believe that the places in which they live define them. If it isn’t “The City” that destroys them, then what is it?

Manzanita Falls: This interview has taken a very philosophical turn. We feel that although the environment plays an important role in the definition, (or destruction) of a person, Perception of the environment provided is the most important factor. In the case of our song, “The City,” it is about a person who becomes downtrodden in a city and is having an internal struggle with who or what to blame for their misfortunes.

Ashley Jean: Vinyl Ghost is an interesting title, and sparks the author in me. If you were releasing a book as opposed to an album, what do you think the Vinyl Ghost would be a tale about? Tragic misunderstood monster or chaotic beast threatening mere mortals? Tell me a story.

 Manzanita Falls: Vinyl Ghost comes from the title track on the album. It is a story about a man, a woman, and a record player they shared through the entirety of their relationship. When the woman passes away suddenly, the man is left alone with the haunting memory of his loss, and a son. He hides the record player away until 17 years later, the record player is found by his son. As the records are played once again, the son hears a mother’s voice he never knew, and the father hears a lover’s voice he could never forget. So that is the story of Vinyl Ghost…but if we had to say between one of the two suggestions you offered, we would say tragic, misunderstood monster.

Ashley Jean: The album keeps a mellow consistency, up until “Fortnight.” It’s a little more uptempo and shoulder moving. Was there just a need to get away from the slower jams?

Manzanita Falls: We felt it was necessary to have a more up-tempo song, and we made sure to put it right in the middle of the album. We feel that it’s good to have diversity in the music. We, ourselves, have such different tastes in the music we listen to, and we want that to be reflected on what we put out. Besides, too much of anything can be bad for an album.

Ashley Jean: This may not exactly be as deep as the rest of the questions, but “Battleship” sparked a curiosity in me. If you could define the band by way of a board game, which one would it be? Why?

Manzanita Falls: This is a really fun question; probably Sorry! Right now, we are writing for our next album so we are spending our time discussing where we want the songs to go. We all want to move in the same direction, we have moments that may set us back, but help us progress as a majority, sometimes we make small amounts of progress, sometimes we make leaps and bounds very quickly. Sometimes we get upset at each other and have to apologize, but we are all trying to get our thoughts and ideas “Home” so we can make great music that we are proud of.

Ashley Jean: As the summer approaches, we need a little something to cool us off. What 5 songs do you listen to to chill out on those warm nights?

Manzanita Falls: We’ll give you contemporary and favorites.
Me Alone “Loves It!
Fergus Falls “Field Report
Harry Chapin “I Wonder What Happened to Him
The National “Sorrow

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