Future Of Forestry Biography
Last updated: 01/31/2007
"How will the legend of the age of trees
Feel, when the last tree falls in England?
When the concrete spreads and the town conquers
The country's heart; when contraceptive
Tarmacs laid where farm has faded"
So begins the C.S. Lewis poem that San Diego quartet Future of Forestry cribbed its name from. In it Lewis describes an England overtaken by industrialization but the band sees it as more than just an environmental warning.
"It's not about saving trees but about saving our lives from being taken over by technology," frontman Eric Owyoung said. "It's about asking if we are still able to see beauty."
Anyone who gets their hands on Future of Forestry's debut for Credential Recordings—"Twilight"—should be able to find it embedded throughout the album Owyoung, guitarist Nick Maybury, bassist Luke Floeter and drummer Spencer Kim have assembled.
Owyoung and Maybury, both formerly of Something Like Silas, started Future of Forestry in 2005 with Floeter and Kim. Since then, the band has been a constant on the West Coast scene, securing fans from their hometown to Seattle and everywhere in between as they recorded and prepared for the release of their debut LP.
Recorded in 2006 with producer Ken Andrews (Pete Yorn, Failure, Mae), "Twilight" shows a band with great chops pushing the boundaries of pop music; unafraid of ambient, instrumental breaks but always ready with a guitar-laden hook. Owyoung's fine song writing in particular is evident in songs like "If You Find Her," the title track and "Open Wide," the album's first single, all of which exemplify the creative melding between Andrews and the band.
"I've become a lot more selective about things I choose to produce lately, having focused more on mixing for the last two years," Andrews said. "But when I heard the FOF demos I couldn't resist. The song writing is just beautiful, and quite varied throughout the album with Eric's emotive voice and classic song writing sensibilities pulling it all together."
Owyoung studied music conducting, voice leading in particular, at Boston University to which he credits his song writing style to. "I think a certain way when I'm writing parts," Owyoung said. "I want to make sure that everything in the song has a place to go, not just the melody. I think it really shapes our music."
With Owyuong's schooling and the experience of the rest of the band, the group pulled off a slight coup with the veteran producer. They convinced Andrews to record the basics at the Steakhouse in L.A. before adding vocals and overdubs at Andrews's home in Pasadena. From there the band took possession of the tracks for two months where they added all manner of ambient sounds to the songs.
"Ken was on our wish list from the beginning," Owyoung said. "His own work with Year of the Rabbit and On inspired us as well as his mixes like Copeland's record. It was dream to work with someone who understood what we wanted and with him we've made a record we are super proud of."
Back home the group added in the more ambient sounds to the record but also scrounged around the house to find music in washing machines, ironing boards and pots and pans, all of which assist in filling out the record's lush sound.
"Ken was working with Beck at the time and needed a break," Owyoung said. "So he gave us the tracks and we did a lot of the more experimental stuff on our own and then we brought them back to him to mix."
And with that record now under their arms and set for a Jan 23 release on Credential Recordings, the band is ready to tackle a heavy touring schedule in 2007 to play those songs in front of as many people as possible.
"This album was written in the context of some very difficult personal experiences. It was a year of a lot of tears and losses, a year of searching, and a lot of finding," Owyoung said. "The record covers so much of that and is very personal. I am looking forward to seeing how those life experiences create connections within people's hearts. Music has a strange and beautiful way of facilitating meaningful connections. That's what we want to be a part of."