INTERVIEW: Portland’s Pointed Man Band

Hi Dan, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Great, I’m really looking forward to getting the new album out into the world! Thanks for the invite!

Can you talk to us more about your song “Corvidae”?

Sure! This song is about crows, and I find them to be fascinating. I wanted to write a song that could appeal to a wider audience who may or may not have the same fascination with birds and to apply a more humanistic approach to how their brains could relate to our own. They are amazing builders and gatherers and happen to have one of the largest brains of any bird species so, lyrically, this was quite an inviting subject. I love being able to take facts about our surroundings and incorporate them into a song. Sonically I wanted to create a tune that had a great drive to it with a more simplistic bass line played between several instruments and then have a chorus that just makes you want to sing out how cool these animals are. One of my favorite parts of the tune is that, rather than using a sample from a crow, we had a group of friends come into the studio and all together shout “Caw!” to make the animal sounds harder to identify. Also, in a nod to their bird song we had two synthesizers in the last part of the song playing a call and response melody. The finale brings it all back together and has the full band, vocals, melodies and caws all swirling together, hopefully allowing the listener to feel both immersed and like they’re taking flight.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Almost. It’s more of a running theme. We do have a number of crows (a murder) who live in our neighborhood and one of the lessons I’ve tried to instill in my son is not to taunt these birds because they can remember faces and even hold a grudge. So, what better way to remember than to have a song to sing?

Any plans to release a video for the track?

I’m hoping so! We are currently wrapping up a video for another track (Go!) and depending upon how life and timing works, it would be great to get an animated video going for this.

The single comes off your new album Amongst The Tall Trees – what’s the story behind the title?

The title is taken from a lyric in the chorus of the song “Dark Divide”. This is another nature focused track about Sasquatch, and it’s essentially about looking at the world through natures’ point of view. While we as a species seem to long to find out how we may or may not be alone in our universal existence, there are so many others that cherish this sense of invisibility. So, it seemed like the right line from the right tune to represent all of us living amongst nature and having our own depictions as to how life should coexist. It’s a reflection on the grandiose from such a small perspective, which as a father, I try to help to not only see the world as my child does, but how I can help to heighten these experiences.

How was the recording and writing process?

Pretty wild! I find that with every time I set out to start writing a new set of songs, I never know where the gift of song and inspiration will hit. With this album it came from all over and then over and over again. Most of the album was written over a six month period with evenings sitting down at the piano. As soon as I started demoing the songs out, the music just expanded from there. Recording the album was an absolute blast! It took place over two sessions each of about two and a half days. I can’t stress enough how much I love the musicians that I get to work with. Having all of the pieces come together in the studio is a type of magic that is just amazing.

What role does Portland play in your music?

Pretty integral as Portland is an ever changing landscape/cross section that is towing the lines of where human and nature are meeting and trying to find a way to get along. Portland is also very much like a city that is trying to keep its identity while having all of these outside influences continually trying to direct it’s new growth. Most importantly, I’d say it’s actually the nature and the greater Pacific Northwest that plays the most influential role in the music.

What aspect of happiness and human relationship did you choose to focus on?

Coexistence, cohabitation, imagination and awe. In short, being a parent and trying to raise a good human and promote the general theme of love and understanding. That no matter how small you might feel, you are always a part of something larger and what you do can affect those around you. So, try to be strong, helpful, and find the joy in curiosity.

How did you go on balancing the dark undertones with the uplifting message?

By trying not to linger too long on the minor chords. They can really be a downer for the listener, so I just kept making sure that as a mantra I would work around my impulse to write in the minor key and I applied this mindset to the lyrics as well. As an example, the song Eagle Creek is about a fire and the aftermath, but I wanted to write this as a joyous tune, as a reminder of how many great times we had in that place. The piano smashes at the end is the only allowance of the darker frustration in the song.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

The inspiration for the songs is essentially the drive to always craft a better tune than the last. I may start with something very simple, but I am always hoping to challenge myself as a writer to go in a direction that I couldn’t have known when I first sit down with an idea. Combine this with the wonder of everything that surrounds us and then the lyrics come in. Once the lyrics come together, then this also allows for different ideas with the instruments or effects to help give the song the feel and sound that it needs.

Any plans to hit the road?

That’s always the hope! We will be traveling to NYC and Philadelphia in June to promote and perform the new album and we are currently working on putting together some venues and dates around the Pacific Northwest!

What else is happening next in Pointed Man Band’s world?

Hopefully a beautiful summer and a vacation! We are working on trying to put together a series of video performances, some full band live shows and maybe even getting back in to the studio!

You can follow along at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PointedManBandOfficial/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pointedmanband/

Website: https://pointedmanband.com/

Spotify:Pointed Man Band

Listen hereiTunes

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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