Following the 2013 release of their sophomore album The Second, Forrest Day’s latest EP Familiar Company arrived in January, satiating fans with a mix of new and old material while the band’s next two full-length albums are in the works.
The band of Oakland locals are notoriously hard to describe. A mix of hip-hop, rock and jazz, Forrest Day bridges music genres with intoxicating energy and fast-paced, heartbreakingly relatable lyrics.
We spoke with Forrest, the band’s front man and namesake, about the new EP and the future plans.
There’s a strong storytelling element in your songs. Can you tell us what inspired the new EP?
The new EP is really a collection of older songs that were never recorded, or weren’t recorded up to our standards. Fans have complained about almost all of those songs not being on an album. We thought is was a cool way to get them out and it wound up being a really cool little mix of material. The only new song on there is “Road More Traveled.”
Did you guys produce the EP yourselves?
I produced it. I’ve produced our last couple albums, but what made this one different is that I spent the last year building my own recording studio and Familiar Company wound up being the maiden voyage. I couldn’t be more proud of the sound. And it’s just the beginning of the work getting done down there.
Is there a full length album in the works?
Yep, there’s two. It’s actually another reason why I wanted to make Familiar Company. I wanted the next full length album to be all new material. We have a lot of tricks up our sleeves for these next couple records. It feels good, and I think we are in for another fun ride.
How long have you been playing music? Can you tell me a bit about how you got started?
It all started for me with the sax. I was about 9 years old and I just fell in love with it. I loved it before I played it actually. I’ve always just been entranced by the tone.
I was real into Jazz and hip hop through those years. I eventually made the rounds through just about every genre, and started playing in bands outside of school when I was 14. That’s when I really discovered what a monster wave music can be. Twenty years later and it’s still all I care and think about. Expression. Release. I really don’t know what I’d do without it. I suck at real life!
Part of what makes your shows such a rush is how palpable that expression and release is on stage. What do you do after shows? Are you able to maintain that intensity or is there something you have to do to relax?
It’s definitely different after every show. Not every wave is a Mavericks wave. Sometimes I can just pass out right away because I’m so tired. Sometimes I’m wired with no chance of sleep whatsoever.
I usually smoke a little weed if I can’t sleep, maybe a little video gaming. Nothing gets me out of mind like video games. I don’t feel cool saying that.
What was the first record you remember listening to as a kid?
Getz/Gilberto. I remember that so vividly because it was the first music I ever shed a tear to. I felt real confused by it.
What are you listening to right now?
I’ve been listening to Death Grips lately. Tune-Yards. Classic Hip Hop, rock and Jazz. When my iPod is on shuffle it’s a roller coaster.