It's surprising to find out that Treetop Flyers
are not from California. They possess a vintage, Laurel Canyon sound that falls into the same category as the location's most iconic inhabitants Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Rather, the group composed of Reid Morrison, Sam Beer, Tomer Danan, Laurie Sherman and Matthew Starritt hail from London. Their debut record, The Mountain Moves
was released earlier this week, which follows their 2011 EP To Bury The Past
We spoke with Treetop Flyers frontman Reid Morrison about his early Van Morrison influence (although it's not genetic), the band's Stephen Stills inspiration, and growing with their music.
Who are some of your main influences?
A lot of stuff that's American-based. Neil Young. All of that west coast stuff. We like a lot of British stuff like Van Morrison. I'm a huge fan of Otis Redding. I love a lot of reggae. Anything with a groove that's soulful we kind of connect to.
Did you grow up listening to Simon & Garfunkel and Neil Young-like music?
When I was a kid, oh yeah! I was always rocked to sleep with Van Morrison and Jackson Browne. That's where it comes from for me. Also, when I got older I found the music myself.
What was the inspiration behind your record?
It's a collection of songs that we've had for years and some new ones. There's a song called "Postcards" that we actually wrote in America that was about flying out to LA to record. A lot of these songs are based on experiences we've all had. Over the last two years, a lot of stuff has happened. To write about that is pretty interesting. It's a blank canvas. You make up a story. There's no specific theme to the album, but the four years we put into making it. That's the inspiration behind it.
That's pretty interesting. What's the story behind your name, Reid?
It's that funny thing when you're trying to find a band name and everything sounds stupid. Sam Beer, our guitar player said "oh, I want to call it Treetop Flyers." It's from a Stephen Stills song. I never wanted to name it after a song. What he's singing about is obviously a drug dealer who flies low-flying planes after he left Vietnam to get money soon. It's a group of guys who fly with their specialized skills. We've all been in bands before. That group of people reminded us of ourselves. Just speaking to what you know and what you know best really.
I feel like your music is a throwback to the 60s. I can totally see that. Who are the bands you'd like to play with in the future?
Loads of bands in this era. We're huge fans of My Morning Jacket. Bob Dylan, even though he's an oldie. There are a lot of really good American bands that would fit well with us on a bill. I think playing with My Morning Jacket would be pretty epic.
What songs mean the most to you on The Mountain Moves?
To me, personally, it's "Waiting On You." It's a song written after my father passed away. It was my homage to him and what he helped me do. That's personally my favorite for that reason, obviously. It depends what day of the week it is. I always have a new favorite. That whole idea of the song is really important to me. It's a way for me to get all of the pain and anger out. That's what I really needed.
Where do you see Treetop Flyers in the next five years?
I mean, hopefully doing the same thing on a bigger scale. When you're in a band, you can't really think too far. Who knows? The industry isn't like it was before. We need to ask ourselves, did this album do that well so we can do another one and another one? We obviously want to keep getting bigger and better, meeting fans. We want to make a living out of it, really.
Watch Treetop Flyers perform the second track off The Mountain Moves
, "Houses Are Burning" below.
The Mountain Moves
is out now. Get it here
And in Follow Friday fashion, we suggest you keep an eye on Treetop Flyers by liking them on Facebook
and following them on Twitter