Recently, I've been watching so much Life in HD that I've begun dreaming about neon seaworlds and vivid green jungles full of baby orangutans making umbrellas. Sadly, these awesome images are tainted by my brain's decision to accompany them with this Infernal song on a loop. If I could soundtrack my nocturnal nature trail then Visions Of Trees would be first on the playlist. The London duo's swirling, ethereal seductojams make me think, Woah, nature is cool and that is as close as I will get to zahelu. Here we have an exclusive track from their debut EP. I chatted with Joni from the band about David Attenborough and flying rhinos.
Download: Visions of Trees "Solid Rainbows"
According to one blog I read you are a "London-based lady duo."
Joni: We've been a lady duo on quite a few blogs and even on this one magazine's website. That's what you get when you have a weird-ass name like Joni, I guess. Needless to say I'm male. Might change my name to like Max Power or Philip Male-Dude or something. Sara's very much a lady though, so the description's not that far off really.
I first heard you on my buddy Noam's Don't Die Wondering compilation. How did you become involved with that?
Yeah Noam's such a cool dude. He was actually the very first person who approach us and he blogged about this mad instrumental jam we had up somewhere. Then a few weeks later he got back in touch and told us about the compilation and whether we wanted partake. It's such a killer CD. I played it, minus our racket, non-stop for like two weeks.
How do you guys know each other? Are you a couple? Siblings? Buddies?
We're just buddies and we started hanging out and jamming in the end of last summer. Guess we were both sort of aimlessly looking for new a project and challenges at the time and like by magic our paths crossed and it's already been such a fun ride.
You have lots of songs about the natural world. Trees, waves, rainbows, cobras, antlers. I bet you love David Attenborough. Are you outdoor types? I can't really imagine you two living off the land. I make this assumption based on your cute outfits.
Love him. I just listened a program about him on the radio on the other day and he's a total legend. Sara's got him on speed dial. Dunno about outdoor types, I'm like a bloody hermit at the moment, trapped in my little flat, too skint to do anything. Nature is really important to us though and I grew up in the middle of nowhere and was raised by cats. Lot of our stuff is about longing to be something or somewhere else, like chilling in a forest with snakes and us wanting to project that to the audience. Yeah, not sure how long we'd last in the wilderness although I live a pretty simple life in a sense that I haven't got a TV or like video games or anything like that. I do have a coffee maker though and plug points are pretty hard to come across amongst foliage. Guess we could get like a pot and roast that shit on open fire. How does one make fire? Does that rubbing two sticks together business really work? I should really be more prepared and aware of that stuff.
You have a record out on Royal Rhino soon.
Yeah, we've never even met Dwight from the label, as he's somewhere in rural West Virginia and we're obviously rockin and rollin in London but the whole thing's just kinda based on trust and mutual understanding and a virtual handshake. We talk a lot on email about music, life, space travel and such and he's totally sound. I guess we should be grateful he's not some mad nutter and it shows there are still good people around and that not all hope in human race is lost quite yet. The EP was written and recorded in October- November '09 in gritty east London and it deals with escapism and fantasies a lot and some other quite personal stuff and issues. Fears, longing... Stuff like that. We certainly had lots of fun making it. Loads of homemade shakers and percussion. I basically stuffed all these empty jars full of stuff and rattled them around in my bedroom. I was listening to a lot of North African guys, like Ali Hassan Kuban, who is awesome and all that stuff was definitely inspirational. We like a lot of r 'n' b stuff too and there's certain elements of that in the mix too. I'd like to think that it's quite a diverse EP and there's few different vibes happening throughout the four tracks.
You're playing with jj and His Clancyness in London next week. Such an amazing line-up. Unfortunately I'll be in Copenhagen. Can you delay it for a few days?
Haha yeah, we'll try! It's a really good bill and really looking forward to checking out the anonymous jj. And His Clancyness did a cover of that Wavves track didn't he? Should be a top night indeed. We've been fortunate enough to play with some awesome bands already, like Fool's Gold who totally smashed it when we played with last week.
This interview was conducted a few days ago and since then the show with jj has been postponed. I'm not saying this is proof of my awesome gig-delaying powers, I'm just saying. Visions Of Trees debut EP, Sometimes It Kills, is out soon on Royal Rhino Flying Records.