Stephanie Deere

INTERVIEW: Ari Picker of Lost In The Trees

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SoCalMusicToday.com recently caught up with frontman Ari Picker—Lost in the Trees full force, composer, and songwriter. The band combines American folk and modern pop with its symphonic classical arrangements that brings a cinematic aesthetic that is reflected in their sound. Ari Picker’s mother sadly took her own life, creating a deal of inspiration for this stunningly gorgeous second album to honor her.

Lost in the Trees is an inventive ensemble from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They create a sound with intimate melodies, simplicity, complexity, and a unique style. We talked about Lost in the Trees latest album “A Church That Fits Our Needs” and the bands current fall tour.  Lost in the Trees will be coming to Los Angeles on Friday, October 26 at First Unitarian Church.

 Today is the first day of the bands fall tour, yeah?
Ari: Oh, it was actually yesterday, but yeah

How is it going so far?
Ari: It’s going great. I’m just in a van right now…so it’s sort of loud. But everything’s good.

Are there any certain cities you’re really excited about playing?
Ari: Probably New Orleans. I feel we haven’t had a solid show there yet, so yeah, I’m excited for that.

Before we get into talking about the bands latest album, could you tell us a little about how the band started?
Ari: I guess it started as a bedroom project—me making music in my bedroom, and then trying to learn how to play the songs out live along with finding other musicians.

The group definitely utilizes rhythm as its own emotional language—using a variety of schooled musicians on cello, violin, tuba, piano, percussion, etc. Did you all meet at school?
Ari: Yeah, kind of. You know, I went to school in Boston and from hanging fliers to meeting others in the North Carolina music scene.

The loss of your mother was definitely used as a creative fuel for your latest record. It’s truly beautiful as it is intense, but was there other music that influenced you that brings such classical compositions with folk and pop elements?
Ari: Well for past albums, probably bands like Radiohead or Blonde Redhead, and for right now, I don’t really know what I’m listening to—haha, probably more minimal modern music, and other current music I’ll tend to find.

Can you tell me a bit about the recording process? I recall your earlier songs were recorded yourself in a bedroom. Was it a strange transition going from a simple room to a huge recording studio?
Ari: Well, on the latest album, it was actually half recorded in my room and half in an actual studio, but yeah, I feel recording the newest album brings a kind of Frankenstein feel to it.

I recently saw an interview of you—mentioning after your mother passed “I felt a door open between after life and here, it’s very surreal to walk around and do normal things when someone so close to you disappears.” You also mentioned that you wanted this album to create a space for your mothers’ soul to go, and hopefully throughout your music. How does it feel now that the album is finally released?
Ari: Yeah, everything you said is definitely true, and as much its deeply affected songs—I feel it was a success for me musically wise and I’m really happy how it turned out.

Lastly, what can fans expect of your upcoming show in LA?
Ari: Well, we’re going to mainly play songs from our newest album and songs that we’ve been working on for our next album. Our live shows are a bit more energetic, and I also feel where we’re playing, it’s going to bring a cool concept to the show.

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