Interview: Animal Eyes

A relatively new band, Alaskan transplants Animal Eyes have quickly became one of most popular independent live acts in Portland. Comprised of a varierty of instruments, some not usually found in a standard rock and roll band, members Tyler, Sam, Figley, Have, and Colin will no doubt continue to win over listeners with their blend of psychedelic, folk, jazz, blues grass, and pop. Whatever you genre you care to call their tunes, Animals Eyes is assurdedly Pacific Northwest Rock. We spoke to Tyler about the band in preperation of their secret live recording with us in March.

How long has the band been together in its current form? How did it come together?

We’ve been together almost a year now. Colin (bass player) moved down first, expecting to get an English degree, and then we all came down for different reasons. But all with music in mind.

How would you describe your sound? What are your key influences?

World, prog, pop and stuff. Menomena, Grizzle Bear, Tom Waits, Paul Simon, Radiohead . . . just for a start.

Tell us your thouhts about recording live. What makes you interested in recording live a The Banana Stand?

Live recording are great because it has a swagger and chemistry that’s harder to get when tracking an album. And it’s really an honest representation of the band actually sounds. Which is kind of scary . . .

What’s your favorite memory of a live show? Least favorite?

One of the fondest memories was when we had a show at our house, and people (TWSM *cough* *cough*) got so rowdy there were shoe-markings and beer bottle holes in the ceiling the next morning. It was pure beauty. Least favorite was this house show we played in SF at the end of our first tour, there weren’t really many people there to begin with, and they charged a cover to a house show?!?!? They had all the different bands from the house play first, and we didn’t end up playing until 2:00am or so. Even the people in the other bands who lived in the house went to bed . . . hahahahaha . . . it was hilarious. But, we ate at Church’s that night, so it balanced it out.

What are your favorite live albums?

Ohhh, that’s a hard one . . . Great Big Sea in Newfoundland for New Year’s 2000, Nirvana Unplugged, there’s a live Fleet Foxes album [Ed. Note: We think it’s the BBC Radio 1 session] that’s one of our favorites, and Daft Punk Alive 2007.

What other projects are you all involved with?

Haven and Colin are working on this funk-soul side project called $kaching$, and we kinda all have our own more folky side projects.

What are you working on lately?

New song/EP to be, we have a music video in the works for our song “Goat Chasing” (embeded above), and a few live videos of some newer songs coming up. Getting better at our instruments, not forgetting shit at shows.

Big thanks to Tyler for answering questions. Animal Eyes will preform at The Banana Stand in March as part of our ongoing, secret live recording events.

Find out more about Animal Eyes on Facebook, Bandcamp, and on AnimalEyesBand.com.