A Great Big Pile Of Leaves Interview
1. Introduce yourself and say your role in the band.
My name is Tyler and I play drums in A Great Big Pile of Leaves.
2. When and how did you guys meet?
The band started out with just Pete Weiland (vocals / guitar) and I writing and recording stuff together on our own. About a year after we started Tucker Yaro (bass) joined the band, we started playing shows as a three piece, and then we recorded our first full-length back in 2010. Matt Fazzi (guitar) has been touring with us for the past year and a half and just officially joined the band last month, so we’re really pumped to finally have a full line-up. For the first time in 4 or 5 years, we feel like we finally have our band fully together!
3. How did you come up with the name of the band?
We had written and recorded the music for our first EP (The Fiery Works) and when we realized that we needed a name it was one of the first suggestions that Pete threw out there. He and I would go to this brewery in my hometown all of the time and just sit there for hours thinking about potential names, but we would always circle back to “A Great Big Pile of Leaves”. It stuck and I think it suits what the vibe of the band has become over the years.
4. For people who haven’t heard your music before, how would you describe your sound?
I’m always terrible at this, it’s so hard to try to imagine your own band from an outside perspective and even hard to try to describe what that would be like. I’d like to think we have a pretty unique style that is still very accessible to a lot of people. At the end of the day, I guess we just like to make music that is fun to listen to, fun to play, and fun to sing along to.
5. Which bands or musicians have had the most influence on your music or way of writing?
We all have pretty different musical backgrounds, but they all come back to the same era of bands such as Weezer and Green Day (not that we sound like either of those bands). But Tucker has a degree in Jazz performance, Matt loves west coast R&B and stuff like the Beach Boys, Pete is really into Ryan Adams and Pete Yorn… etc. I don’t think we really have any direct influences that we try to draw from, but I’m sure certain things subconsciously come through.
6. When did you decide you wanted to be in/form a band?
I’ve wanted to be in a band since I was 12. I’ve been playing since I was 9 in all of the school bands (concert, marching, jazz) and I joined my first band when I was a Freshman in high school. We used to play covers at all of our school dances, there was a lot of Blink 182 involved at that time. As far as this band goes though, Pete and I started writing stuff as soon as our other band started to slow down. This band has already exceeded any expectations we could have had, and we’re super psyched to see where we can take it.
7. What is your writing process like?
It’s a mixed bag, sometimes Pete will come to us with pretty full ideas, and then sometimes a song will just come together while jamming at our practice space. We have a protools rig, so we like to do pretty full demos and we do a lot of our own preproduction to work out the right compositions for the songs. Luckily I find it’s natural for this band when it comes to writing songs.
8. You formed back in 2007, so how do you feel you’ve grown since then?
Well we finally have a full band now. Pete and I spent the first year or two just writing and recording music, trying to build a fan base online with free downloads. Since then it’s been really amazing to see how our crowds have grown at shows, how much more these kids are into the band now, singing along and jumping around with us, it’s a really incredible feeling. The writing keeps maturing as well, which just comes with playing with the same people and kind of knowing where we want to go with our sound.
9. Soon you’ll be releasing Making Moves 7-inch, what should people expect from that?
I think it’s a pretty eclectic mix of songs. “Pet Mouse” is probably one of our catchiest pop songs, “Writing Utensils” is this really huge and open sounding song with a ton of reverb and a pretty big chorus, and then “Ambiversion” is an acoustic version of a song that will be on our next LP that we’re recording in August.
10. What do you want people to take away from your music?
To have fun and to be inspired. I like to listen to music that puts me in a good mood, that can be a soundtrack to my day, and that inspires me to do something with myself, whether it’s to play my own music or anything else. If people can take that same thing away from our music, then that would be awesome.
11. Anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks so much for the interview and hopefully we’ll see everyone in the near future!