I recently had the opportunity to hear Brother, the stunning debut EP of newcomers Mighty Oaks, who stand out from the ever-growing folk crowd by writing wonderful songs with big, catchy choruses, the sort that just sweep you away in their emotion and infectiousness. Although, to be fair, it might not be entirely accurate to label them as a folk act as they do have other influences as well, as you’ll read in our exclusive interview below. I highly suggest that you pick up Brother when it’s released on September 22nd via Island Records because it’s one of the best EPs I’ve heard by any artist of any genre thus far this year with five truly impressive tracks well-worth whatever little bit of money you spend on them…
Congrats on the release of your forthcoming EP. I think it has the potential to be hugely successful. How does your band generally go about the songwriting process? (Meaning, do you start with a lyric, a melody, etc.)
Well, thank you! Up until now, Ian has come with the skeleton of a song to the band. He starts with a guitar melody and moves onto a vocal melody and lyrics. Then we start putting meat on the bones and flesh the song out as a band. It has worked very well for us, but we have grown a lot as musicians and as a band due to the touring we’ve been doing the past year, and our sound has evolved in a way that will likely see us writing more tracks as a band from the very beginning. Next level.
I understand you have members from various countries. Where are you each from and how did you first meet? Were any of you friends prior to starting the band?
Ian comes from the Pacific Northwest. Claudio is from the Adriatic Coast of Itlay, and Craig is from southwest England. We were indeed friends before we decided to form the band and, despite the many months we’ve spent crammed in a bus together, or a shit shared hotel room, we remain best friends to this day!
Although your music sounds perfectly contemporary, there’s also a strong ’70’s folk vibe about it. Are you more inspired by the folk music coming out today or the folk music of yesteryears?
We listen to a lot of music and cross a lot a genres in doing so. There are folk elements in the music, as it is rooted in acoustic instrumentation, but there is also a lot of indie rock and rock and roll in there as well, most definitely in the live performances. It is hard to say if it the past or the present that influences us more. We can say that the older bands, with their more vintage sound is more up our alley. We’ll take a Silverface Twin Reverb, a 1950’s archtop guitar, and a p90 any day! We seek warmth and depth in our sound.
Which three artists do you feel your music most resembles?
That’s a real tough question and one that pigeon holes us a bit, as we either come across as wishful thinkers, or frauds. We’d like to think it’s our very own 🙂
If you could have had music on the soundtracks to three films during recent years, which films would they be?
The Life Aquatic, Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, Mud, Into The Wild (too obvious though?)
You’ve already toured with Kings of Leon and The Lumineers. Tell us a bit about those tours. (Any interesting backstage stories, unexpected audience reactions, etc.)
We never went in extended tours with either band, only jumping in on shows here and there. The fact that we were always really well received by their crowds was a big surprise for us. You never know how it’s going to go as an opening act. We were also surprised that The Lumineers are such down to earth, good people. They welcomed us at the show and shared beers and stories with us. That’s something you appreciate and aspire to remain when you’re at our stage in the game.
Are there any particular artists that you would like to tour with in the future?
We’d love to tour with First Aid Kit. The girls are really wonderful, and they make great music. It would be great to hit the road with Coldplay. We all like the band and they seem like good people from the interviews. It would be a good fit musically.
What are your current tour plans?
We should be in the States briefly in October for some showcases, and will hit the road for six weeks in November and December on our next headline tour through Europe. We hope to be more active on the UK and US next year, but will focus on writing new tracks as well.
Mighty Oaks release their debut EP, Brother, on Sep 22nd via Island Records. Special thanks to Tasha at House of 27 for setting this up!