Infantree releases album, culminating a year’s work in one night

Aimee Lastrella

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The band “Infantree” celebrated the release of their new CD entitled “Would Work” Tuesday at Los Angeles nightclub The Mint.

It took a year of recording at the legendary Sunset Studios in Hollywood to complete the album.

Infantree’s sound is confusing, yet infectious. The band said the influences for their sound are Neil Young, Nirvana, Tupac, Tom Waits and Radiohead—with a touch of mandolin and some banjo.

Their music is something hard to wrap your head around, but offers a wise sound of poetic justice, especially for young musicians.

Guitarists Alex Vojdani and Matt Kronish, both 20, Donald Fisher, 22, and drummer Jordan Avesar, 19, came together about five years ago.

The band was signed to Vapor Records late last year, Vojdani said.

“It was unreal,” Vojdani said. “We were big fans of Neil Young and Everest and to be signed to the same record company was a dream come true.”

The journey was not easy for the band. Over its course, they played numerous times on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade just to gain fans and crowd feedback.

“We played there over 200 times,” Vojdani said. “And when we would play a song and think it’s the best, but no one would stop to listen. It was kind of humbling and a learning experience at the same time because the audience was indifferent. They would only stop if they like what they heard. I feel like it gave us a thick skin.”

“Would Work” features 12 original songs produced with Niko Bolas, a long-time Neil Young collaborator.

“Working with Niko was insane,” Vojdani said. “He knew what to say to get us to work and how to get the best out of us and our sound.”

The band can be classified as overachievers when it comes to their music. They aimed for three songs a day in the studio, even when Bolas would tell them they would really only be able to get one song in.

“The daily routine would be wake up and play,” Vojdani said. “We get up and drive to (Kronish’s) basement and work all day. I don’t eat breakfast sometimes. If we start late, we stay late.

“We like to add different sounds to the music,” he said. “The piano, mandolin and banjo always add a new feel to our music.”

They said their song “Water” best describes their journey and experience as a band. The song was a collaborative piece.

“I wrote (the rhythm) on the guitar, but only really had a beginning and end,” Vojdani said. “(Kronish) added the middle verse and a bunch of lyrics. We combined a double lyric that overlapped. It wasn’t planned, but it was a lot of fun and worked.”

“We worked on ‘Hypo’ on the last day in the studio,” Vojdani said. “It was an unorthodox approach to our sound, in comparison to the rest of the album. But we wanted to get more involved and escape that cookie cutter sound out there. We messed with the arrangements but wanted (the song) to tell the same story because it felt unfinished.”

The band said they couldn’t really place their sound in a genre.

“Music today is overcategorized,” Vojdani said. “Putting music in a genre leads to comparing music. Plus, there are so many styles out there, why place our sound in one?”

The band said one of their most memorable appearances was at the Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco. It was their first show of such high caliber. They said it was a dream playing with bands that they themselves were fans of.

Infantree also played at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) music conference in Austin, Tex.

“That experience was sweet, yet eye opening,” Vojdani said. “It was kind of hard with all the bands and knowing that all of them are trying to do the same thing, which is make it. It kind of lit a fire in us to do and be a whole lot better. We played with so much heart when we were there.”