These days, even thinking about growing up without electricity would make some people run to their various gadgets, hug them and stay next to the wall outlet, screaming at anyone trying to take them away.
For From Indian Lakes mastermind Joey Vannucchi however, that’s just how life was – and he seems all the better for it. Growing up on 40 acres of land just outside Yosemite National Park, California, Vannucchi had no electricity and so his mind wandered elsewhere for entertainment. “I got a drum set and I think from there, having nothing else to do led me to obsess over music,” explains the softly spoken Vannucchi. “I was able to just be really loud so, that’s probably where it started. I think I was so bad at everything else it made it obvious that I should just keep doing the music thing, because I kind of ran out the gate and naturally took to it.” Listening to From Indian Lakes is quite an ethereal experience. Described by Vannucchi as “alternative rock in the classic sense, with experimental sounds”, the songs transcend genre and float away in a multitude of directions. They’re both soft and cutting at the same time, with digital elements that again add to the other-worldliness of the From Indian Lakes sound. “I’ve always been a big Radiohead fan,” he says when asked of his influences. “I think that’s probably the most obvious influence when you listen to the music. My mom was into country and my dad was into classic rock, so I think there’s a sort of edgier tone to things as well as a hookier tone to the songs. That’s kind of where I get my stuff from.” Founded by Vannucchi in early 2009, From Indian Lakes is ultimately his project, with friends helping him out when playing live. Describing the recording process, Vannucchi has a mostly open door policy. “My friends come in and out of the studio as they please. It’s kind of rolling and moving, they can just come and go, but I write and record everything.”
The most recent From Indian Lakes album, Absent Sounds, came out in October last year on Triple Crown Records, their first release on a label. To Vannucchi, having the backing of a label seemed like an important next step for the project. “It allowed us to do things that we couldn’t do before. As From Indian Lakes grows, we’re able to get help from them and also we get opportunities offered to us that we weren’t able to get in the past.”
When asked about the themes within his lyrics on the album, Vannucchi seems slightly distant, but there’s a reason for that. “I guess I sing about things from my life. On Absent Sounds, there are a lot of songs about death. There had been a lot of deaths in the family and I guess I do write a lot of sad songs. Mostly I write about life.” One song in particular, Awful Things, is especially haunting, with a video to match. “It’s about dealing with regret and not having enough time. The video is probably my favourite video out of all the videos we’ve done.”
Recently, an Absent Sounds remix album was released, featuring acclaimed artists such as Arms and Sleepers and Paper Tiger, giving their take on the From Indian Lakes sound. “I love remixes, I love digital music,” says Vannucchi, speaking of the project. “Right after the album had been mixed and was being mastered, I started reaching out to people to remix some songs. I think we were receiving remixes back up until about three weeks before it came out. It was lot of effort and I’m surprised at how well it came out. I like the flow and I’m really into it.”
Currently over in the UK, they are about to hit the road supporting Circa Survive and RX Bandits on these shores and in mainland Europe. When it comes to the live show, Vannucchi feels that a direct approach is the best way to portray their music to an audience. “We’re not one of those bands that goes too far off the recordings, we try to make it sound as good as the studio. We really care about sounding good and the quality of everything, both musically and visually.” With songs as delicate and intricate as his, it’s obvious why he would want to keep them intact. However, despite advances in technology and the fanbase of From Indian Lakes growing, Vannuchi just has to look back to the sprawling countryside he grew up in to stay down to earth. “I think it mostly keeps me grounded in terms of the music I write. No matter how far into digital things I like to venture, I always come back to a very organic foundation.”
For more information on From Indian Lakes, visit their official website.