A few minutes into Family Trees' set at The L's CMJ show last fall, someone turned to us and said, "Oh, I didn't know you booked a Phil Spector band." We, of course, silently congratulated ourselves, though we can't take credit for the way Family Trees so wholly captures the quaint, idealistic image of the 50s and 60s that Spector's girl groups helped solidify. The fact that frontman Ryan Trott sings lines like, "Dream, dream, is that the boy you really love?" barely scratches the surface. Songs are covered in a blanket of hazy lushness and played at vacation-pace, where everything just sort of pleasantly rolls along. It's lo-fi with a purpose, basically.
Favorite NYC venue?
Death By Audio in Brooklyn, Cake Shop in Manhattan.
Percentage of shows played in Brooklyn vs. Manhattan?
5 to 1 Brooklyn? Mostly Brooklyn. Driving in Manhattan is a mess.
What New York band from the past has had the biggest influence on your sound?
Velvet Underground, I guess? They were so good, everything they ever did. Even Doug Yule was awesome. We are definitely more "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" than "Heroin."
Favorite song about NYC?
The Trade Winds' "New York's a Lonely Town." Amazing fake Beach Boys song about a kid moving from California and being bummed that no one surfs.
On tour for a month, what album would get the most play in the van?
More Monkees Greatest Hits cassette.
Ideal four band bill, realistic:
K Holes, Reading Rainbow, Eternal Summers and us.
Ideal four-–band bill, dream:
Lee Hazlewood, Jonathan Richman, The Troggs and us.
If you had to relocate to another city, where would you go?
Somewhere in the desert. New Mexico?