Animal Years play feel-good folk music that is intertwined with a lingering air of raw nostalgia. The band has undergone a slight metamorphosis of changes since it’s conception, with roots originating in Baltimore and North Carolina. The band is currently based out of NYC where they formed, and recently solidified a 3-person long-term lineup.
The band’s recent EP, Far From Home, features five energetic, indie-folk inspired tracks that are guaranteed to get your feet stomping before you even realize it. Animal Years embody authenticity in their writing style, which makes their music timelessly relatable. Themes in their recent release center around “being away from home and missing people, and not taking people for granted.”
Prior to kicking off their tour, Animal Years took some time to briefly chat about their inspired recording spaces, musical influences, and the meaning behind their name.
The name Animal Years coincides with the mantra of life being too short and living it to the fullest. Do you want to talk about that concept a little further?
You pretty much hit the nail on the head, we got the name from one of Mike’s favorite Josh Ritter albums, and we decided to call the band Animal Years and live our life like we could die tomorrow. We definitely treat everything about the band with that mentality. We have to give 100% at all times if we’re going to be successful.
I heard that you did some recording at a studio in the woods, is that right? How was that? What did a typical day look like while you were staying there?
It was amazing to get out of the city and work with Ryan Hadlock at Applehead studios in Woodstock with Chris Bittner engineering. We recorded for 12 hours everyday and stayed in the cabin right next door which used to belong to Rick Danko. We would beat the engineer to the studio in the morning, and run late every night.
The late night hangs with Hadlock were also legendary and we got to celebrate his birthday in NYC when we were finishing up overdubs at Spinnato’s spot at the Cutting Room Studios.
On recording "Caroline" ~ "We had four songs that we really liked for the EP, but we knew that we needed one more that would really grab people's attention," "I was driving back from North Carolina, right at the end of a tour, and I wrote 'Caroline' in the car. Within ten minutes, I had pulled over to the side of the road and recorded the whole thing into my phone. A couple of days later, we made a rough demo, and everybody who heard it said 'Yeah, that's the one.' It's the song that got the attention of our record label, and now it's the first single from the EP."
Any exciting collaborations that you’ve done with artists that you look up to?
We have not done any in the recording process but… we do like touring with our friends like Wild Adriatic and Parsonsfield. When we tour with other bands we love to learn a song together and get on stage as one big group.
Who/what would you say are your biggest inspirations, musically and non-musically?
Mike loves singer-songwriters like Martin Sexton, Josh Ritter and Ray Lamontagne. We really love HAIM, The Lone Bellow, Vulfpeck and Joseph.
And non-musically… we’re all influenced heavily by our families and our fans.
You just kicked off tour! Are there any places that you are especially excited about playing?
We can’t wait to go to the West Coast again, we love LA. We’ve never been to the Pacific North West, and we have a sweet looking run in Portland, Seattle and Bend, with the best weather possible!
Something I like to do is ask artists about what up-and-coming artists that they think me and my readers should check out. Do you have any recommendations?
Animal Years just kicked off tour! See the full list of dates below:
May 9 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ – Tickets
May 11 – Voodoo Room @ House of Blues – San Diego, CA – Tickets
May 12 – Bootleg Bar – Los Angeles, CA – Tickets
May 16 – The Crepe Place – Santa Cruz, CA – Tickets
May 17 – Hotel Utah – San Francisco, CA – Tickets
May 22 – Volcanic Theatre Pub – Bend, OR – Tickets
May 23 – Bunk Bar – Portland, OR – Tickets
May 24 – Sunset Tavern – Seattle, WA – Tickets
May 27 – Hometown Holidays – Rockville, MD – Tickets
May 30 – Live From The Divide – Bozeman, MT – Tickets
Jun 1 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO – Tickets
Jun 2 – Washington’s – Fort Collins, CO – Tickets
Jun 5 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN – Tickets
Jun 7 – The Raccoon Motel – Davenport, IA – Tickets
Jun 8 – Tonic Room – Chicago, IL – Tickets
Jun 9 – The Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy – Saint Louis, MO – Tickets
Jun 13 – Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH – Tickets
Jun 14 – Club Cafe – Pittsburgh, PA – Tickets
Stay up to date with Animal Years through the following social links:
& special thanks to the team at Big Hassle Publicity for arranging this interview.