Interview – Alex Vojdani – Frotnman for Infantree
Infantree frontman Alex Vojdani phoned CleveRock’s hotline one day before the band embarks on the most important
tour of their young career. Vojdani and company have been traveling for three days, en route to Windsor, Ontario, marking the first Infantree show in Canada. This is not a run of the mill tour. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime: an opening slot for Neil Young & Crazy Horse! Yes, THE Neil Young.
The trek, which also features Los Lobos, will stop in Cleveland at the Wolstein Center on Monday, October 8.
The Los Angeles bred quartet is not a complete stranger to Mr. Young. They have appeared on the same bill at festivals, including the king of US festivals, Bonnaroo, held in Manchester, Tennessee. Infantree has also played multiple times at Neil Young’s annual Bridge School Benefit Concert.
“He’s a really cool dude,” Alex said. “When we first got a chance to hang out with him we were geeking out. We were at a Bonnaroo and he was showing us his sound system. He was playing back a couple of different albums at different sample rates. He was showing us Aretha Franklin at 192[kHz], and that was pretty cool. We just got to geek out and listen to music together, which is one of those checks off the bucket list.”
After all, whose bucket list doesn’t include listening to Aretha Franklin records with Neil Young?
Infantree is touring in support of their recent release, ‘Hero’s Dose’ (06.26.12; Vapor Records). The guys had the privilege of cutting the record where many legendary bands have also laid down tracks.
“We recorded at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles,” Vojdani said proudly. “It’s a really sick studio. Pretty much all the cool people have recorded there…The Rolling Stones, the Doors; pretty much everybody we love…Neil Young.”
“Our producer was Niko Bolas. He was pretty cool. Our producer was kind of a trip. It’s really cool to be learning old school recording from a guy who’s lived it for awhile. He’s been cutting albums before we were born. And, because we were signed to Neil Young’s label at the time, he pushed for us to record it at 192[kHz]. So our whole album, we archived at a higher sample rate. Usually we would go in the studio and record around 98[kHz]. He was pushing for a higher quality of sound. Luckily, we got caught up in the crossfire of all of that. It was pretty incredible hearing it as we were doing it.”
Many artists have difficulty picking or will not admit to having a favorite track on a record. Not so for Infantree. When asked if the band had a favorite cut from ‘Hero’s Dose,’ Alex did not hesitate to answer.
“The first track on the album (“What You Wanna Do”) is in some way all of our favorite” stated Vojdani. “We recorded it in the middle of the night. We spent the night at the studio. We asked the label if we could just for fun. We weren’t really planning on recording it originally, but the label said if you’re going to stay to the night, you have to record a song, or at least try. So we had to peg one of the runners at the studio to stay the night and engineer the song. That’s probably the one we’re most proud of and had the most fun with. We all wrote it together. We like the feeling of that.”
Alex noted Neil Young, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, and Paul Simon among the band’s influences, but clarified that Infantree makes an effort to avoid sounding like their favorite artists. While their sound is not completely original, Vojdani does not like being lumped in with other bands. “People compare us with other bands a lot, but we usually disagree,” he said with a laugh.
When questioned about the success Infantree has found, Vojdani stated, “We’re super excited to be doing what we’re doing. We can’t believe that we’re actually doing it.”
“Start a band. You might end up on a tour with Neil Young.”
[box_light]Infantree will share a bill with Neil Young & Crazy Horse and Los Lobos at the Wolstein Center on Monday, October 8. For complete show and ticket info, please visit our concert calendar.[/box_light]