“Witness Ample Branches, the burgeoning indie scene of Lawrence, Kansas’s most inspired outfit to date, and their album True Vine, a playful, thoughtful and aggressive-to-a-fault album that reconciles college-town psychedelia, heartland rockabilly and maybe-acid-jazz-esque-sort-of instrumentals from God knows where in such a seamless and natural manner that you’ll wonder, then ask, then scream why more music can’t be like this. It won’t be, and with rare and glorious exceptions it won’t even try, but don’t tell the Branches that; their earnest ambition and sixteen-track work ethic is a refresher course in the Tao of music.”
The Ample Branches are Kevin Lawrence, Andrew Wagner, Tyler Bachert, Eric Hyde, and Chris Luckey
Describe your sound:
We try to use as many instruments as we can to create a kind of folky atmosphere for our songs, though vocally we sound more Brit Pop and try to push as many harmonies as we can. We also love organs, eclectic percussion, tube amps, melodic basslines, horns, backwards guitars. . .a lot of True Vine was written as it was recorded, so the songs are studio-conceived. The songs we’re recording now we’ve worked out in a live setting, so while they’re less saturated, they have an intensity that was perhaps lacking from our previous album.
Who are your influences?
We have a wide array of influences dating back to 60s brit-pop to present day indie music ala TV on the Radio or Akron/Family. Seeing those and other bands in live settings had an impact on our own music: TV on the Radio’s vocal intensity and freedom encouraged Kevin to open up and experiment, seeing Akron/Family deliver a cosmic performance sitting down made us feel comfortable doing the same. As well as our love of live music, we all of course have an inherent love of the Beatles, exhibited by our use of harmonies whenever possible.
What’s your greatest accomplishment thus far?
Well, we are very proud of what we did with True Vine and we are excited about having people hear it. Truthfully, our biggest accomplishment other than that album was figuring out what we would do live, and after having played at a variety of the downtown Lawrence venues this summer, we feel very good about what we’ve done. We’re excited to hit the road and are currently booking a Summer 2008 tour to New York (and back).
When do you plan on having your new album out?
We are working as quickly as we can on Flowers & Numbers, but we don’t want to rush it. True Vine was completed in roughly six months, and we figure this album will take just as long. We’re better at recording but we’ve raised our standards so it’ll probably end up taking about the same amount of time.