Hi! From the garage pop beginnings to “You’ll Take On The World”, how has Sydney influenced your musical evolution?

A: There’s an awesome scene here in Sydney right now, as well as Australia at large for that matter. Although initially Forest Hall felt like its origins were somewhat insulated, we now get a lot of inspiration from some of Sydney’s best; Arse, Straight Arrows, Bachelor Pad, Salarymen, Good Pash, Julia Why?, just to name a few. They’re a very vibrant and supportive scene in Sydney which is very inspiring and encouraging for sure.

“You’ll Take On The World” showcases a vast range of styles; what inspired the inclusion of Bossa Nova and Classic Rock?

A: Honestly, it was just the music that was coming out of me and us as a band. We all enjoy albums that fan out to different genres and different places rather than sticking to one sonic palette. We all have very eclectic tastes so we thought it only made sense to let some of those tastes shine through, rather than maker an album of let’s say, just rock music, or something like that. I mean, who doesn’t like bongos, right?

Reflecting on the album, which track do you feel best represents the core of Forest Hall’s evolved sound and why?

A: It would probably have to be the title track, You’ll Take On The World. As well as exploring new thematic and lyrical ground for us, It’s also a new sonic world for us; it was our first time experimenting with synths and sequencing as well as midi and programming. For me too, it’s a really exciting song that almost feels cinematic, the way it plays with dynamics and builds through out. It’s defiantly what could be described as the core of our evolved sound. A new starting point, if you will.

With influences from Sly & The Family Stone to Wavves, how do you balance these diverse sounds within your songwriting process?

A: To be honest, as the primary song writer, I don’t really think about the writing process too much in terms of balance necessarily. My experience has been that for good or for bad, even if I’m consciously trying to write a particular genre, or style of song, it seems to finalise in somewhat of a general kind of, sonic palette, or vibe if you will, most likely as a result of being sifted through my personal musical palette I’d imagine. So I suppose you could say the influences balance naturally to a certain extent. But who knows, maybe the next record will be all flamenco and I’ll be stuck in that musical state of mind, unable to escape, ha ha.

The live performances of Forest Hall are known for their unique treatment of songs. How does this approach influence your recording?

A: Recently, we’ve started to flesh out songs in the rehearsal space which has influenced how we play the songs live. We tend to improvise a lot live and either lengthen or shorten songs depending on how we’re all feeling. But, You’ll Take On The World was recorded primarily between myself, our drummer Julian and our Producer/engineer Oliver Dibley, so, although our approach is changing, this record wasn’t influenced by our live performance/treatments of songs at all! It was pieced together quite methodically, almost more like Electronic music, on to the grid. But moving forward will defiantly be a different story. We want to approach it totally differently next time.

Given the eclectic sonic palette of the album, can you share a particular moment of discovery or challenge during its creation?

A: There were countless moments of discovery; from the album’s inception as starting of as some demos recorded at home on a crappy Scarlett Interface, to re-working songs, working in a top notch Sydney studio to record, to mixing and beyond, it was all a huge learning curb.

Similarly, as a result, many challenges appeared. From songs not working, to rearranging songs, to messing with endless mixes, many tough decisions had to be made. Challenges and Discoveries might have been a good alternative album title if You’ll Take On The World didn’t work out, ha.

With a national tour lined up, how do you prepare to bring the intricate layers of your album to the live stage?

A: Thankfully, everyone in the band is a great player, and we manage to cover a variety of styles. We currently don’t have a synth/keyboard player live but the guitar pedals and midi tracks can cover that ground quite well. Also, our friend Hugo has created an amazing series of art that we have begun utilising live via projector which adds a very cool Psychedelic element to the show that we feel really blends and elevates the music live.

The album hints at a conscious stylistic evolution. How do you envision this affecting your future projects?

A: As we progress as a band, I quite like the idea of stylistic pivots, of sorts. We love when a band or artist takes a left turn on a new album. Of course, a musical through line is important, but if an artist can take their core sound, or spirit of their original work and carry it on through to new musical discoveries, that seems to be where the most exciting things happen. We have begun work on our new album already and in that vein, we have changed the process up completely, and have approached the recordings in the opposite fashion that we attacked You’ll Take On The World. We are recording live in a room as a band, fleshing out the songs on the fly and bouncing ideas off each other, no click track involved, as opposed to meticulously piecing songs together, to click, on a grid.

Looking back from your first garage recordings to now, in what ways has your understanding of music and its power changed?

A: We’ve always championed the power of music, since we all got interested as kids. I supposed as we’ve developed and through the process of recording our own original music, that initial knowledge of the power of music has only grown exponentially, that, for example, a great song can change someones life. I know that’s been the case for music’s effects on our band members individually. I think the more music we make and the more we’re involved in the process the more it’s reiterated to us how profound and powerful music can be.