Recently I got the chance to chat with Erica Sutherland, frontwoman of the melancholic and supremely dreamy pop phenom that is LITTLEFOOT. We talked about their new album, golden oldies, coordinating across state lines, and her favorite Boston bands. Come see Littlefoot take the Lilypad by storm, THIS FRIDAY, to celebrate their album release!!

Boston Hassle: What was the journey of making the new album, Night of the Living Dreams?

Erica Sutherland: Oh man, well I started the band a couple of years ago, and due to some lineup changes, the album sort’ve got put on hold….We finally recorded it this summer at Mystic Valley Studios in Medford with Alex Garcia-Rivera, he’s the best. I thought it was gonna take three days, but it took us like a week, because I was being kind of a perfectionist about how everything sounded, which I’m glad I was.

BH: What are some of your influences and inspirations musically and lyrically?

ES: Musically, I’m definitely influenced by 50’s and 60’s music. I really like The Everly Brothers and The Shangri-Las, and I also definitely feel influenced by surf music. I love The Ventures. Yeah, oldies and surf music. I really love harmonies. Vocal harmonies are pretty prevalent throughout the album.

BH: Was there ever a time where you were hesitant to explore or share something in your music or songwriting?

ES: Not really. But it is kind of scary, I mean you’re definitely just spilling your guts through lyrics sometimes… and sometimes I forget that I’m doing that in front of people. I think the more that you play a song the more you sort of stop thinking about that anymore, that you’re telling everybody all of this personal stuff. But I’d rather write something genuine that I actually feel connected to, than try to cover it up.

BH: Is there anything in particular that you try to convey to your audience?

ES: Not exactly, no. I’m not really thinking about the audience at all when I’m writing a song. I usually write songs when I’m trying to work through something, so I guess I’m just thinking about whatever it is that is taking up so much of my headspace. I don’t really think about the fact that someone is going to hear it.

BH: How and why did you transition Littlefoot from a solo project to a band?

ES: Well, Littlefoot is the first band that I’ve been in really where I was writing songs, and I definitely like the band dynamic. I never really intended on having it just be a solo project. I first started the band with my friend Roz Raskin on bass. I like there to be different sounds and different things going on. I like playing solo too. But in terms of the band dynamic and song writing, I write most of the song, and then I leave space for other lead guitar parts. So my first guitar player Alex Eizenberg, and my second guitar player Derek Knox, definitely added some key parts to the songs. Also Roz wrote the chorus chords for the 5th track, “Night of the Living Dreams” and many of the harmony parts. I think in the future I will do 100% of the writing instead of just most of iT. Everyone else has a lot going on with their lives and other musical projects, and since I want to do a lot with this band, lineup changes are probably inevitable (not everyone wants to take time off from the rest of their lives to tour, etc), and when multiple people are creatively contributing, it feels kind’ve complicated and messy when a lineup change happens. But anyways, yeah, playing with other people definitely has it’s pros and cons. Playing music with friends is definitely one of the best feelings.

BH: How did Littlefoot change as it shifted from a solo project to full band?

ES: I think the songs have sort of another dimension when someone else is adding to it, which I like. It also makes it more complicated, because when you go to from doing a solo project to working with other people, you have to rely on other people. So that can get a little tricky with lineup changes and stuff like that.

BH: So how did you get connected with the current lineup?

ES: Derek and I had to play a show without a drummer last year (long story – don’t date your band members!) and Ashley just came up to us and said “Hey, if you ever need a drummer let me know…..” And I was like “Actually, we do need a new drummer!” So that’s how Ashley sort’ve just fell from the sky and joined the band. And then we met Judy through Ashley. They both go to Umass Lowell. I hadn’t met Judy, but Ashley showed me her solo project on her SoundCloud, and her voice was really pretty so I asked her to see if Judy might be interested.

BH: Members of your band live in Boston, Western Mass and Providence. What are the challenges of being in a band whose members live in different areas?

ES: Scheduling. Figuring out practice, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t know, I guess it’s hard with any group to figure out how to do everything with everyone’s schedule. It’s just harder with people who live further.

BH: Do you or any other members of the bands have any other projects?

ES: I don’t have any other projects. I feel like I don’t even have enough time for this project. Even though we do a lot, I just always wanna do more. Derek has another band called Way Out, they’re really good. Judy plays solo sometimes. Ashley is training to be an opera singer.

BH: How did your bands relationship with BUFU Records emerge?

ES: I moved out to Jamaica Plain last year so I could finish up school at MassArt. I had some friends that lived at Whitehaus, and I met (BUFU label head) Ben Katzman there. And he asked me if he could put out our tape, and that was that.

BH: What do you think of the Boston music scene?

ES: I love the Boston music scene. There are a lot of really great bands in all different genres and everyone is really supportive of each other.

BH: Who are some of your favorites?

ES: Definitely IAN. We went on tour with IAN and it was a blast. I love her music. Also Ursula, Mini Dresses. Dylan Ewen & the Sulk Scouts, Free Pizza, Krill, Couple Counseling, Wakes, Bent Shapes.

BH: Oh I love Bent Shapes!

ES: We played a tour kick off show with them, which was really cool. Who else? The Televibes, I think they’re really awesome. Ben Katzman’s Degreaser is definetly a high energy band. Also love Guerilla Toss, Sun Young, Big Buck Hunter, Fleabite, Nice Guys, SaraLee, Skinny Bones. I really love Kassie (from Gtoss)’s solo project, Jane La Onda. And then at our release show this Friday, we’re playing with Gracie Jackson’s new solo project (she’s from Fat Creeps), Dark Rodeo, and Ravi Shavi (from Providence), they’re all really great.

BH: What do you think is in Littlefoot’s future after the album is released?

ES: I definitely want to tour more. I wanna write some new songs too. I think that with the lineup changes, and having to wait to record the album, it sort’ve took a while to get this album out, so I’m definitely ready for some new music. We started shooting a music video for this song called “Black Hole”. I’ve never shot a music video before, so the whole thing is pretty new to me.

BH: Anything else you want to mention?

ES: Recording with Alex Garcia-Rivera was the best recording experience I could have asked for. He does such a good job, and everything that he has is all analog. I really like doing it that way. For a couple reasons. One, because all the music that I listen to that’s older was recorded that way. And I also feel like with digital stuff you can kind of cheat, you can like copy and paste stuff….and with analog you can’t, so what the record sounds like is what you sound like.

Another cool thing we did recently – We played a Halloween show as the Twin Peaks soundtrack. That was really fun, and we actually recorded two of the songs at UMASS Lowell for our friend Kayleigh Ristuben’s project (she’s majoring in audio engineering) . That was pretty fun.

See Littlefoot shred THIS FRIDAY at the Lilypad! And get yourself a copy of the brand new album, Night Of the Living Dreams!!

Tags: , , , ,


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License(unless otherwise indicated) © 2019