Forlorn Strangers is made up of Ben, Chris, Jesse, Hannah and Abigail. Hailing from different states around the country, they are united by their love for Americana music and their passion for songwriting. They are a heavy, harmony based, Americana influenced group that brings positive vibes to every show they play. Their first CD “While The Grass Grows” was released in September and they have since been touring the east coast. The writing and recording process is something special to them as they all contribute and get to watch a song come to life.
You are from Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia, how did you all meet and form?
Chris: Ben, Hannah and I met at a college in West Palm Beach, FL called Palm Beach Atlantic University. Then we moved to Waco, TX and worked on a farm before making the move to Nashville.
Hannah: We met Jesse as soon as we moved to Nashville last Fall, a little over a year ago. Then we begged my sister Abigail to move here to be in the band. We were like “We need you!”
Abigail: We are kind of like a family band. Ben and Hannah are getting married in late April.
Why did you make the decision to move to Nashville?
Hannah: Nashville is kind of hub. We were from cool places like the middle of Texas and south Florida, but there wasn’t much of a music scene or room for growth as a band. Nashville seemed like the most central.
Jesse: There are a lot of people making music right now in Nashville and it is good to be around it.
What would you most compare your sound to? Most similar artist?
Jesse: I feel like it’s like Americana music.
Hannah: That’s a hard question.
Abigail: We did get Fleetwood Mac once.
Jesse: Yes, we got Fleetwood Mac.
Ben: The sound is vocal harmonies based.
Jesse: If there is a current artist we would like to be compared to it is Pokey LaFarge.
Ben: It’s a weird animal because it’s not a bluegrass band, but we have bluegrass instrumentation. It’s not gospel or barber shop or any of those vocal close harmony styles.
Jesse: It’s not pop, but some of it is written like pop songs.
Hannah: All in all, we want to be a mix of Pokey LaFarge and Fleetwood Mac.
How do you start writing a song?
Hannah: All five of us write so it’s different for each person. We all bring something to the table. I think the idea behind the band was as songwriters. I think we start with a song lyrically and bring it to the rest of the band to flesh out.
Jesse: And then I tear it down.
Abigail: But we do call it a skeleton. Somebody has a melody and maybe acoustic guitar and brings the skeleton to the band to fit in the other instrumentation and harmonies. Whoever writes a song sings lead.
Jesse: It ends up being a pretty beautiful process, like to learn about yourself and to learn about your family.
Hannah: I wrote “While The Grass Grows” after listening to a harp player and wrote it as a slow, minor song and we brought it and it was super fun the way everyone heard it different than I thought it would be.
Jesse: The way you wrote it was banging on a wall and singing.
Can you tell us about “While The Grass Grows” and how recording the album has been for you?
Hannah: It was great. Jesse our bass player let us record it in his home studio.
Ben and Jesse: Yeah, Jesse recorded, mixed and mastered it.
Hannah: It was a fun process because talking about the songwriting we just trust one another. We are willing to give, in the creative process, control to everybody and even if it’s your song it is still everybody’s song. It’s fun to see the work come together and take shape in the studio.
Chris: Abby hadn’t come down here yet, so she came down for a week and we all took off to work on it.
You have been touring a lot on the east coast, where has your favorite place been and what has been your favorite part of touring?
Hannah: Oh man, we got back last night at 10 or 11 from tour.
Ben: My favorite part is thinking about all the logistics like talking to venues and figuring out driving and gas. You think it will be negative sometimes, but we experienced a minimum of that. We thought we would be eating like birds, and we just got stuff thrown at us.
Chris: Yeah, we went into some venues that didn’t seem friendly or hospitable but our music seemed to cut through. We played at this one venue where the opening bands were both punk and by the end of the night we were all hanging out and drinking together.
What are your summer plans?
Ben: First and foremost, I’m getting hitched. Then we are recording and focusing on a fall tour.
Click here for the full interview at CollegeBookRenter.com