The poetic styling of Josh and Robin Brown, making up the band Foot Foot, carry a certain feeling I can't quite place. Their bibliography states, "This is music to dream to, evoking the sand-scabbed knees and street-tarred soles of Los Angeles." And while that's not exactly what I'm trying to say about the folk-esque melodies or the comforting drawls of the vocals, it's a start. For me, listening to Foot Foot bares a reminder of a child-like type of listening: something you can equally sink your teeth into or have as a pleasant backdrop. The un-ironic stance and literate tone to the songs show an honesty rarely captured in music today. Scene Point Blank recently had a chance to speak with Robin Brown via email about the band's music.
Scene Point Blank: For those unfamiliar with Foot Foot, would you mind telling us who you are and give a brief overview of your sound?
Robin Brown: We are from Los Angeles, but actually we live by the beach which doesn't really feel that much like Los Angeles. At this point the band members consist my husband Josh and myself, but our brothers, sisters, cousins, and friends have been in the band at different times. The band changes in size, so I guess we sound pretty different depending on whether we have drums or accordions or just guitars. Most of the songs are pretty quiet, but on the new album they tend to be a bit louder because we have Josh's brother Matt playing drums.
Scene Point Blank: As a smaller band on an indie label there is often a clash between making music and making a living. How do the two of you balance financial responsibilities with artistic goals?
Robin Brown: Um...I guess Josh and I probably have a slightly different view of that conundrum than most. We both actually make our living as guitar teachers, and Josh does guitar repairs as well. We are really lucky to already be making enough money playing the guitar, so as far as the band goes, it has a little bit more room to move. It's nice because our jobs are also not very time consuming so we have a lot of time to put into the band.
Scene Point Blank: You guys have just released your new album Trumpet, which, to me, has a romantic and whimsical tone. Where did the name come from and what would you attribute the lyricisms to?
Robin Brown: Well the album's title comes from the song "Trumpet" which is about a scene in a novel where a man dies in car wreck and his old mother has to be told that he is dead through a hearing trumpet. So they have to yell this horrible news over and over until she can understand it. I guess that isn't that romantic or whimsical. The rest of the song is about hanging out at the library in the middle of the day and having the only other people there be a group of mentally retarded adults who were spending their day also hanging out in the library. Most of the lyrical content comes from some sort of mashed up conglomeration of things that I have read about and things that I see walking around in the world.
Scene Point Blank: Though I'm going to assume the answer will be the title track, if you had to pick a song from the new album as a reflection or introduction to the band, what would it be?
Robin Brown: A song that is reflective of the band...I don't know. Like I said before, the band changes pretty often, so if you mean the song that is most reflective of what we were trying to do on this album, I guess it would be "Trumpet." It is by far the loudest song we have ever made and it sort of embodies this idea of physical pain and the idea of a deficiency in your body or mind making things just that much harder. That sounds more depressing then I actually want it to, but I do think that there is a recurrent theme on this album of that struggle.
Scene Point Blank: I've read as a live show you tend to vary between a more stripped down set and a full band. Which do you tend to prefer?
Robin Brown: Yeah, it changes, but for right know and pretty much the foreseeable future it will just be Josh and myself. We have played with as many as five people, and it is really fun and loud, but we really like the way things are going with just the two guitars, and the occasional banjo.
Scene Point Blank: The indie/folk scene has been a consistent favorite of the collage radio scene, which can be a hindrance or a help to a band with your type of sound depending on the way it is perceived. How do you think you differ from your contemporaries, and why should people listen to Foot Foot?
Robin Brown: I don't really know how we are different from our contemporaries. I don't feel like I know much about our contemporaries to be honest. But our lyrics seem to be the thing that most people comment on as far as being different. I'm not really sure everyone should listen to Foot Foot, but I would bet if you like to read novels than you will like it.
Scene Point Blank: I've been using this as a close for quite some time now, but I think the question is quite valid for every band: why do you create art and what does this do for you?
Robin Brown: We create music because that is what we have always been drawn to. Both Josh and I have been writing songs and arguing with people about how many times a chord progression should repeat before the little transition part comes in for forever. I think we both do this because nothing else seems as worthwhile.