Little Indians // Let’s Split
Like I was saying, a breakup brought us something cooler, like Little Indians. Until now, Little Indians has released a few singles, including a VIC pick “Let’s Split.” Recently, Augustine and Kyle announced that they had finished their debut full length album. Since we weren’t able to nail down a time to get an interview when we first added this track to VIC Radio, I have one now! I sent Augustine Rampolla a number of questions about Little Indians, their music styles, the new album and some silly questions, too. So, until we add some of the new tracks to VIC, I hope this keeps you interested. Little Indians are a band you’re going to want to follow. (And, you can do so on their twitter, @_LittleIndians, usually tweeted by Kyle, or Augustine’s personal twitter, @whatisaugustine. Or, to avoid fuss, just head over to their website and find all their contact info and some nifty things.)
Onward, to the interview with Augustine Rampolla of Little Indians:
VIC: First off, you just finished your record… how about that?!
Augustine: Yes! 13 months later.
VIC: You both came from YMAEWK, a band with a very different style of music than what you’re putting out now. How did you transition into your sound? Did it flow naturally from what you’ve done in the past?
Augustine: Definitely. I think we’re inspired by what we enjoy listening to. We definitely wanted to move this way regardless of the band name.
V: On the note of musical flow, how is yours? Since there are only two of you in The Little Indians, is your musical process affected? What IS your songwriting process?
A: Usually I start with a song idea, however much or little of a song it resembles, then try and demo it out and get a general vibe going. Then Kyle and I jam it together and it’ll usually finish itself. Then he’ll record the drums and I’ll lay most everything else over top. Though one song on the album stemmed from the two of us just jamming together with no prior thought, then we wrote from there. It’d be cool to do a little bit more of that on the next album.
V: What would you say are your favorite kind of shows to play and where? Do you have a specific favorite place to put on shows? Small and intimate? Big, loud and upbeat?
A: Truthfully doesn’t really matter. Wherever is comfortable and everyone is able to enjoy themselves. Though it is nice to play in front of people.
V: What would you say your biggest (musical) influences are? With regards to both your sound and your attitudes.
A: I don’t really know. Attitude wise I enjoy the mindset of musicians (artists in general) who are always creating. Paul McCartney was never not writing music (and still, I’m sure). And today, bands like Portugal. The Man, they write and record an album a year. I love that. Making music because it’s what happens inside of them. Casey Crescenzo/The Dear Hunter as well. I dunno, I love it.
But sonically… I hate this question because it’s something I struggle with regularly. We like a lot of bands. I’m always writing a song, then I’ll listen to a new album and want to write songs with a vibe of whatever record it is I’m enjoying. Especially ever since I started using Spotify. I’ll check out any and everything now, which leads me to wanting to make all kinds of music. Even before that though. The first few songs we wrote as Little Indians were these indie/pop/rock type things. Then we decided to write some garage-y more punk sort of tunes. Then without really thinking about it we wrote a couple of mellow songs. And, yeah, so far that’s the story of this band…and hopefully it stays that way.
I think our album is an album that doesn’t have just one sound. We want to make albums. Not just 10 songs. But make a collection of music where every song is it’s own entity, while at the same time every songs belongs with the one before and after it.
V: This probably should’ve come earlier in the list of questions, and I suppose I know the answer, but how exactly did you come together as a band? Did it sort of seem like a natural progression?
A: Couldn’t have been more natural. We quit one band and started and new one.
V: What would be your DREAM tour, both to be a part of and to see?
A: This is so hard. Too much good music exists for me to be able to pick a dream tour. I’d say…. The Beatles in 1967.
V: Where did your band NAME come from?
A: Peter Pan. But also nothing in particular.
V: Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
A: I love Call Me Maybe. Legitimately.
V: What are your car jams? (Usually I ask about tour jams, but you haven’t started touring yet, so… foreshadow?)
A: Recent albums I’ve been diggin’ on: Albert Hammond Jr. - Como Te Llama?, Dent May, The Walkmen, The Vaccine’s, Deep Sea Arcade, Tennis, Vacationer, Father John Misty. I’ve really been trying to experience as much music as possible at this point in my life. Spotify has been awesome for that.
(Basically, Augustine belongs on VIC Radio.)
V: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t making music? Was being in a band always your goal? If not, what was your initial goal? If it was, what was your backup? Did you HAVE a backup?
A: I can’t speak for Kyle, because I know he has actual real life aspirations to teach and write and other things. All I’ve really wanted to do is write and produce music. Which I’m doing. I don’t really know though. I don’t want much. As I grow I would like to help see the world somehow become a better and more equal place in some way … because the more I pay attention the more I see how much of a bummer it can be. But at the same time I look at that aspect of the world and want to just lay back and enjoy what I’m able to enjoy. I wrote a song about it called “All I want is love and some money” - and pretty much that’s all I want. That song’s not on the album though. Maybe the next.
But yeah, from the get go, we both wanted to play and make music for a living.
V: What do you think would be The Little Indians’ theme song?
A: The entire album Ram by Paul McCartney.
V: What can we expect out of this new record coming up, on a general level?
A: 11+ songs. Plus a few B-sides in the future.
V: Do you have a favorite song from the album already?
A: Not really. But maybe the last song on the album called “Night Owl”. Because I recorded and mixed the album, I’ve been basically thinking about or listening to it for 13 months now. So it’s hard to be objective.
V: Is there a main theme to most of the songs on the album or… what inspired the songs? Do you each write or have you sort of taken turns on different parts of the songs on this album?
A: I do the actual songwriting. A large portion of the album was written right after we left You, Me and Everyone We Know. The first part of the album is about change and a little of … I don’t know, bitterness? Sadness? The second half of the album is about realizing that things happen and things change…and taking what you learned from your experiences and searching for what makes you happy and what makes you a better person.
I guess the whole album is about change/accepting change, love and trying to find inner peace and happiness.
V: I imagine that putting together an album when there are just the two of you, working as unsigned artists, has been a significant challenge; how do you feel about it? Has it been more rewarding than challenging?
A: It’s been rewarding. This is the first album we’ve ever made completely on our own. In every way. Writing, recording and mixing. So it’s been very fulfilling. Also very challenging. But now that the first one is finished I’m excited to start work on the next. This is also the first album I’ve written on a broad scale. I wrote a few songs in high school. But never wrote an album before. So this has been a huge learning experience for me.
Finally, I asked a few VIC classic interview questions:
V: If you were a vegetable, which would you be and why?
A: Spinach because I love it!
V: What’s your favorite font?
A: I wish I knew font names. I wanna get into graphic design.
V: What would your patronus be?
A: Our band patronus IS a wolf.
There you have it! Augustine and Kyle don’t have a release date for the finished album, but, it’s finished! So, make sure you stay on track with Little Indians, you’re not going to want to miss what they have coming. You can purchase their released singles on bandcamp right now, and I would recommend you do so!