The Dead Trees
Matthew Borg - guitar
Noah Rubin - drums/vocals
Tad Dahlhoff - bass/vocals
Michael Ian Cummings - vocals/guitar
Matthew, Noah, Tad and Michael weren’t really a ‘band’, exactly, when they began work on what would become the Fort Music EP. They were longtime friends and had played around Boston in various configurations for years, but when they gathered in Dec ’06 to record some new songs of Michael’s there were no grand plans to see through or deadlines to meet. They had an engineer friend and a couple hundred bucks and some notions about maybe making some back to basics rock and roll. As Michael puts it, "these days, the only way forward is backward." Luckily for everyone, that approach seemed to work just fine, and after two weeks in an Allston, MA basement they had Fort Music all wrapped up and, more importantly, were most definitely a band.
These modest beginnings play out in the The Dead Trees’ music in the best way – there’s no artifice here, not much “production” to speak of, just a bunch of good musicians doing what comes naturally on a batch of deceptively elegant songs. Two guitars, background vocals here and there, a manic drum fill when necessary. It all feels easy and right. Says Michael: “We don’t deprive any of our songs. They’re like our children, all different and each as important as the next. We're just borrowing from our heroes and trying to raise a family.”
Since those basement sessions things have happened pretty fast – the band sent some CDs around, and next thing you know The Dead Trees were supporting Albert Hammond, Jr. on a national tour. They did The House Of Blues in LA, Webster Hall in NYC, just about burned down the Metro in Chicago, and abandoned a broken down van somewhere in Iowa. There were showcases at Spaceland and Mercury Lounge with lots of label execs in attendance. Rough Trade has signed on to release Fort Music in Japan, and the band is already thinking about a full- length album. But for right now they’re going to keep things simple and stay out on the road for as long as the current van will hold up.
As for the EP you’re now holding, the best thing to do is to approach it like the band did – no expectations, no preconceptions. You’ll undoubtedly be charmed, and it’ll take way less than two weeks.