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Oct. 21, 2022

Interview with Forester

We had the pleasure of interviewing Forester over Zoom video!

Following up their spring 2022 album, Watercolor, the Los Angeles-based indie electronic duo, Forester (aka David Parris and Xander Carlson) return with the new single “All I Need” on...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Forester over Zoom video!

Following up their spring 2022 album, Watercolor, the Los Angeles-based indie electronic duo, Forester (aka David Parris and Xander Carlson) return with the new single “All I Need” on Kygo’s Palm Tree Records.

“All I Need” takes a sharp turn from previous Forester releases, bringing a dose of filtered house and an irresistible chorus sample to the duo’s signature organic electronic production. It’s a summertime hit and then some. The accompanying music video shows the duo performing on an idyllic beach, and as the daylight turns into a picturesque sunset, the video follows a couple through a trippy and passionate dance party in the sand as the song’s lyrics “You Are All I Need” echo behind them.

Inspired by nature and the natural beauty in the world, longtime friends, Parris and Carlson launched the Forester project in 2019 and experienced immediate success with their debut single “Spark” which collected more than 5.8 million streams on Spotify. True to its name, the song was an auspicious beginning that caught the ear of an A&R at Kygo’s Palm Tree Records, where Forester signed in 2020.

The guys further developed the Forester sound, at 8,000 feet, at Carlson’s family cabin in Mammoth Lakes, California, on the eastern slope of the vast Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Musically, Forester fell into a dreamy, achingly emotional, and thoroughly sophisticated, middle ground between the indie folk of Bon Iver – a hero to both Parris and Carlson – and melody-focused electronic giants like Avicii. The music made in the mountains became their 2020 sophomore LP, A Range Of Light. Three albums down, Forester has now amassed over 75 million streams.

A pillar of the project is the preservation of nature that’s inspired them, with the guys donating a portion of the revenue from their first album to The Nature Conservancy, who used it to plant roughly 1,000 trees. Their ultimate goal is for their streaming to be at net zero carbon emissions.

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Transcript

Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to Bringing it Backwards, a podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had a chance to hang out with Xander and David of Forrester over Zoom video. Both Xander and David grew up in the Santa Monica area in Los Angeles, and they talk about how they got into music. Both come from a musical household. Xander's mom is a singer songwriter. David comes from a musical household as well. Xander started playing piano, classically trained piano at around five, six years old. He was also in the choir and high school. 3 (1m 47s): David started playing guitar at a very early age. They met through mutual friend groups, didn't go to the same high school or middle school or anything like that, but just kind of knew each other through similar friend groups. They talk about how they really met and started working together, throwing parties that they could DJ at around 15, 16 years old, they'd rent out certain warehouses and sell tickets and perform to a group of their friends. They talked about getting paid for the first time to, to make music. They were presented an opportunity to do a remix for an artist. So they tell us about that. Forrester really didn't begin until their senior year of college. 3 (2m 27s): They had that previous project, but they wrote an entire album. Xander ended up studying abroad in Australia for a few months and before he left, they pitched this album and ended up getting signed. They talked about that experience. They talked about how they grabbed the attention of Cago getting signed to Palm Tree Records. They're now managed by CAO's Manager. They tell us about the first show they ever played, which was opening up for Cago at Red Rocks. And we hear all about the new album, which is called Watercolors, and the brand new song they just released entitled All I Need. 3 (3m 7s): You can watch our interview with Forrester on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. It'd be amazing if you subscribe to our channel, like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok at Bringing Back Pod. And if you're listening to this on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcast, it would be incredible if you follow us there as well and hook us up with a five star review. 4 (3m 31s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 3 (3m 37s): We're bringing it backwards with Forester. 5 (3m 41s): Yo yo 3 (3m 42s): Yo, what's going on? 5 (3m 43s): Hey man, 3 (3m 44s): How are you? Both 5 (3m 46s): Good. Are you? 3 (3m 47s): I'm doing well. I'm doing well. Thank you so much for doing this. 5 (3m 52s): Yeah, thank you for having us. We, we appreciate it. Sorry that we couldn't make it the other day. Got crazy. But this is awesome. 3 (3m 59s): Oh no, all good man. I love the the, You've got like this lens flare going on with the lighting in your background. 5 (4m 4s): It's, Yeah, I don't, I dunno exactly what that is, 3 (4m 6s): But it looks really rad. I'll take it. I'm Adam and this podcast is about the both of you and your journey and music and we'll talk about the new song. I just watched the music video. It's rad as well. 5 (4m 18s): Thank, appreciate that. 3 (4m 20s): Cool. So are you in, you're in LA now, is that what I 5 (4m 24s): Read? Yeah. Yep. 3 (4m 26s): Are you born and raised? Both of you Born and raised in la 5 (4m 28s): Yeah, sure. Which is pretty rare in the, in the industry. We found a lot of people ask us where we're from and we say LA and they're like, Where are you from originally? LA 3 (4m 39s): We 5 (4m 39s): Group LA to do music. 3 (4m 41s): That's cool. I'm from San Diego originally, so I would get the same thing. They're like, No, but where did you move from to get to San Diego? I'm like, No, I was born and raised in San Diego. 5 (4m 50s): A few. 3 (4m 52s): What part of la? 5 (4m 54s): Santa Monica Palisades area, West side of la. 3 (4m 57s): Oh, very, very cool. And do you both grow up together? 5 (5m 0s): We did, yeah. 3 (5m 2s): Wow. Okay. So I guess, well here from both you, so, so Xander where were, what, how did you get into music? We'll start with that and then we'll go back and then John kind of figure out how you guys met. 5 (5m 13s): That's, it's a good question. It goes all the way back to I was, when I was five or six, I started taking classical piano lessons from a teacher down the street. And that is what kind of opened up music to me. My family's always been very mu musically oriented. My mom is a singer songwriter. 3 (5m 34s): Oh, 5 (5m 34s): Killer. Yeah. My dad's a filmmaker, so he is always working with music and in artistic way. And his mom, So my grandma was a music teacher in high school. So it, it definitely runs in the family, but I ditched the classical piano for production and more electronic music when I was in middle school. 3 (5m 56s): Oh, okay. But you could still pull those elements in, right? I mean if you, you like a mid keyboard or whatever, if you can write on the keyboard, he can do anything. 5 (6m 3s): Absolutely. I mean that's the base of all of my musical talent I'd say is, is classical. That's, 3 (6m 12s): That's really rad. What about, you said your mom's a singer songwriter professionally is, that's what she 5 (6m 19s): Does. That's her job. Yeah, that's, that's what she does. 3 (6m 21s): That's killer man. I'm sure I should've done more research to figure out who that is, but it's all good. So obviously grew up in a musical hospital. Is that something that you share with your mom? Like would you show her music that you wrote, you write? 5 (6m 35s): Yeah, I mean all the time. Like the reason I got into production is cuz she has little pro tools rig down in the first floor of the house and she, she used to show me how to use it and she, Oh wow. She's giving me vocal lessons before I, I do, I do take her feedback very seriously on the, on the music and it's, it's been a really good collaborative process I'd say with her since, since I was a kid. 6 (7m 6s): S Dunking America, Dunking 7 (7m 34s): Comcast business, the network that powers more businesses than any other provider. 8 (7m 41s): Find out how to get a $500 prepaid card with a qualifying gig bundle. Call or go online today to learn more prepaid card offerings. 11 13, 20 22 restriction supply call for details. 7 (7m 49s): Why does Comcast business power more businesses than any other provider? It has technology solutions that put you ahead, like the fastest reliable network and serious savings. Whether you're small business is starting or growing, you need Comcast business, Comcast business powering possibilities. 8 (8m 4s): Ask about Comcast business internet or find out how to get a $500 prepaid card with a qualifying gig bundle. Call or go online today to learn more. Prepaid card offer ends 11, 13, 20 22 restrictions apply, call for details. 3 (8m 19s): That's cool. Very cool. What about you David? Were you, how, how'd you get into music? 5 (8m 24s): Yeah, similar to Xander. You know, both sides of my family were really into music. My mom's side, they had like a family band and they'd play in church every Sunday growing up. So my mom was a bass player growing up, we always had instruments around the house. So I think like from the time I was born I was always messing around with her bass or guitars that we had around. And my dad actually was really into the electronic side early on. He took an electronic music class in like the seventies or eighties. 3 (8m 53s): Oh wow. 5 (8m 54s): So we had a couple synths around the house as well. Like an old lord, I forgot exactly what model it is. It was like a mono, very basic like saw wave signal but very cool syn that just messed around with as a kid around eight or nine started taking guitar lessons and got really into that and rock music was a big thing. And then my older brother started producing electronic music and I started just messing around with the programs that were on the home computer. Cause we all kinda shared one at the time and before we all had laptops and whatnot. So I was just messing around with sound design, learning how to produce. 5 (9m 34s): And now he actually mixes and masters almost all of our music. 3 (9m 38s): Oh, is that right? 5 (9m 39s): Project as well. Yeah, 3 (9m 41s): It's like a family affair. That's cool. Yeah. And you play guitar in the band a little bit too, right? Yeah. That's awesome because like I've seen videos of you playing guitar, but then there's like, you know, more of the electronic DJ element and then the, in the video I recently watched You're playing keyboard. 5 (9m 56s): Yeah, we just had to do that for a music video. There wasn't a lot of guitar in that song. Sure. Sense to do keyboard. But yeah. 3 (10m 3s): Is that kind of cool like live, you just kind of, whatever the song is, you, you just go out and grab the instrument or kind of, instead of having it all prerecorded, it's like you go out and play live. 5 (10m 13s): It makes it fun. It really does. And you know, there's some songs I think where there's, you know, more improvisation than others where gotta play the part on some of them, but it makes it interesting and it, it feels like I guess you're actually doing something and controlling the sound in a DJ set. But yeah, it's, it's a lot of fun. 3 (10m 33s): That's awesome. And what about like where either of you in the school band or anything like that? Or is it just like a passion project and didn't kind of go that way as far as schooling went? 5 (10m 46s): Yeah, I, I was in middle school part of the rhythm section band, which was kinda like a, a jazz and rock fusion band that we had. And then in high school I was in choir. 3 (10m 58s): Oh cool. 5 (10m 58s): I never thought I'd be singing, I think of all the people in the choir, I, people would've said I was, I was the least likely to go on to sing as a profession 3 (11m 7s): But professional. 5 (11m 9s): But I, here I am and it's, it's great. I love it. 3 (11m 14s): You said you do, your mom would kind of give you voice lessons too. Was that while you're still in, in high school in the choir class or no, 5 (11m 22s): No, I don't think I would've better give me a, a voice lesson. 3 (11m 25s): Ok. Back then, yeah. 5 (11m 27s): Back then no. Since then, you know I've, I've definitely opened up to that. Yeah. 3 (11m 33s): Sure. Awesome. What about, how did you guys meet? Like were you, did you go to the same high school and middle school and all that? 5 (11m 40s): Similar friend groups. Different high schools though. The west side of LA was like, if you go out and like, you know, you're part of that social circle, it was like one big friend group. 3 (11m 50s): Okay. I 5 (11m 51s): Met through parties and whatnot. So that's how we met. Just through some friends, I think that were probably friends. It was a long time ago though. The actual origins of the first time we met are a question mark. 3 (12m 6s): Okay. 5 (12m 6s): One of those things where we just kept on meeting at parties Yeah. And talking about music and, and then eventually we got in the room together here at my house, like the little pro tools rig we were talking about earlier. I showed him the studio and I think that that kind of blew his mind a little bit. Yeah. I was used to just working on like shitty computer speakers and had really nothing other than the program itself. 3 (12m 29s): Oh okay. And then you, yeah, you go over to Xander's house and he is got like this full setup. 5 (12m 35s): Yeah, it was, he took like the full traditional pro tool setup and made some very shitty electronic music hard style banger or something like that. And, and then we would, we'd actually play out some of the music that we'd make during the week or whatever at these parties, you gotta call 'em warehouse RAs that we'd throw on the weekend that were 3 (12m 59s): Oh 5 (12m 59s): Cool. Legal to do. Sure. 3 (13m 2s): Those are always the best parties though. The the legal warehouse parties. Right. 5 (13m 6s): Yeah, it was cool, like we would go around just trying to find a venue and as what, 15 year olds probably 15. Yeah. They would agree to rent it to us like everything was legal except for kids would like be bringing in alcohol that they weren't supposed to and whatnot. Like it was just underage. 3 (13m 26s): But at 15 you'd go ran out the 5 (13m 29s): Yeah, I think like my dad had to cosign on it or something like that. Funny. Wow. 3 (13m 34s): But that's rad. So then what you would sell tickets into the party or just throw the party? 5 (13m 39s): Yeah, we'd sell tickets and then bands, we would be the talent. Yeah. So it was, we only had to pay for the venue at that point actually. We'd get some pretty cool production sometimes. Definitely. We had some people who were like cool artists now that played, I know Ben, she, he goes by Baskin played one of the events at Hegar at one point, Hex was one of them. So 3 (13m 59s): You just booked people to try to get somebody to be another, you know, player on the lineup. 5 (14m 5s): Yeah, we would try to get like friends of friends who did music, you know, somehow and get them to come through. It was, it was always a crazy time. 3 (14m 17s): At what point do you both kind of see that you could do this like as you know, a profession? Was there a particular song that you put out or a moment that you were like, whoa, okay this is like when you'd finish high school or whatever, Like I'm not, I'm just gonna pursue music. Or did you guys go through college and do that whole thing too? 5 (14m 36s): Yeah, I think for me it was always a dream to do music from as young as I can remember. I wanted to be a musician professionally and the moment it could be a profession was like a month before we graduated college, when we got signed up Palm Tree Records, Chi's label Sony. And that gave us the financial freedom to pursue it full time. Like that was I guess what really put us on that trajectory. But I, I think I always had hope and always wanted to do it full-time. I think even going before that, there was sort of a turning point freshman year where we got paid to do our first official remix and I always credit that as the point where there was this little light that went off in my head that was like, yo, this like you just got money for for making music. 5 (15m 30s): This is actually a thing this could, you could keep working on this and and it could become something. But it was for this guy Parson James who is an incredible singer and we actually, you know, hang out with him a lot now cuz he's part of the Palm Tree team. He sings on some of Kao's records so he's always at these shows that we're playing and he was really the guy that gave us our first like financially feasible you no paid opportunity in, in music. Which was pretty, And I think, you know, that I stayed up for three days straight making that remix, you know, I bet. Or sorry my little like dorm room in college. 5 (16m 10s): And that was I think also turning point for production for me. I think that that taught me how to, I really just dove so deep into YouTube videos and tutorials and trying to, you know, a certain mixes to my own and that I think that that kind of sent me into a, a more professional realm of production. 3 (16m 33s): Were you both going to the same school? Both same college or No. Oh wow. Okay. So you never really, like it was never like you. Okay. Once the group kind of started you, you did everything together. It was like still kind of a separate path as far as that went, 5 (16m 46s): Right? Yeah. Okay. We didn't really like come back together after, well we did that remix together and then we came, gave a few remixes together in that year I think. Yeah. 3 (16m 59s): So you guys kind of went your separate ways through college, Like you weren't doing Forester, this wasn't a thing yet. Or was it 7 (17m 6s): Comcast business. The network that powers more businesses than any other provider. 8 (17m 12s): Find out how to get a $500 prepaid card with a qualifying gig bundle. Call or go online today to learn more prepaid card offerings. 11, 13, 20 22 restriction supply call for details. 7 (17m 21s): Why does Comcast business power more businesses than any other provider? It has technology solutions that put you ahead, like the fastest reliable network and serious savings. Whether you're small business is starting or growing, you need Comcast business. Comcast business powering possibilities. 8 (17m 36s): Ask about Comcast business internet or find out how to get a $500 prepaid card with a qualifying gig bundle. Call or go online today to learn more. Prepaid card offer ends 11, 13, 20 22. Restrictions apply call 3 (17m 49s): For for details. 9 (17m 51s): When the leaves start rusting, the pumpkins start plumping and the scarecrows start crowing you heat the call of fall because you eat, sleep and drink pumpkin at Dunkin. So take your pick pumpkin with delicious muffins, munchkins and donuts and pair them with a classic pumpkin spice signature latte or the ultras smooth pumpkin cream. Cold brew topped with pumpkin cream, cold foam. Also you can fall harder. America runs on Duncan Price and participation may vary. Limited time offer terms apply 5 (18m 21s): The different project before Forester. Okay. Is a project called Ossian, which was just like us learning how to produce, having fun. I think going into college we put out this DJ Mustard remix that like blew up and Caleb Presley from Bar Bartel Sports tweeted it and it got like hundreds of thousands of streams on SoundCloud. Oh wow. From that we got hit up from like Sony to do this Parson James remix. So I think like we finished that like right before we went off to college. 3 (18m 56s): Okay, so part this Parson James remix wasn't even a part of of Forester yet? 5 (19m 0s): No, no. Oh 3 (19m 2s): Wow. 5 (19m 4s): So we were kinda doing our own little things and then coming together and working on various tracks together all throughout college. But it didn't actually become really forester until, I think that was what, sophomore summer that we came back here and, and we kind of finished up an album while we were working full-time jobs and we, yeah, before I went abroad to Australia junior year, it was like this hard deadline. It was like we had to get this thing done so that we could pitch it to labels and just hail Mary, you know, before we graduate college, see if we could get some sort of traction. And we did Lowly Lowly, which was like the Trap Nation Show Nation guys. 5 (19m 48s): Kirk over there picked it up and he's the man. And from that point forward, like we released Spark, which did well got on and that was like, right, let's do this kind of, And then it obviously one thing led to the next and then it was CAI's Palm Tree Records that picked us up after that. Yeah, I think Foresters started in 2019, like when we 3 (20m 13s): So you had an album that came out before Kerosene came out? 5 (20m 17s): No, that 3 (20m 18s): Was, Oh that was it. That was the one. Okay, so that was the one you put out and then you went to Australia and then that's when it kind of, it got picked up by a label. And then what, how, how long are you in Australia for? 5 (20m 31s): I was there for like four, four or five months. Okay. Yeah, just like a semester, a little bit extended. 3 (20m 38s): So once you get signed or once this album gets picked up, do you, when do you, do you guys start playing shows once you get back from Australia? Like how does the project then kind of take off? 5 (20m 50s): I was playing a lot of shows in college just I was promoting them as well and I was just open for whatever acts came through and it was good for getting experience there. But Covid kind of hit, you know, the next year. Oh 3 (21m 3s): Yeah, you're thinking 2019 then you kind stuck. Okay. 5 (21m 8s): So we didn't really start playing our first shows until this last, like, not this last summer but the summer before. I think June was our first Forester show. We played Red Rocks with Kago. 3 (21m 19s): Oh shit. Wow. What was that like? That's like the like ultimate venue. I haven't been there but I've heard it's like insane, 5 (21m 28s): Breathtaking. But I was so nervous the whole time. I was just like shaking. Yeah. We were both freaking out in the best way possible and afterwards like that, that was one of the most rewarding feelings I think both of us have ever felt hearing that the roar of the crowd as we just played our first show, the first time we'd ever heard our own music on big, big speakers, you know, ourselves and here seeing other people react to it was really special in that setting. Of course it was like a storybook beginning to a project. Yeah, I mean even thinking back to it right now, it feels like it was a dream. Like it's hard to believe that that was actually real. 3 (22m 9s): That's so wild. I mean your, your sound in like a Caigo sound or even something like a Bonnie Va or like a tame, like I feel like those would be the best shows to see in that, in that venue. Like you wouldn't go there to watch like, I don't know, like an alternative rock show for my, in my opinion like I feel like that'd be like the, just the way it's set up and the sound and the acoustics of the place would be perfect for what you guys are doing and then to have it be your first real show as Forer, that's insane. 5 (22m 39s): Absolutely. Yeah. 3 (22m 40s): Wow. And how do you get the attention of Kigo? Does he hear Spark or he hear your first album or something that kind of spills that relationship or how did that all happen? 5 (22m 52s): Yeah, that was actually a cold email from Dave RTI at Palm Tree Records. At the time he was the product manager and I think his job was to go through Spotify or SoundCloud and, and kind of look for new talent and he just sent us an email cuz our email was attached to our SoundCloud or something like that, asking for a demo folder. And at the time we had been working on another body of work so we sent that over to him. He really liked it. He was obviously we talked for a couple months before any paperwork was signed but we had a song called We Found Home that I think really sealed the deal for Dave or the Palm Tree record side. 5 (23m 37s): And then Miles Sheer, who's CAO's manager heard it, our manager now as well. He heard it, loved it, sent us a DM on Instagram. She was like, yo, we should chat management again. A couple months past we worked out a deal and we've been with Palm Tree Records in Palm Tree management since then. 3 (23m 57s): That's crazy. I mean to to think like even a few years prior to that, would you ever imagine that you'd grab his attention? Not only that then now you're on his label and the same management like that's insane. 5 (24m 9s): Yeah, it was crazy. Totally. And it was also organic too. It felt, felt really cool. Yeah, it happened naturally and, and no I don't think I would've ever expected that to happen. 3 (24m 18s): That's crazy man. And you guys have, 5 (24m 20s): Sorry, 3 (24m 21s): Go ahead. 5 (24m 22s): Saying most of the things that have happened, I don't think we would've ever expected to have happened that much sweeter. 3 (24m 29s): Sure. I mean you have so much music out too in such a short amount of time. You have like what, three, two or three album, three albums and another like EP and you already got a new song out. I mean are you just constant, you both are must just be constantly working. 5 (24m 44s): Yeah, definitely. I mean it's pretty much nonstop. We're in here every day working on as much as we can also, you know, we had Covid to pretty much do nothing but make music so we got a lot done, you know, during that time. 3 (25m 0s): Yeah. With with Covid, how much of that music was written during that time period? 5 (25m 5s): Good amount. Basically all of a range of light was written during that time, which is our second album and some of, some of watercolor. Yeah there was some that made it over for sure. Yeah. So like maybe an album and a half a lot. 3 (25m 18s): Really? Wow. Okay. Wow. And then you put out watercolors And what about, you said you weren't even really able to play shows until that Kago show, which is after kind Well Covid was happening you said what summer 2020 or 2021. 5 (25m 33s): 21 I think. Yeah. 3 (25m 35s): Wow. Okay. And so once you like you put, so you must have had at least what that second record out yet? Oh at that point or no, 5 (25m 46s): I think it was just a range of light. Yeah. So that was second record. 3 (25m 50s): Yeah. Yeah. So you had to range of light out. So you're, you're, did you tour the album or were you able to just kind of play some shows that just cuz how weird it was. I mean still kind of weird like with touring and all that. That's 5 (26m 1s): Officially tour that album. Yeah, but we obviously hopped on all these dates with Kira was Ggo and we played that music so I think unofficially we did tour it out. Yeah 3 (26m 14s): We 5 (26m 14s): Played Belly Up. What else did we play that summer? 3 (26m 17s): Oh you did? In In Song Beach. In 5 (26m 19s): Aspen. In Aspen. 3 (26m 21s): Oh. I was like okay. I'm like that doesn't even make sense for you guys to play there after Red Rocks. 5 (26m 27s): Yeah we had the Palm Tree Festival that summer in the Hamptons. Gotta play Surf Lodge out there. Just a few old one else. Yeah. And then we did our own headline run this past spring and we gotta play about half and half of like new music and old music, which was nice. So we got a kind of tour, a range of light but didn't fully get the opportunity to give it its moment. 3 (26m 55s): What about for watercolor? 5 (26m 57s): Yeah, this past tour was, I think it was our watercolor tour. There was some songs that didn't make it in the set list just cuz energy wise didn't necessarily make sense but I'd say most of the album you played out Live 3 (27m 10s): Jar. Yeah. And then you have some shows coming up too, right? I mean you're doing LA New York, 5 (27m 15s): LA New York. Yeah. El Ray, October 21, Denver, October 20. Yeah. Chicago, Chicago in New York. 3 (27m 24s): Yeah. That's insane. And so tell me about this new song. Do you have obviously a new project ready? It sounds like just good the amount of music that you guys have already put out. I mean you, you how, what and what month did you put out watercolor? 10 (27m 37s): When you shop at a Walmart vision center you get it, you know that you'll spend a little less on stylish glasses for the whole family. Welcome 11 (27m 44s): To the Vision Center. Let me know if you need help finding the perfect frame. 12 (27m 48s): Hey mom, you were right. These glasses are 13 (27m 50s): Cool huh? They take our insurance. 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Let me know if you need help finding the perfect frame. 12 (28m 48s): Hey mom, you are right. These glasses are 13 (28m 51s): Cool huh? They take our insurance. That means papa's getting a new pair too. 14 (28m 56s): Whoa, glasses start at just $39. Next stop groceries 10 (29m 0s): So you can get a little more of what you need. Find a vision center near you. Save money, live better. Walmart 5 (29m 8s): March. 3 (29m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. Okay, so it's been a little bit of time, I guess seven months or so. And then you just put out all I need and tell me, tell me about this song and then like I said, I I wanna hear about the video cause I just watched that earlier as well. 5 (29m 21s): Yeah, the, we've spent the last nine months is basically, or maybe a little less than that on the road touring, playing live music and I think that that's really informed the way that we're producing music right now. Obviously, you know, it's fun to see people jump up and down and get that reaction from an energetic song. So this next body of work that we were kind of talking about earlier is definitely a little bit more dance oriented, little more suitable for the club. And so that's kind of the origin or where we kind of based this all I need track. 5 (30m 3s): We wanted something that was a little bit more dancey, fun, upbeat and we had a conversation with our manager that was basically, hey let's let's make a summer track. And so we, we got to work, put together all I need. It was a really fun one cuz we produced it in between here and New York did a trip out to New York and got some studio time out there, which is always really refreshing for us. Always fun. Cause we still produce in my bedroom here in San That's awesome. Whenever we can get an actual studio, it's really a treat. So Yeah. And there's a different energy in New York too where I think we come up with some good stuff out there. 5 (30m 48s): Another thing I think is cool about this song and some of the other ones we have coming out is, you know, it's the first time we really have Xander complimented by a female vocal even though it's a sampled vocal. Oh sure. You know, all I need, I don't know if it was actually originally female vocal, but it's pitched up. Yeah. So it is actually a male. It it sounds like it. And I really per like, I personally love that feeling of like having him crush those verses and then you have this moment with some female energy in there. It's great. And we have another one that's that's like that I'm sure we'll have a couple more. So just, you know, we're trying new things experimenting with, with the next project. 3 (31m 25s): Well I'm curious, how does that work? Cause I'm, I'm not too familiar with like, you know, writing and putting together electronic music in that sense where it's like Xander, you sing on the song but then you have what, you have all the lyrics to the melody and you and you hire some like a studio vocalist that just come in and sing it. Like, or that the other element to it. Like how does that work? 5 (31m 45s): There's this beautiful tool called Splice that a sample library. It's like a subscription based sample library you go through. They have, I don't know, millions of samples on millions. 3 (31m 57s): Okay. 5 (31m 59s): So you just have to be good at sifting through the crap 3 (32m 3s): And Sure. To find something that would work, 5 (32m 5s): Find stuff that really inspires you. And that was one of them. It was a, it's like a big gospel choir sample that came across one day and we pitched it up, couple, couple steps and tossed a little tremallo on it and it's became kind of the base for this track. 3 (32m 21s): Okay. That's awesome. Yeah, I wasn't sure if it's like you have to go find somebody and you're like, okay, like let's do something like this. But that's, but that's awesome. That's, that's, that's cool that you can, you know, do those tweaks and and make something sound totally different. 5 (32m 35s): Absolutely. 3 (32m 37s): Amazing. Well so you said you have more music coming out obviously you just put the All I need out. Where was the video shot? Was that in in Santa Monica? 5 (32m 45s): It was out in Malibu. 3 (32m 47s): Oh, Malibu, okay. Yeah, close. Great. 5 (32m 50s): Yeah, we spent a lot of time out there and I love to surf at, you know, I try to go every day and so it, it's fun to, to make our music videos in places that, in natural spaces that really inform the music indirectly. Like, I don't know if you've seen it but we did a album performance video of a range of light up in the Sierras. 3 (33m 13s): Yeah, I did see that. 5 (33m 15s): Yeah. And that, so that was like really special. So playing the music out in the place where it was inspired and just playing to a beautiful setting is, is something that is one of my favorite parts of music. It's a good vibe. Like I don't know what better way to spend your day than just be on the beach all day filming something for like your art. It's really cool. 3 (33m 37s): Is that the video or it's like you're in front of like a waterfall or is that something different? Yeah, that's what I thought. Okay. Yeah that looks insane little. Yeah, 5 (33m 46s): Yeah, 3 (33m 47s): Yeah. When I first saw that, I think I saw the in the post on your Instagram or something, I'm like damn that it looks almost like you're staying in front of a green screen. Oh 5 (33m 56s): I think you're thinking of part of our visuals. 3 (33m 59s): Oh, okay. Maybe I'm thinking of something different, but I know which one you're talking. Cause I watched the live video of yours. I'm just getting everything kind of mixed up now. But yeah cuz I watched you did like a full album performance, correct? 5 (34m 10s): Yeah. 3 (34m 10s): Yeah. Okay. So I did see that and then I watched the music video, but maybe I'm thinking of a, just a photo. So I think you're playing guitar or something David. Yeah, that's 5 (34m 18s): At Outside Lands. 3 (34m 20s): Oh it is. Oh I love out. That's cool. That's rad. Okay, so that's just a visual that you guys had on stage. 5 (34m 26s): Yeah. That was a twin peak stage but it lined up really well. 3 (34m 30s): It does, It looks beautiful. Yeah, I would never have guessed that, that it just works perfectly Amazing. Well awesome. Thank you both so much for, for doing this. I really appreciate your time. I have one more quick question. I wanna know if you in, if I can get an answer from both of you, it would be awesome if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 5 (34m 53s): Yeah, so I think one of my favorite things that I've kind of found out working with Xander and, and just the time that we've had in the industry is just be grateful for everything that you have every moment. Be a good person, don't expect anything and have fun doing it. I think all those things, like if you can stick to that, you'll be in good shape cuz you'll do it for the right reasons and you'll keep the love for it. And that's the reason why we do it in the first place. 3 (35m 22s): I love that. 5 (35m 23s): Yeah, I mean that, that covered a lot that I agree with, but I think one more thing is just say yes to everything. And I think that that's something that has been said before, but it really holds true, especially in music. It's all about who you know really and what opportunities come your way. And, and if you continue to say yes to every opportunity, like that just broadens that field of possibilities for you. And again, it's, it's all about the experience. Like music is in the experience and so why not just do everything you can, you know, say yes to whatever concert with your friends or to an opportunity to go into a studio or fly somewhere. 5 (36m 8s): Even if at the beginning it's not like paying the most go out and and and play that show open for that person. You know, I think it, it's all an investment into the project and also into your own happiness. Cuz playing music and being around music is what makes me the happiest. And I think for a lot of musicians that that holds true.

Forester Profile Photo

Forester

Musician

The systems of nature are at once deeply complex and gracefully simple. Given that Forester’s music functions similarly, it makes sense that they named themselves after the woods.

The Los Angeles-based indie electronic duo, David Parris and Xander Carlson, make lush soundscapes both inspired by and evocative of views from a mountain, deep pink sunsets, wind through the trees and the stars on a clear night. The nourishing effect these things have on a human soul? That’s how they want their music to make you feel. The cool thing is that it does.

“There’s a section along the trail from Yosemite to Mount Whitney called Forester Pass,” Carlson says. “Hiking it was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. The freedom I felt up there, we're trying to put that energy in the music.”

Based in Los Angeles, the longtime friends launched the Forester project in 2019, working nine-to-five gigs and making music together at night. They experienced immediate success with their debut single “Spark” – a deep exhale of a track that was picked up by YouTube tastemaker Trap Nation, signed to its label Lowly Palace and has since collected more than 5.7 million streams on Spotify. True to its name, the song was an auspicious beginning that caught the ear of an A&R at Kygo’s Palm Tree Records, where Forester signed in 2020.

This was all of course happening in the dark heart of the pandemic, a moment that offered Parris and Carlson, both then recent college grads, time to just make music. They got in the car and drove north to Carlson’s family cabin in Mammoth Lakes, California, on the eastern slope of the vast Sierra Nevada mountain range.

“Nobody was around, stores were closed,” Carlson recalls. “We spent months there creating music. It was a prolific time for us.”

Here, at 8,000 feet, the guys further developed the Forester sound, which falls into a dreamy, achingly emotional and thoroughly sophisticated, middle ground between the indie folk of Bon Iver – a hero to both Parris and Carlson – and melody-focused electronic giants like Avicii. The music made in the mountains became their 2020 sophomore LP, A Range Of Light. The album’s theme is healing through nature – a phenomenon they experienced while making it, with time off spent swimming, hiking, off-roading in the back country and taking in the night sky.

“I had been chronically sick for a while and was finally figuring out why,” recalls Carlson, “and that trip to Mammoth was the turning point for me in terms of healing.”

“It was a weird time getting out of college and experiencing the isolation of the pandemic. You feel the weight of the world,” says Parris.

“With the music we were making in Mammoth,” adds Carlson, “we were trying to encapsulate the beautiful moments, so people can consume them wherever they are and hopefully have a moment of escape too.”

The Forester catalog now encompasses three albums: A Range Of Light, 2019’s Kerosene and 2022’s Watercolor. Together, these LPs have collected an incredible 72.7 million global streams, in addition to a growing fanbase made up of both longstanding dance fans and scene newcomers.

“They're coming to our shows for an emotional release,” says Carlson.

Forester has been meeting these fans out on the road, playing their first live show in June of 2021 at Colorado’s epic Red Rocks Amphitheatre when they opened for Kygo. The Norwegian powerhouse also invited them to open for him at his massive summer 2022 stadium shows in Oslo and Mexico City, gigs that put the duo in front of tens of thousands of fans. Outsidelands 2022 in San Francisco found Forester not only doing their hypnotic live set – for which Carlson sings and plays synths while Parris handles guitar -- but playing a DJ gig later that night.

In fact they started playing out together more than a decade ago, becoming the resident DJs for school dances, birthday parties and other teenage festivities on the westside of L.A. during their high school years. They threw their own warehouse parties that, as Parris recalls “were definitely illegal.” The afterparty for their prom drew 1,000 kids in formalwear to a remote spot in L.A.’s Topanga Canyon and ended with the arrival of the LAPD. “It was incredible while it lasted, though,” says Carlson.

Ten years later, the vision for Forester has expanded well beyond ragers. A pillar of the project is the preservation of the nature that’s inspired them, with the guys donating a portion of the revenue from their first album to The Nature Conservancy, who used it to plant roughly 1,000 trees. Their ultimate goal is for their streaming to be at net zero carbon emissions.

“The Forester project is ultimately a conservation project,” Carlson says. “We want to spread the word that our planet is both beautiful and irreplaceable.”

The trick is that through the depth and power of their music, they’re able to express this message without having to say anything at all.