Originating as the bedroom project from key songwriter Mislav Belobrajdic, Forest Hall began as an outlet for writing DIY pop songs about boredom, girls, love and pizza.
Forest Hall have been fairly active in the Sydney scene and recently cemented themselves a band to keep an eye on in 2019, fresh off the traction of their last two singles 'Broke Forever' and most recently 'Dead & Gone' which as of today have both received the music video treatment.
We were able to catch up Mislav the man himself to find out more about the "Surf Scuz" outfit that is Forest Hall and what went into 'Dead & Gone'.
// Can you give us a quick history of Forest Hall and where the name came from? //
The band essentially stared as a recording project back in 2015, where initially I wrote a collection of songs that I was stoked with and excited to record. Bringing some very talented friends into the fold, particularly that of Oliver Dibley (Borneo) as an engineer and producer really helped shape and develop our sound on those initial and subsequent recordings and got me to a point where I really fell in love with the sonic quality of the music. Millsy & Jules joined the band and we’ve been gigging/recording ever since!
In terms of the name I’ve always loved that imagery conjured up by those jungle/ forest/ wilderness/ secret garden style landscapes you get with bands like The Vines etc. I had this weird image of an old Victorian English boarding school in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, I thought it was a really cool dichotomy, and somewhat of a metaphor for the music I suppose? That soft/heavy, loud/quiet dynamic- like the best kinds of music there are. Also I felt that 'Forest Hall’ was an ambiguous enough name that wouldn’t pigeon hole the project stylistically, so as that if the music where to change and develop over time it wouldn’t seem too strange or out of place.
// Who are some of your biggest influences throughout music, what inspired you to start creating? //
Everybody in the band has very varied tastes, my tastes are very eclectic as well. I like everything from Slayer to Coltrane. I think so many different styles of music have so much to offer to people. In terms of what sparked the influence to start this project, the first two Wavves records (‘Wavves’ & ‘Wavvves’, respectively) had a profound influence on me- I guess they allowed me to have my ‘I can write songs too’ pop-song moment. Otherwise, local band Bachelor Pad as well as bands such as Panda Bear, Washed Out and Day Wave had a huge influence as well. Then there are the oldies that seep out no matter what because you grew up with them, a lot of classic rock, basically anything Josh Homme has ever touched, etc.
// What does this release mean to you? //
We’re stoked for the release because its our first song we’ve released that's under 170 BPM! He he. Seriously though we love the song, we kind of feel like it shows a little more of our influences, it’s got a bit of a classic/ psychedelic tinge we feel.
We were so, so stoked to have worked with our very talented mate Scott Cotterell, who, through concept and creation created the video from the ground up. He really captured the vibe of the song with the video & it was so sick to be involved with someone willing to go for something different and be instinctual. The video and song have really fused and become one now, it’s our favourite that we’ve had the pleasure to be a part of. Any fans of B-movies’s or Japanamation might agree. Check out his stuff!.
// The biggest set back, and the thing you’re most grateful for with regard to your career as a band? //
I can’t say there have been many set back to be honest. It’s all a learning process. In terms of what we are grateful for, that’s easy- all the people that were willing to help me shape the band sonically, I’m very thankful for any of the people that are/ have been involved; Oliver Dibley, James Kelly, Mac De Cosmi, Millsy, Jules, Julian Wilkinson…it’s a bit of a long list. Who wants to do it all on their own? We’re also super grateful to anyone that has supported us at all or enjoyed the music in any way!
// What does the live music scene mean to you? //
Its universal knowledge that music helps shape communities, keep people healthy, happy and possibly even get em’ laid! I don’t think anyone can understate the importance of a vibrant and creative music scene in any community. For us it’s a chance to get together with mates and have fun and it’s important because a live scene is imperative to young bands cutting their teeth and learning their trade.
// What is your dream local festival line-up, that you could be a part of (of course)? //
There are so many good local bands around right now. Let's see. Bachelor Pad, Borneo, White Dog, Green Buzzard, Nick Nuisance, Murray Darling, Dress Theque, Moody Beach, 100, Astro Death, Particles, Ride for Rain, Hedge Fund, Hyper Giant, Johnny Hunter, Planet, Shrapnel, DEN, Hedy Lamarr, Chad Franko, Straight Arrows, Lachlan x. Morris, Spike Vincent, Crocodylus, Buddy Dingo, Party Dozen, The Buoys, Sloan Peterson, Leroy Francis, Flight to Dubai, Grinding Eyes, Spiderling…honestly I could go on…