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Big Tree | Thursday Night Residency at Pete's Candy Store Brooklyn | June 2011

Photography by Di Desmond and Ian Levine

Where’s the best place to catch the Bay area band Big Tree this June? Why, Brooklyn, of course! While completing their cross-country tour, Colin Farhner, drummer for Big Tree, took time to talk about the group’s Thursday night residency at Pete’s Candy Store, NYC.

What prompted a Bay area band to grab a residency at Pete’s?

We've played there a couple times in the last few years and have always had a great time. We were going to be around New York this summer and we thought we'd try and get a residency. Pete's was on our list of places we talked to.

Will it feel good to spend some time in Brooklyn again?

Yea! We used to be a "Brooklyn" band and it's nice to be back for a while. Especially in the summer, the city is a fun place to be.

Where are you staying while you’re in NYC?

Well, some of us will stay with friends, crashing on couches. A couple of us are looking into summer sublets and we'll also be staying with our families in Connecticut, Boston, and Long Island. All over!

The residency comes after a U.S. tour. How has that been going?

We toured across the country in March, playing about 25 shows, including a show at South By Southwest. It was another great tour- our third national tour. We learned a lot. We also ran our vegetable oil van on used vegetable oil about 75 percent of the time; the rest on diesel. April and May we're playing shows at colleges all over the northeast.

What prompted a desire to spend the spring and summer on the east coast?

The band started at Sarah Lawrence College, outside NYC, so we've been based out of New York until last summer, when we all moved to California. We were planning to go on another tour this spring and we decided to end the tour on the east coast and spend some time here. We have family and friends there, and spring in New England is beautiful.

How’s the new LP coming along? When will it be released?

It's recorded and now we're talking to various people about mixing it. Then it'll have to be mastered, and hopefully it should come out in the fall. We released one track from it, which people can listen to and download.

Big Tree has pretty much proven that they can survive line-up changes, moving where they’re based, and touring across the U.S. Does Big Tree still feel fresh and motivated?

We're more motivated now than ever. We're working on taking the band to the next level, trying to bring our music to more and more people. We're always working on the music, learning new songs and rehearsing the old ones, so that we can put on the best show possible. We've all been singing more as a group and so that's one of our next big challenges. We're also constantly sending our music to record labels, managers, publicity agents, music blogs, etc., trying to generate interest from people who can work with us. Places like Angelica Music!

It’s been a while since your east coast fans have been able to see you live. What can they look forward to at your residency?

We have a new lineup, with Danny [Pirello] on guitar (who has been with the band since February 2010), and Laura [Schwecherl], our new harmony singer, who joined the band right before this most recent tour. We have a lot of new songs that we're excited for people to hear.

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