Get Real: Q+A w/ Froth, a Former Fake Band

Posted by Caroline Rolf , May 01, 2017

Formed in 2013 in Los Angeles, Froth first grabbed your attention and tugged at your heart strings with Patterns. Four years and three albums later, they have become an underground sensation and a staple on your playlist with the perfect mix of garage, low-fi and synth melodies.

With Froth currently on tour (next stop: Drake Underground on May 3), I had a chat with guitarist/front man JooJoo Ashworth about the band’s inspirations, their most recent record, their unusual start and most importantly, what’s to come.

From your first show in which your old bandmate deemed "a disaster," to the release of your third album this year, what have been your expectations for your music versus reality?

I've pretty much never had any expectations from music and I kind of still think that way. The fact that we're able to put out records and tour is still so cool to me. A lot of other really great bands never even get that opportunity.

I think by now, fans know Froth started out as a fake band. When the opportunity arose for you to pick up instruments, what made you take on that challenge instead of admitting the joke and walking away? Was the latter ever really an option?

It wasn't that much of a conscious decision. It was more like when we figured out that it was even possible to make music together we didn't have to come up with a band name because we already had a name and a Facebook page.

What inspired you to persevere as a band in the beginning?

Just playing shows and watching our friends’ bands play cool shows. At that point that was the only thing that I wanted to do. We played every show that we possibly could without even knowing that it could lead to building an audience.

What/who influences you now?

Everyone in the band has pretty drastically different taste in music so it makes it fun to listen to what they're into and find something new or make fun of each other. Also I did a project with my friend Austin Redman who made an album with only the art and song titles. He had me basically score it based on the art and titles. Thinking about the process of an album in reverse like that helped with finding new sounds and not making music feel repetitious.

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It's been two years since the release of Bleak, what has the band been up to since?

We spent a good amount of time wondering what we were gonna do about a third record, then even more time recording and mixing it, signed to Wichita, Jeremy got married, we made some music videos, touring more than we're used to, and surprisingly we've been trying to be healthier (which helps with the constant touring).

Did you start working on your latest record right after the second? What was the process like?

We had maybe one song right after we recorded bleak, but for a while we had no idea what we were going to do. We had all started making different kinds of music that we thought didn't work for the band but at a certain point we realized that we want to make the band a pretty good representation of what we like and that we didn't need to work inside the box of what we thought people are expecting.

The new album has been described as more upbeat, more melodic, perhaps softer and even experimental. Did you feel pressure to change your sound from the previous record, or was this a decision by the band? How did the sound come about?

Like I said it was kind of a natural step forward. There was never really a point where we all thought "let's make a record that sounds like this" it was more like "let's record all the songs that we've written and that we can all agree that we like. Working in his studio with our friend Tomas Dolas was also really exciting for us and played a big part on how the album came about. We kind of think parallel to each other about the way that the songs should go. He has a great ear and has and he's so good on keys and cello too.

What's the story behind the new album title, Outside (Briefly)?

It's just a chapter from this book The Abortion from Richard Brautigan. I really liked that book and that chapter kind of felt like what my life was like at the time. I had just been not leaving my house much and we weren't really playing shows or touring so when we were recording it was like okay it's time to get out of your house, you need to do this right now.

What music are you guys listening to at the moment?

It's a big mix between all of us but some stuff we like is holy wave, drab majesty, moaning, aphex twin, the strokes, oneohtrix point never, Elliott smith, Beatles, porches, S-Town, Serial season 1.

Outside of Los Angeles (home base), where has been your favourite city to play so far?

It's hard to say. Every place has its own charm but we love NYC, Berlin, Asheville, Austin, El Paso. Too hard to narrow it down to just one.

Any on-tour rituals you care to share with us?

We don't really have any rituals but we all like to find a nice, warm body of water to swim in - and getting a sandwich from Publix.

Toronto is really looking forward to having you! What should fans be expecting?

Expect long awkward pauses between songs while we're tuning and don't expect to hear any songs from Patterns.

Sure, Froth may have started as a joke, but it’s clear that these guys treat their music with care – you can hear it for yourself in their maturing lyrical content and the sweet addition of melodic shoegaze to their unique garage sound. Don’t miss 'em this Wednesday, May 3rd, at The Drake Hotel. Grab your ticket here.

Photos by Tony Accosta

Posted in: Music

Tags: drake underground  froth