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- Posted on Nov 2nd 2010 12:00PM by Ciaran Thompson
"I'm getting more and more paranoid of being misquoted," Picker says. "I just read the first few lines and I'm like, 'Oh man, I didn't say that.' I may have said those words, but not in that order. It happened in the LA Times, or something like that, Under the Radar was really bad... I don't really quite know how to handle it."
"I've thought about only doing email interviews," he continues, "not that I want to, but just making sure. It's easier for me just cause I have a little bit more time to think about the answers, and also it's hard to kind of mess it up. I'm pretty new at all this so I'm trying to figure it out."
Currently touring their latest record, 'All Alone in an Empty House,' which was re-released under ANTI- this past August, Chapel Hill, N.C. ensemble reveals that they've already started working on what will become their third album.
"We have four or five new songs that we've been playing," says Picker. "[We hope to] ... finish our demos, 10-12 tracks or whatever, by the end of the year, and then maybe tour them early January, and then record and deliver the record before the summer."
While fans might wonder if the new material echos the band's trademark 'orchestral folk' sound, Picker admits that he can't readily speak to this reference as it's something brandished by press releases and concert reviews more so than Lost in the Trees themselves. He notes that it was their label that eventually decided that that sub-genre was an apt way to classify the collective's sound.
"It's folky in a sense that it's acoustic and there is finger-picking, and I kind of associate folk music with both of those things," concedes Picker. "I think it's equal part songwriting, equal part orchestration. They kind of coexist together so it works; that's what was decided on. But there's elements of rock and pop. The genre of orchestral music is pretty broad too. I think acoustic music is probably the best way to describe what we do just because all of our instruments are acoustic."
Lyrically, Picker used his own experiences for material on 'Empty House,' and says for the new record, fans who connected with his deeply personal anecdotes will enjoy the similar touchstones.
"I used to write a lot of pop music about girls, kind of early Beatles-esque pop exercises," he says. "I've been in a lot of bands that have done that, and I think when I wrote this album, it was the first time I've ever written something that was really personal, and I was writing it for myself and for my family. It meant a lot more then just writing for the sake of writing. I don't think you can really go backwards from that. I think it will continue to be personal, and take some of the themes that were touched on on this record and develop them and also introduce new themes.
"A lot of people might relate to it, and I think just that energy that's on the album of kind of vomiting something up, or looking at it in an objective way, can translate to other people's experiences that might be totally different than mine and still have the same kind of angle. If that happens, I think it's a success for the listener and for me, too."
Now that work has already begun on another album, Picker, who is nearing the completion of his studies in film composition at the Berklee School of Music, admits to being a little wary of calling musical projects like Lost in the Trees a 'profession.'
"I'm really scared to assume or admit that this could be my career," he says. "I think it's because my mom was an artist and struggled her whole life at it, and barely food on the table, and food stamps and all that stuff. You know you can work as hard as you can work -- and I do -- but that doesn't mean that it's going to pay out. I've worked really hard to be able to do this for a really long time. Just to go to Canada and play shows, and maybe somebody will be there. Little things like that, and being able to release a record internationally with a record label -- I certainly never thought that would happen."
"As far as succeeding in what we're doing," he adds, "I feel like we've kind of done that, and hopefully we don't end up hating each other before we stop."