Fort Lean: Pure Unadulterated Ecstasy

Northside Festival is upon us! There are a ton of bands playing around Brooklyn, and you don’t want to miss out. I’m a huge supporter of local bands, so this is an exciting time for me to scope them out and find new tunes to brighten up my morning commute.

I had a chance to chat with the guys of Fort Lean before their performances at Northside Festival this week.

You guys met in college about 10 years ago, but then formed the band years after that. How did you guys reconnect?

We were all playing in different bands, and after a little while everyone became free at the same time, so the stars kind of just aligned. We went to college together at Wesleyan and we all moved to Brooklyn over a course of a couple of years since we graduated. Some of us were ‘08, the others were ’09. Basically everyone was done being in their band at the same time.

So would you say you guys were pretty tight in college?

We were, definitely! I [Zach] was in a band with Jake and Sam in college, and Keenan and Will were a year below so we met them right when they got there. We all spent a lot of time together. It’s not a really big school, so there was maybe a group of 50 people we hung out with all the time. Basically everyone who was playing in a band and were going to college together.

What’s the meaning behind your album title “Quiet Day”?

It’s the title of one of the songs. It’s about an overcasting and rainy day when I was visiting home in Oregon. I was just channeling all those ideas. The overall album is kind of about being stranded a little bit – kind of a collision of aspirational and true reality.

What’s your favorite song off the new album?

We don’t have a favorite song necessarily. There are a couple of sounds in Quiet Day that I like, and I don’t know how we made them, but I really like them.

How would you describe your sound in one word?

Man, these types of questions are the hardest! Pure unadulterated ecstasy? Let’s go with “transporting.” Transporting to another place called Fort Lean!

Do you have any pre/post show rituals?

We just drink alcohol. That’s definitely a post show ritual (laughs). We sing together before we sing in front of people, just to make sure our vocal chords are still working. I occasionally have dreams when we’re about to get on stage, and I would open my mouth and nothing comes out! I think people call it warming up.

You guys post a lot of funny tweets. Is the whole band involved with social media posts?
We just all recently started getting on it. I think we’ve sort of made a game out of it where we’d have to guess who posted what. Social Media’s great!

What’s your most epic tweet so far?


What can we expect to see during your shows at Northside Festival?

Expect some really good times and meet some really friendly guys. We’re an excellent rock band! I think were just gonna play the shit out of songs, and we’ll put a lot of energy into the performance, in the interest of trying to make people who get to see us to have as much fun as they possibly can. More fun than we’re having. I think we really bring it when we play live, that’s definitely the goal. Were shooting for extreme songs and emotional intensity.

After their Northside shows they’ll be going on a U.S. Tour, so check them out if they’re in your city!  You can pre-order their latest LP, “Quiet Day” on iTunes here.

June 11 Cameo Gallery (Brooklyn, NY)

June 12 Polish National Church (New York, NY)

June 13 Mosaic Music Festival (Orson, PA)

June 15 Black Cat (Washington, DC)

June 16  Mercury Lounge (New York, NY)

June 25 The Garrison (Toronto, Canada)

June 26 Casbah Lounge (Hamilton, Canada)

June 27 House of Targ (Ottawa, Canada)

July 8 TT the Bear’s Place (Cambridge, MA)

July 9 Milkboy (Philadelphia, PA)

July 14 Rickshaw Stop (San Francisco, CA)

July 16 Satellite (Los Angeles, CA)

July 17 Soda Bar (San Diego, CA)

July 18 Valley Bar (Phoenix, AZ)

July 21 502 Bar (San Antonio, TX)

July 22 Bronze Peacock (Houston, TX)

July 23 Stubbs Jr. (Austin, TX)

July 24 Dada (Dallas, TX)