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Mighty Oaks, the indie/folk rock group from Berlin, Germany, formed in 2010 by Ian Hooper, Claudio Donzelli and Craig Saunders and they have already released three studio albums. On the occasion of the release of their new album, entitled “Mexico”, we talked to them about the concept behind it and the process of recording it. An interesting story related to the title of the album is narrated and Mighty Oaks try to discover all the positive aspects despite the pandemic and the changes that occurred.

Ian’s home studio was the place where the recording of the album took place and the band had the appropriate time to complete its whole project. As Mighty Oaks told us they want to keep pushing themselves forward as a band, and not take it for granted. Since it is a band grown up simultaneously with the evolution of social media, they discuss with us about the pros and the cons of using them. Also, what did 2020 show and what did it mean for them?

The band told us with great sincerity about its dream collaborations, but also about how they imagine themselves in five years from now. So, if you want to learn more about Mighty Oaks and want to get into their ideology read the whole interview that gave to below!

Hello Mighty Oaks and welcome to!

Since you’re in the studio preparing your upcoming studio album, what are your current activities?

We’re actually done with recording, the album is finished and will be released on the 7th May! We’ve been doing some promo the last couple weeks, and we’ll continue to keep releasing new tracks and building momentum up until release.

Would you like to give us further information about your new album, entitled “Mexico”? Why did you choose this title for this album and what means to you?

The album was born out of a time of great uncertainty, where we forced to take stock of what we had, and what we’d lost. People were going crazy, and it bought out the best and the worst in some, which is what the song Mexico talks about. It felt like a good summing up of the situation we found ourselves in, which is why we felt it was also a good fit for the album title.

We’re observing your activity through social media and I think that you’d already enjoyed the whole album’s procedure. What made your new project special for you?

Being in the middle of a pandemic definitely made it a different experience! We managed to take the positive out of the experience though because it gave us the time to spend on writing and fine-tuning the songs, time that we otherwise aren’t usually afforded. It was also the first time that we tried recording down in Ian’s home studio, we weren’t sure how it would sound, but again having all this time allowed us to experiment and try things out until we were happy.

The alternative indie music is your significant point. Is there any other genre of music that you would like to include in your songs? Have you any surprise for us?

I guess we’ve always considered ourselves more a Folk-rock-pop kind of band. But these labels are mainly there for people that need to categorise you and push you into certain drawers. There are definitely elements from other genres that find their way into our songs. Some of the drums on the new songs for example have a bit more of a loop based Hip-Hop kind of feel to them. But that doesn’t mean we’re about to release a rap album anytime soon!

Mighty Oaks, you’re active in music industry since 2010. What differences could you mention from the audience’s part? Is the audience more demanding with what it wants to hear from you?

Well one nice difference is that the audience has grown since 2010! Our live show is very much like a journey with ups and downs, and I think our fans generally get immersed in our music, and let us take them along for the ride. I think what we demand from ourselves as musicians is also very important. After more than 10 years of playing shows, it can be easy to become complacent, and just turn up and go through the motions. We always want to keep pushing ourselves forward as a band, and not take it for granted. it also gives the audience a reason to stay on the journey with us.

Are you satisfied with the evolution of social media or would you prefer the traditional way of communicating with the public? What are the pros and cons for you?

Of course social media is a hugely valuable tool. It allows us to connect and communicate with our fans from anywhere in the world. It’s never been easier to get yourself out there and promote the work you do, with a potentially huge reach. And across multiple platforms there are always new and exciting ways to do that. But as with anything there is also the flip side of that, the darker side of social media, like the need for instant gratification, the need to feel valued through likes, trying to sell the perfect persona, and opening yourself up to anonymous attacks and bullying. We try and use it the same way we live and are as people. If we have something to say, then we say it. But we certainly don’t feel the need to overshare on any and every single thing from our lives, just as a way of trying to stay relevant.

What did 2020 show you and what did it mean for you?

It meant we were able to write this album! It also gave us time to reflect, and showed us just how precious it is with what we get to do. Like Joni Mitchell said “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” And that’s definitely been the case since all cultural events, and concerts stopped.

If you had the chance to collaborate with an artist or a band in the future, who would you choose and why?

Ooh, tough question, and living or dead? 🙂

Whoever you like! 

Liking someone’s music and collaborating are two different things though. We all love Led Zeppelin, but we wouldn’t assume that collaborating with them would be a great success. Likewise, maybe it’d be more interesting to collaborate with someone from a completely different genre to push your boundaries and explore something different. Hard to say.

Your song “All Things Go” was a hit and it was played in many radio shows! How do you feel about it?

Of course it always nice when a song gets picked up by radio stations. It’s never been our driving motivation when writing music, we write to please ourselves first and foremost. But it’s definitely rewarding to know that what you do is appreciated by people who know music and work with it on a daily basis. Especially nowadays when there’s so much out there.

How do you imagine the band in five years from now?

Older, and maybe wiser! 🙂 We hope that we’re still able to keep writing music that’s important to us, and that still resonates with people. And if we’re able to do that, and tour, then I think we’ll all be happy.

Apart from your upcoming LP, what are your future professional plans?

Right now we’re focussing on the new album, and we’ll see. It’s hard to say how things will progress after that. Hopefully live shows will start happening again, when they’re safe to do so, and then we’ll get the chance to take the new album on the road.

What is your motto in life?

Stay cool, have fun, drink whiskey!

Interview: Elektra Limnios

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