We grew up in a place where we had to drive 75 miles to get to the next town, and that town had a population of 4000. Five years old, looking out the car window for two hours. Wide open space, mountains across the ocean, mountains across the tundra. The tops touch the clouds, the sky isn’t far away. Everything is bigger and older than five people in a four person subaru wagon. 18 years old, writing songs on a bluff overlooking the Alaska Range. The rivers run south through the mountains, towards the ocean.
Drinking beers by a bonfire and talking about playing music, about moving to Portland. 19 years old, getting in the car with the guitars, singing songs and driving south-bound down the Alcan highway.
There’s something about growing up in a place that’s so much bigger than any one person that gives you an appreciation for the grand scope of existence. And when it’s night and there’s five feet of snow outside and you and your friends are gathered around a cast iron stove in the middle of a yurt playing guitars, singing, and drinking beer, you learn what it means to be a warm-blooded human living with other warm-blooded humans in a small space surrounded by cold dark nothing for miles around.
And when you’re young, out of school, and you’ve lived your whole life in the same small town in Alaska, you have to get the hell out and go see what’s going on elsewhere. Like Portland. Where a bunch of your favorite bands are from. On top of that, a jazz bass player that used to play with Miles Davis tells you it’s the place to be. And then you find out that four of your friends from Alaska are already moving down there, and you decide to start a band with them just to see what happens, and it turns out to be something you’re truly excited about. At least that’s what happened to us.
So we are Animal Eyes, and we are in Portland, Oregon, and we’re writing songs, playing music, and working shitty jobs to support ourselves while we do it. We just released our first album, “Found in the Forest” on Nov 9, 2011. There’s songs about what it’s like to be leaving home at beginning of a new century, only a few years before the world is supposed to end. About growing older and realizing how important it is to learn from our collective past, to have a collective past, to have family. About living in cycles with the earth; to be born, to live, and to rest in the ground when we’re done.
On top of all that, it’s about having fun playing music and creating something we believe in. And that’s what we do. We’ll be playing all over Portland, and if we do well, all over the Northwest, and eventually, all over the world. Check our gig dates, we’ll see you out there.
And if you don’t believe us, here’s some nice things other people said about us:
Maggie Summers, Willamette Week