Obsessive. That's the word that From Indian Lakes' songwriter and Yosemite resident Joey Vannucchi uses to describe his approach to music-making.
"There's something about everything coming from you at the beginning. That no one else can know the thoughts you had when you were writing," he explains. "You get really deep into the detail of it. I've had like guys from other bands tell me, 'Yeahâ¦ I NEVER think about it that way!' But I get obsessive and it's a bit scary â it's not necessarily something fans want to hear!"
"I've always been a huge fan of guys like Mike Einziger. The riffs he writes sound super accessible, but they're not as simple as you'd [first] think"
Hot of the presses, new album Absent Sounds is F.I.L.'s third record, albeit their first with label backing. It's nuanced, ear-tricking indie rock with the airy pop sensibility of Mew (the excellent Danish band, beloved by Joey) and Death Cab For Cutie's bespectacled fragility.
"I've always been a huge fan of guys like Mike Einziger from Incubus," says the songwriter. "The riffs Mike Einziger writes sound super accessible, but they're not as simple as you'd [first] think. Him and Jeff Buckley, I really got into their tones. It's clean, but it's kind of harsh, like if you were standing next to the amp it would be painful."
Joey's own tones predominantly come courtesy of a Mexican Tele with Fralin pickups and a MESA/Boogie Tremoverb.
"I've always tried to commit to the minimal overdrive thing and use just the lower settings of an OCD pedal if I need to get more aggressive," he explains. "I also switch from using a pick to my fingers within songs. I don't like to have to hit a lot of pedals, so it's about finding that spot, between sweet [tone] and more break-up."
As the year turns, it's all looking very positive for the band. There's a new booking agent, some UK dates in the pipeline and, of course, label backing. But what can independent obsessives out there learn from F.I.L.?
"If you're not on a label, I'd say take advantage of the good parts," reckons Joey. "You get to do whatever you want and, anything you do, you get 100 per cent of the rewards. There are still cliches and routines [to avoid]. Bands should be trying to think outside of the box, even if it feels like nobody's paying attention because that's what gets attention - the people who get weird with it!"
For fans of: Death Cab For Cutie, Mew, Radiohead
Hear: Label This Love