Forest and the Evergreens have been layin’ down the funk since 2012 with their sophisticated blend of Soul, R&B, Rock and Blues, granting them an authentically mature sound.
The title of the Columbus bred groups’ first independent release Young Funk perfectly epitomizes the musical genre they’ve managed to launch themselves into.
The quintet is composed of Parker Muntz (vox and guitar), Mickey Drury (vox and guitar), Terrance Farmer (vox, keys, saxophone), Jeff Bass (bass guitar) and Mike Twice (drums).
Back before Forest and the Evergreens was even a gleam in any of their eyes, Muntz and Drury were making music as a hip-hop group as students at Capital University. Unfortunately, the project fizzled once they graduated (although, I’d love to hear those tracks). Muntz, on the other hand, gives credit to the music scene for bringing everyone together.
“We just started meeting other people through music networks and were able to build Forest and the Evergreens,” he said. “We’ve had a few member changes over the years, but what you see now is a combination of a bunch of different scenes and styles.”
I certainly think the affair with hip-hop contributes to their unique sound, as well as the love Muntz says Farmer and Drury have for Jazz music.
There are a wide variety of artists that have influenced Forest and the Evergreens including D’Angelo, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Al Green. Everyone’s talents mesh together seamlessly, a phenomenon that is evident in their song writing.
“We’ve started to become more collaborative with arrangements. It usually starts with someone having a solid idea and the rest of us put our strengths into it,” Muntz said. “I tend to write a lot of the lyrics just because classically thats how we’ve done it. It’s definitely an easier and a more rewarding process when everyone has their hand in it and it feels like everyone is truly a part of it.”
Muntz’s take on where their bluesy disposition fits into Columbus’ music scene is met with much optimism and enthusiasm.
“Columbus is a growing music scene, people are taking to it more now than maybe they were when we started in 2012,” he said. “Every city you go to will tell you have the best music scene, but we’ve definitely experienced a lot of love here.”
“I think more than anything people are into a good show, so if you bring a good rockin’ show…and I mean, our niche is kickin’ it. People enjoy that everywhere.”
The band also landed themselves a spot on PromoWest Fest’s lineup this past Summer, accompanying the sets of some big-name artists.
[Read More: PromoWest Fest postponed until 2018]
“Promowest fest was awesome. Anytime you’re on a bill with Snoop Dogg you can’t complain! We enjoyed ourselves for sure,” Muntz said. “There were some other cool local acts there that are good friends of ours, The Worn Flints and Nick D’ and the Believers, so that was cool to be able to hang out with those guys backstage, go to catering, eat and feel like a rockstar. We were stoked to have that opportunity. It’s never a bad thing to be hooked up with PromoWest, either.”
As for what’s in store for the guys in the coming months, their debut studio album is taking precedent. They have been writing incessantly over the past year and have a lot of tracks stockpiled that will soon be ready for recording and release.
“We have a couple tours coming up this Spring that we haven’t released yet, but the top priority right now is making a good record,” Muntz said. “Currently, we’re in the process of getting things recorded and getting them ready to be released. I think we’re looking to release an EP at some point in the next few months and then hopefully release our debut full-length record by end of summer or early fall.”
“It’s up in the air…but we are working on it, we’re actually recording, actively writing more and getting to the studio. It’s happening, but it’s just a little under wraps. If the music is there and the music is good, everything else will always follow that. So we want to make sure the most important thing is taken care of: the music.”
New Forest and the Evergreens may not be in our lives for a minute, but while you bask in excitement waiting for what promises to be a brilliant follow up to Young Funk, check out their FREE show next Friday, February 17 at Woodlands Tavern, which doubles as the official release of their beer collaboration with the Homestead Artists Series.
Throw back some Forever Green IPA’s and dance the night away to some amazing local music!