We thought it would be cool to introduce fans to the head featured on HughShows Live @ Eide’s concert fliers. For the April 12 show David Manchester, guitarist and lead vocalist of Pittsburgh band, Arlo Aldo, is the featured poster boy. Arlo Aldo is also made up of Susanna Meyer on bass and vocals, Ariel Forbes on keys, bells, melodica and vocals and Brandon Forbes on percussion. Check out the interview below and get to know the featured head.
Sound Scene Express: What's the name of your band? What's the origin of that name? Have you changed the band's name before? David Manchester: Arlo Aldo. The origin was kind of random. I had been tossing a lot of names around in my head for a while and for some reason they were all coming back to "something Aldo." Finally, one night, my wife said "how about Arlo Aldo." Arlo was a name I had wanted to use for our son, but was quickly rejected. Now, I may not have a child named Arlo, but I do have a band. This has been the only name of the band so far.
SSE: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences? DM: Alt-folk-americana is what we've been using so far. It's not quite any of those specifically, so we figure a mix of all of them makes sense. Our major influences are Low, Red House Painters, Magnolia Electric Co., Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, The Low Anthem, Dirty Three, Yo La Tengo and bits of pieces of old R&B, Blues and the 90's grunge scene.
SSE: What are your day jobs? If any.
DM: I am a stay-at-home dad and freelance graphic designer, Ariel is an attorney, Brandon is the Operations Deputy for the Office of the Mayor, and Susanna is Director of Agricultural Production at Grow Pittsburgh. We keep ourselves busy, for sure.
SSE: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet? DM: The band has been coming together in bits and pieces. Ariel and I met shortly after I relocated to Pittsburgh from Baltimore. I wanted to start a new band up here and wanted some good male-female harmonies. Since I was new in town, I took to Craigslist. My ad sat like a black sheep among all of the death metal listings, but somehow Ariel found me. We played as a two piece for about 6 months and then her (then friend, now husband) Brandon asked if we would be interested in having him on percussion. We stayed a three piece band all the way through recording our first album, Zelie. After that, we were fortunate enough to convince Susanna to join us. Now we're one happy four-piece family.
SSE: Who writes your song lyrics? What is your inspiration?
DM: I have been the primary song writer so far. I like to think of my lyrical inspiration as "moments in time." Usually something will happen and I will come up with a single line of lyrics and build a song around it. Sometimes the song stays very true to the original thought. Other times, I will use the snippet as a jumping off point to go in a different direction. Most of the songs are very biographical. Highway is about my senses, emotions and experiences at my grandmother's funeral, while the Ballad of Phillipe Petit is about the man who walked a high wire between the twin towers in 1974. Very different subject matters, but both wrapped in a sense of real life.
SSE: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together? DM: Ariel and I started the band back in 2011. We both had a very similar vision of making really pretty music with beautiful harmonies. I've always loved writing and performing music and was thrilled to meet someone so like-minded.
SSE: Where have you performed? What are your favorite venues? DM: I am very lucky to be able to say that we've been all over Pittsburgh. Club Café, Howlers, Brillobox, the Rex, Thunderbird, Smiling Moose. This city has such a fantastic and eclectic mix of venues. We've also been fortunate enough to play some less conventional venues like the Rum Release party at Wigle in the Strip District and the Summer and Winter parties at Legume. I think our favorite shows are the small ones. Living room shows are a ton of fun and we're always looking to do more of those. Recently we played the Pittsburgh Winery in the Strip District and that was such a comfortable and intimate setting. Same with Club Café. We just love any chance to play where we can really interact with the crowd and feel like we're just spending the evening with friends.
SSE: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
DM: We try and practice on Sunday afternoons. It's a sacrifice during football season, but with kids, jobs, etc., it's better to have a plan in place so life's responsibilities don't take over too much. We tend to gear our practices towards what's on the horizon. If we have shows booked, we'll work on a specific setlist, if we don't have anything planned we'll work on new songs.
SSE: What's your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
DM: Fame and fortune would be nice. A contract with Sub Pop or Merge would also be nice. But for now, our plan is to enjoy playing music and try to get our music to as many people's ears as possible. The most important thing is to keep it fun, though.
SSE: How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
DM: We're everywhere on the net. Our official website is http://www.teamadelle.com/arloaldo. We're also on Bandcamp at arloaldo.bandcamp.com, Facebook is facebook.com/arloaldo and Zelie is available through Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and most other online retailers. You can also find physical copies at Sound Cat Records, Orbis Caffe in Mt. Lebanon and through our online store, http://teamadelle.com/arloaldo/store
SSE: How do you feel about being featured on HughShows Live @ Eide's flier?
DM: It's kind of weird and a little flattering…and honored, of course. Hugh has been so supportive of us for a long time, which in-and-of itself is extremely flattering. But, he's also been a staple of the Pittsburgh music scene for 10 years. So, to be selected, not just to play, but to have my mug front and center is very humbling.
SSE: When is your next show?
DM: We will be at Thunderbird on Friday, April 18th with the Armadillos, which will be a fantastic show. After that, we're hoping to get some more living room concerts on the calendar and keep working on new material for the next album.
SSE: Is there any thing else you would like to add?
DH: Just a thank you for everyone who has made it this far in the interview and to everyone out there who has supported us and listened to us. I'm so happy to be a part of such a fantastic music scene here in Pittsburgh and to be surrounded by such phenomenal talent. Also, we have a 3-song EP coming out soon, so stay tuned for more information on that. Please "LIKE" us on Facebook for all the newest, or, you can sign up for our e-newsletter through our website. We're pretty nice folks, so, please don't hesitate to come up and introduce yourselves at our next show. We're always excited to meet new people. Also, a special thanks to you, Randy, for having me on your site. We hope to see you all at Eide's and then again at Thunderbird. David Manchester / Arlo Aldo
More about HughShows Live @ Eide’s
Event from facebook
A free monthly family-friendly Pittsburgh concert series featuring:
Dan Getkin & The Masters of American Music (Indie Rock / Alt- Country) 2pm
Arlo Aldo (Alt-Folk / Americana) 3pm
The Lopez (Snot Rock / Shit Rock) 4pm
presented by The Wilderness Recording Studio
If you are attending, please consider bringing a new school supply item (listed below) for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund’s GEAR FOR GRADES BACKPACK DRIVE.
-Small Boxes Crayons
-Small Tissue Packs