Sound Scene Express

HughShows: Live @ Eide’s – David Manchester Interview


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
SSE:   What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major

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 
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 We're also on Bandcamp at, 
Facebook is 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,

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 
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.

-Pocket Folders
-Spiral Notebooks
-Small Boxes Crayons
-Washable Markers
-Glue Sticks
-Colored Pencils
-Pencil Pouches
-Small Scissors
-Pencil Sharpeners
-Flash Drives
-Small Tissue Packs


Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Leave A Response