From the success of his new record to the challenge of creating music, CAKE had the opportunity to interview San Bernardino's lone-producer and multi instrumentalist - Foliage
What's the story behind 'Foliage'? I started Foliage in my room when I was 16. I've always been an indie-head, grew up on The Smiths and The Cure. I've always loved music so much, i've always dreamed of creating it. I started to put that into action when I became a Sophomore in High School, creating shitty demos and sending them to friends. I posted my first track, The Things I Do for Love, on Soundcloud and it was well received instantly among peers and people who saw it via the internet. Once that song gained that traction, I just knew, I had to create a full album. This song would be one of the 3 singles of my debut record Truths, which released in March 2015, about a week and a half before my 17th birthday.
The name Foliage, I heard one day in my Freshman Art class. I thought the word was interesting and the definition behind it: a collective of plants, flowers, trees; greenery. I really liked flowers and knew I wanted to include that imagery somewhere in my music. Around the time of starting this, I was really inspired by Justin Vallesteros (Craft Spells), being a lone-producer and multi instrumentalist. One of the first modern-day bands that introduced me to the modern culture and revival of the music I know and always loved, jangle pop & dream pop. His album at the time & debut, Idle Labor, featured a hazy flower photo reminiscent of New Order's Power, Corruption, & Lies. I like to think listening to that record in my freshman year was partially inspirational for the name, now Justin and I are homies which is quite jaw-dropping for me. We've swapped demos recently and are excited to finally meet and for each other's futures. Also Foliage means marijuana which I very much love hahaha
III was released recently, did you expect the massive positive response it's been getting?
Honestly no I didn't expect. I knew the music was very good and it was my best yet, but I thought last year's Silence was going to be the record that got me out there. It was a huge improvement and growth over my debut, Truths, which was well received among the Bandcamp community and other DIY circles. Silence was very much slept on in my opinion and features some of my best work. I've given myself room to grow and have made, and will continue, to make a better record each time around. I am constantly challenging myself and working on new music to develop new production methods and songwriting abilities that'll keep pushing Foliage forward for years to come. I'm really glad III is receiving the success it is, I truly think this is my best record yet and these are probably my favorite songs of all time. I love the record so much, even I listen to it often. I'm very proud of this one and i'm glad it's receiving the success that it is. I hope this success sticks and it's not just some trend. I really have some beautiful work to share with everyone.
What was the biggest challenge with creating III? It took a while for me to come up with the ideas for these songs, lyrical content especially. You gotta just let life happen, the music will come to you. That's exactly what I did. I worked on these songs little by little and watched them come to life. With the end of 2017, I gave these songs meaning, I had to tell a story. I wrote all of the lyrics and finalized the project. I was nervous to release a new record so soon, my last record Silence hasn't even been out a full year. I felt really discouraged on how it was received. It was received well, but not nearly as much as I'd hoped. I couldn't give up, especially when you're writing so many brilliant songs. Just improving myself more and more each day, not only as a musician, but as a person. I've grown to be more humble. III is my transformation into adulthood, honoring real life values, friendship, and family.
Do you remember the first time you released your music? What inspired you to do so? Of course I do! haha. I remember writing The Things I Do for Love and putting a cheap Logitech USB microphone up to my guitar to record because I didn't own an interface or anything. I then downloaded FL Studio and learned how to record guitar in the DAW. That song was born along with 2 other tracks, URL & Coma, an EP called Singles. An online friend introduced me Ableton and gave me a few first tips at production. These 3 songs were later remastered and re-recorded in Ableton, I gained my own production chops and recording knowledge and that became my debut record, Truths. The inspiration to do? My love for music and my will to create.
What is your dream collaboration?
Definitely something with Johnny Marr. He is such a hero of mine and the best guitar player of all time. High Sunn and I are talking about a split together.Vansire are good homies of mine I'd love to work with. I'd really love to work with Craft Spells since we're both producers, I feel like we'd make some awesome shit, regardless of it being jangle pop or indie music. We both love J Dilla, skateboarding, and marijuana, something is bound to happen.Would love to work with No Vacation as well, homies of mine. Those guys are headed for the big time for sure. What's coming up for Foliage for the rest of 2018?
I'm gonna get to work on the next record or whatever it's gonna be. I don't know if I wanna do an EP or an album, but i've never done a traditional "EP" before, so will most likely be another album. Going to be hard at work with a lot of ideas. I'd also like to tour this year and play to all of the new fans. I really hope III is a success and I can finally play around the world in all the places my early fans since the Truths-era can see me. Let's make things happen this year.
Finally, what is your favorite type of cake? CHEESECAKE ALL THE WAY