Walk down the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica on any given day and you will find at least a half dozen different bands and assorted solo acts out vying for your ear. Most are politely sidestepped. Few ever warrant a second glance. On this particular quiet Friday afternoon however, Infantree easily grabbed the attention of a least a dozen onlookers before finishing their first song. Quite a testament to their collective talent really when stop you think of how often you actually pause for more than a few moments to listen to a band performing on the street.

You can find Infantree out on the Promenade most days playing for whoever will listen. For a young band that played in front of thousands last summer on a bill with such acts as The Dave Matthew’s Band, Black Eyed Peas and Pearl Jam at San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, Infantree is much more than just another street act playing for tips. This is a talented, hard working band doing whatever it takes to rack up the all important performance mile... honing their live craft in front of shoppers and bums alike while attracting new fans. Fans like Neil Young, whose label the band was recently signed to. A fitting match for a group who’s southern folk-rock sound is at times reminiscent of both Neil Young and CSNY.

Here’s what the band had to say about their music, their brush with the law and the deadly awesomeness of ninjas.

GORILLACOUSTIC: What does the world need to know about Infantree?

INFANTREE: The world needs to know that Infantree is the way we live our lives. Our arrangement of equal input helps us get the most out of being a band. In no way do we think our dynamic is the “only/right” way to get things done, but it has served us best as musicians and friends up until now.

GA: What are some of your musical influences?

INF: Everything we listen to influences us on some level or another but we all have a band/musician/album that stuck out as particularly inspirational. Examples being: Tom Waits’ “Rain Dogs”. Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. Neil Young’s “Harvest”. Led Zepplin “Early Days/Latter Days”.

GA: What is it like to be a part of the Neil Young family?

INF: Definitely surreal... It’s still very intense for us to see that question written down. We feel like we have been welcomed with open arms by a very gracious and warm family.

GA: There's a lot of weird people hanging around the promenade. What's the craziest thing you've seen playing there so far?

INF: Everyday is crazier than the next when it comes to playing 3rd st. Between the dancing Hare Krishna folk and the man with the trained spider monkey, there can be a lot of drama over where and when to play. It’s hard to say any one person was crazier than another considering we are out there as well. You can definitely find some great examples on Tree-TV though.

GA: I saw the video of you guys getting harassed by the cops while playing there for being too loud even though you kept turning the volume down. What ever became of that? Were you able to fight it?

INF: We had been ticketed $200 between the four of us, so that was too much of a blow to our band fund. We fought a long and tiresome uphill battle against the SMPD. It was tough because you are forced to pay the amount due on the ticket before you can fight it. We felt like we had been knocked down a peg or two, but after appearing before a judge, we were reimbursed the total sum of $800.

GA: There definitely is a certain guilty until proven innocent mentality in the California legal system. Glad to hear you won in the end. If you could do another gorillacoustic performance anywhere else in the world, where would you do it?

INF: The base of Mt Fuji, Japan.

GA: Ninjas vs. Pirates vs. Cowboys... who wins?

INF: First off, we are assuming that the ninjas, pirates and cowboys in question are all of the highest possible rank in their fields. Being that ninjas are trained to be unseen, I’d imagine the cowboys and pirates would have a tough time shooting them with their guns and cannons. Ninjas in fact are so confident in their ability/craft that they don’t even carry guns. Ninjas can hide behind anything that casts a shadow. So, by default, a ninja in the presence of his own shadow will be come invisible. And you can’t shoot what you can’t see. So... ninja wins.

I’d have to agree.

Unfortunately, Infantree’s new EP isn’t available to buy online quite yet, but you can hear it up on their myspace page now. And, it you ask them nicely or happen by when they are performing sometime on 3rd Street, you may be able to get a copy from them.

Until then, you can always download Infantree’s previous album “Tree-P” now at Amazon and iTunes.




***If you’re not already, become a fan of Infantree or Gorillacoustic on Facebook, MySpace or Twitter to get the special code to unlock the bonus performance.***