[INTERVIEW] Fort Lean

It’s rare to find a band that’s as funny as they are talented, and Fort Lean is really, really talented. The Brooklyn based band is made up of Jake Aron, Zach Fried, Keenan Mitchell, Will Runge, and Sam Ubl, who started putting out music about four years ago, and have followed their path to the upcoming release of their debut album. With a slew of shows happening for Fort Lean, the boys spent some time after their set at Cameo Gallery last week to talk to Joonbug about their journey, their album, and their own sense of humor (ie.@FORTLEAN).

The time lapsed between their self-titled and self-released EP in 2011, and its sophomore Change Your Name in 2012, proved to be a long several years for Fort Lean.  “We felt like we were in purgatory for a couple of years, but now it’s over, and the process of making the record was really fun.”When the opportunity came to make a full-length album, they went for it; and for whatever reasons that made it slow-coming, it was well worth the wait. Anthemic, dance-inducing, and aggressively good, Fort Lean’s sound is seemingly effortless in its greatness, yet flawless in its execution.

Opening for Caveman as a part of Northside Festival, Fort Lean made us forget that we were melting to oblivion (because of both the weather, and our inevitable demise as human beings). Despite the beginning of an unbearable New York summer outside, the crowd couldn’t help but groove to the natural fluidity of their performance. Their set included both songs off of their previously released EP’s, such as “High Definition”, “Perfect”, “Beach Holiday”, and “Envious”, as well as recently released singles like, “Cut To The Chase”, “New Hobbies”, and “I Don’t Mind”. Their last song, and our personal favorite of the night, “Don’t Make It A Habit”, only heightened our anticipation for the forthcoming album.

There is also something to be said about the band’s physical interaction on stage. Although the small stage forced a closeness between the members, there was no lack of physical charisma and musical vigor. Lead vocalist Keenan channeled some inner Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury, and entertained the crowd without fail, as a frontman should. On record Fort Lean is addicting, but live, they are infectious.

“Quiet Day”, Fort Lean’s debut album is set to be released on October 2nd (but you can, scratch that, should, pre-order it now on iTunes). While you wait on the compact and mobile version of the guys, you can, scratch that, should, go see them live in support of Dave Monks and Chappo in a city probably near you.