Monday, September 13, 2010

Strange Fruit Productions

I am blessed to be surrounded by some seriously talented friends. One such friend is Tony Tancredi, drummer for OC band The Union Line (who are heading out on tour with the Local Natives in a matter of days) and one half of the dynamic duo that makeup Strange Fruit Productions. Tony's partner in crime at Strange Fruit Productions is all-around music enthusiast Kyle Koller. It's only natural that from talented people spring ingenious ideas, and ingenious is just what Strange Fruit Productions is. 

What is Strange Fruit Music you ask? A new website whose objective is to make sweet, sweet music that the world can get it's grubby hands on for free. I told you it was ingenious. Strange Fruit is based out of Tony's garage (a serious understatement as the garage is a refurnished swingin' bachelor pad with red velvet sofas and a serious recording set up that would make all you music nerds out there completely geek out), and is basically just a bunch of musicians hanging out and jamming together. Bands and artists will come together and record live versions of songs or covers that are then posted on the site for people to download for free. The site has already featured popular local acts such as J. Thoven (formerly of Janu and The Whalesharks), Jameson, and Dahga Bloom - and they don't plan on stopping there. Strange Fruit is going to take the nation by storm. Tony and Kyle intend to host traveling acts as well. I interviewed the tenacious team behind Strange Fruit about their new and exciting endeavor and here's what they had to say:

Can you give us the trailer for what Strange Fruit is?
Strange Fruit Music is a website for people to discover new talented bands and artists. A place where you can watch live performances, download songs, read the blog and its all free.

How did it come about?
We live in a house filled with musicians, it's safe to say we're surrounded by it 24/7. We wanted to do something cool and give people like us a place to find new music.

What exactly does the name “Strange Fruit” mean?
It's a Billie Holiday song. We were trying to come up with a name for our new baby when the song came on and someone said, "You should call it Strange Fruit Music," and it just stuck. The song has a pretty dark meaning; we just really liked the name.

If Strange Fruit were in fact a fruit, which one would it be and why?
Probably an orange, its good for you and easy to get!

Tony, you’re the drummer for The Union Line and yet you’re helping promote all these other bands and helping to get them heard. Isn’t it rare for musicians to be so friendly with each other? Aren’t you all rivals for the next available record deal?
I just want to share good music with other people who love good music. I think bands who "get along" with other bands do well.

You’ve got an insane amount of gear in your garage studio that serves as Strange Fruit HQ. Do you have a gold plated Guitar Center Credit Card? 
Actually, all that gear you see in the videos is just stuff we've accumulated over the years. Except our piano, we got that off Craig's List for free! Not to mention that Kyle works at Jim's Music so anything else we need is pretty easy to get.

Where would you like to see Strange Fruit go? Got a 5 year plan?
We're trying to build up a local following right now but we definitely want to continue to grow with the times. I could see us eventually getting involved in other forms of media, outside of the internet, to promote good music.

What’s been your favorite Strange Fruit session so far?
Honestly, every session has been really fun and the music has all been great. We did a session with a band called Dahga Bloom from Fullerton; they filled the studio with plants and other random things from outside the house. It was cool to see them change the vibe of the room to fit their music. Check them out!

Do you want to keep this mainly a local thing, or would you like to see bands from other places and bigger national acts come through and jam with you guys?
We've already had a few out of state bands come through. We just posted our session with The Devil Whale (Salt Lake City) and we just recorded a band called Archeology (Portland). But yes, it would be great to get more national acts in the studio.

Who do you want to try to get into the studio next?
We'd like to get more touring bands in the studio. It's fun hanging out with people from other parts of the country.

Best new local band out there?
There are so many great local bands right now and we've had the opportunity to record many of them already. Lesands (San Diego) caught our ear immediately. They were one of the first bands we recorded and we were really impressed with how good they were for being such a new group.

Official drink of recording sessions?
The bands get to the house around 11 am so... there's usually a lot of coffee.

Your life’s theme song?
The intro to Darkwing Duck.

Top 3 favorite records of all time?
There's tons of music out there. We listen to a lot...

Paul McCartney or John Lennon?
Heads or tails.

Lakers or Clippers?
Lakers. But that's mostly 'cause we like watching the riots on the news after they win a championship.

Meaning of Life?

Why should people check out Strange Fruit Music?
Why wouldn't you want to watch free videos of great bands you'll grow to love? Oh and FREE DOWNLOADS! ;)

Strange Fruit's uber cool studio space:

[Photo copyright Blythe Hill]

[Photo copyright Blythe Hill]

[Photo copyright Blythe Hill]

[Photo copyright Blythe Hill]

[Tony manning the soundboards. Photo copyright Blythe Hill]

[Photo copyright Blythe Hill]

[Tony Tancredi (left) and Kyle Koller (right) with Pavla Dlab and Jameson in the studio. Photo copyright Chris Camargo.]

Head over to Strange Fruit and peruse the plethora of amazing free downloads- You won't regret it! You can email the guys over at Strange Fruit at with any questions or friendly comments. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with all the free music and upcoming sessions.

- Amy
On my iTunes: The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman"

1 comment:

  1. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii


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