-Interview- Amos Fortune (3/5/16)

Amos Fortune talks about their "American Folklore" album, the rock music scene, upcoming plans and much more.


From: Jaffrey, NH
Sounds like: Rock/Blues/Folk

1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Amos Fortune” and is there any meaning behind it?

We all started musically in different ways. Our sound has been developed individually over a long period of time, and we all happened to come together at a time when it just seemed to click as a group. Its many years of countless different influences from our past that make our music, but it ends up its own unique entity.
The name Amos Fortune came to be from the experience most of us have had in grinding out the music scene for whats been well over 12 years now, and collectively almost a dozen bands. Amos Fortune, the man, was the first free slave in NH, and he bought his own freedom by quietly biding his time, putting his head down and patiently working his ass off toward it. Our thought was if a black slave can work his way toward buying his own freedom back in the 1700s in NH, then we can shut up and keep working harder. Amos Fortune was the ultimate grinder, and as much as people debate about America this or that, it seems one thing people all agree on is that Americans pride themselves on hard work. No one worked harder than Amos Fortune, and he succeeded at everything he set his mind to. Who better to name yourself after?

2. What do you want listeners to take away from your "American Folklore" album?

Listen to the lyrics, the stories involved and the way they fit with the music. Most of the lyrics were written on a train ride across the country, and the albums imagery is based on the vastly different landscapes of America, both physically and ideologically. It was our debut album and although most of us had played together for a while in the past, it was a departure from the music we had made up to that point, and it all happened really by a matter of chance. We think the lyrics capture that feeling well.

3. What can people expect from your live show?

Something different every time, but always energetic and pushing the limits of our capabilities. We enjoy improvising in our shows and playing off each other's energy.

4. What's your favorite track to play live?

"Hoedown" is a song that even if you are playing a really shitty show, that tune can get everybody back on the same page, band and fan alike. No thinking, just jamming the fuck out.

5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

My Morning Jacket, The Unknown Woodsmen, and The White Buffalo.

6. Any crazy show stories?

Yeah, one time we actually got paid! And also Tom fell down a looonng set of stairs once.

7. What’s your take on the current state of rock?

Tepid at best. But Rock n' Roll will never die. Sometimes it just takes naps.

8. What’s the current music scene like there in New Hampshire both locally and state wide?

No doubt there are great young and upcoming bands we haven't heard of yet, and there are definitely a lot of talented trained musicians playing genius stuff. But we've found that NH and New England really as a whole tend to be slightly too categorized, and plays it way too safe. It would be nice for the music scene to take some bigger chances, and listen more.

9. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

Music comes from a very personal place, so it's pretty much identity theft. That said we will always make our music available to anyone who wants to hear it, so they don't have to steal it. It is also very important we don't as a society devalue the musician and the artist.

10. What’s next for Amos Fortune?

Well we just released a live EP "Bees and Seas," we recorded entirely on our own in our practice jam spot. We look forward to gigging as much as possible to promote both "American Folklore," and "Bees and Seas," and are really hoping to make it out of the New England area with our shows and do some tours this summer, whether backed or not. Ideally, we think we are best suited for festivals with our energetic loud live show, rather than your typical club or bar. But we will play almost anywhere any time, and the music doesn't seem to be slowing down any time soon.

11. Any shoutouts?

Yeah, our band artist Matt Benjamin, and video directors Nick Norman and Cassius Ferguson.