The Giving Tree Band, a seven-member rock and roll group with a folksy style, is based in Illinois but can more be often found traveling around the country. Tuesday night they perform at Agave in Avon.
Brothers Todd and “E” Fink founded the seven-member band in 2004, which has gone on to produce four albums. The band’s latest album, “Vacilador,” was released in 2012.
One of the things that immediately distinguishes The Giving Tree Band from its contemporaries is its incorporation of a large variety of instruments. In addition to the typical electric and acoustic guitars, bass and percussion, the band uses banjos, violins, piano, mandolin and pedal steel guitar, among other instruments.
“We’ve got a lot of different instruments going on, a lot of different sounds,” said E Fink. “It’s primarily to capture that classic Americana rock and roll style. Whatever we’re trying to accomplish with the song, whatever (it) calls for, the band is pretty versed at being able to play a lot of different instruments.”
Having so many different instruments on hand allows the band a lot more versatility when it comes to sound, he added. If a particular instrument isn’t working for a song, they have plenty of other options to turn to.
“If somebody’s playing something, it’s like, ‘oh, you want to try that on this thing?’ That happens a lot and someone will try that part on a different instrument and it’s like, ‘oh wow, that’s the sound we need,’” E said. “I think everybody knows what that is now at this point, too, for the most part, what tools to use, like a photographer with a lens, to capture the right mood.”
It also adds a little extra work on stage.
“It makes the live show interesting, because we have to switch off a lot on the different instruments,” E said with a laugh.
While it may be tempting to add even more instruments, it seems like the band will stick with what they have, for now.
“When you write rock and roll songs, I think simple is even better. People tend to go overboard with their sounds and the parts, and really I think the best songs have the simple parts,” E said. “…We’ve got a big sound already and we’re happy with the sound right now, but you never know where things will go.”
‘100 percent obsessed’
Music has always been a part of the brothers’ lives, thanks to encouragement from their parents. They grew up playing guitar, bass and piano, which have led to the myriad instruments they’ve mastered now, including banjo for Todd and organ for E.
“We’ve been playing music since childhood,” said Todd. “It’s been a fun journey.”
Translating that passion into a career wasn’t easy, but the brothers were determined to see it through.
When asked how he managed it, E responded with a laugh.
“It’s very, very challenging, one of the hardest things. I think both myself and Todd have always gravitated toward challenges and I think that’s the way we’ve been able to make that our career,” he said, adding that the key is to keep going until you get results and describing himself and Todd as “half crazy, half stupid and 100 percent obsessed.”
That doesn’t mean it’s been all work and no play, however.
“It’s fun. We try to just have fun. It’s adventurous, too. If you have that adventurous spirit, you won’t let it go away because there’s always another adventure around the corner, there’s always something you haven’t seen,” he said. “It’s something that people will work their whole year, 51 weeks a year to take one week to do something we do every day, so we have to be grateful for that. It’s not an easy job, but it’s rewarding and something we love to do.”