This time on NAS 10 Questions we get to know Forrest Of FangHorn, AKA Treebeard and The Ents with Dale Mangold and his masterful way of grooving and funking music with a killer horn section and off the hook rhythms. An eclectic mix of funk rock jazz hip-hop and R&B music based in Pittsburgh.
The track "Medusa" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.
1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.
I was born and raised in the city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the Eastern part of the United States. I lived in the Pittsburgh area for most of my life with a brief pit stop in Frederick Maryland just north of Washington DC before moving back to Pittsburgh to raise my family. Currently I am very involved in the entertainment scene in Western Pennsylvania area, writing music, performing live shows in various capacities not only for my two original projects, The Argonauts and currently with Forrest Of FangHorn. I also work as a freelance saxophonist and sometimes guitarist for various regional acts. Most notably Pitt Floyd which is a Pittsburgh based Pink Floyd tribute band. The bulk of 2023 was spent writing, tracking and mixing my first solo effort album from Forrest Of FangHorn titled Ents Marching. 💯 DIY from start to finish. I'm honored to have over twenty guest musicians and vocalists appear on this album as well. Was an honor to collaborate with so many talented people.
2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?
Music has always been a part of my family. My father played saxophone and my mother violin. Like a lot of kids I took piano lessons for a few years, switching to clarinet then eventually to saxophone. Then picking up the bass guitar. Being the youngest of seven I was fortunate to be exposed to the music tastes of my older siblings. Well rounded too. From The Beach Boys, Herb Alpert to The Beatles, Stones, The Who and Bruce Springsteen, to Steely Dan to Broadway musicals. Let's just say I was that stereotypical kid playing air guitar in front of my mirror on a daily basis. As a kid I dreamt of being that rock n roll star. So that in itself gave me the motivation to try to incorporate music in my life, for the rest of my life.
𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?
We touched on a few already, but I was always a rock n roller. Van Halen, KISS, Lyryrd Skynyrd, The Doors. But it's when I discovered Bruce Springsteen and more importantly Clarence Clemons his saxophone player. That's when it really hit me and especially with the sax. I was like, who are these guys and their music? Damn! It really ignited the energy inside of me. I began writing saxophone solos of my own and showing them to a few friends of mine. Then I discovered bands like Steely Dan, The Police, Talking Heads, B52's and those artists ramped my creativity up even more. I wanted not only to be like them, but write music in a similar manner as well. They helped me realize that you can write a very complex song as well as a simplistic song. Aso g as you had a catchy hook and halfway decent lyrics. More recently I'm very influenced musically by Here Come The Mummies.
4. What are your goals in the music industry?
I just want to write good music that the world can enjoy. If it brings me notoriety, fine. But it's more of not wasting my talent. Music is therapeutic as well, so if I can write something and it makes people feel good then I'm happy.
5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.
Hmmm. I suppose I'm like most writers in some ways. You know, being in the right frame of mind or "in the zone". I'm better in my opinion writing music than writing lyrics. I'm always hearing or humming melodies, riffs, hooks. I'm the past Id write the music primarily in guitar then go from there. With Forrest Of FangHorn, I hear horn parts first then build around those parts. Some songs such as Things I See Today, Medusa and The River Styx, and I wrote on piano. Writing on piano is easier for me to visualize the chords, the notes and the structure verses on the guitar. If I hear a beat I'll record it or sing it into my phone's voice recorder. Then eventually go into the studio and record a rough drum take using my midi controller. Typically that's how it works for me , at least musically. When I actually do have some lyrics or at least an idea or topic to write about I'll jot them down. Then try to match them up with the music.
6. What is your all-time favorite song?
Wow, tough one to answer. I did mention I like musicals. I love the Sound of Music. I can watch it a thousand times and it's always fresh. Edelweiss is definitely in my top 10. But then Born to Run, Love Gunn and The Lumber Song also make that same list. I love a song that obviously has a good beat. But I love clever lyrics as well. Not deep lyrics, just ones that make you think a bit. That's why I love Steely Dan. Both Donald Fagen and Walter Becker are/were some of the best song writers ever. My favorite saxophone song to play ever is Jungleland by Bruce Springsteen. The way Clarence Clemons played his solo is so chilling and beautiful sounding. That's what I try to incorporate in my saxophone solos. An extension of my body.
7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?
Play what you want to play because YOU want to play it not because someone else forces you to do so. Don't think to much, just let it happen. I've always liked that advice.
8. Proudest accomplishment?
Being a dad. I'm a single parent who raised both my son and daughter myself. I'm so proud of not only myself and how I was able to manage through the ups and downs of raising a family. But also that both my daughter, Sara and my son, Gabe have been able to take what I've taught them and incorporate it into their own lives. Both are musically talented as well. With my son, Gabe following in my footsteps and actually has surpassed me and is now touring the world playing with his band, Enterprise Earth. My daughter Sara is a photographer and my best friend. So that is what I'm most proud of in my life, my family turned out pretty ok.
9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?
Ah man, do I really have to??? Lol, I don't embarrass myself too often, but if you ask my daughter she'll have a different answer for ya. Musically, forgetting the words to Celebration by Kool and the Gang at a gig when I played in a dance band. I just kept singing yeah baby baby baby until I could remember the lyrics.
𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.
I'll start out with low and then finish on the high. Low would be thinking to myself, I. Done, I'm never going to amount to anything musically. Why even torture myself. This was during my divorce and without being a Debbie Downer, I was able to come out of that low and with my son and daughter and my family they gave me the strength to get myself back to where I needed to be in my mind. Highs are many and much much enjoyable. Playing in a band for a handful of years with my son on guitar was very cool. Felt like Eddie Van Halen playing with Wolfgang. We wrote a few tunes together as well. Currently a real high is my Forrest Of FangHorn project. Totally 💯 DIY from start to finish. I'm very blessed to have over twenty guest musicians and vocalists appear ethe album. Didn't think I would be able to accomplish this but I was able to do so.
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