Interview: Jon O’Neill (Forest Falls)

Forest Falls are a six piece Melbourne band who have just released a new single and have an EP set for release in May, we learnt a little more about them in this interview.

Hi Jon and welcome to Beauty and Lace.

Please tell us a little about how you met and formed the band?

Frontman Jon travelled to Melbourne in 2009 (from Perth); he packed his life into a Tarago and headed across to the arts capital of Australia (controversial, we know!) to meet some other like-minded musos. Jamie was studying at Melbourne Uni while Jon was dishing out coffee. Jeremy (our phenomenal bass player) came to us through Jamie, Gabe and Shaun joined the team pretty soon after, and Lucy (violin, vocals, keys) joined most recently in 2014.

Where did the name come from?

We usually go away for pre-production and writing vacations in a secluded cabin down in the Otways in a placed called Forrest. We stayed in a cabin down there and when we needed to feel inspired, we would take walks down to the nearby waterfall. The name Forest Falls just stuck – two simple words that together took on a whole new meaning for our band.

Can you tell us a little about your sound?

Five-part harmonies are pretty much the centre of our being. We find it a bit hard to genre-ify our sound, but we essentially mix elements of alt-folk, pop, and shoegaze. It’s anthemic, engaging, powerful music to play, and we try to give our audiences the same experience. There’s nothing more thrilling than singing rich, lush soaring harmonies onstage with your best friends to a full room.

The new single is Hounds, can you tell us about it?

We love our new single! Recorded and produced as part of the new EP alongside the amazing Wayne Connolly (Paul Dempsey, Josh Pyke and Cloud Control) at Alberts Studio in Sydney, it’s a laid-back, and hook-laden track with incredible bass lines. There’s five-part, doo-wop-esque harmonies and a bit of a soul-peppered vibe happening. It’s so much fun to play. The lyrics to Hounds were written in a huff. A hound can be unpredictable; it can be your best friend or bare its teeth, and I suppose Jon tells us he was bearing his teeth at the time of its writing.

Hounds is the first single off the EP of the same name, what can you tell us about it?

Also produced by Wayne Connolly, the Hounds EP touches on the themes of love, relationships, compromise, confusion and lust. All these things are worth capturing and singing about and all different kinds of emotion can be harnessed and used as motivation or inspiration in our songwriting – there’s always a song to be made! To be honest, this release is one we’re incredibly proud of – it’s like a welcome visit from a long lost friend, nostalgic, heartfelt and authentic. We’ve been unafraid to bite the bullet with this one. We’ve been writing new stuff and falling in love with other instruments and sounds and have realised there’s nothing standing in our way.

 Forest Falls apartments low res

How did you come to work with Wayne Connolly?

We really liked the sounds that were coming out of Wayne’s Studio at Alberts; think Boy and Bear, Husky, The Paper Kites. Originally we thought perhaps Wayne would be out of our league, but we took the plunge and thought, why not just ask? He listened to our demos and signed us up straightaway. It was such a confidence booster knowing he wanted to work with us and our music. We were stoked.

You’re a Melbourne band, why did you choose to record in Sydney?

We were happy to travel wherever if it meant working with the right producer.  But being away from home also gave us a chance to be totally immersed in the music without having external factors involved.

Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?

It really depends. Sometimes the lyrics come first, other times the music comes first. Whatever the case, our songs are the result of allowing ourselves to delve deep into whatever feeling that we are feeling and be okay with it. It’s a myth that creative juices flow all the time. Sometimes you just have to sit down and finish that song like it’s the last thing you’ll ever do. But the sense of release when you do? That’s when the creativity starts to flow again.

You are heading out on tour to celebrate the release, what can audiences expect?

Good vibes and beautiful tunes to take home in your heads with you, and hopefully, your car stereos! We always put a huge emphasis on putting on a show. An experience. We love performing together, and aim for our connection with our audience to be big, bold and powerful, even with the more softly-spoken, intricate songs. Come and see for yourself – we’d love to have you.

This run of shows is in Victoria and Sydney, are there plans to tour more widely?

Now that’s a secret, but if you keep up to date with our blog on our website ( or on Facebook, you might see a few secret shows pop up.

You can follow Forest Falls on their website and Facebook.

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