By Laura Latzko, April 2017 Web Exclusive.
Gaining notoriety as Phoenix’s “Desert Noir” pioneers, the members of Treasurefruite elegantly weave psychedelic rock, western roots and soulful jazz pop into moonlit dreamscapes of the Great Southwest.
The band – which includes Anamieke Quinn (lead vocals, guitar, Wurlitzer), Matt Ventre (guitar), Brenden McBride (bass, backing vocals) and Ehren Stonner (drums) – was recently named one of the “Top Ten Female-Fronted Bands in Phoenix” by the Phoenix New Times. And Quinn was the 2016 recipient of the annual Songbird Award by culture blog Yab Yum Music and Arts.
Treasurefruit will hit the Phoenix Pride Festival’s Bistro Stage from 3 to 3:45 p.m. April 1. (For Echo‘s coverage of the 2017 Phoenix Pride festival, click here.)
Echo Magazine caught up with Quinn ahead of the band’s performance and here’s what she had to say.
Echo: Would you say Treasurefruit is pretty well known locally
Quinn: Local, regional. We play regionally as well, and we have opened for some national acts. We are certainly aiming to do more of that and aiming to do some tours in the coming months, hopefully in the summertime. We’ve been a huge proponent of the local music scene for a long time, as far as working with other people and promoting our friends’ bands.
Echo: I heard that Treasurefruit has changed recently. Can you tell me more about that?
Quinn: We’ve gone through a few transformations, but we’ve been feathering our nest, as it were, sort of building up to a little bit bigger ensemble. We’ve got some horn players and some doo-wop singers doing backup vocals … We started out as a quartet. We were a trio for a few years, and now we’re sometimes seven or eight pieces.
Echo: Are many of the original members still involved?
Quinn: There are two of us who’ve been in the band since the very beginning, and then some other members who’ve been with us for a few years are still involved. And then we’ve got a few new people. They’re all folks from other really cool bands from around the Valley … So, we have a huge variety of influences.
Echo: Do you feel like all the different influences have changed your sound over time?
Quinn: The album that we recorded [in 2015], called Poisonous Dwellers of the Deser, is definitely more of a rock album … It’s got a desert psychedelic rock feel to it, but our compositions have really come from a jazzy place. So, now that we’ve gotten a different lineup of folks playing with us, it’s really blossomed into its roots…It adds what we call a “desert noir” sound. If you picture a Humphrey Bogart film, we’re leaning more toward that… When we play, we get couples out doing ballroom dancing on the dance floor.
I’m the songwriter. It’s sort of my project. It reflects a lot of my personality. I grew up on MGM musicals. The Hollywood glamour classic age, that was the bread and butter of my style growing up. As a teenager, I got exposed to 1960s psychedelic rock, like Cream and [Jimi] Hendrix. My musical style is really a combination of those things. There’s definitely some Beatles in there. There’s a lot of big band, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, and that Golden Age of Hollywood.
Echo: Recently, has the group been doing a lot of music from your album, or have you been performing other stuff?
Quinn: The music on our album is very much still in rotation and has just taken on a new flavor. Also, we’ve got a whole album or two of other material that we haven’t even recorded yet that’s become integrated into our sound.
Echo: What can you tell me about your new material?
Quinn: It’s from my new collection that I’m calling my “Motorcycle Disco Collection.” It’s more sassy, rock n roll stuff but with the saxophone.
Echo: Have you been giving audiences a preview of some of your new music?
Quinn: Definitely. We’ve been weaving them in, playing some of the classics, playing some of the new stuff. Our album has been out for over a year, so we’re ready to be doing some new stuff. But it’s been out long enough that we’ve got a lot of people that know all of the words, and they want to hear the songs and sing along.
Phoenix Pride’s Bistro Stage
3-3:45 p.m. April 1