S01E03: Is “The Format” the most introspective Indie Band ever?

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The Format is one of the most introspective bands I listen to and I love it. Plus they are indie, and I always wanted to be an indie. In this episode we look at how I discovered the band and a deep dive in the lyrics.

Show Notes

“Show Notes” are my raw general thoughts about said artist and usually how I roughly structure the episode. An episode may or may not include all of the following details.

Episode 8: The Format


I always dreamed about being an indie kid. Wearing flannel, a beanie and walking around with chuck Taylers in some hip downtown. I never could really fit myself in that crowd because I was enough of a poet, or didn’t strum a guitar but that probably because that pure image I had of an indie kid just wasn’t something I was naturally.

So the closest I got was finding The format in my early years. The format was a two piece team of Nate Ruess (better known now from fun.) and Sam Means from Arizona.

They’re an upbeat, indie sounding folk hinting band that were active between 2002 and 2008 and the perfect time to penetrate the young ears of myself.

I don’t remember exactly the age when I found The Format, but I do remember it was around the same time I found Limewire and having to visit my mother on the weekends. So 14-15 years old. The words, voice and indie feel this band gives me always makes me feel introspective but also hopeful.

Literally every song off “Interventions and Lullabies” has a meaning for me whether future, past or present which just makes listening to this band such a joy. Even from the first time I listened to them, I had the nostalgic vibrations shiver through my skin.

So let’s talk about the sound and specifically in their first album. In a previous episode we talked about the Foo Fighters, and I get a lot of vibes off The Formats first album if influence.

I couldn’t find an interview that specifically talked about the Foo Fighters but I like the thought. For example, In “Wait, Wait, Wait” the lyrics “When melody has nothing to hold, I’ll be the last sound that you hear as your eyes close” totally remind me of parts of Gimme Stitches foom foo fighters.

Give it Up, reminds me of times when I lived in North Carolina and would wake up early and go to Whole Foods.

The beginning of the song reminds me of going through the buffet, eating outside and the temperature just warming up and the smell morning dew awakening the rest of the world.

I guess it had to be winter in this moment as I don’t remember getting breakfast that often. Who knows. Part of this song I love is how it’s the internal conflict of chasing those dreams and the retrospective of his old friends and the possibilities we all could have faced if we we could just get over those fears.

Still something that we all struggle with daily.There’s actually a major move to korea I’ve been really wanting to do but I don’t know why I hold myself back.

My earliest memory of talking about The Format is sitting in my mate, “G” basement watching some friends play a board game and I meeting a new to me kid, “M”.

We just started listing off bands we both might have known from each other, Phoenix, The shins, Two Door Cinema Club to name a few. I don’t remember where the conversation went but I remember in that moment, this was the first person I met to know these bands I liked. We didn’t really hit off at as close friends but I enjoyed that moment enough to remember it probably 7 years later.

Actually listening to this album this morning, it reminds me of myself and the possibilities I always wanted for my brother and I.

I always thought we would run away from NC together and travel the world rock climbing, skating, and just being free.

Though fortunately and probably a better outcome for him, he had a daughter in 2018 and that leaves me alone to figure out what my next steps are.
Just like Joe, Adam, Mark and everyone else in our lives, they might be separate beings in our story line but they do effect our own lives some how. And how cool is that.

Actually I saw a motivation picture on instagram of the millions we see every day but this one caught me. It went something like, “There’s two types of people in this world, those who go back to a safe history or the unknown. I can’t tell you which to pick but I know which one is more fun.” That’s what this song is to me.

Another part of why I Love The Format is way Nate throws his voice on certain words which gives it a very indie unique sounds.

For me, I couldn’t get into Fun.

Mainly because it was too mainstream and their pop hit just sounded like radio hits. I know a lot of people really dig fun, which is awesome just not for me.

As for Sam Means he’s still active with a solo album or two but nothing that has really touched me personally. Which is cool, because in a moment in time, for these two guys they were able to sit down and create something beautiful.

Their song, “I’m ready, I Am” says it best on why I love music, “I’m trying to find truth In words, in rhymes, in notes” and that’s a great way to end this episode.

PS, I started going through all these memorize after this episode and I some how turned out to be an indie kid. I just never noticed it. Cool.

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