Q&A with Jon O’Neill – Forest Falls

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By Aleah Espanta


Melbourne’s six-piece band Forest Falls combine folk, indie and pop in alluring, warm-blooded songs.


Their sound is laden with inviting chants, dynamic arrangements and soaring lead vocals.


The single, Heavy Hearted Girl, is lifted from the recently released EP, Julia and was penned by lead vocalist Jon O’Neill.


The band took their harmonious folk pop on the road for Australian music month. But this time they decided to strip back their sound in favour of something raw and visceral.


Having just come out of the studio with Wayne Connolly, Forest Falls promise a follow up EP.


After the proverbial (well-known) dollar shower that was the Forest Falls Pozible campaign, the band is truly grateful to their supporters.


The group raised $10,000 towards the release of their new EP and are in the final stages of completing it.


Jon joined St Kilda News’ Arts & Lifestyle editor, Aleah Espanta, for a quick interview before Forest Falls went on tour in November 2014:


Tell us about your latest single Heavy Hearted Girl

Jon: “Heavy Hearted Girl is a song about loss, heartbreak, and vagueness. It’s a song that everyone can relate to. And this particular song got picked up by Triple J. It’s an unexpected single, I guess. So out of all the songs, we didn’t expect that one to be the song that they chose to play”.


What can people expect from this show?

Jon: “So usually we are a six-piece band, but we are stripping everything right back. We are doing an acoustic show, something pretty different, so all of a sudden all the songs are going sound very different. Five part harmonies, yeah, it’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait to do the songs in a different light and it really makes you see things from a different perspective, you’ve written the songs this way, and you kind of have to adapt them to another way”.


What has been the most defining moment for Forest Falls so far?

Jon: “Since the start of this year, since we released coming home, I think that was kind of a pivotal point for the band. Were we kind of went; ‘oh wow, we can go from a hobby to actually taking it seriously and making it a business’”.


How does it feel to finally get some recognition?

Jon: “It’s totally amazing and it’s great as well because you see the fruits of your labour. You know, sometimes when you’re working for a boss or something, you’re just working for the money, where this is something I love. And when you get people coming up to you and saying ‘that’s amazing,’ that’s worth more than money”.


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