Sam, what kind of stuff have you discovered on your own
Angela: Well, he listens to everything, so… [Laughs]
Sam: I play in a little thing with some kids from school, and they’ve opened me up into a whole new realm of music that I never really checked out. It’s kinda like the indie-grunge thing. I started to listen to Pearl Jam some more, [to Todd] and I know you’ve definitely listened to that.
Todd: Yup. But I don’t think I introduced you to Pearl Jam, I think you discovered that one on your own.
Sam: I did. Rage Against the Machine, that one for sure, that one’s a big one. Yeah, but mostly that era is what my friends have kinda opened up to me.
During this long quarantine, have you all been using music as a calming mechanism or has it been something that’s kept you moving in a more… not “professional” per se, but in a more intentional sense?
Todd: I think it’s a little bit of both. I think we’ve been sort of using it as a coping [mechanism]–in a way to just stay connected as a family. You know, we’ll sort of just spontaneously jam. Like Ange might sit down at the piano, and Sam will pick up a guitar, I’ll pick up a guitar or a bass or something–we have lots of instruments in the house, so we’ll just start jamming and we’ll start playing and see what happens. It’s really just for fun, and then occasionally we’ll sit down with something more intentional, maybe we’re trying to figure out a song together. I think it’s been a bit of both. I think it has been just a way to get us through this pandemic, but at times we could be intentional as well about what we’re trying to do musically.
Sam, have you been doing any of your own writing aside from the stuff you’ve done with your parents?
Sam: So in this project, my dad is the main songwriter. He does most of the songwriting for us. I usually just play what he writes, play around with what he writes, and that’s pretty much it. Songwriting wise, I do write songs for the little thing I’m doing with my friends, and I’m always coming up with new parts, new songs and new lyrics all the time.
That’s awesome! Todd and Angela, you have come a long way from playing in bands together to now creating your own family group. How has your musical relationship progressed over your career?
Todd: Yeah so, Ang and I met back in 2001 working on an album [with Lo Faber] and then we toured on that album for a couple of years. From there, we started this other project called Marlow and we made some albums, we kept touring–
Angela: I was actually a keyboardist and singer in the other project and when Todd wanted to go out on the road as a duo he said, “Why don’t you learn bass?” And he kinda threw the bass at me and in two months I learned enough that we could go out and play some gigs together, and we did that for a year or so. And then we got married and had kids and that pretty much… [both laugh] We just–we had our hands full. We have two kids and they’re two years apart, so we sort of put playing on the backburner. We’d play for them, we’d sing lullabies and we’d still jam around the house but it wasn’t until–how many years ago was it?
Todd: I think six. Six years ago we started up Bump, which was the next project and we were able to dedicate much more time for that.
Angela: Kids were older, they could be with a babysitter.
Todd: Yeah we could actually do some gigs. We could so some weekend warrior kind of stuff and just play some shows. Then, when we moved out to California from the east coast, I think we went a little bit deeper into the idea of having the Ford Family Band. But as Sam was getting just really great as a guitar player and musician–and also as a vocalist–it was just nice to do these three part harmonies and to just start playing together so that we would start gigging around the Bay Area where we are now.
Angela: And Sam’s got a good ear for harmony, that’s him singing the backing vocals on the song “Letter.”
Speaking of those songs, what was each of your favorite moment during the recording session?
Angela: For me it was being in the control room and hearing Sam go out there and just improvise and play solos. They were really good! As a Mom, that feels really good. To see your kid enjoy something so much and do it well.
Sam: I really enjoyed just being there. Everyone there was great, they were incredible musicians and people. Being in the control room was just amazing– it was just so much cool vintage equipment, and it was just so cool to play in a place that so many legends have played in.
Todd: I mean one, as a parent, to share an experience like that with your child is something I don’t think I expected to really feel. When [Sam] was first born, I never could have imagined that moment. So that was really special. Also, just reconnecting with Glenn, who’s just such a great friend and producer and has great ears. And to share that with Ange and Sam hadn’t had the opportunity yet to work with Glenn and to see what it’s like to really work with someone of that caliber of a producer–someone with ears like that who just knows how to get the best out of a song.