Features, Interviews — By Jason Estopinal on March 9, 2012 12:00 am
I was just at the time starting to be annoyed with The Avett Brothers that the stars aligned and I first heard Elliott Brood. I’m a sucker for minimalism, but rowdy; for harmonies, but raspy; and these 3 cats that make Elliott Brood did the trick. They got some slow jams that you kind of wish you wrote and then some other tunes that, if major labels found these dudes, would be a Bohemian Rhapsody type of feel. Anyways, Elliott BROOD just played LA a few nights ago to just a few lucky people, and Im kind of thinking it will be the last time they come through town that they arent playing to a packed room of cult followers – but before folks can follow and rock EB, they need to hear! So read this, then go check out their videos and join the fan club.
Awaiting The Flood – What, if any, thoughts are given in regards to you being Canadian when you play down here?
Elliott Brood – From a performance standpoint it makes little difference. People are just people. We get positive feedback all over the place, even to Canada specific songs like “Oh Alberta”.
The physical border complicates things a bit, but we’re determined not to let that stop us. It’s an eye opener when you realize that most of the US is actually within the same driving radius as most of our Canadian destinations. We always buy travel insurance, because if you get hurt in the US it can be expensive, as opposed to back home where your treatment is the price of your health card (free).
Awaiting The Flood – What differences are there between Canada and the States at shows and whatnot, but also how we interact with one another, or greet folks on the street, or drive, or the way we say shake a hand… anything that stands out
Elliott Brood – In many cases Americans tend to be friendlier. I was on a bus in Austin TX and an open conversation broke out. That is very rare, at least in Toronto. Though there are no Canadian buses with a sign proclaiming “no firearms”. If a Canadian and American bump into one another, the American is more likely to say “excuse me”. A Canadian typically says “I’m sorry”. For some reason we keep on apologizing for everything.
Awaiting The Flood – Do you guys think if Rick Ruben wanted to work with you that you might be into that?
Elliott Brood – Of course. We have huge respect for Mr. Rubin’s work.
Awaiting The Flood – I know the question might be a bit of a chore, but if you’re up to it, could you walk us through the steps/progression/style/influence/goals/releases of the band?
Elliott Brood – Elliott BROOD was one, then two, now three people. The band as an entity has always received a portion of show proceeds and sales, so in that regard it has been simple to progress without the individuals feeling put out (ie we can tour). We’ve often employed a “commando” style of recording, using unique locations and rooms as temporary studios. Style and influence ranges from contemporary artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan to historical fiction writers like Cormac McCarthy, and certain documentary films. Sometimes the particular timbre of an instrument is an influence in itself. We now use banjos, ukuleles, acoustic and electric guitars, pedal steel, bass pedals, drums and sampled sounds. We like to present an interesting lively show visually with a bit of a stage set whenever possible. People are encouraged to participate and sometimes we hand out stuff to play along with.
Awaiting The Flood – At what point during a live show do you feel like your really rocking people’s faces off?
Elliott Brood – Once they are lost in the music, singing and playing along. We definitely do music that people can sing along to.
Awaiting The Flood – What must exist in order to have a bitchin’ show?
Elliott Brood – Proximity is important. We like to set up near one another, and the closer the audience can be the better. A little alcohol can loosen up a crowd (and the band). It also helps if we don’t eat too much before a show. Just light snacks. You gotta be hungry!!
Awaiting The Flood – Do any famous people think EB is the bee’s knees?
Elliott Brood – There is a TSN hockey commentator named Dave Hodge who has proclaimed to be a big fan. We love all famous people who love us.
Awaiting The Flood – What was the last thing that happened to you as a band that was a real blessing?
Elliott Brood – We got nominated recently for a Sirius Satellite Indie Award (best folk/roots act), currently still underway at www.indies.ca
. But the real blessing is that Casey made a mock political slander video that “exposes” all the other nominees as either untrustworthy or somehow unworthy of the nomination (pass it on): http://youtu.be/gUOV1Lw26l8
Awaiting The Flood – Is the goal content that makes us think, or is it a catchy melody, a platform, an important release for yourselves, or is a “what the hell, it’s fun and it’s better than working a 9 to 5 job!”?
Elliott Brood – We get the most satisfaction when audiences are noticeably affected by the live show. Lyrics matter a lot too, and we find with both lyrics and music there is great currency in what you leave out of it. We have been fortunate that our record labels have always been virtually hands off with the creative aspect. It let’s us make records the way we want to.