Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Interview :: Elefantasy

Interview :: Elefantasy

Words: Dave Beech

It's been roughly 18 months since Elefantasy first uploaded four tracks to their Soundcloud page and their name began to circulate - not least because of their tender years, then aged just 15 - and going so far as to gain national radio airplay via John Kennedy at XFM.

Since then, they've grown, both figuratively and literally. Original members Kieran Panchal (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Alex Lydamore (lead guitar) being joined by Sam Thorpe (bass) and Hayden Miller (drums), and they have honed their sound from the rough and raw material of their debut EP, to the sharper and more polished edges of the forthcoming 'Waiting For Nothing', out this Friday, a record which is the sound of a band moving beyond the formative stages, and really beginning to come in to their own.

Following on from our recent review of the record (see here) we thought we'd grab the band for a few words on what's been going on over the last year.

Hey guys, last time you spoke to Little Indie Blogs you were just a two-piece. How does it feel to be a more fleshed out act now? Was it difficult adjusting?

We’ve all merged together well; there was no difficulty at all adjusting. Hayden and Sam just stepped in and brought with them their own sounds that have combined with ours to make something new.

Tell us a little about the new guys and how you came to work together.

It was our one year anniversary of playing with our drummer Hayden the other day; he was sent our way from our promoter friend. Sam was a friend of Alex’s already so we knew we already gelled with him. The first time we played as a four it was so exciting; the sound was so much than we were used to.

You were also still in school. What are you doing now?

Not quite free yet: Kieran is doing his A-levels at college and Alex is in his first year of an Advanced Engineering course.

Has it been difficult, trying to produce music whilst still in school?

We always find time to make music because we enjoy doing it so much. This can result in late night rehearsals etc., but if that’s what needs to be done then that’s what we do.

Do you feel starting at such a young age has been a help or a hindrance?

There’s two sides to this coin. On one side, people are eager to give us a shot because of our age but at the same time, we don’t want people to be listening to our music with the context of our age - saying how good it is because we are so young.

Do you feel like you've more time to dedicate to the band now that you've left?

Our schedules are actually more packed now than they were before but we’ve gathered so much momentum now that Elefantasy has moved up in our priorities and we always manage to find time to sesh.

You're just about to release your second EP 'Waiting for Nothing'. Did you find the recording process to be any different from last time, now that you're a four-piece?

This time around everything was completely different. The first time we recorded music it was pretty spontaneous. We arrived at the studio with a set of pretty mediocre half-finished songs and an extremely vague idea of where any of them were going. With this release, we made sure we rehearsed the tracks loads after finishing them, so that we had everything nailed and we knew exactly what we wanted. It was just nice to have fun in the studio with four of us too and to share the moment with everyone. 'Yawn' was a one-bang.

Your sound seems to have, not narrowed as such, but seems a little less broader since your last EP, was this an intentional move?

I think it’s fair to say that since our first release, we’ve definitely begun to discover our sound. Whilst we were pretty unsure back last year and just tried writing and experimenting with a little bit of everything (some of which we look back upon and find laughable), we now have a pretty good idea of what kind of sounds we like and which ones we sound best playing.

The final two tracks from the record, 'Prequel' and 'Yawn' are definitely the most experimental, what was the writing process like behind the two? And what made you decide to close the EP with them?

'Yawn' evolved the most over time during the writing process. We jammed with it for weeks and even still, we make sure that we do something new every time we play it, so it gives us an opportunity to mess about and keep the song alive. The version we play live is already different from the EP - it’s a song for us to have fun with and points in the direction of the sound we want to cement so it seemed the right choice to end the EP and pave the way for the next. We knew we had something special with 'Yawn' so we wanted a track to ‘frame’ it, so to speak. 'Prequel' was written in about half an hour by Alex and Kieran and was recorded straight away.

Last time you spoke to us you hadn't yet played a gig together. Presumably that's changed now?

Yes, we have been gigging pretty solidly for a few months now (and are loving it).

What was it like playing your first gig together?

We had a small gig down in Stratford in a pub called The Princess of Wales - the result of a recommendation from Alex’s uncle. We had rehearsed solidly up until then and it was very intimate so it was a really relaxed performance. We had lots of fun and it felt great to finally show people what we’re all about in real life.

Any live dates upcoming?

It has been hard to keep on top of gigs as well as pushing our EP out by ourselves at the same time but we have a few things planned for the next couple of months! Other than that, we’re still holding out for a headline slot somewhere, and it would also be good to play some more local shows, so we can have fun with our mates.

Finally, what can we expect from Elefantasy in the coming months?

We said at rehearsal the other day that we want to write another EP by Christmas 2015. I’ve just put my neck on the line there but we’ve already started on new songs so it’s definitely achievable! Other than that, we just want to keep on playing loads of shows. It’s exciting watching the crowds getting bigger each time we play and it feels great to be getting our music out there, knowing that people are actually enjoying it.


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