Interview with ELEPHANT
I must apologize to this band for not getting this interview up in time for their release back in June.
BSW - First and foremost, please introduce yourselves and where you are from.
Elephant - My name is Daniel Tal, and I like to play music in a band named ELEPHANT, alongside Ian Kennedy, Brett Watterton and Matthew MacInnis. We all live in the heart of Toronto Ontario, where the concentrated energy of the city inspires us.
BSW - How did you all meet?
Elephant - Ian and I have been friends since the days of big cookie rewards in Mrs. Gibson’s grade 2/3 split. We met Brett a while ago and jammed some American Football type stuff in our basements during the early days of high school, culminating in a coffeehouse show that was eminently embarrassing for all three of us. That was the end of that.
A few years later in life, I met Matthew through friends and he asked me to join his band as a piano player. I did that, then the band dissipated into just the two of us…it was pretty sad. Soon after, I got word that Ian was moving up to Toronto, and asked him to play a few sets with us. We were all so stoked that it seemed appropriate to solicit his skills indefinitely, and that’s what happened.
The final addition was Brett, which happened after Ian had a dream in which he suggested Brett join our band, and it led to great things. So we decided it was serendipity, and Ian asked Brett in real life, which obviously resulted in what is now ELEPHANT. Makes you wonder…at least, it makes me wonder.
BSW - In your bio, your music was described as “experimental indie rock’. How would you describe it?
Elephant - It’s really difficult for us to categorize our music, partly because it’s scary for music makers to reduce themselves to a brief description. I do know that my roommate’s girlfriend described our songs as “slow-motion, bomb-dropping soundtrack music,” and I kind of dig that.
BSW - You started in London, Ontario and went all the way to Vancouver, B.C. Any funny “road” stories you can share with us?
Elephant - So far, we’ve made it out east and back to central Canada on Skate4Cancer’s 2nd annual The Cure is Knowledge tour. I’m writing this from a van heading north to Sudbury and then out west, which is super exciting. There have been some awesome experiences that vary in intensity and hilarity.
The other day in Quebec City, we encountered a drunken kleptomaniac who not only stole merch and cds from all the bands, but she did it blatantly and with no regard. It was jokes. On top of changing into whichever shirt she had just stolen, she also bagged another band’s iPhones until we humbly requested that she return it. That was weird.
BSW - What did you think of Winnipeg? (Hahaha...maybe I shouldn’t ask!) And would you play here again?
Elephant - We haven’t made it to Winnipeg yet, but we’re super stoked to get there and play with Lives of Many.
BSW - You will be releasing “The Violet Hour” June 3rd. What can your fans expect from this c.d.?
Elephant - The Violet Hour is a cyclical album that takes the listener through a journey from frustration to despair, but one that concludes in hope. It begins with the note A, and drifts into tunes that flow from melodic to driven, relaxed to tense, and then finally resolves with the same A note. This album addresses the inevitable human reality of tension and release, and we really tried to create a full length experience that can be enjoyed as a cohesive hour of listening.
BSW - Where did you record? And how long was the process?
Elephant - Our songs were recorded with Mikey T at The Peoples Palace, just outside of London Ontario. It began with just Matthew and me recording some songs in the hope that a band would manifest, and one did. Ian joined, and we continued making weekend trips from Toronto to Ilderton to slowly hack away at this project. Brett made it in at the end, and we managed to wrap up the album in just over a year…kind of a long process, but one which was deliberate and hopefully led to a sound that reflects the purposeful nature of each song.
BSW - Where can fans get a copy? And will you be having a c.d. release party? If so, where?
Elephant - If people are interested in getting a copy of The Violet Hour, it will be available nation-wide in major record stores through Fontana-Universal, as well as online through iTunes. The best way to get a copy is by coming out to meet us at a show. We’ll be having a big C.D. release party at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto on June 28th, and that’s going to be just a huge gathering of friends and family and anybody else who feels like celebrating music with us.
BSW - Thanks so much for your time guys!