To round off what has been a year of growing excitement, touring with Glass Animals, countless festivals, and an electric sold-out October, mini-tour Elder Island finish 2017 on an all time high. This Autumn has seen the release of latest single Bonfires, a stunning video and a UK & IE headline January tour announcement to boot.
As a band who’ve chosen to self-release and are, by all standards, creatively “DIY”, they are marking a path in the world of unsigned music. We spoke to Katy, Luke & Dave about life as Elder Island, touring and what’s to come in 2018.
Your music has changed quite a lot since the initial self-titled EP, is there a certain direction you’re heading in, or any particular inspirations that have shaped it?
L: It isn’t a conscious direction as such, I think we make what we enjoy and hope that other people will enjoy it too.
K: I think playing live has led us to create more up beat danceable music, sharing something that makes the audience dance is really addictive. We’ve also progressed with the technology we use so that has helped it evolve.
D: It’s always a learning process as well, wanting to experiment with new techniques, pushing new idea’s or ways to tackle things which lead our sound.
Apart from the tour in January what can we expect from Elder Island in 2018?
D: We have some exciting stuff set up for the tour, so we have a bit more stage production this time around, hopefully some interesting lighting that’ll add to the show. It’s something we’ve been gathering ideas for for a while so it’ll be pretty special to put it into action.
L: We spent a lot of the latter part of 2017 in the studio too so there will be some new music coming out and some big announcements on the way. Another summer of festivals and then who knows!
The video for Bonfires shows us inside your home studio with quite the array of equipment, how did the home set-up come about?
K: We are a combo of techies and hoarders so it’s progressed slowly and surely through years of collecting. It’s a pretty special place for us, one where we can be comfortable to experiment and test our sound. The gear is the backbone to the music we make, the room is the facilitator for the process. We spend so long agonising over tracks, if we had to pay for studio time we’d be in an unfathomable amount of debt!
D: We’ve had the luxury of a music-dedicated spare room in the houses we’ve lived, the gear has always grown to fit the space. Being in a more permanent location the couple of years we’ve built the strong foundation of a room to write, record and rehearse- and with that has inevitably come an abundance of new equipment.
Take us through how you write & record your music…
D: It may start with a simple guitar riff that becomes built upon, a drum loop or even just a noise. It’s similar to how we perform our music live. We build upon loops that are all synchronised with each other but without knowing what we’re about to play. Each of us feed off what the others are doing.
L: This often leads to a very long recording with some moments where everything aligns – they will be the basis of the track.
Going back to the impending tour and from your experiences in Europe touring with Glass Animals, what are the best and worst parts of being on the road?
D: Being on the road is the easy bit, it’s like the holiday section after all that goes into organising it. Its lots of fun as you get the reward of people directly enjoying your music every night.
K: Good – Actually being on the road, the van times are a great laugh. Each show brings something new to the performance, the reaction of the crowd, the environment.
Bad- No sleep & moving all our gear around. It’s the inevitable moment every gig when you turn everything on and pray it’ll all play ball.
L: Best- being able to look around a new place or a new city. Really getting a feel for the place before you get to play to a completely new crowd.
Worst- Illness, in such a small space with many people it’s easy to pick up a cold. When we were in Europe Katy had to stop speaking for a couple of days just so she didn’t lose her voice.
Artistically, visually and sonically, Elder Island are pretty unique in what they do. The ‘Bonfires’ video offers fans a kaleidoscopic view of the band in action and a taster for January’s live experience.
Tickets available from: www.elderisland.com/live