(November 1, 2007)
Q: Hey Dean, what’s up, how’s it going?
A: Well, it’s November 14, 2007, and I am sitting on my computer in Redlands, California answering questions as they come to me. Here we go. Are you ready?
Q: Can you give us a short introduction of who Elseworth are?
A: Elseworth was a rock band that ended in April or May of this year. Song topics range from love to lust to depression and the ultimate end of the world. We started as an electro-rock band in 2000. We had a keyboard player and wore make-up on stage. It was a little bit theatrical actually. If we could’ve afforded pyrotechnics, we’d have used it. We were young, and it was bad ass.
In 2002, we dropped the make-up gimmick and just started playing. We kept a couple songs from the old days and recorded a seven song EP called Tell a Friend. That was released in November of 2003. Around 4000 thousand units were pressed, but I don’t know how many are still being used. Throughout 2004 and the beginning 2005, we took our EP wherever we could, knowing what we knew, doing what we could. Nothing happened, I think because we were too worried about something happening.
We regroup, and in 2005 set out to record a full-length record. We started recording a full-length before, a couple separate times actually, and had never finished. So, it was a big deal that we were really going to do it. We knew what we wanted to say, and we knew how we wanted to do it, for that time in our lives. We were certain. And somehow, out of that absolute certainty, we made a pretty decent record and broke up. It would seem we were not very certain. It’s true, but it’s okay. This band, for us, was just a portion of time. It was a large piece of our growth, and it was spiritually and mentally integral. But we meant it all. We were sincere, that’s for sure. The only real reason I’m even answering these questions is because I believe that sincerity needs to be heard. This record deserves my efforts in seeing that it is heard. It’s a good album, it really is.
Q: Recently you released “Take Flight”, your new album. How would you describe it and how are people responding?
A: To be totally honest, I don’t think anyone has heard it. We put it up online, on SnoCap/MySpace, since the band broke up and ended in the red financially. It is the easiest way for us to try and recoup some of the money we spent on recording the record, which was a good amount. Sales are pretty low, but I’m not surprised. In today’s society, you can’t support a band that isn’t together, playing shows. It takes the whole social part of it out. People don’t want to listen to music as endless magical possibilities. They want to listen to music as entertainment.
Q: In July you posted a blog on Myspace that informed everyone that the band had disbanded. Has anything changed with the release of the album or could we see this album as the final chapter of Elseworth?
A: This album is definitely, simply put, the end. It is our first full-length, and ironically our last statement as a group.
Q: Will we be able to see Elseworth and its members back in different bands and/or musical directions (in the future)?
A: We are artists. It’s what we do. We may or may never do it in a medium most people find acceptable (like tv or radio), but we’ll always do it.. So, if you’re looking for us, you’ll be able to enable yourself to see us back in different bands and/or musical directions in the future. 🙂
Q: But about your new album, “Take Flight”. What would you say that the biggest differences are with its predecessor “Tell A Friend”?
A: I have to be honest, it’s a pretty big jump. We are still within our genre, but they are two completely different records; two different bands. Truly, from one music fan to another, spend ten bucks and buy the album. It’s the kind of record you want to listen to with a good buzz goin’, in the dark, naked through headphones.
Q: And of all the songs on “Take Flight”, which one is the most fun to perform live?
A: “Perforation” was always intense for me, but in a good way. It’s the kind of song that can make the hair on your arms stand up for minutes at a time. It’s kind of a chilling subject though. The end of the world is going to be rough.
Q: Is there one song on “Take Flight” that you are particularly proud of, or that is particularly dear to you?
A: I have always been particularly fond of “The Better End of Manipulation”. I could never choose a favorite, but that’s my final answer.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from for writing the songs? And are there specific moods that make for better songs?
A: I try not to draw inspiration from anything in particular. I wait for inspiration to come to me. Normally, the song will come to me in whole, at once, in my mind. It will just start playing like a radio station. It just tunes in. I can choose to focus in on it and document it, or I can turn it off. The problem is, although I am learning to change this, I am not a very disciplined person, and it’s hard for me to focus in on songs well enough to document everything. There are no specific moods that make for better songs, in my opinion. Music can display any mood, and no mood is better than an other. Music is a gift from God. I like music that evokes any mood and does it well. It’s up to us to control ourselves in where we allow music to move us. It is part of our responsiblity as human beings. I believe we were created in more of an audial fashion than visual. If we are sound, then we need to be careful with it, especially in regard to music. Music is magic in a very literal sense.
Q: Who would you say are the greatest inluences on your sound and songwriting?
A: I really don’t know how to answer that, because it isn’t something that I think about, to be honest. I’ve always been a fan of the guys trying to get the furthest out of the fishbowl, like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Doors, and NIN. The band as a whole was influenced by so much music, I don’t even know where to begin. We are all music fiends.
Q: If you could play a show anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
A: I would want to go where ears and souls are the most open.
Q: And if you could also pick someone to play that gig with, who would it be?
A: I would want to play with someone I can proudly affirm and get behind.
Q: Where can we find more information about Elseworth?
Q: Okay a few random questions now.
Q: What are your favorite movies?
A: I honestly don’t watch a lot of movies, but I am a big Wes Anderson fan.
Q: Day or night?
Q: Okay, final question. What are your thoughts on people downloading music, both legally & illegally?
A: I think people are missing the real argument. People should be fighting about the public’s view of music as a whole, not the legalities of Internet downloading. If people could come back to an appreciation of music, this wouldn’t be an issue. The problem is that people don’t value music. There are deeper-rooted issues in our society that have made this a problem. Which is worse, that Americans are carelessly stealing music to put on their iPod to show friends that they are cultured or that Americans use songs like “One” by U2 and “Every Breath You Take” by the Police in their wedding ceremonies? Both are ridiculous, granted, but at the heart of all of it, I think we got bigger fish to fry.”
Thanks for doing the interview Dean. It was great!