Interview: Ellis Ashbrook
Published on August 16th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
It’s not very often, but every now and then comes a band that Rocksucker is truly at a loss as to know how to describe, at least succinctly. What we can say with a fair degree of certainty though is that they are flippin’ marvellous, tossing away genres like old pieces of fruit, constantly travelling yet melodically psychedelic/psychedelically melodic with it. Just get an earful of them for goodness’s sake, and know that they’ve a whole album of this stuff available here on their Bandcamp…
What’s the line-up of the band? How did you all meet, and how long has the band been going for?
Natalie Lowe (Vox/Keys) joined 6 years ago, Jonathan Granoff (Bass/SoundDesign) is 9 years deep, John Barber (Vox/Guitar) and Alex Major (Drums/Samples) are the founding members, their roots trace back to caveman days (i.e. 1996). The band formed in Rhode Island, solidified in Boston and currently lives in New York City.
How would you describe your music if pushed?
Psychedelic, Progressive, Funk, RocknRoll
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
Our home base is The Space Palace in Brooklyn, NY. Recording wise we’ve been all over the map, 2” tape is probably next. We’ve been lucky to work with the guys at Excello Recording in Williamsburg. We recently landed a producer who wants to spruce up our venue in the basement into a sonic dreamland…
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
No, and I don’t know how you talk to robots….
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like!)
Yes there is. It is a growth on our brains at this point, but I expect it will become a fully functioning tumor by November. The disease will gestate around January which will spread to nearby collaborating artists. The CDC will make an announcement for us in Spring ‘13 and everyone should be infected world wide by next Summer.
Where can we hear your music online?
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
There have been so many. Our parties at The Space Palace are unforgettable in their own ways (we’ve had about 20). Although I would like to highlight a certain Fourth of July where we shot a lot of rockets off our amps and played for about 7 hours on a rooftop in BedStuy Brooklyn, NY.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
August 10th The Bowery Electric, NYC
August 16th The Shaskeen, Manchester, NH
August 17th Precinct, Boston, MA
August 18th Inferno, Brattleboro, VT
August 24th Party at The Space Palace, Brooklyn, NY
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Shoney Lamar and the Equal Rights, Inky Jack, Channel U, Marianne, The Shills.
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Bach, Genesis, Radiohead, Prince and Wayne Shorter.
Ellis Ashbrook, thank you.