Article By Madison Foster
The boys in the Toronto and Niagara region band and garage rockers, Elk, officially released their sophomore album “Daydreams” on Tuesday, July 17th. Their first full length with record label Indoor Shoes but second release with the label. Elk's 2011 EP “Balm Beach” had the honour of being the first 7” release from Indoor Shoes so needless to say the band (including members Kyle Connely, Ben Pokol, Michael Price and Josh Korody) was more than ready to get back to work with the label.
Although last Tuesday marked the actually release date for the new LP, London, ON was the town of choice of a pre-release party on June 28th where show-goers could walk out with a copy of the album which was not available anywhere else. On that night before the band hit the stage to close off the show, they spent most of their time in the back of their tour van drinking beers and smoking cigarettes. I got the pleasure of joining them in the van and chatting with Price, Pokol, Connely and fill-in drummer Jordan Rutledge (as Korody was absent that night) who got thrown a few unsuspecting curve balls. (Sorry Jordan)
Madison: So tonight we get a sneak peek of your new album. But why London?
Ben: Because London is really like a third home for us. We've played here a lot of time and we always get treated well.
Michael: Yeah, it kind of goes, St. Catherines, Toronto, London that we stick the flag in. So those are the three places we always think of whenever we want to plan something special.
Madison: So this was your third release. Second with Indoor Shoes. Maybe you can let me know how the recording process went this time around.
Ben: Who's taking the head on this one? Kyle, you wanna fill this one?
Kyle: Aw, me? Alright. We recorded in Toronto in a studio called Angles Up which is no longer actually a studio. But it was a converted garage on the west end. We spent seven days and seven nights there recording as much as we could. We all recorded our parts with Josh Korody, who's also our producer but couldn't be here tonight.
Madison: And that's why Jordan is here?
Kyle: Haha yeah. Jordan's our fill-in drummer for tonight. Pretty much everyone is Hunters & Anglers help out with the band... Did anyone else what to add anything about the album?
Michael: It was really the first time we had a long period of time to work on anything and to kind of focus more on one thing at a time. Instead of just getting it done as quickly as possible.
Ben: “Balm Beach” was recorded in three days. Hence why it's a 7”. It was suppose to be have 11 songs. This one was suppose to be 15 tracks but we cut it down to 12.
Michael: So we have a bunch of songs that will never be released but we just try to go with as much as we can! But it was cool. We could to experiment with a bunch of different sounds since we had the time and focus more on the little things.
Madison: I read a quote on CBC Radio saying, “This new album showcases the band's maturity while maintaining the throwback nature of the sound." What do you guys think of the quote and how would you put it into your own words?
Ben: In a way it's accurate because with this album he had the chance to play with different melodies and sounds instead of just straight up amps cranked.
Michael: It's hard for us to describe it because some of those songs are two years old at this time so to me they're NOT really mature... But looking back it's nice. We can see how much we've matured since our last full length.
Ben: Well, that must be talking about how we're still like a 60s and 70s pop sounds and, yeah, it does retain that... but it's different...
Kyle: Great contribution Ben! Quote that. Ignore the real responses.
Ben: Let's get Jordan to do the interview! Jordan, you got the next one.
Madison: Alright! Ready Jordan? Okay! Next question... Well, I don;t even know if you'll be able to answer this. This is the band's second with Indoor Shoes. Their seven inch that came out around 2 years ago was the first original release for the label. How did the band get involved associated with Indoor Shoes, even when it was just starting off?
Jordan: Umm... Well! See... uh, well. We are associated with... (trails off) Hmm. Let me think a second here... (long pause)
Ben: Please add in brackets “slams some whiskey.”
Jordan: (slams some whiskey) Indoor shoes, eh? That takes me back... take me back awhile... So I really have to delve into this one..
Kyle: Okay, can someone else just answer.
Michael: Basically, they were the only ones willing to give us a chance.
Kyle: Timur (Inceoglu) was someone who was putting on shows and would put us on bills when he ran a small place called 73. He told us that he wanted to start a record label and asked us if we wanted to be the first release. And at the time it felt like the most logical thing to do.
Madison: You guys are associated with a bunch of different places. Toronto, St. Catherines, Niagara, Welland. Is it because you'll all scattered throughout?
Michael: Absolutely. It started off with me living in St. Catherines as well as Kyle and Josh living there. Ben is from Welland. Still lives there. Born and raised as they do there. Then Kyle and Josh moved to Toronto so it's kind of a helpful thing to expand where we can say we're from.
Madison: With that kind of being the case, how do you manage to find the time to get together to practise and write?
Michael: It costs Ben and I a lot of money...
Ben: Yeah. We have a rehearsal space in Toronto so we drive up there most Tuesdays. I mean, we found a good spot that makes sense and we just make it happen at this point. I'm sure many other bands would have just said “fuck it” because someone else lived somewhere else but we have a goal we want to achieve so little speed bumps like living an hour away is nothing. We'll do what we have to do.
Michael: When it comes to writing it's kind of hard because we have to all write separately. It's always easier to write with someone else. Other than that it's worked out fine!
Ben: Except for the driving and the couple extra gas bucks it's been a benefit having half the band living in Toronto. All it's done is open doors for us. Even if they're just small doors.
Madison: Do you two see yourselves making the move to Toronto?
Ben: Absolutely not!
Stay tuned for a tribute to Welland from the boys and make sure to check out Elk when they're in your city and check out their album “Daydreams” available now on iTunes.