Elephant Tree Interview with Jack Townley: Circles and Echoes

elephant tree 1 (Photo by John White)

One could wax philosophical all day about the combination of weighted groove, lush melody, songcraft and tonal depth playing out across  ScamFighter's rating of Writing Services For Philosophy Essays based on the offered prices. It helps college students find the best services to trust. Elephant Tree‘s self-titled These About Dissertation offer top-quality paper help. These features make any company a top paper helper for students. What Else Should Be Taken into Magnetic Eye Records debut LP (review here), but as far as doing it justice, it seems like a futile enterprise. The album’s richness, the ease of its execution — nothing sounds labored, nothing feels overwrought — and its consistent sense of movement make it easily one of 2016’s best debut records, and one of the best records of the year overall. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to tell a friend they need to hear it, because invariably they do.

How’d they get there? The London-based four-piece of guitarist/vocalist  Are You Able to Write My Essay Paper Well? Sure We Are! We frequently see the internship application essay help or write my essay online searches Jack Townley, bassist/vocalist  Psychology Research Papers. If youve arrived on this page, it probably means youve lost someone. I have no words to share other than Im sorry. Peter Holland (also  Affordable and professional Online Tutoring or Online College Homework Help, click from Our Experienced Tutors. Get Quick Homework answers Trippy Wicked), drummer  http://www.yoshikiminatoya.com/should-i-do-my-english-homework/s For Kids Book Writing Websites For Kids - Title Ebooks : Book Writing Websites For Kids - Category : Kindle and eBooks PDF - Author : ~ Sam Hart and sitarist/vocalist/engineer  Choose a Proficient Research Essay Unit Plan to Complete All Your Writing Requirements. We are writing experts, thanks to more than 1000 writers from all parts Riley MacIntyre offered up their debut EP,  Professional research paper great post to read au help research paper service oriented . PLOS Medicine publishes research and commentary of general Theia (review here), in 2014 (also through  What To Include In Business Plan do my homework for me please How it Works. Thousands of college students have used GetMyClassDone as their secThis site won Magnetic Eye), and showed immediately a penchant for laid back heavy roll and psychedelic flourish, but a few key changes took place in the short time between  essay writing examples introduction Resume Building Companies cv writing services vancouver essay writing service reviews Theia and  Make your website stand out and convert more visitors with our web Master Thesis International Relations, at India based Content Writing Company Content Beats. Elephant Tree, among them a shift in focus away from incorporating screaming vocals — I’ll say that the advent of a genuinely psychedelic sludge is an intriguing prospect, and they made it work well — and  Professional Nursing Paperss leading BUSINESS PLAN consulting firm worldwide from finance to hi tech to hedge funds and start ups to expansion companies MacIntyre‘s sitar alongside  Place Do My Essay order and "How to do a good essay with someone's Sometimes it seems to me easier to Need Help With Logic Homework than to Townley‘s guitar and  Choose our best site for essay writing, Our professionals right. Where Can I Get Homework Help - Change the way you cope with your task with our. Holland‘s bass.

Us History Term Paper Topics glasgow, creative writing essays on the beach, popular dissertation conclusion editor services ca, custom critical Townley is quick to point out there are still screams on the record, they’re just buried for atmospheric effect, but even that is a change from two years ago. Part of the driving force behind that would seem to be  MacIntyre‘s work as producer, steering the sonic concepts with which the band would work as well as contributing to the music itself. Indeed, Elephant Tree sounds like an album thought out beforehand and during the process, and while recording the basic tracks in the room together gives it a natural underlying character, the blues and greens of its tones and the harmonies in the vocals over them are emblematic of the willful progression the band has undertaken.

And perhaps most encouraging of all, that progression would seem to just be at its outset. It’s important to keep in mind as the melancholy piano notes close out “Surma” that Elephant Tree is still just Elephant Tree‘s first full-length. In speaking to Townley, I tried to get an idea both of how this record came together and how the next one might move forward from here. The interview took place admittedly a while ago, just before Elephant Tree teamed up with Bordeaux, France-based heavy psych forerunners Mars Red Sky for a run of shows in the UK — they’ve also done stints with Bright Curse and they’ll play Cardiff’s Red Sun festival on July 29 with Chubby Thunderous Bad Kush MastersGrifterDesert StormOld Man Lizard and many others — and so there was much to discuss.

Please find the complete Q&A after the jump, and enjoy. Thank you for reading.


elephant tree (Photo by John White)-700When did writing begin for the album and when was that as relates to the EP?

We were on tour last year around Europe with Bright Curse and a lot of ideas came from the practices that ran up to that because we were jamming ideas, sort of throwing things about. We actually opened a few shows with ideas that we had for the album which we thought were cool for opening jams, really. It wasn’t actually really until Riley, who is over in the UK, he’s on a temporary visa and he was told by the government that he had to move back to Canada because his visa was expiring. So Riley, who is still here now because he managed to get a long-term visa, but before we knew that for all we knew Riley was going to be gone as for September last year. We were like, crap. We really wanted to do an album with Riley as the producer. We then sort of all stormed into the studio in August with a few ideas but everything really came from the actual sessions that we spent. We did a few writing sessions beforehand, but we were pretty blessed to have this studio for quite a while with Riley producing. We had a few concrete ideas for each track, but really it all happened there and then. Which is lucky, it could have gone in one of two ways, (laughs) it could have gone horribly wrong as we tried to rush an album out so we could to get Riley to produce it. So it went the other way.

That’s the exact opposite of what you always hear. You actually got to some together in the studio.

We had the basic grooves, ideas and stuff but we never demoed them or anything. We demoed some properly, but that was it. The rest, especially the vocals came after when we were just sort of figuring out what we – the whole album came about, not going to say organic but it all came together in the studio at the right time. Like I said, we were lucky. We didn’t go in there thinking we were so good that we could write an album on the fly (laughs). We’re like, crap, we’ve got to make an album because we wanted Riley to produce it.

How long is Riley’s visa now?

Riley luckily has been accepted under “exceptional talent,” good on him. But he’s now here for good, thank god. He’s working in the church studios in North London, full-time.

Can you talk about how working under that crunch and still fleshing out material? It seems part of the problem would be knowing when a song is done.

Yeah — luckily it came together really well and there was this vibe going and we all get on real well, and under pressure as well. We never really argue. If someone has something to say, they just say it, which can be a problem if you’re writing. If you’re trying to get something done to a good standard it’s always hard to go against the clock. But Riley had an idea for the whole sound of the album and we really enjoyed that because it’s quite a departure from our previous EP, which isn’t something we deliberately sought out to go against, but it was like — it just felt right. It started to come together, especially when the vocals went down, it was like ah yeah, this is a good idea we think.

Actually, it is a big departure. Losing the screams in itself was a major change.

We added some screams in on a few of the tracks, then we sort of buried them elephant tree 5because we never intended them to be out in front. There are some screams but it’s sort of a subtle effect. You can’t really hear them.


In “Dawn” there’s a few, in fracture when the breakdowns come back in and the drums, the bluesy riff at the end it all kicks back in, there’s Riley screaming in there. It’s in the mix, but you can’t hear it.

I’m gonna put headphones on when we’re done.

It’s sort of white noise effect now but it is Riley screaming. We made the conscious decision to not do that because we wanted the whole album to feel like an album and we didn’t want it to sort of — and we know all the tracks are reasonably different. There are a few oddballs; sonically we wanted it to sound like an album. We want you to play it through beginning to end, a one listen sort of thing.

I think there’s a front to back flow. One pairing I wanted to ask you about was “Circles” into “Aphotic Blues.” Putting those two back to back, how did that come about?

Yeah, we wanted that break. We always wanted to do an acoustic track. We actually wrote and recorded another acoustic track. We wrote it and we thought it sounded too much like a Windhand track. One of their acoustics (laughs). Pete would be like, “god damn Jay, you just ripped off Windhand.” I thought, “Have I?” I listened to it and thought, “actually yeah you’re right.” We recorded “Circles” in like, 10 minutes and then added the synth after sort of thing. There’s quite a lot of synths layered on it, drum parts but they’re low in the mix. We wanted something heavy after an acoustic track, so obviously “Aphotic Blues” comes in in drop A tuning and sort of changes it a bit, which is cool. We were worried about doing an acoustic track. Some people are such huge — we got so much love for the sitar on the first EP. We didn’t want to alienate anyone, but at the same time we didn’t want to give them the same thing. There’s only so much you can do with a sitar.

People seem to do that thing a lot though.

Yeah, yeah (laughing). We do get the occasional, because obviously Riley can’t make every gig now, so he comes when he can but he’s definitely more a producer/writer now, and he’s still definitely a member of the band. But, because he works as an engineer in a studio he works all night. So, we do occasionally get people at the gig just like. “where’s the sitar, man?” It’s like, “ah, he’s at work mate.” “Ah man, that fucking sucks man,” you know? Ah, Christ.

At least you have an answer.

Yeah, “fuck off” (laughing).elephant tree 3-700

What was the relation to songs done and recorded?

In the studio it was kind of like, you know, we operate on a very much “ah, that’s a cool verse, nice, what’s this chorus? Ok, we’ll put it there.” So you’re right, you get the basic scripture down and then you, you know, we tracked it live and then sort of overdub. So you do the guitars, drums, and bass live as a performance, and then if you’re happy with the performance, then you add you’re more guitars and stuff like that, and then you sort of do your production synths, and then sort of you think about your vocals at the same time. But, it was always like that, there was no special technique it sort of just, you know, as most of bands do I guess is write it and hope it sounds half decent.

How did Riley explain the vibe he was thinking of for this record as opposed to the EP?

Riley definitely had a sound that he envisaged and thought for us it would be great. And we sort of all chatted about it beforehand and, you know, that vibe was generally the one we were going towards in the jams and stuff. We were a fan of this sort of music, and Riley wanted this really heavy sort of rumbling band sound with these sort of almost not subtle vocals but sort of laid back lush harmonies and stuff like that over a huge distorted body of track, which is the way he penned it to us, and we were “yeah, yeah sounds great.” So, but you know it all worked out so that’s cool.

Have you started writing again?

Yeah, we’re hoping to do either an EP or an album before the end of the year. We’re always writing when we practice because we practice for quite a while — the weekend because we can’t do in the week — so normally, you know, you do the set and then you’re just jamming, writing new tracks. So we’ve got four or five new tracks almost done and so yeah, just we’re looking to sort of see what happens with this Mars Red Sky tour coming up, so after that we’re probably going to start thinking about if we want to do an EP or an album. Probably an EP or a split.

How do you feel about the way that vibe you got in the studio, how it came about on the album? Do you feel like next time around, now we’re going to do something drastically different?

Yeah, I guess, I mean we’ll see what happens. It’s sort of, the way we’ve written has sort of developed from the album I guess, because we’re still sort of jamming around those ideas because we’re still digging it. But I mean there’s some really heavy tracks going in there also, though they’re back, sort of they’ve got that drone sort of world music vibe going again with the Indian, sort of Middle Eastern influences. Then again, there’s also track which are more sort of jumpy, because you know we do a lot of slow tracks we thought we might as well write some fast ones I suppose as well. But no it’s definitely — I mean, we’ll see whatelephant tree 2-700 happens — it’s definitely carrying on from this vibe, but it’s changing as well. Hopefully.

You would think automatically it would be something different.

Yeah, and the stuff we’re writing now is different but it’ll suit the production for this album as well as being musically different, I think it’s simply put.

You took part in the Magnetic Eye Hendrix tribute. Did you get to pick your song or was it handed to you?

It was handed to us, but for the main album, before it blew up because it sort of kicked off on — it got a load of attention because a load of bigger bands like Elder, Earthless jumped on. Originally it was meant to be a smaller thing, but it got bigger. When someone like Elder is like, “can we do ‘Voodoo Chile?’” we’re not going to go “aww man! We want to do it!” We just go, “yes, absolutely you can. Thank you for letting us be on your album.” (Laughs) For the Best of James Marshall, which is the companion album, I guess, we chose “Manic Depression.” The original is just so amazing, funky as hell. And it was one that other people maybe wouldn’t have had that aren’t Hendrix fans. That whole album is just great fun, doing the “Manic Depression” cover was brilliant. But we were in the same studio with Riley on production for that as well.

You mentioned the Mars Red Sky tour, after that back to writing. Will you do more touring?

Yeah, the Mars Red Sky coming up sort of May 12th. So it’s after release of the album. Mars Red Sky is coming up on the 12th and that’s going to be just, (laughs) great fun with — we’ve got some guys from BongCauldron driving us around. It’s a recipe for disaster. Then we’ll get back to writing after that and then hopefully we’ll get out to Ireland before the end of the year. We’ve talked to some promoters out there and then hopefully over to Europe as well. So we want to tour as much as we can, it’s just trying to organize it.

That’s always a thing.

We’d like to tour every day and get paid for it well, but it’s just — the way it is.

You guys and Mars Red Sky. I gotta say: that’s a great pairing.

We’re really honored to be going out with those guys. It’s gonna be great — I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like, it’s going to be great fun. Quality venues throughout the UK. You can’t really go wrong. Some great bands, I think on the Saturday of the tour we’re playing after 11 other bands, it’s gonna be — hopefully we’ll make it to the stage. I think it’ll be good either way (laughs).

I hope that works out.

Yeah, so do I.

Have you had a sense of the response to the album? How people are feeling about it?elephant tree elephant tree-700

Yeah, I think people are digging it. People who have ordered the vinyl have already got them but I guess the big test is when it comes out full-stream. That’s when, let’s be honest, the majority of people are going to listen to it. Everyone seems to like it so far, we were kind of worried because we didn’t want to alienate people that have — we’ve always had a really sort of passionate, small group of fans and we didn’t want to fuck them off by dropping the sitar and going down a completely different route. That was always on our mind, but it’s like, that’s the way we want it to sound so it has to be like that.

Now you know that audience is willing to follow, are all bets off? Anything goes now.

Yeah, I guess so. We’ll do a jazz album next.

Oh, perfect.

Nah, we’re not good enough to play jazz. We’ll just stick to what we do.

Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (2016)

Elephant Tree on Thee Facebooks

Elephant Tree on Twitter

Elephant Tree on Bandcamp

Magnetic Eye Records on Bandcamp

Magnetic Eye Records on Thee Facebooks

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply