The guys that I am sitting with today bring a whole new meaning to the word talent. These might be some of the hardest working men in show business and it shows in their incredible skills on stage and on their albums. With a new album-hitting store shelves and a tour to back it all across the Midwest this band is starting to show you what it means to rock. These guys also know how to melt your face when performing live. I have had the chance to see them numerous times and I am more impressed with every show I see. Sit with me today as I introduce you to an Indiana based band that might very well be the next big thing. Hang out and get to know The Elms.
Where did you guys come up with that name?
I’ve got an uncle who owns a house in England called The Elms. My brother Chris and I used to go over there every summer as kids.
How long have you all known each other?
Chris is the drummer in the band, so that’s a long-standing ordeal. I’ve known Thom, our guitar player, for over twenty years. I’ve known our bass player, Nathan, since I was eighteen years old.
Where did you all meet?
I met Thom in grade school, and we’ve been friends ever since. I met Nathan when I was in another band in high school.
Is it still the original lineup as it was when you got started?
Yes, with one exception. Nathan joined the band a couple years in.
What would you all be doing if you were not performing?
I’m never sure how to answer that question. It’s not a bridge I expect to have to cross, I guess.
Is there a ringleader in the group?
It’s my responsibility to carry the torch for the boys in the band; to give the whole thing direction.
Where do you guys practice?
We rehearse in a warehouse in Columbus, Indiana.
Who writes all the lyrics?
I do generally, and I’ve got a friend from New Orleans who I call up on occasion for lyrical perspective.
Do you guys have a favorite venue to play?
Old state theaters. They usually have giant hollow wooden stages, and you can really feel the band’s playing.
What is the largest crowd you have ever played for?
We played this music festival on a ranch outside Dallas once; there were 200,000 people there. It was pretty mind blowing, honestly a sea of people.
Oh, five people in a bar somewhere.
Do you guys have jobs outside of music?
Tell me about the new album.
It’s called “The Great American Midrange,” and we’re very proud of it. It came out just a few weeks ago. We put the album together with some of our heroes, and I love the way it sounds. The band played incredibly well, and the songs are the best ones we’ve ever done. We’re very much a live band first, but I think we’re getting better and better at making records. There’s a great energy around the record.
Describe your genre in one word.
How do you know Marshall Jones?
Marshall has been a friend for years. He’s become my primary point-man for all things visual as it pertains to The Elms. We’ve got a really great collaborative working relationship. He understands my work ethic, which is to be extremely task-oriented and neurotic about detail. I think he’s enormously talented.
You guys are on a pretty substantial tour. Have you all toured like this before?
Yes. Whenever we put out a record, we keep things on the road for a solid eighteen months afterward. The road is our lifeblood.
How do you like working with Trust Incorporated?
Well, Trust Incorporated is basically a label we founded, and we assembled all pertinent team members in the way of distribution, marketing, and publicity. It’s a new thing, very young. But it’s also enabled us to do things 100% our way, which is how I think it’s meant to be for artists, in the purest sense.
Are you guys all from Indiana?
Now, yes. We’ve all lived here for years, since high school. Nathan is the only native of the state. My brother and I were born in Buffalo, New York. But we’re all spent the majority of our lives in Indiana.
What are you drinking on stage?
Usually one water and one Fat Tire.
If you could only play one song for the rest of your career what song would you choose?
A song of ours? Probably “A Place In The Sun.” Of someone else’s, probably “Bad Reputation” by Freedy Johnston.
Are you using a PC or a Mac?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go?
I do love this part of the world. Indiana fits my tastes on many levels. But if I had to choose another place in the U.S., it would probably be Seattle or Colorado Springs. Abroad, I’d say probably London.
How did you react to the death of Michael Jackson?
I took it pretty hard, honestly. I’m a huge admirer of his work. He’s the best there ever was, and when he was on his game he was untouchable.
If you could be any cartoon character whom would you be and why?
I don’t know. Maybe one of the South Park kids.
Tell me your most embarrassing story from being on the road.
Embarrassing stuff happens all the time. Our shows are pretty loose structurally, so by nature that leaves room for anything to happen. We’ve all fallen off stages, or gotten sick mid-set, or had strange people accost us. Life on the road is generally fascinating if you’re looking in the right places.
Do you ever forget the words to your own songs?
Rarely. But yes, it’s happened before.
If you were told you only have a week to live how would you spend the last seven days?
Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Still hustlin’ in this band with my compadres.
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
The band? I hope the band is remembered for authenticity and commitment to everything that represented us, musical or otherwise. Personally, when I clock out, hopefully people think I was gracious.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
Aaahh, I could give a dissertation here about the modern music biz or something, but I’ll let it lie.