Sunday, August 7, 2011

the Elixirs ***New Interview***

The Elixirs are a great punk band from Indiana. They really do put on a great live show. Though they only have a few demo recordings they do have plans for an official release in the future. They have also played a lot of great local shows and all over the state. I got Joe to tell their story...

Introduce yourself...
Joe King here, writing for the band…I play drums, sing a little backup vocals, harangue the audience from time to time and occasionally throw candy, or little bottles of booze at people from behind the drum set. Although we all write a little, Dan Tedder is our main songwriter as well as the singer and guitarist. He plays a Hagstrom Viking with a Bigsby and a Fender Telecaster depending on the song we’re doing. Whitt plays an Englehart Swingmaster ES-9 upright bass and has been with us since January 2011. He’s worked his ass off getting us all in shape as a group. So that’s it. Dan, Whitt, and Joe…a power trio doing our own style of cowpunk psychobilly with a gritty rock ‘n’ roll edge.

How did the band start?
Dan and I started this as a hobby about four years ago. We’d meet on weekends to hang out, drink beer, smoke a little home grown [censored] and figure out how to play the songs we’ve made up in our heads. As time went on it became easier to figure that out so we keep going with it. Mirth is king! It’s the reason we do what we do. In truth, we are but poor Hoosier folk, trying to survive and put “food on the family” during these crazy, uncertain times. This here little ole hillbilly, punk rock joke of a band is our way of having fun. It’s also a powerful cathartic escape from the doldrums of these, the waning days of Babylon.

How did you come up with the name?
Well, what is an elixir to you? Maybe a reference to alcohol, maybe to alchemy. Classically it points to the philosophers stone or the fountain of eternal youth. We like to say that our sonic elixir is the most astonishing alleged remedy in existence for the speedy and perfect cure of monotony and sobriety.

Who would you say are your influences?
I’d rather not mention names. It would just take too long. So let me say we our influenced by punk rock (and all its sub genera’s) from the late ‘70s to the mid ‘90s. Classic and outlaw country. Bluegrass and blues. A little metal, swing, ska, noise, ambiance, experimental, gothic, new wave, rock & roll,… Also our families, friends, fun drunks, bikers, hot rod enthusiasts, freaks, geeks, outcasts, various illicit substances, Pabst Blue Ribbon, lot’s of PBR! That about covers it.

What is the punk scene like in Indiana?
I cannot speak for all of Indiana. But in Grant County, where we’re from…the birthplace of “cool” has become stale and boring. No all ages clubs! No mom & pop record shops!
There have been various periods of time when punk music and culture thrived in this area. There is precious little of that now. Are we it? Fuck! I hope not. I do know of a handful of “kids” in this area who dress themselves in stereotypical punk fashion but they don’t get involved in creating music and they seem to prefer metal, scremo, and rap. Not that I’m badmouthing these “kids” and their tastes but what a pathetic situation for punk rock ‘n’ roll in this part of Indiana. Ah, nostalgia for the old days.

Describe the song writing process...
Usually Dan writes about real life events, current events, things that either piss him off or make him laugh. We practice twice a week for two to five hours at a time. After playing through our set list we crack open the PBR’s and start working on new songs. Sometime new material works out the first time we try it. Some songs evolve as we play them. It’s fun to use the audience as lab rats.
Songs that seem to be pointing to a specific idea or telling a specific story may have been written about something else entirely. Many of our songs are veiled in allegory and we won’t tell you which ones. We prefer to let the listener interpret what they hear in what ever way they choose. Someone once said this adds to the mystery and longevity of songs. Who know?

What have you released?
Although we have many primitive demo recordings we have not yet released an actual full length CD. We don’t have the resources to spend on “proper” studio time, fancy CD packaging, promotional campaign stunts and so forth. (HELP THE ELIXIRS RELEASE THEIR FIRST CD! Send your generous contribution to: P.O. Box 3 / Gas City, IN 46933) In the past we’ve relied heavily upon the good graces of our friends for much of the recordings that are available online and through snail mail. For all you punk Rock ‘77 Thru Today readers: Email us your address (send email to pp_dickey@yahoo.com) and I’d be happy to mail you a free CD-R of our older D.I.Y. recordings. If you’d be willing to pass around a few copies in your area let me know and I’ll send extras. If you are in a band and would like us to pass out promos of you music just send them to us at the above P.O. Box. No money involved…just word of mouth and friendly street level promotion.

Who are some of the bands you have done shows with?
Like most of the bands we’ve played with we’re very much a local phenomena. Many of these groups won’t be familiar to those outside of a small circle of friends… That’s not to say that these groups (some of them have now disbanded and not all of them are punk) don’t rock harder than the few national acts we’ve played with. Here is the list as best as I can remember:
Sour Mash Kats, The Staggerers, Gay Black Republican, Forgotten 27, Nukklhead, The Savage Band, The Krank Daddies, DC ’n’ P, Pseudo Anonymous, Mindshank, Big Dick & The Penetrators, Anodyne, Next Level, MG & The Gas City Three, Rale, The B-Sharps, Jinx & The Back Alley Cats, Silverbuckle, Lost Souls, Reverend Boogieman, The Mediocres, Michael Martin, Eden’s Lost, The Lurking Corpses, The Travis Mann Band, The Hillbilly Casino (I‘m sure I‘ve missed a bunch.)

Have you toured?
No. Mostly we play weekend gigs around Indiana.

Do you prefer small clubs or large venues?
Small clubs. We’ve played quite a few large parties / motorcycle rallies, outdoor events and they have their advantages but small to mid sized clubs are where we really get to experience the reaction of the audience and feed off of that energy. That is the kind of atmosphere we enjoy most. Even if it’s a private party and we’re playing in a garage or barn or on some backyard patio it’s just more fun to have that close proximity to the crowd.
Is there a favorite band you like to do shows with?
Um, Krank Daddies, Hillbilly Casino and the Travis Mann Band were all a blast to play with. We just like to play with bands that have a real heart for what they do and do it well.

Is there a favorite place you like to do shows at?
Locally, Rebels Pub and Beatnik’s CafĂ© are fun to play. The Brass Rail in Fort Wayne is always awesome. Pretty much any place that pays and doesn’t try to screw us over.

What do you see is the future of The Elixirs?
We’re working toward the goal of releasing our first full length CD, playing out of state and going a small tours. We’d love to play at events like the Muddy Roots fest in Tennessee or the Heavy Rebel Weekender or other events like that. If we can pay our bills through playing music then of course we’re going to try. Whatever happens we’ll always be playing music together even if we don’t “make it” professionally.

How can people contact the band?
http://www.reverbnation.com/thelixirs From there you can follow the links to our Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Elixirs/138572309495573?ref=ts&sk=info#!/pages/The-Elixirs/138572309495573?sk=wall and/or Myspace profiles. Band email: pp_dickey@yahoo.com Of course we’d love it if people actually took the time to write a letter or send a post card. The Elixirs, PO Box 3, Gas City, IN 46933

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