Interview

Elliot Brown

Elliot Brown

Monday 9th August, 2010 8:24PM

We put a few questions to solo artist Elliot Brown the former guitarist and singer in The Stomps!

Been around Since?

The Stomps as such have been around since October 2006. Prior to that Jacko and I had been recording a few tracks here and there but not as an official band.

Current Line Up?

Elliot Brown (me) on lead vocals and guitar Jackson Hobbs, drums and backing vocals

Where are you based?

Jacko is in Wellington and I am in Northland and Auckland.

Musical history? What were you listening to back in High School?

I was listening to a lot of the Beach Boys, Beatles, Phil Specter (early Motown stuff), and 50's and early 60's pop generally. At the same time I was listening to EARLY country (Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, etc. as opposed to modern "country" crap like Shania Twain, Garth Brookes etc.-although I don't mind Garth Brookes 'Friends in Low Places' Song) and traditional folk. So I experienced, in my adolescent mind, a microcosmic version of the coming together of traditional folk, country, and rock that took place in the mid-sixties.

What are you currently listening to?

As people go I have started to be more specific in my musical taste; seeking out gems amidst the shite. I fear I'm less than original in this department-one minute I will be listening to some bizarre carnival tune from Misophone in Bristol and the next I will be discovering some obscure song that Tom Paxton wrote that never got its deserved attention before. As I have always done I am listening to music that has a distinctive melody line. I do not understand rock music that hovers around two notes (the trend I've noticed in a lot of bland-core rock is the propensity to over-indulge the 5th and 7th notes played over the root-powerchord). The exceptions to this that I can tolerate are when the lyrics are suffiently well crafted to warrant a less than creative melody (like rap, obviously, and songs like Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues).

The state of music in New Zealand?

Bullshit. An egregious farce. I'm not attacking the music within New Zealand, of course, but rather the fact that help is constantly given to those who are least in need of it. Bic Runga, Brooke Fraser and those in their league get funding for playing more of the same while others can't get a foot in. There is also a feeling among poor songwriters in New Zealand that fellow Kiwis will not take them seriously until they have made it big in the US or UK. Hell, let's be honest-there's a lot of crap out there being palmed off as "alternative-rock" that could only be enjoyed sincerely by the mothers and girlfriends of the bands concerned but this is no excuse for the oft-bemoaned tendency to ignore any New Zealand music not already popular overseas.

What's your favourite place to play?


Bar Bodega, The Wine Cellar, Gables Bar (Herne Bay).

What was your favourite show?

The Fleet FM-organised after-party show in Cross Street Studios.

What is your recording process?


So far the general method has been for me to write the bones of a song, show Jacko who will touch it up, adding a few lines here and there and suggesting bass-lines etc. and coming up with the drumming, then we'll either record it in the Sailor Mouth Records studios (Jacko's room) or at Damien Golfinopolis' place. I have recorded tracks at Damien's by myself too. I also have a few Akai reel-to-reels which I experiment with in my own time.

Best recording experience?

This is impossible to answer because there have been a few. One that stands out is when we were coming down from a mushroom trip and we recorded Tired Heart with the vocals through a stolen road cone. The Stomps do not however subscribe to the merits of substance-induced creativity (do as I say not as I do etc.), nor theft, unless the cause is equally noble.

Worst recording experience?


We once recorded a song called 'He Just Wants To Fuck You'. Our Christian family was present during the recording so we could record all of the song, including vocals, with the exception of the lines 'He just wants to' and 'fuck you' until the more saintly of the relatives had safely departed from earshot.

Favourite Radio Show-Station?


I must answer in the plural again. I listen to Jim Mora on National Radio religiously on weekdays, my favourite part of the show being the first half-hour, and I suggest to anyone who enjoys intelligent radio to take up the same habit. I do, of course like Kiwi and Fleet FM as well and I believe in the cause that runs each of them! Praire Home Companion needs no further props from anyonw as everyone knows it's the best show ever.

The future holds....?

At the moment Jacko and I are working on projects other than the Stomps so we have no live shows planned. Jacko is working with Sailor Mouth Records bands like Sharpie Crows and I am working on my solo career, one of my projects being The Candy Caps with which I record my solo songs. I am currently looking for a backing band based in Auckland and willing to travel overseas in about a year's time. Until that time I will be playing regularly around Auckland. I am also currently in the process of being signed to an Auckland-based manager. Jacko's bands regularly perform in the Wellington circuit-they can be checked out by visiting the Sailor Mouth Records myspace.


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Click here for a sample of Elliotís latest musical officerings and make sure to get out and see him next time he plays. 




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