Monday, April 22, 2013

Q & A with Josh Rigal of Little Brother Eli

Earlier this year, some fellas from the UK caught my ear.  I took an instant liking to their sound which is a warm mix of blues, soul and rock. They are, Little Brother Eli.

The band has been working on an EP that we'll be able to hear on April 25. Naturally, I wanted to know more about the band so, I sent some questions over and Josh Rigal from the band sent over some answers. This is the result of our ‘e-chat’.

Quirky NY Chick (QNYC): Tell us a little about yourself. How did the band come together?

Josh Rigal (JR): Me and Alex (Grew), other than being best friends, had played together for years in our old band before it broke up in 2010. We met up in April of 2012, we were just hanging out, playing bits of music and ended up writing a song called Mary. From then it just took off for us, more and more songs just started flowing organically.

After we had written all this material we decided to get a band together - consisting of the talented Linus Taylor and Adam Stowe on guitars and Benji Page on drums (with myself on bass and Alex on vocals).

(QNYC): How would you describe your sound to those who may be unfamiliar with your work?

(JR): That’s always a difficult question, but I’d say there are heavy influences of blues and hip hop in our music. Maybe we’re like Led Zeppelin and Jurassic 5 without the rapping!

(QNYC): Who are some of your musical influences?

(JR): We’ve both been steered by the likes of Jack White, Led Zeppelin and The Black Keys. I know Alex learnt about melody by listening to his Dad’s ELO records, so Jeff Lynne is a big influence. My musical interests stretch far and wide, from funk, soul and hip hop to folk, blues and classic rock. It’s probably worth mentioning the Beastie Boys, Stevie Wonder and Larry Graham as some of my biggest influences that I bring to this project.

(QNYC): What inspires you to write? Does it tend to be more from personal experience or more from observation?

(JR): We’re very much entirely cooperative in the song-writing process. We’ve written and demoed well over an album’s worth of material, mostly consisting of rough vocal takes and shoddy guitar playing (from Alex and myself).

Alex writes a lot of his lyrics from an emotional perspective, but on the other hand he also is very good as taking on personas and telling stories in our songs.

I write a lot of the instrumental side. My creative process is much more spontaneous and random than Alex’s I think – I listen my favourite records and just go mad!

(QNYC): I know you’ve been working on an EP. When can we expect its debut?

(JR): In the next few weeks if all goes to plan! We’re just adding the finishing touches to the EP – we’re not rushing it because we want it to sound just right.

(QNYC): I’ve only heard you via your YouTube videos; I love the acoustic vibe of them. Can we expect something similar on the EP or will there be a more rock sound?

(JR): The EP is definitely more electric than the YouTube videos. However, our acoustic video track Awkward Positions is on the EP which we’ve twist and turned it into a very intense hip hop vibe while keeping an acoustic twinge. We hope to really blow people away with our energy and passion!

There will also be a few official music videos to accompany the EP, so keep an eye out for those too!

(QNYC): In parting, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

(JR): Thanks so much to everyone who has watched our videos and written such wonderful things about us. Please come and find us on the internet and talk to us. We really love engaging and sharing with our fans!!