Hailing from Glоucеstеrshirе, newcomers Elessar have all the characteristics to succeed with their brand melodic alt rock. Whilst they admit they firmly sit in amongst the plethora of current “Brit Rock” bands, their new EP ‘Reflections’ shows signs of determination. Songs such as ‘My Skin’ and ‘Arrogance’ are carried anthemic tendencies whilst ‘Holding Back’ hints at a more gritty side from the quartet.
To coincide with the release of ‘Reflections,’ Elessar will be going out on a lengthy UK tour. Before they packed their bags, we caught up with vocalist/guitarist Ricky Powell to find out more Elessar; how they formed, the importance of touring, being part of the “Brit-rock” scene and more.
AH: I understand you’re four close friends who formed the band just last year. Can you tell us more about how Elessar came to be?
Ricky: Yes the band formed just over a year ago, we were all in separate bands, that over time began to fizzle out. Then one day Alex (Evans – vocals/guitars) and Dan (James – drums) got together to jam out some ideas at our old practise room. Shortly after, I received a message from Dan to see if I’d like to join them for a day, nothing serious, just for something to do! It didn’t take long for things to click, and a few days after we were all sat in the pub discussing the possibility of starting a new band. We agreed that we would give 100% to the band, and that if we did this, we’d go all the way with it. No half measures. We then brought in Jack (Gambling – bass) to complete the line up, he hadn’t played bass for years, but we put faith in him to put in the hard work. He’s certainly not let us down. The work ethic in this band outstanding at times. We all want the same thing.
AH: We’re just days away from the release of ‘Reflections.’ How is the mood in the Elessar camp right now?
Ricky: If you’d asked us a month ago, I’d have said nervous but also very excited! We had no idea how people would react to our EP. But as the singles have come out, the reaction has been outstanding. And our mood has certainly changed. We’re very confident with what we’ve created, its a perfect foundation for us to take the UK by storm this year. I honestly think we have the best fans already, and they’ve certainly given us a boost leading up to the EP. We’re excited to see how everyone reacts on release day.
AH: As you’re a new band, how would you describe yourselves to new listeners?
Ricky: We always struggle with this question. We pride ourselves on not being pinned down to one style. The EP shows a mix of punk rock vibes, along side a very gritty emo style. We’ve also been described as taking a “dark” turn with some of our songs. We really believe there’s something here for everyone! But the important thing for us is that we play music that we also enjoy listening to.
AH: The release of the EP will be quickly followed by a lengthy UK run. How vital is touring as much as possible for a band in your position?
Ricky: Absolutely vital! It’s taken us a whole year to get this EP out, but we’ve filled that time with relentless touring. We’ve built our fan base from playing shows up and down the country, meeting and getting to know everyone we can along the way. The fans are what’s important for a band of our size. They enable us to grow! This release tour is certainly a terrifying thing to look forward to, we’ve never done anything of this size before, but we guarantee we’re going to kill it every night! This is our time.
AH: From hearing the EP, we get the feeling it sits firmly in the current “Brit-rock” trend. With so many similar bands coming through, what makes Elessar stand out?
Ricky: In all honesty, we’re not anything brand new, the reviewers will tell you that. But what we do, we do very well. It’s a saturated market these days, however its a market we intend to rise to the top of! Our live show is often a highlight of our band, we’re tight, energetic and we certainly give everything we have on that stage. EVERY night. At the end of the day, we use this band to express our thoughts and experiences. People can vibe off that and feel it with us. That’s why we’ll stand out.
AH: From the title ‘Reflections,’ we guess the EP covers a range of deeply personal topics?
Ricky: The EP covers everything that people can experience in life! Anxiety, self-doubt, love and loss. The songs ‘My Skin’ and ‘Goodwill’ in particular, tackle the issue of self-confidence. There really is something here that anyone can relate to. The main idea, is that you can do whatever you want in this world, you just need to believe in yourself. All this is coming from a kid who 6 years ago wouldn’t even consider getting on a stage, let alone playing to an audience and entertaining them.
AH: What inspired the EP lyrically?
Ricky: It’s inspired by past and present experiences of the things I’ve been through. Like I said before, self doubt and anxiety feature a lot in the EP, forever asking the question, “am I good enough?” But the mood changes as the EP grows, ‘Empty Frames’ in particular was written for my father. Who recently tackled a few hard times himself. However the EP does ends on a high note, ‘Goodwill’ is all about escaping the four walls, stepping outside and enjoying everything around you. It’s a perfect representation of how our friend Will Lusted lives his life. He brought me out of my shell many years ago, and I’m forever grateful for it.
AH: Even though it’s still early days for you, what do you consider your short and long term goals?
Ricky: Short term goals is to build a foundation. We want to have people who believe in what we do, and support us in every way possible. With social media making it harder and harder for bands to spread the word, we heavily rely on the people around us.
Our long term goals would be to see our name in lights one day, take the UK by storm and pay back everyone who’s been there since day one. We can be an ambitious band at times, but we enjoy every single moment of this. We believe we have something special here.
AH: What impression do you hope people walk away with after hearing ‘Reflections’?
Ricky: We just want people to enjoy it. If people can vibe or relate to it, then brilliant! Or maybe use some of the heavier tracks to let out a little aggression when times get rough… But in the long run we want this to be a record that people love listening to, and will continue to listen to it in future!
‘Reflections’ EP by Elessar is out now.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)