For your listening pleasure, direct your attention to Brooklyn.
There’s the DIY scene, thriving venues, and bedrooms converted into music studios. You can hear music pulsing from apartment windows, your Facebook invites to shows are piling up, and there’s an influx of musicians in your bedroom – wait, maybe that’s just me…
Yes, venues close and bands get pushed out of studios but at the end of the day most musicians carry on. Bands give away songs and merchandise for the pleasure of seeing their music out of their hands. House parties happen every night with musicians clamoring to play. There’s a lot going on here. Over the coming months I’d like to introduce to you some of my favorite musicians (and friends).
It’s time you got to know Elliot & The Ghost. Taking the music scene (and neighborhood) by storm, the group consists of William Thompson as lead singer, Brett Giroux on lead guitar, Connor Jones on bass, and Dan Edwards on drums. Between shows and DJ sets, they’ve found the time to record several songs with music videos to go along with them. A daunting task that the boys make look so easy. I joined the gang at Will’s house in our neighborhood for whiskey, beers, and good conversation.
LF: Rock and Roll is alive and well in Brooklyn. How did you find yourself here and why?
Will: I’m from Austin and as much as I love it there and it is a good music town – the city’s changed so much. It’s kind of a hard question. It’s a little bit of everything. There’s no industry. You play the same place over and over. You can open more doors in New York.
Brett: I was living in Philly with my brothers. Playing music with a few bands but nothing too serious. I got a job in New York, packed my bags, and never looked back. Musically I had a clean slate to start from which was liberating.
Dan: I was living on Long Island and playing in a band there. We were playing shows in Brooklyn though so it seemed like the natural progression so we migrated here. We eventually broke up and that’s when I joined these guys.
Connor: I moved to New York to study music and I just stayed here.
W: Music definitely brought us here
LF: What are some of your favorite spots here in Brooklyn?
C: We can’t give The Graham another shout out (featured in their music video for “Peach”)
W: But we will…We also like Rough Trade a lot – it’s a great venue.
C: Jessi’s on Bushwick Avenue for iced coffee (A resounding yes from the guys) – I even drink their iced coffee in the winter.
W: Degraw Sound has been incredible for us. It’s our number one studio here in Brooklyn.
LF: You guys have released several singles with music videos to go along with them. How did that formula come about?
W: There’s no album. We’re doing a series of singles. 3 of which are out. We are about to go into mix our fourth and last single. There’s a video for each one so it’s been a busy couple of months.
B: It’s a cool concept to collaborate with so many artists in Brooklyn -different photographers, directors, producers,
W: A lot of our friends do a lot of creative things that aren’t just music. We’re all still developing our craft and so it’s a great thing being young and seeing people create stuff and coming together on projects. It’s really important. We do that as much as possible.
C: Plus it’s more fun this way.
LF: In the current music scene, there are different levels of success that aren’t necessarily typical. What’s like winning an award for you guys?
B: It’s not so much money or fame but the notoriety from the people you admire.
D: That and the fans that keep listening and want us to keep recording.
LF: Who are you guys dying to see live?
C: I’d love to see Savages. Father John Misty always puts on a great show.
LF: Who would you guys like to open for this coming touring season?
W: Let me look at my wall…
C: I would do anything to open for The Strokes.
LF: What are you guys currently listening to and inspired by?
W: I’ve been listening to a lot of Dr. John. The album “Dr. John’s Gumbo” – sounds so good when it falls off your mama’s lips, yah gotta catch it with a biscuit!
C: Van Morrison – literally all day today. It was raining, I was super bummed, and he just picked me up.
LF: Where else do you guys find inspiration?
W: There are certain albums that will always turn me on – Asbury Park by Bruce Springsteen – Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City -Their creative process in terms of production is inspiring.
B: TV inspires me sometimes. I’ll hear something, get inspired, and write a counter melody and it’ll turn into a song.
C: I always go back and listen to my favorite bassists.
W: Greenwich Village – Washington square Park specifically. I remember when I first moved here, walking around there, all wide eyed.
B: Whenever you see a show you’re always inspired too.
C: That’s when I realize if I like a show or not because afterward I’ll want to go play immediately.
B: But the opposite of that is also true. I saw this band recently that wasn’t very good and I walked to the front of the stage – drunk – and asked if I could play for him. He of course told me to fuck off but it was still inspiring.
C: That’s Brett in one story.
LF: As a band, what do you guys fight about – if anything?
C: Brett’s Rock and roll guitar moves.
B: They’re just jealous.
W: I would have to say every fight we’ve had as a band are over Brett’s guitar moves.
LF: What possession could an angry ex girlfriend take that would really piss you off?
B: My first guitar. Easy answer.
C: I sold my first guitar.
W: Me too.
LF: That’s so sad.
C: Man, I don’t have anything.
W: I can answer this for you – your turntables.
C: I sold those. There’s nothing to take. My happiness comes from within.
LF: What do your walls look like?
W: (As you can see from the photo shoot) They’re covered in musicians and deer heads.
C: -I’ve got Kurt Cobain, nick cave, and a We Are Scientists drum head that I actually found on the street.
D: I have maps, skulls, and artwork from my family.
LF: Describe your on stage style
W: “Dress sharp” that’s all we really say.
LF: What’s your favorite look on the opposite sex?
C: Basically the same things I’m wearing – if we dress the same then I can steal her clothes.
LF: What turns you on?
C: No comment.
LF: How FAST do you live?
C: When you started this interview we had a full bottle of whiskey – now it’s empty.
B: I wouldn’t want to live faster than we are right now.
C: Yeah and next time we’ll take another bottle of whiskey.
LF: Any last words about Brooklyn?
W: This neighborhood keeps you motivated.
C: Things can feel played out but New York will always be New York. I don’t think Brooklyn has anything to worry about
Keep an eye out for Elliot & the Ghost’s next music video for “Big Tease” coming out later this month. Also a new single will be out next month with a video to follow!