Interviews: Elephant Takedown

We have had the opportunity to interview the Alternative Rock band Elephant Takedown from the UK. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or came out just like that?

We actually went through a few band names before we settled on Elephant Takedown. Canonically we were Running Fire Drills initially, a name suggested by the first vocalist to try out for the band. They didn’t stick around but we held that name until our second vocalist joined us, then we became Kiss of the Kraken. Phil (Lead Guitar) and Alex (Bass) in particular were never really in love with it as a name, and while chatting one day more or less stumbled onto the name Elephant Takedown. When Ben joined as the third and final vocalist, we took that opportunity to do a final name change. Everyone vibed with it and from that point it stuck.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

We’ve all quite disparate tastes, so our sound has come into existence through a lot of trial and error. We initially wanted to write like Alter Bridge but rapidly found that we just don’t write that way. Riffs we all enjoyed as a group tended to feel comparable to Shinedown, so between them, and Foo Fighters, and the grungy-ness of Nirvana, our style started to take form. From there it become about producing music with a certain energy, we stopped thinking about genre so much as “Is this an Elephant Takedown song?” As a result we’ve naturally started to congeal around a mix of punk and hard rock supported by a few modern metal tones.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Not really. Alex and Phil knew each other through Alex’s fiance. His partner and Phil worked at the same company, and Alex tagged along to an after work meal. Phil and Alex got talking about music and decided that this might be a great chance to do a jam session, something neither had really had the opportunity to do in a few years. It more or less spiralled out of control at that point. After the first jam session, they put up an advert for a drummer. Simon turned up the next week, and then they formed the core of the band for the next 12 months, until Ben turned up in Dec 2019 and completed the line up, again due to an online advert. In those first 12 months we had about 5 people come and go from the line up, but the band has been steady ever since.

4. Each band member's favourite band?

Ben: Four Year Strong

Alex: Periphery

Phil: Black Sabbath

Simon: Kid Kapichi

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Humans as a species. We still address some common themes like heartbreak and regret, but we really like to touch on sociopathic tendencies, paranoia, and manipulation en masse. Conspiracy theories too, there’s so much creative thought behind some of them that it’s impossible not to take a little inspiration from those too. While we’re not particularly political, hiding those themes behind the story of an individual with power to abuse makes the writing process really engaging for us too.

6. Where was your last gig?

The Portland Arms, Cambridge. We were opening for Standing Like Statues and headline act Dead Reynolds.

7. Where would you like to perform?

That’s a long list, but Download, Boomtown, Brixton Academy, and The Joiners (Ben went to college in Southampton and is a big fan of the venue) to name a few.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

Shinedown, Kid Kapichi, Foo Fighters to name some bigger acts, but pretty much anyone who likes our sound.

9. Whom not?

We’re pretty easy going, there’s no one who comes to mind...

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

We’ve all had it at some point, the cure by consensus seems to be “Just under 2 pints.” But in all seriousness, just getting on stage and enjoying yourself like you normally would goes a long way to curing it. If you’re having fun, the crowd will too, so don’t worry too much. That, and the more you play with others, the more comfortable you’ll get.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

As mentioned earlier, we’re all inspired by very different bands. It’s a really varied mix, so it’s easier to list them separately.

Ben: Frank Turner, Enter Shikari, Four Year Strong

Alex: Devin Townsend, Periphery, A Day To Remember

Phil: Black Sabbath, Black Stone Cherry, Rob Zombie

Simon: Blink-182, All Time Low, Aerosmith We feel that variety comes through in our music and our writing style, and it certainly means that a lot of our songs have to be written together in the room. No single person could write for the entire band.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

One fan asked if they could buy us a figurine. It was kind of them, but a little unexpected.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Our fans are supportive, and often chat with us at gigs after our set. We’re endlessly thankful for having them and look forward to seeing them and making some new ones at the next show!

14. What do you think of our site?

It’s a sick website, and you cover some great acts.

15. Something to add?

Stay in school and wear ear plugs, or your ears will ring for all eternity, and you’ll never sleep again; just ask Ben.

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