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Elvis Deluxe

In het september issue van Lords of Metal heb ik een recensie geschreven over het debuutalbum van Elvis Deluxe. Terwijl ik met het album aan het meedeinen was, kwamen er wat vragen op en die zijn doorgestuurd naar de band. Hun slagwerker Miko zat ook duidelijk in een goed ritme toen hij ze beantwoordde, dus bij deze een mooie lijst antwoorden.

Door: Bart D. | Archiveer onder stoner

When first putting up your record 'Lazy', I thought I was listening to a band from the sandy deserts of the United States. Instead, you appear to be from Poland. Could you assure our readers that you aren't migrated from the other side of the ocean? What influenced the band to make such music?
Hi there! Indeed, we're indigenous Polish, however I don't think nowadays – with all the Internet, MySpace, YouTube, e-zine stuff – it matters, really. Sounds a bit naïve and utopian, but you either listen to good music, or crap, and you either play good music, or crap – it's out there. All you have to do is sniff around, reach out and get what's good for you. Of course, musical tradition, the stuff you grow up with is important. I can't remember exactly the music my parents were listening to, but a few months ago my dad walked in on me when I was listening to some stuff for our glam rock project (called Cats From Japan), and he said “What's that, Gary Glitter?” I was pretty surprised that he KNOWS, hehehehe… I can also remember some Led Zep and Deep Purple tapes dad kept in our old car… And that's the same thing for all of us, so I guess we had music in our veins. In terms of influences, glam rock is a pretty fresh hype for us, we've been into it seriously only for like two years. Before that, there was Kyuss (of course) and all that medley of Kyuss-related bands: QOTSA, Unida, Masters of Reality, Mondo Generator… And even before that there was Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones and The Who. You name it! All that stuff called rock 'n' roll formed a dark cloud that one day came over Warsaw and BAM! – we were struck down. Oh, and for the record – we do have deserts in Poland, only little ones, hehehe…

The CD sounds very good; the way the two guitars combine their sounds, the groovy drums and bass, the laidback vocals, everything seems in place. Have you been thinking and puzzling a lot for it or did it come automatically? Have you been playing together for a long time?
Thanks for the compliment! The way it usually works is that I or Bolek (guitar) bring a riff, or a complete song to a rehearsal, and then we take it to a more or less painful “arrangement” stage, where we add the bass, drums, and vocals. In the meantime Mechu builds his own world of crazy sounds on the other guitar, and eventually we bring it all together. Seldom does anyone have a 100% ready idea for a song at the start, but when I bring an idea to a rehearsal I am pretty sure, that others will complete it in a certain way, and that it will be the right way. So, I think it's a matter of trusting each other in the band. And when a song just doesn't sound right after several hours spent trying to arrange it, we just decide to park it and revisit it later, or just throw it away. Only sometimes we fiddle with songs for a longer period; usually it doesn't take more than two or three rehearsals to complete a song. I guess after five or six years playing together some things just click, or don't click – that's just the way it is!

To continue about your definitely 'lazy' sound, is someone in the band responsible for the psychedelic influences? It also re-appears in the artwork and your videoclip, not to mention the descriptions of the bandmembers on your MySpace!
Well, yeah… It's not JUST the sound – we simply ARE lazy! Sure, we have our moments, but we aren't the quick-career type of guys, we don't rush to anything, we don't have THE PLAN. Even our MySpace profile was added by our friends. In a way, we're still like teenagers playing in a garage band hoping to be discovered, however cliché or pathetic it may sound hehehe… And I'm just mentioning it, because I feel our approach to music and life in general is greatly responsible for our “lazy” sound. And there's no one person in the band responsible for this or that kind of influence – we all feel that's just the way our music should be. When we first got together all of us played in hardcore bands, so Elvis Deluxe was for us an “out of this world” retreat. Only with time it kind of evolved into the main band. We just dig the sixties and seventies, the sound, the looks, the films, the books – everything.

Is there a big scene for your music in Poland? I would have to guess not, because the record label that you are on – Get By Records - has mainly hardcore bands besides Elvis Deluxe. Or are you guys perhaps hardcore stoners?
There are some stoner bands around here, not that many, however… Some are signed with bigger labels, like Corruption, and others, well… disappear in the darkness, like Oregano Chino from Warsaw. Still, there are a couple of crazy guys and gals who like us and put us up for their shows. But indeed, we mostly play hardcore gigs – around here hardcore, rock 'n' roll, punk, stoner are all mixed together. We played a show with metal bands (a thing called Show No Mercy), next week we're playing a 10th anniversary gig for Bora (our hardcore friends from Vilnius, Lithuania). As long as people want us and are having a good time when we play, we don't mind, if it's called stoner, punk or hardcore gig.

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I saw some live clips of Elvis Deluxe on the Internet, and it looked like the band had a good time. Do you play and/or tour a lot? Have you already been playing shows in the Netherlands?
Indeed, we are having a great time on stage. Touring has a little something for everyone: Mechu likes the time in the van (because he can talk to his mates), Ziemba likes to get stoned (because, well…), Bolek likes to gets drunk (because than he can chase young girls), and I like a little bit of all of the above. So, touring makes all of us happy. And we aren't doing too much of it, we don't want to get bored, it would spoil the fun hehehe. But now, after a longish brake we are planning to do some more gigs (Poland, mostly). And we'd love to play Netherlands sometime, we never did so far.

Would you like to live a life of touring around the world with a shiny beast of a tourbus, rockin' and rollin' day and night? Are there such ambitions within the band?
For starters, we have no ambitions at all, that should be clear from my answers above hehehe. We haven't been on a long tour with Elvis Deluxe, but we have been touring with other bands. And I must say it all depends on the people. I guess we could go on for some time (I mean a few weeks) without killing each other, because we know each other quite well. But I would never like to cross the line from “touring – a great time with your friends” to “touring – A JOB”. I realize touring is not quite the same as working in a post office selling stamps, but it can become dull. And our music is too precious to me to make it dull.

As a band, have you got some big influences, like a record or a band you always listen to before you start jamming on new songs?
There's always something new, I guess… Lately we've been listening to a lot of glam rock – T.Rex, Gary Glitter, Suzi Quattro, and the like, and some of it permeated to our songs. As for myself, I started to work a little harder on my drumming skills, so I listen to a lot of Led Zep – Bonham is my all-time favourite drummer. I have always been listening to a lot of Iggy Pop – he also used to have good drummers. I hope our music will keep evolving, so I'd rather stay away from trying to copy one particular record, regardless of how good it may be.

To get back to your CD 'Lazy', this is you debut album, right? Have you been working on it for a long time, and have you had some demo material before burning this one down?
Right, it's our debut stuff. When we first started playing (2002 it was, I think) once we got a few songs ready we recorded them. Mainly because I wanted to check if my drumming is any good – it was my first band I played drums. This was a kind of rough material we did in our friend's studio and we didn't show it to anyone, it was just for ourselves. After that we decided we wanted to “spread the good word”, play some gigs, etc., so we made another demo, this time in a more professional studio (actually, the same as we used later for “Lazy”). We started distributing it around – to gig promoters, record companies, etc. No dazzling success, no lucrative deals, but a couple of people heard about us, so the goal was reached. “Lazy” includes some material from these two demos, some songs on it were virtually composed on the first few rehearsals. So you could say, it took us about four years to come up with ten songs. Not that long, was it? Hehehe…

Your album is really good, the artwork is well taken care of, you have a record deal... So, is there some more promotion planned? Is the CD being distributed across many borders? Perhaps a tour to promote the effort in the nearby future? It would be nice to see you guys play around here!
Thanks again, I'm really glad you liked it! We are planning a few gigs here and there, but no plans for a big tour, no. We'd need to get organized, or something. Too much work hehehe… No, seriously, we did get some gig proposals from Belgium, Netherlands, France, and I'm sure one day we'll try to make it there. By the way, if you'd like to invite us to your gig, email us and we'll try to get there! The CD is available worldwide through GetByRecords, www.stonerrock.com and other distributions. So, I guess it's not that bad for a ridiculously lazy stoner band from a country with just one tiny desert hehehe…

If there is anything you would like to add or say to readers and future listeners, put it down here. Thanks for your time answering the questions and I hope you will keep on finding those grooves!
Right… If you have a desert of your own – please take care of it! Keep it dry, provide a lot of sunlight and keep your cat off, otherwise he'll litter it! With time it may flourish with a beautiful variety of sound and colour. Just give it a try! Take care!

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