Introducing: Little Brother Eli
Hey guys, can you introduce yourselves?
We're a 5 piece band from Oxfordshire. We play bluesy garage rock, tour around the UK and Europe playing shows and releasing new music!
How’s 2016 going for you so far?
2016 has been amazing so far. We've just released our debut album Cold Tales as well as a snazzy music video for our first single ‘This Girl’, which has also been played on radio quite a bit. We've also been fortunate enough to perform at some great festivals like Common People and play a sold out album launch party at our local venue The Bullingdon.
Tell us how you got to releasing the new record?
We recorded the album in three sessions over the course of a year. This allowed us to develop the kind of production we were going for. We recorded it at The Animal Farm in London, a tiny little studio with an awesome producer who really nailed our sound and showed dedication to the project. We wanted the album to be as accurate reflection of us live as possible, so energy was key when recording. I think we got it.
What was your process for writing and recording it?
Me (Josh) and Alex are the main song writers in the band and our writing process tends to be working our chords and melodies on an acoustic guitar before taking it to the band for arrangement. Our manager had pushed us to write better songs, so the gaps in between recording the album allowed us to get back to the drawing board a few times and add in new material.
So, what’s the one song on the album that best represents the band?
We've just released the official music video for ‘This Girl’ - it's pretty loud and raucous and sums up the band pretty well. However, live, 'Beautiful People' is a real crowd favourite.
Your press release talks about Alabama Shakes and the Black Keys. You can choose only one, which and why?
Definitely The Black Keys. A lot of their guitar sounds influence what we do and their bluesy vibe with catchy songs is definitely something we strive to achieve with our own music.
And The Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin. Same questions.
Led Zeppelin. I like how every member of that band has their own voice through their instrument - they're a group of interesting individual musicians who work together to make a real unique sound. That's pretty inspiring.
You’ve toured around the UK, have you got a place you’ve loved? And hated?
We wouldn't like to talk about the places we haven't liked for fear of outlawing ourselves from a town! But if we’re honest our favourite place to gig is our hometown of Oxford. We've worked really hard to to build up a fan base here and being able to play a sold out album launch show during June was a real milestone for us. We've got a headline show at The O2 Academy in Oxford booked for 14th October and already over half the tickets are gone. That's why love Oxford.
What’s the toughest thing about touring?
Touring is a lot fun! We love taking our music to far flung placed and winning over a crowd. However, it is tough physically, mentally and also particularly financially (something that's not often mentioned by bands at our level). But playing live is really the fun part of being in a band so we take all the hard parts in our stride.
And what makes it all worthwhile?
The other day someone told us he’d flown from Germany to the UK just to come see us play because he loves our music. It's moments like that that make it all worth while. It's all about the fans.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve played live?
We've done some Sofar Sounds gigs in all kinds of weird places. Probably the strangest being an acoustic set on a narrow boat in Reading.
Social media: pain in the butt or vital to artists in 2016?
Probably both at the same time. We love interacting with fans on social media, but for bands at our level writing the songs and being our own marketing department can be taxing!
You’re from Oxford, describe what’s so great about the city for anyone not familiar with the place.
It's got to be one of the most beautiful city in the UK. It's full of amazing and inspiring academic buildings. We wouldn't want to be anywhere else.
What’s the one song you couldn’t never listen to again?
I love Frank Sinatra, but 'Girl From Ipanema' is one the most irritating songs of all time.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Maybe: what's next? Well we have a European tour booked for September. We’re pretty pumped about that.
Finally, how do you take your coffee? (Or alcohol?)
Benji our drummer drinks only the finest coffee black with no milk or sugar.
Thanks for your time Josh. Good luck with the record and the rest of 2016.
Cold Tales is available to buy now online, and also from music shops. Almost certainly Truck in Oxford.