Since forming in 2002 over a shared love for Neil Young, the Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Elliott BROOD has grown to become one of Canada’s premier roots music acts.
Elliott BROOD’s first EP, Tin Type (2004), features a rustic blend of banjo and acoustic guitar, found sounds, and raw vocals. The trio’s sonic roots echo in their fifth and most recent album, Work and Love, which was recorded at the Tragically Hip’s famed Bathhouse Studio and released by Paper Bag Records in the fall of 2014. Work and Love is the Canadian three-piece’s most personal record to date, and is described by Casey Laforet (guitar, vocals, bass pedals) as “the music of remembered abandon, new burdens, and those nights, years ago, when the moonlit fields seemed to go on forever”.
The Juno-nominated album features darkly nostalgic tunes that delve deep into memories of days and nights gone by through sweeping instrumentals and heavy drumbeats that beg for foot-stomping. But don’t expect a slow, melancholic live performance at this year’s Home County Music & Art Festival – Elliott BROOD is known for their lively, interactive performances.
Big thanks to Casey for taking the time to answer some questions in advance of Elliott BROOD’s upcoming set at Home County! Keep reading to see what Casey has to say about Work and Love, Home County, and the possibility of a new album.
Interview conducted by Steph Schinkel for Indie Underground.
Steph: This isn’t your first time playing in London, Ontario. Do you have any fond memories of London from your previous visits, or perhaps a favourite place to eat?
Casey: Mark and I both went to school at Fanshawe so I have tons of great memories. We’ve always had great shows there and they always end at Sammy’s.
Steph: You worked with a producer, Ian Blurton, for the first time on Work and Love. What advice can you give young aspiring musicians about finding the right producer? Why was Ian Blurton the right producer for you to work with?
Casey: I think if you’re going to work with a producer you should try to challenge yourself and find someone who might have different ideas than you. Ian was great for that. It’s good to have a voice outside the band.
Steph: You describe Work and Love as a “lament for youth”. Why do you consider the album a “lament”? What are your fondest memories from your youth?
Casey: I was a lucky kid with an incredible childhood so there’s a lot to miss. I had the kind of childhood that probably can’t happen anymore. I’d leave the house in the morning as a 10 year old and come back when it got dark. The album reflects on that in parts. My most vivid memories are the days running wild in a forested area near my house. There were no limits.
Stream “Jigsaw Heart” from Work and Love:
Steph: You recently recorded some of your shows at the Dakota Tavern in Toronto. Did performing knowing that you were being recorded feel different than playing a typical show?
Casey: It actually did at first. The first night was a little rigid but after that we just relaxed and had fun with it. It’s weird knowing that you’re trying to be perfect for the sake of an album. Luckily we had 3 nights to try and get it right. The songs actually sound great. We just started mixing it.
Steph: The video “Little Ones” has a very unique, aged aesthetic. Why did you choose to use this visual style?
Casey: We just went with the director’s idea. We were fans of his work. He definitely has a unique look.
Steph: Elliott BROOD is participating in a workshop at Home County this Sunday with the Kramdens and Twin.Fin. What can festival-goers expect from this workshop?
Casey: You never know with those things and I think that’s why people like watching them. They can be great or a train wreck. We usually have a great time doing them and you always hope for as much collaboration as possible.
See Elliott BROOD’s workshop with Twin.Fin and the Kramdens on Sunday, July 17 at 12:00 PM at the Centre Stage.
Twin.Fin performs at 5:00 PM on Saturday, July 16 at the North Concert Stage.
The Kramdens hit the stage at 8:00 PM on Saturday, July 16 at the Main Stage.
Steph: Are there any other acts you’re keen to check out at Home County?
Casey: The Sadies as always but I can’t make it Friday. I’m pretty interested to see The Pikes close things out Saturday.
The Sadies peform at 10:00 PM on Friday, July 15 at the Main Stage.
See the Northern Pikes at 10:00 PM on Saturday, July 16 at the Main Stage.
Steph: When can we expect a new album from Elliott BROOD? Perhaps a live album from your recent sets at the Dakota?
Casey: That’s hard to say but we’re hoping by early new year.
Steph: I’ve seen you described online as “death country”, a genre typically influenced by Southern gothic literature. As a student of literature, I’m curious – do you get much time to read on the road? Do you have a favourite author or genre?
Casey: Lately it’s been a lot of bios and things like that. Working on Willie Nelson’s right now. Mark’s been inspired over the years by a book called Wisconsin Death Trip and one of my favourites is a real life account of a military scout’s journey west in the mid 1800 US called 31 Years on the plains and in the mountains.
Steph: What’s your favourite track to bust out at karaoke?
Casey: Killer question. Can’t say I hit a lot of karaoke bars but if the chance arises I’d probably go for the Gambler or Honky Tonk Woman.
Catch Elliott BROOD at the Home County Music and Art Festival in London, Ontario:
- Saturday, July 16 @ 9:00 PM – Main Stage
- Sunday, July 17 @ 12:00 PM – Workshop with Elliott BROOD, the Kramdens, and Twin.Fin – Centre Stage
Upcoming Elliott BROOD Concert Dates:
- Saturday, August 13 @ The Ashwood Bourbon Bar and Restaurant in Bayfield, Ontario
- Thursday, September 22 @ Spencerville Mill in Spencerville, Ontario
- Friday, September 23 @ Nick Smith Centre in Arnprior, Ontario
About the Home County Music & Art Festival
The Home County Music & Art Festival is the highlight of London, Ontario’s summer festival calendar. This year’s festival will be held from July 15-17 in Victoria Park in the heart of downtown London, and features more than 30 of Canada’s best roots, traditional, and indie folk and pop acts, as well as one-of-a-kind food and craft vendors and artisans.
Stop by and see why Londoners have been coming home for 43 years of folk! Admission is by donation and the entire event is wheelchair accessible.
Other acts at Home County you can’t miss:
- The Sadies – Friday, July 15 @ 10:00 PM, Main Stage
- London Girls Rock Camp Showcase – Saturday, July 16 @ 4:00 PM, Children’s Stage
- The Northern Pikes – Saturday, July 16 @ 10:00 PM, Main Stage
- Còig – Sunday, July 17 @ 8:30 PM, Main Stage
View the entire Home County Music & Art Festival lineup.
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