Beginning in a small town in coastal Massachusetts by three long time friends, Elder started making rumblings in the stoner rock and doom scene with their first releases Elder and Dead Roots Stirring in 2008 and 2010. Relentless touring and increasing disillusion with the gimmicks and lack of creativity plaguing the heavy rock underground spurned the trio on to expand their sound, bringing in more psychedelic and progressive elements to their music. 2015's Lore was a pivotal moment in the band's orbit, receiving praise from the stoner/doom audience as well as reaching listeners outside an often insular scene, thanks to an unwillingness to adhere to genre limitations or cliches. During a period of incessant touring following Lore and full of inspiration from their travels, the band holed up for periods of intense songwriting over breaks to produce their most inspired and adventurous music of their now ten year career.
Reflections of a Floating World is Elder's fourth full length album and second LP released via Stickman Records (EU) and Armageddon Label (US). Long, undulating and dense tracks float between psychedelic passages and progressive rock without missing a beat; adventurous and unpredictable songs are punctuated by hypnotic jams, all colored by the tendency toward melody and dynamism that has become the band's hallmark. In keeping with their motto of expanding and expanding upon their repertoire, guest musicians Mike Risberg and Michael Samos joined the core three in the studio to add extra guitar, keys and pedal steel, adding vibrancy and lushness to the album. In all regards, Reflections shows a band with a clear vision honing their skills with every year.
Elder will be presenting their new album on a European tour in July/August 2017 and in the US in the fall. As another first, Mike Risberg will be accompanying the trio on the upcoming tours, bringing his experimental guitar and keyboard playing to further enhance the live experience, and once again visual artist Adrian Dexter will be live animating the shows with his trademark psychedelic visuals.
The story behind the Floating World...
Each Elder release has had a strong theme tying it together musically, conceptually and aesthetically, and the newest release from the trio-turned-quartet is true to form in this regard. While it remains a constant point of mention that the group's sound has shifted or evolved in the band's now 10 year existence, this seems hardly remarkable to the band; their main sources of inspiration lie in life experiences and our world itself, both musical and a-musical.
In the years following the release of Lore and the extensive touring that ensued, life became a blur of constant touring, flights, opportunities and stress, friendships and broken relationships ??? put shortly, the trials and tribulations of a band playing music for a living and living to play. It is during these years that the lyrical content for the new album took form, from introspection about what it means to live life on your own terms, to refuse to cave to societal and peer pressure and carve your own path. The term ???the floating world??? comes from a particular period in Japanese society which is associated with a flourishing of the arts, but also a self-destructively decadent lifestyle. Our own ???floating world??? is the one we inhabit today ??? filled with greed, sadistically capitalist and relentlessly hedonistic ??? and the album's songs are the band's own ???reflections??? of it. In traditional Elder fashion, however, nothing is one-sided: the songs portray the tragedy of a meaningless and shallow existence, but also celebrate hope in an almost anarchic, self-determined life.
Rochester, NY. Psychedelic / Heavy Blues / Stoner Rock. Formed in September of 2013.
King Buffalo invade your ears with heavy driving riffs and a familiar groove. Psychedelic, blues and stoner overtones combine with thunderous bass and drums, reminiscent of heavy 70???s rock. A wall of sound, a trio of soaring sounds, and an unrelenting pace merge to form their own musical styling
When he takes the stage to perform, Chase Rice pulls no punches. "You're gonna be
mine and I'm gonna be yours for an hour and a half. We're gonna be in each other's face.
If you don't like that, walk out the door." It's his M.O: take it or leave it. Yes, the
budding country star means business when he performs. And the crowds that dutifully
yell every damn word back his way? They don't seem to mind one bit. "I'm looking for
people who are looking to have the best night of their entire life," Rice says of his
raucous, get-down-or-get-out live ragers. "If you aren't here to party, I'm gonna make
Truthful, unfiltered, unafraid to take every risk he encounters, Chase Rice is that rare
artist who means what he says and backs it up with equal measure. "I'm going to speak
the truth any way I can," says the singer-songwriter, who, without a song on mainstream
radio, saw his 2013 Ready Set Roll EP top the iTunes Country charts and when its titular
single hit the radio waves, he watched it climb up the Billboard charts and hit Gold
before it even entered the Top 20, ultimately peaking in the Top 5 and scoring Platinum
Don't tell this man it's good enough, however. "Whatever it is. I've always been of the
mindset of 'Let's move on to the next one,'" says the 29-year-old, hell-bent and firm in
his resolve. "I've always been the guy to say 'I promise you that's not going to be my
biggest accomplishment in music.'"
As if on cue, Rice, who co-wrote the Hot 100-busting Florida Georgia Line single
"Cruise," is rearing back for more with his new full-length, major-label LP Ignite The
Night, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre
chart. It's a genre-busting bruiser of an album that tackles tube tops and tears in equal
measure, out via Columbia Nashville and his own Dack Janiels label. Rice laughs. "I
wanted to push this album to a whole other level," he says, and with wickedly racy songs
like "Ride" buttressed up against sentimental, reflective charmers like "Carolina Can,"
Rice is backing up his claim.
It's a sonic free-for-all, Ignite The Night: see the electronic-drenched "Ready Set Roll;"
or the big-buck arena-rock bombast "50 Shades of Crazy;" even the swampy-bluesmeets-hip-hop
banger "Do It Like This" or the softer, mid-tempo ballad (and current
single), "Gonna Wanna Tonight."
"The sales and crowd singing back to me show that I am doing something right," Rice
offers. "And I can just keep giving the cold-shoulder to popular opinion."
"Honestly, from day one I wasn't going to let anybody tell me this wasn't gonna work,"
Rice says continuing, recounting several years spent pounding the pavement, slowly
elevating his shows from small-club gigs on the back of his 2012 album, Dirt Road
Communion, to opening slots on an arena tour with Dierks Bentley. "I don't care if
people call me 'bro-country' or they call me hip-hop or rock. All I care about is if I walk
onstage and people are screaming every word back to me."
Along the way, as he says, Rice transformed himself from "underground" to "that star, or
whatever you want to call it." Clearly, fame, and all its superfluous trappings, as far as
Rice is concerned, means little to him. It's all about hitting the stage, delivering the goods
and heading on his way. "I'll never consider myself famous, but that's what people are
saying, so whatever," he says, chuckling. "We've gone from that underground artist to
'Oh, that's Chase Rice, that guy who's on the radio.' And once you get on the radio you
better hold on tight!"
Rice's live show is an adrenaline shot of energy, conservative standards be damned. He
takes cues, in this regard, from his idols like Garth Brooks and Kenny Chesney and,
before them, the Highway Outlaws: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.
"They didn't call themselves that," he says of the Outlaws. "They were that because they
basically gave the finger to everyone telling them how to do it. Garth, the same thing: he
wanted his live show to be like Kiss."
Quite simply, don't expect this Florida-born, North Carolina-raised, football-playing,
music-loving firestarter to go all Hollywood "I'm going to try to cling as tight as I can to
the other side of it ??? the non-fame, the underground," he explains. "Because as soon as
you start thinking of yourself as famous or a big deal, there's probably a mountain you're
about to fall down real quick. No matter how big fame gets, I've got friends to kick my
ass if I start getting out of line."
Rice, who following a football scholarship at University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill,
and a stint working on a NASCAR pit crew, decamped to Nashville and began writing
with the members of Florida Georgia Line, always had a knack when growing up for
recognizing what makes a quality song. But it was journaling in high school, a practice
he's maintained even as his touring life got crazy and hectic, that helped him evolve into
an artist with whom Nashville's most elite song crafters are eager to break bread. "I've
got literally eight stacks of my life in these books," he says of his ever-mounting journals.
"And it's just my life. I've tried to do it every day. That started the process of my mind
working. It's allowed me to let my mind go. I can let the good out, let the bad out, write it
The success of "Cruise" didn't hurt his reputation as a stellar songwriter. And while he's
quick to acknowledge an immense pride for being a part of the hit single ??? "Hell yeah,
I'm pumped about 'Cruise!' It's one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me" ???
with Ignite The Night in his back pocket, Rice is confident we haven't seen anything yet.
"I've always been of the mindset ??? it's from football ??? if you win a game against Miami,
you've got to go play Virginia Tech next week. Let's write something better. Let's write
something more meaningful."
And so Rice continues to hit the studio, take the stage each night, view each day as an
opportunity to make his mark. "I'm happy with how it's going," he says modestly of a
career about to blow. "I'm very happy with doing my club shows right now. I mean,
George Strait didn't get to number one in a year."
"Head down, eyes up," says Rice of what lies ahead. "Keep on going."