Volume 94, Issue 22

Friday, October, 6, 2000


This Elevator is now in service

It's twilight time for Dulli

Moffats are all grown up

Friday Rant

This Elevator is now in service

By Rebecca Morier
Gazette Staff

For most people, winter is a stagnant season in which living things lie dormant until spring. For psychedelic rock 'n roll outfit Elevator, however, winter is the season for musical creation.

"We recorded all winter – maybe 40 or 50 different versions of different songs for this record," says Rick White, of Elevator's latest release, A Taste of Complete Perspective. As explained in the album's liner notes, White's role on the album is contributing "voice, guitar and the other sound."

It's not clear what exactly this "other sound" is, but the latest record blends a plethora of both natural and inorganic sounds, reaching for rich sonic heights. "We've never been too much of a riff band," White contends, of the band's musical approach. "We've had a few songs that kind of have catchy little riffs, but it's more about creating more of an atmosphere."

That atmosphere is a personal one, for the group who emerged in 1995 from the thick fog and lush landscape of Moncton, New Brunswick.

"[This album] creates the feel of our home in Moncton," acknowledges White, who also reveals the band's motivation for doing so. "We wanted to capture us and the atmosphere around us. We've always been into capturing not just our lives, but the way we react to the world and our evolving emotions."

Listeners of A Taste of Complete Perspective, will be able to easily trace these emotions, the source of which White credits to the six-month-long recording process during last autumn and winter. "It was the change of the millennium, we were off [former record label] Sub Pop finally, we were leaving our house. It's been a big, evolving process for us." He starts to laugh, indicating his shift to nostalgic gear: "We wanted to capture the full-out surreal-ness of our whole last winter."

Although A Taste of Complete Perspective is the most recent addition to Elevator's impressive discography, it is their first with Teenage USA recordings.

White states the reason for the band's departure from their former record label, Sub Pop, lay in promotional problems. "We've never been much of a promotion machine. We just do our thing and hope we can find people who are willing to put it out for us," he says matter-of-factly.

This "art for art's sake" approach to music making is an attitude White feels is becoming more common in the industry, in spite of the proliferation of bubblegum pop cop-outs. "I think so many bands are not doing the big do-what-you-should-do-to-try-and-get-popular thing. There's kind of another market now where you're not huge radio/video stars but you're still big enough that you can tour," he posits.

In fact, White readily acknowledges the band as part of this non-radio market. "We've always had a bit of a problem with getting any radio play," White admits, but goes on to suggest that the band's music is too complex for the simplicity of radio. "We've been told that we're either lighter or dreamier than most soft bands or we can go heavier than most heavy bands."

Having birthed their latest and most sonorous album less than a month ago, Elevator has currently been busy with touring the club circuit. Just as Elevator has their own view of rock, White envisions his own ideal touring experience. "I wouldn't mind playing theatres sometime. I find we're almost more of a theatre-type band. We're not much of a dance band and we feel like we get more respect when people are just watching. People seem to like to sit and watch us."

Tomorrow night, Londoners will have the opportunity to take in the ethereal rock stylings of Elevator – sitting, standing or dancing – at Call the Office tomorrow night. Fans should catch them now, since Old Man Winter – the band's creation time – is upon us.

"For the winter we'll just try and create again," foresees White. "We hate driving much in Canada in the winter – we've had enough of those icy roads."

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Copyright The Gazette 2000