Q&A with Elika

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Hello Brian and Evagelia!  It’s great to be able to find out more about your band.  For those who don’t know about you, who plays what instruments in the band?  Who is the songwriter/composer?

Brian:  I play guitar and mix the records; Eva sings, plays drums and illustrates everything; Khaya holds down the low end and Andrew does a little bit of everything.

Your sound has been given the ‘electro-gaze’ descriptor.  Are you comfortable with this term or do you prefer a different description of your sound?

Brian:  Not sure and don’t care.  All that matters is if you want to listen to it.

Evagelia and Brian, from what I understand, you are the originators of Elika.  How did you hook up with Khaya and Andrew?

Evagelia:  We played with Andrew when we were a lot younger, and after having many years pass it’s super fun to be reunited like this for music. There are so many great memories from the past and we laugh our asses off. Khaya is someone who we always travelled in the same music circles with. She played in a band we loved called Mahogany and stayed in touch over the years. It’s great having her in the band.

You formed Elika in 2005 and have released at least 5 recordings before your most recent endeavor, a run of three 7″s.  Was your official debut album your self-titled record from 2006 or Trying Got Us Nowhere in 2008?

Brian:  The self-titled one is the real debut and was put out by our friend Eric over at TQA Records, who approached us after hearing our series of homemade EPs: Stars & Moonlight, Over Runways, and DistanceTrying Got Us Nowhere, which was mixed by our hero Jason Martin of Starflyer 59, came next via Fiercely Indie Records and the owner Stu flew us out to the UK to tour, which was amazing—shout out to Charlie Munro.  Snuggle Bunnies followed and was a big step for us because we went back to recording ourselves and got a ton of support from Antonio and Luis at Automatic Entertainment in Peru.  Our shows in Lima at the time are some of my favorites ever.  There Was No Summer, an EP, was released shortly thereafter on Chat Blanc Records and then Saint Marie released our last full length Always The Light and this new 7” series Girls, Be Serious.

How has your music changed or progressed over the years?

Brian:  In the beginning it was really experimental, then it got catchier, then it got dark, and now I’m not sure.

Evagelia:  I think it’s more confident. Also when you’re younger I think you are more about superficial things, and as you get older and continue to write music, it starts reflecting things that ultimately matter more, like life, death, heartache, etc…

Each of your recordings was released by a different record company and in different countries like the U.K, Canada, and Peru.  Did any of your work get U.S. distribution? 

Evagelia:  There was a while there where we felt like our music was embraced more by places outside of the U.S. maybe because we were doing so much with programming and computer beats, while there was more of garage rock thing happening in NYC… we kind of didn’t fit.  Now everyone has a laptop on stage, which is why I am playing more drums live.

Brian:  I think everything got US distribution at some point and in some form.  It’s like Eva said, the people who were first into it weren’t Americans.

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Looking at the here ‘n’ now and to the future, can you spill some details about the 7″s you’re releasing on Saint Marie Records?  Is the first 7″, which is out now, titled Girls, Be Serious?  What about the other 7″s?  What are their titles and are they in a similar vein as the 1st 7″? 

Evagelia:  My mother’s catchphrase to my sisters and me as children was, “Girls…be serious.” which is hilarious in retrospect because kids really aren’t meant to be serious. Every 7” is a pic of us as children making the most serious faces.

Brian:  They’re all going to be called Girls, Be Serious and be demarcated by name as “one of three, two of three, and three of three” out of respect to Jeri Ryan of Star Trek Voyager.  When I saw those little kid photos of Eva and her sisters, I just knew they had to be the covers of vinyl records one day and now it’s finally happening.

What have your experiences been like as a Brooklyn/NYC-based band?

Evagelia:  Lugging around lots of gear in the freezing cold to end up looking at 4 flights of stairs.

Brian:  The experience of going nowhere.

Well, hopefully that will change ASAP!  Can you please list your official site where we can find more info about you?

Brianhttp://www.elikamusic.com/