Artist: Elliott BROOD
Hometown: Windsor, Ontario
Latest album: Keeper
Answers provided by Casey Laforet
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I’m not sure there was ever really a moment for me, to be honest. I started playing guitar in high school (because of Nirvana like so many other kids of that time) I always liked playing, but I never really considered a career at it as a viable option. I’m still not sure that it is! For the first few years of the band as a duo, it was all just for fun and we both worked full time jobs. Things started taking off for us and we had to leave full time work to tour. I think I knew it was going to be a career on our first tour of Europe. That made it all seem very pro.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
Some songs seem to just fall out of you and others are definitely harder to pull out of the air or wherever the ideas come from. The song “Northern Air” was a tough one as it involves the death of a friend. The song (chords, melody, etc.) was already written as a breakup song called “Goodbye” about an ex-girlfriend with different lyrics, but at some point it mutated into “Northern Air” which is the story of an annual camping trip taken to visit the memorial spot of a very dear friend. Twenty years ago we brought a mailbox (which was involved in the car accident that killed him) up into the forest in northern Ontario. Over the last 20 years we’ve gone up there to visit him. It took a while to get everything right with that song because of the personal subject matter. I agonized over it probably more than any other song thus far anyways…
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
It kind of depends on the show. One thing I don’t do is eat within 2-3 hours of a show. I play better when I’m hungry. I usually take a post-soundcheck walk for about an hour to check out whatever town we’re in. A lot of times I’ll go find some random bar and grab a drink and hang with some locals for an hour. Those can be fun and informative times. I actually bought a folding bike I’d like to use someday if touring ever comes back.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
That’s a pretty good question. I can guarantee it would be a Mexican restaurant, that’s for sure. It goes Mexican, Vietnamese, Italian in my book. As for the musician, my number one would be Levon Helm. He’s probably my biggest musical hero. I’ve read and watched everything there is to read and watch about the man and he just seems fascinating to me both as a musician and just as a person. I had the opportunity to see “The Ramble” at his farm in Woodstock the year before he died. Garth Hudson was the special guest that night. That was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. Tequila and tacos with Levon would be my pick.
How often do you hide behind a character in a song or use “you” when it’s actually “me”?
I think I do that a lot. I think we always try to be as universal as possible. We like to leave it up to the listener. I definitely draw from my own life and experiences but it’s never direct. A lot of times a song may seem biographical but is actually put together from a lot of unrelated experiences. We’re more of a storytelling band. I’ve always loved that kind of songwriting like from The Band or Dylan or Neil, just being able to become different characters and be their voice. That’s always the goal in our book even if the songs are personal ones.