A Guinea Pig + Rhode Island + A Guitar = Ellis Ashbrook

Bands with a sense of musical maturity and ambiguous mystery create some of the most stimulating, unwinding tunes. There's nothing like having the right soundtrack when trying to chill, whether it's early Saturday morning or after 5 Monday evening.

Ellis Ashbrook has that kind of sound. This New York band of four is coming to Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta on the 7th bringing their prog-rock, jazz and funk with them. Come to the Midtown bar to unwind because we all know how the case of the Monday's can be!

Until then, check out this interview they did for the blog. They talk about their name - which could easily confuse folks who are equally confused with the GROUP Travis Porter - and their latest project Meridia.

How did you guys get together and form Ellis Ashbrook?

The guitarist John and drummer Alex started playing together as kids. Bassist Jonathan joined up around the beginning of college and Natalie, keys and vocalist, at the end of college. Several other members have come and gone over the years, but the 4 of us have been living and playing together in NYC the last 4 years.

Where did that name come from?

Ellis was a Guinea Pig, Ashbrook is a street in Rhode Island. Can you dig it?

I sense a maturity with this group, when it comes to your sound. Like, chill or folk rock of some sort. Am I at least on the right track? How would you describe your music?

We wear many hats. For instance, on our latest album Meridia you will hear down tempo jazz, progressive organ-driven funk, Tool-esque riff rock, saxophone, strings, 20 guitars at once and a lizard tongue bass.

Where do your musical influences come from? Do you guys all come from the same background musically?

Yes and no. Natalie grew up on classical music and basically sans contemporary pop-culture save Elton John, Xanadu, Sheena Easton and Whitney Houston. We also have a strong 60’s and 70’s classic rock, prog-rock, and funk foundation mixed with the rock music of the early 90’s. Lately, there’s been more of a jazz and electronic influence, but we are constantly exposing our ears to new sounds and vibrations so our musical palate can grow and expand in unforeseen directions.

If "sometimes it's unassuming, unalarming" then why not watch? I guess I'm asking what's really going on in "No Please Don't Watch."

“No Please, Don’t Watch” is about the beautiful, confident dualities that make people tick.

Does Meridia sound like this, lyrically? What else does this album's lyrical content contain?

The lyrical content of all our songs is based in sensation, observation, meditation and consecration. We encourage positivity, yet we embrace the dark depths of everyone’s life experience.

How long did it take to create this album? What was making this project like?

Jerry Garcia said recording an album is like building a ship in a glass bottle, playing live is like sailing the ocean. Long before we were anywhere near a microphone we perfected song structures, lyrics, melodies and grooves so we could layer parts freely for days. Our motto became lay it all down then start building it up piece by piece.

What has touring been like so far? What do you guys look forward to the most (other than performing) when you come to Atlanta?

Haha off the previous question, touring is like building the proverbial ark. You can’t be prepared, you create a flow and you go. We love local record stores and I am hoping Criminal Records is still around when we get there. Great food and vintage clothing are always a must too. Seeing the different worlds growing in each city is the best really, Brooklyn has its own flavor and we love it but there are so many wonderful meccas we have stumbled upon on tour. It’s refreshing.

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