Earlier this month, when Elba Lane unveiled their new single Destination Outer Space, we were immediately immersed in their fuzzy alt-rock sounds.
We’ve had the track spinning on repeat ever since we first heard it, so we caught up with the band to chat all about it.
Fresh off the release of their incredible latest single Destination Outer Space, we caught up with Brisbane outfit Elba Lane for a chat.
HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
ELBA LANE: We had our single launch last Saturday which was pretty massive so just been taking it easy this week, enjoying the long weekend sitting around in the pool listening to the various triple j and Double J countdowns. Right now I’m listening to the 1998 Hottest 100 Countdown on triple j and it is badass.
HAPPY: We’ve been loving Destination Outer Space! Could you tell us a bit about the track?
ELBA LANE: The song is about a friend of mine who was going through a bit of a tough patch, a bit of a slump just doing the same thing every day and getting a bit over it. So the song is basically saying: “why don’t you try and do something new, something a bit different and exciting. If it doesn’t work out, well you can always come back to what you’re doing now which is still a pretty good life all things considered.” So the chorus of the song kinda wraps that feeling up:
“Take a risk and leave to outer space,” is why not try something out, chase your dreams. “When you get back you’ll see it’s all the same,” is the feeling a lot of people get when they come back from a big adventure and notice that they didn’t really miss too much compared to how awesome their trip was. Like that face people make when they come back from overseas.
“Leave a letter and tell me on the way,” is just kinda saying, just go do it and we’ll all be very happy for you if we wake up one day and you’ve just gone off and made it happen. And the story got sort of wrapped up in the narrative about the astronaut in the film clip.
HAPPY: How are you feeling about the song now that it’s out in the world?
ELBA LANE: Yeah, it feels pretty good. Destination Outer Space is the third track off our upcoming album (Destinations, out May-ish, 2019). The single has been pretty well received. Ditto music added us to the Aussie Hitlist last week and our clip on Youtube has had over 11,000 hits the past couple of weeks. Still just trying to get it out there to a wider audience. We’re really proud that all the hard work we’ve put into it can be now shared with everyone.
HAPPY: This is your first track since releasing your debut album in 2017. How do you view this new material as being different from that album?
ELBA LANE: Arctic, being our first album came together very quickly and we were sort of just going for it not really knowing what we were doing. While we were really happy with how it came out, I think you can hear the lack of cohesion as you move through the tracks on Arctic. A lot of the songs were written with a singer-songwriter vibe going on that was morphed into a full band environment.
The songs that are coming out on Destinations, and in particular the single Destination Outer Space were written with the band and we had a specific sound in mind. We’ve played the songs a number of times live over the past two years allowing them to grow a bit or to change if things weren’t really working. We’ve certainly had a much better understanding of the guitar tones and the layered wall of sound we were chasing after. Overall the new album has a much better ‘flow’ to it.
HAPPY: Was it a conscious decision to leave that much time between releases? Or have you been working steadily on new music since then?
ELBA LANE: We’ve been steadily working away on material and continue to do so. We just had to wait until the time was right and we could all get together for enough space to get the recording done. Having said that it was nice to have the extra time to not rush things. For example, we had a bunch of extra tracks that didn’t make it onto Destinations because they didn’t really sit with the vibe of the album. So it was nice to not have to force them on there to ‘make up the numbers’. We definitely intend to keep writing and playing a bunch of shows this year.
HAPPY: We’re picking up a lot of different sounds in your music. Are there any particular bands that you’re listening to at the moment?
ELBA LANE: Growing up we had older friends, siblings etc. that listened to bands like the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, The Pixies, The Offspring etc. so a lot of our sounds emanate from bands like this. Closer to home a couple of bands I’ve been really into of recently are Holy Holy from Brissie, Fragile Animals based up on the Sunnie Coast and Garage Sale out of Lennox Heads who all have these nice guitar melodies and vocal lines in their tracks with a bit of a throw-back sound.
HAPPY: We imagine your music would translate perfectly to a live environment. Could you paint a picture of what a live Elba Lane show looks like?
ELBA LANE: We’re a three-piece but we do push out a pretty heavy driven drum and bass backing with lots of fuzzy guitars, bass effects and weird delays buzzing about the place. We have a loyal bunch of followers (for whom we are very appreciative) that are usually jumping around up the front trying to coerce people up to dance. Last week we had an astronaut on stage with us which was pretty funny.
The feel of the songs live are a good reflection of what’s recorded and we certainly bring a lot of energy on stage with us. The sound is heavy but not aggressive and we layer a nice cloud of bass and guitar to sing over with two-part harmonies and keep things dynamics with soft and then heavy sections to mix things up a bit. We often will strip the verses back and let the drum and bass really roll, driving us along.
We’ve had a couple of new drummers come through the band the past six months and they have really added a new dimension to what we can do live and it’s been really exciting to push things in a live setting.
HAPPY: What’s next for Elba Lane? Any other exciting plans in the works?
ELBA LANE: Album launch of the ten track Destinations in May-ish which we’ll be doing a run of shows and a bit of a tour. We’ll be back working on some new material soon and also just playing as much as we can. We really enjoy playing live so we can’t wait to get back out there. Looking forward to a big year.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
ELBA LANE: No, thank you. It’s great what Happy Mag are doing for local music.
Destination Outer Space is available now. Watch the video clip above.