Catch up with Little Brother Eli's Josh Rigal (bass) for a look at their new sound and look for much more to come from the Oxford-based 4-piece soon.
What brought you together?
Josh: Prior to Little Brother Eli me and Alex were in a local Oxfordshire teenage band called South Parade. It was a very different outfit to LBE, mostly because we were kids, but also because we were still learning to play our instruments in lots of respects; like most teenage endeavors it eventually ended. Several years went past and in 2013 me and Alex met up in Sheffield where Alex was studying. There was a guitar lying about so I started noodling, Alex started singing and a song emerged almost immediately. Over the next few weeks and months we started trading ideas over the internet, building songs (mostly off iPhone recordings) and, realizing we had something special, we decided to put together a band. I chose the best musicians I knew at the time (and still know of): Adam on guitar who I'd known since school, Benji on drums who I'd played in a hip-hop band with prior to LBE and, also involved at the time was Linus Taylor on guitar who is no longer in the band but tours the world with Brian Ferry! Lucky bugger, a mega talented guy. From my point of view, the chemistry and originality was pretty instant from the first couple of rehearsals.
Where does the name Little Brother Eli come from?
The name has a lot of rumours surrounding it, mostly spread by me - I like to keep an air of mystery around the name. Check out the artwork for "Tooth" and you might spot Eli yourself...
Which artists or bands would you say influenced your sound, if any?
As the band has developed and changed I can honestly say it's become really hard to pinpoint. Alex loves to listen to tons of great songwriters from John Lennon to Alex Turner, Benji is into hiphop like Kendrick Lamar, Adam sits somewhere between Michael Jackson and Kenny Rogers, and I pretty much exclusively listen to 70's funk and Vulfpeck. It's an extreme plethora of styles and I feel the result is something original in nature.
Are there any artists or bands you're most excited to hear more from in 2018?
I'm going to give a shout out to some great artists we've played with: BIG TOOTH (Prince-influenced pop), Willie J Healey (90's grunge pop) & Chris Barker And The Premium Leisure (jazz experimental pop [something like that]). These are all artists who've payed our residency night at The Monarch in Camden which we hold every couple of months or so.
How does your new sound compare to your previous releases?
To my mind, it's a step in a new direction. I'm not sure how to describe it - we're really just being ourselves on this record; we left any idea of what we used to be at the rehearsal door and just performed in a way we that was most natural to us. What came out was "Tooth" and we're really excited about it.
Can we expect to hear more from Little Brother Eli in 2018? Do you have plans to tour or release a new album?
Yep, gigs are being arranged all the time and we're releasing at least another two singles in the next 3 months or so. As well as live videos, new artwork, a new image, et cetera. Fans need to make sure they are following us on Spotify and liking our social media to keep up to date. We have a very active Facebook Group run by some dedicated fans that's worth checking out, too.
Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
Our next single "Wait For You" (30th March 2018) is pretty exciting live and it has a pretty insane guitar solo in it. However, the oldies are sometimes the best and our fans love our track "Beautiful People" which we usually play at the end of our set. It's such a feel good track with a sing along chorus. Adam does lead vocals in the verses which always brings a smile to my face.
What do you hope listeners can take from your music?
I hope that they feel that guitar music can make a comeback, but mostly I hope they connect with the song and that it brings some aural joy!
Is there anything you want to add?
Quick message to readers: if you can and if you want to, make sure you visit your local live music venues every now and again to keep them alive!