Having impressed audiences all over the west coast for the last 12 months, someone finally had the sense to sign Elora Danan so the rest of us could get a taste of their atmospheric take on modern rock.
Bassist Matthew Thomas caught up for a chat about why we all have secrets…
Interview w/ Matthew Thomas (Bass)
of “Elora Danan”
By Cameron Chambers
Thanks for speaking with us
this evening Matt.
No worries mate.
For those that aren’t familiar
with you guys, tell us about the “coming together” of Elora Danan.
Basically it spawned from a metal
band that me and George had played in… George was played bass and
I was the guitarist. George had always had aspirations of being a singer
in a rock band so he got some members together but they were still missing
a bass player.
I had a bit of spare time so I
thought I’d take it up and join the band.
Who came up with the name?
I loved “Willow” when I was a kid!
Ha ha, so did George. Prior to
actually forming the band, George and Ryan were doing this acoustic
duo thing and playing around Perth a bit. Before a show they were stuck
for a name and they’d been watching Willow so they thought they’d
go with that.
When the band formed, everyone
really liked it so we stuck with it.
A lot of local bands put a
demo out but the Elora Danan demo was good enough to land you on a string
of high profile supports – did you think those early tracks were good
enough to garner such a reaction?
Yeah, I think so actually. We
spent a lot of time and effort on those demos. We played up the idea
of recording a few songs but we took our chances and chose to only record
a couple of songs and to really take our time with them.
We figured that would give us
a better run at what we’re doing so rather than having 6 really rough
songs we could have 2 songs that we’re proud of to this day.
Your debut release
“We All Have Secrets” has been out for a month now
– what has the reaction been like so far?
It’s been over the top man.
We did our CD launch and thought we’d have enough records to last
us for a couple of months at least but they were gone in 3 weeks! It
just blew my mind!
People at my work were into it
which was cool. This lady came into my work and said she’d heard us
on Triple J, she was in her late 30’s and yeah, she asked for a copy
which was cool! Ha ha
walk us through the recording process for the record?
Yeah, sure thing. Basically we
recorded wit a guy called Chad Blondel. He was friends with Issac through
his church. He hadn’t recorded a real band before, he’d done things
like youth groups, stuff like Youth Alive but we thought he had good
gear and was a nice guy so we gave it a go.
We’d already done the vocals
for our demo with him which was cool so we went back to him. His studio
is at the top of IMAX theatre which is cool. It has a really good room,
and we were able to chill and go have dinner at Hermosa so it was really
We did the drums and things went
really smoothly so it gave us time to fine tune things. The drums only
took a couple of days and the bass was done really quickly which gave
us some time so we decided to whack one of our songs – this acoustic
song – which we didn’t really like on the record and it turned out
to be one of our collective favourites which is weird.
The quality of the recording
is really impressive man, especially for your first record
– was there a set sound you guys were going for when you were putting
the EP together?
It wasn’t a set sound or anything
like that. We liked the sound that Chad got for the vocals on our demo,
so we knew we’d get him to do the vocals on the new disc. He said
that he’d do the rest of it better than what was on our demo and we
were cool with it so we just said if you can do it better, let’s see
what you can do!
After hearing the In Fiction CD
– they’d set a benchmark for sound – we just said if it can sound
anything close to that then we’d be happy. It sounds really good to
us and we’re really happy with it!
It’s always refreshing to
hear a bass heavy record – it gives your songs such a solid
backbone that’s lacking on so many albums these days.
I’m glad you said that… thanks
man! It wasn’t a conscious thing though. With rock bands I find it’s
the bass sound that stands out and a bad bass sound can let the whole
record down. We definitely needed something that sounded good under
It’s good that you picked up
on it though because I’m not a good bass player, ha ha.
No worries man. Glad I was
able to throw a compliment your way.
Good choice of sample by the way… The Beach is a great movie.
Yeah, we’re all big fans of
that movie. I’m probably going to reveal the secret in this interview.
We named the record “We All Have Secrets” for a reason and if anyone’s
got copies of the disc, look at the lyrics and there are hidden messages.
Each song is about a movie and then inside the lyrics is a special treat. We’ve used it before…
Parallel Universe is written about “The Beach”. Well, not about
the movie but as close to it as possible. All of the songs are written
about movies we really love.
With Issac (guitar/vocals)
contributing so many vocal parts does he and George
collaborate on lyrics?
Basically George comes up with
the ideas and Issac is in his own little world. No one has a clue what’s
going on in there… he’s in his own headspace. Whatever they come
up with is different but they end up collaborating.
They both have such different
voices and Issac thinks of stuff that suits him and then George comes
up with vocal parts that suit him. They put them together and usually
Do George and Issac ever encounter
any problems when it comes to structuring melodies given that they both
have such commanding vocals?
The main problem is Issac saying
“here’s a line” and it’s 3 octaves too high for George to sing,
Elora Danan’s songs are really
busy, there’s always so much going on. Who are some of your influences
as a band and on a personal level?
As a band we are all in love with
Circa Survive. When we started the band we listed some influences and
it was bands like Fall Out Boy and all the poppier stuff but when we
sat down and wrote songs they didn’t sound anything like what we were
To get compliments about the Circa
Survive comparisons I think is because of our guitarist’s shredding.
It’s just a testament to our guitarists!
Generally though our biggest influences
would be Further Seems Forever, The Receiving End Of Sirens and Circa
How did your signing to Boomtown
Records come about?
Um, Jaddan got in contact with
us after we did our demo. I think it was our third show and we played
with Prom Queen in Perth which was massive for a third show! We got
together with some of the guys after the show because we knew them from
when we were in our metal band and JJ too a copy of the demo home to
his girlfriend Mel from Destroyalllines.
After that we got an email from
Jaddan saying that he was interested in our sound and that he’d heard
people were taking about us.
I think he said it stemmed from
our first show, which was with Silverstein, so to have something like
440 people for a first show was such a blast! So yeah, Jaddan said everyone
was talking about us and he got in touch asking to hear more. We did
everything he said hoping for our big break but he led us on for a year,
After a while we were like, is
this going to happen or not and yeah, he finally said cool and he liked
what heard and he’d like to sign us. We said yep right away and it
was great to finally be able to get that off our chest.
A large part of Boomtown’s
success has been built off the bands on their roster’s willingness
to tour – is it harder for you guys to hit the road as frequently
given your location?
Yeah, it’s definitely difficult
in terms of money. We’ve been east twice off our own budget and it
put us a little bit behind, but we were prepared to put the money out
and attract some interest, so now that we’re with Boomtown hopefully
it’s going to ease up a bit.
Now we’re on a label with so
many amazing bands and with the Boomtown tour in November it’s going
to be so awesome playing with bands that have such a massive reputation
on the east coast.
As you just mentioned, you’re
lucky enough to be participating in the Boomtown Showdown tour this
year – what are you looking forward to most from these shows?
Just playing shows with awesome
bands really. I think the second time we went east the shows were slightly
bigger so I hope the third time we’ll be playing to bigger crowds
and more people will be open to hearing our music.
And we get to play more shows
with In Fiction!
Do you think your alcohol consumption
is going to be able to match the boys from Amity?
In short… no! ha ha
Who are some other bands from
Perth that people should hear?
Animefire. Those dudes are doing
something different in the metal scene. They’ve got their heavy stuff
happening with drum n bass, so it’s refreshing to hear! That’s all
I can think of really.
What’s been the most memorable
Elora Danan show up to this point?
Umm, I’d say the show we did
at Metro City with Saosin. That show was about a year and a month after
we started the band and to be playing in such a massive venue with a
band like that to 1000 people was just amazing.
To open the show and have kids
screaming was amazing and to think we’d achieved so much in such a
short period of time was so cool.
What’s been rocking your
Funny you should ask man. I do
have an IPOD but Issac borrowed it for the last 4 months so I just got
it back! But, he’s been rocking his warm up tracks.
That’s about it man, anything
else you’d like to add?
Nah, we’re just siked to come
east again and play some shows on the Boomtown tour, meet some new people
and see some new faces and hit up some places we haven’t been before.
Awesome man, thanks again for
Check out http://www.boomtownrecords.com.au for more info on the upcoming Boomtown