You certainly have a melodic style, who would you say are your biggest influences?
EC: I was in band in throughout elementary school and high school, and when I first started writing music, it was instrumental music (duets and trios for clarinet and flute, etc.), and melodies are typically required to be stronger in that kind of music. So, among my early and biggest influences are folks like Tchaikovsky and Mozart. I was also a video game junkie, and Nintendo composers, Koji Kondo and Jun Chikuma in particular, were rock starts to me. There was also an old Farfisa organ that was in the house at this time, and with it came book with music and lyrics written by giants like the Gershwins, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, and so on. Then I finally started discovering/getting into rock, and when I did, the Brits were there first – Oasis made me want to learn guitar, and Elton John sealed my fate. From there I discovered a lot of 60s and 70s, singer/songwriter stuff, and found modern folks like Aimee Mann and Ben Folds Five. Nowadays, I actually don’t listen to too much, as the risk of delving into pastiche.
Tell me why you are willing to give listeners half of your sales profits?
EC: Partly because if I get to the point where I’m able to make music for a living at all – my dream – then I have those listeners to thank for that. I also don’t like the idea of making a ridiculously large amount of money from my music. I even contacted a pretty well known manager recently to look at the possibility of working together, and in that correspondence I said I wouldn’t even want to make millions of dollars on a major label – I’d prefer a yearly salary on pace with someone working a full time job at a little more than minimum wage. That’s all I need to take care of what I have in my life right now, and since I’m not one to give in to excess, I won’t ever have too much more than what I have now. As I write this, I’m unemployed, and have been looking for a “normal” job for a while – in the boat with a lot of people – so I know people everywhere need all the help they can get. That’s why I have no problem saying to supporters of my music, “Hey, you helped me get to a point where I’m staying afloat, so I’m going to help you a bit, too” Plenty of people think it’s foolish, but I believe if you always show real, true appreciation to people, they will always have your back. Maybe that’s naive, but we’ll see what happens.
How did you meet up with Fernando Perdomo?
EC: We met while I was living in Miami – I happened to catch his band, an early Dreaming in Stereo, and after the set we were talking about our influences and etc. Miami not being synonymous with the music we liked most, it was a rare conversation, at least for me at that time. Fernando is a real frontline champion of powerpop and the singwer/songwriter, so after hearing my songs he agreed to working together on a studio project.
Is a full LP next?
EC: Fernando and I have been talking about that for a while and even made it a topic of coversation very recently, though we don’t know when it’s going to happen. I have more than enough songs, but not the resources, and a Kickstarter project failed. I guess it will happen if and when it’s supposed to happen.
Thanks so much for your time, Elijah – hopefully someday that LP will be a reality!