SXSW Interviews: Elephant Stone

Well folks, it’s that time of year again here in Austin, TX. Well maybe not just yet, but it’s at least time to start talking about SXSW festival and the slew of bands coming into town next month. I’m sure many of you, like me, are wondering if we will all “be back to normal” or what sort of protocols will still be in place come 4 weeks? None of us truly know so it’s best to push ahead and get some excitement going for our favorite time of year. As we return to normal operations, the ATH crew will of course be prepping you as we usually do with interviews, previews, guides, photos, etc. Today we kick off our official SXSW coverage with our very first interview from Quebec based artist Elephant Stone. Hit the jump for more on the band along with full interview.

All responses come from founding member and leading man Rishi Dhir.

ATH: What’s the name of the band/group? Where are you from?
RD: Elephant Stone from Montral, Qubec, Canada.

ATH: Describe your groups sound.
RD: Sitarified psychedelia.

ATH: What was your most recent release? Any planned releases for 2022?
RD: A new EP (in French) Le voyage de M. Lonely dans la lune out Feb 18th, 2022.

ATH: Everyone’s been focused on the negative aspects of the last few years? What are a few good things that came about for you as an individual or the band as a whole during the last two pandemic-stricken years?
RD: Creatively I’ve been very productive: released a full length Feb 2020, a single May 2020, wrote/recorded/mixed a new EP, and worked on the soundtrack for an upcoming short animated film. And I wrote/demoed a new album over the xmas holidays. And I got to spend more time than I’ve ever spent with my wife and kids.

ATH: Why play SXSW? What’s the draw for the band? What about this festival will bring you to Austin?
RD: I love Austin. Plain and simple. I have a lot of old/strong connections to the city and SXSW dating back to 2003 and I played in the Black Angels back in 2012. Good times.

ATH: Let’s say your band has booked an official showcase at a pop up venue somewhere in the middle of 6th street. The lineup features thrash metal, hip-hop, spoken word, and you. The sound is horrible, the lineup is not your style, and the crowd is growing ancy. How would your band deal with such a situation?
RD: Pull out my sitar and play on 6th street. Actually, that exact scenario you described happed back in 2004 at SXSW when I played sitar with the Brian Jonestown Massacre at a bar on 6th. I was half in/out of the venue playing sitar.

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town, but if you could create your own perfect festival, who would you have playing? Would it have a sick name? Where would it take place?
RD: I guess my perfect festival would be what Levitation does every year.

ATH: What has everyone in the band been listening to, or, what plays in the tour van/car/bus?
RD: Well, can’t speak for the rest of the guys right now (been a while since we fully toured) but I’m really loving the new Beach House.

ATH: There’s been a lot of discussion about Spotify and streaming and all that these last few months. Where does the band stand? Whats your solution?
RD: I’ve been making recorded music for over 25 years and I feel I have a much wider reach with streaming than just physical sales. Is it a perfect setup? Hell no. The music business is always evolving and the bands are always going to have to fight to get their share. However, I do have hope in the possibilities of blockchain.

ATH: The band gets to create their own food truck to take on the road. What’s it called, and what are you serving?
RD: “The Pizza of Your Mind” serving Neapolitan pizza made in a wood burning oven.

Thanks again to Rishi for making the time to do this! Here is the latest single from Elephant Stone entitled “M. Lonely”. You can also pre-order new album Le Voyage de M. Lonely dans la lune on fancy green/orange splatter via the Elephant Stone bandcamp page.

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