Elliot Blair, the singer/guitarist of Dead Leaves, took the time to chat with us about the band, their upcoming release, and more. Vultures is due out on Take This To Heart Records on August 25. You can pre-order the album here and check out the interview below.
When the band first formed in 2013, did you imagine you’d be where you are now?
We’re really happy with how things have turned out so far. We’ve played alongside of some of our favorite bands and have had the opportunity to do some small tours. It’s always been a lot of fun performing for people who haven’t heard us before, and meeting new friends all over the place. It’s been an amazing experience. Now we’ve been working on our new record for the last two years and we’re so excited to show everyone.
The Ohio music scene keeps getting bigger and bigger it seems. Do you have a favorite spot to play to your hometown crowd?
The Ohio music scene is amazing. There are so many good bands and we’re grateful that we can be a part of it. We like playing at Mahalls in Lakewood a lot because a lot of that music scene is kind of engrained there. We also like playing at Kling Thing which is this house located in Akron. They have a long history of incredible DIY shows and they’ve played a big part in what the Northeast Ohio music scene has become today.
What was your writing process like for Vultures?
I wrote the first song on Vultures in August of 2015. We wanted to write a full length record for a while and wanted to make sure we did it right, and create something that we would be proud of. The process usually consisted of me writing and recording demos in my room, and then slowly refining the songs as a full band.
There were times during writing that I would spend hours on a verse, trying different things until something stuck. I would constantly send demos to the rest of the band to get opinions and ideas. I think we ended up with 50 songs in total, and we narrowed it down to 12 for the record, but only chose 9. I ended up writng ‘Wake Me’ later on, while we were recording the record. Overall, we’re very happy with how everything turned out, and Vultures is something that were proud of.
Can you tell us some of your influences or inspirations for the album?
Among many others, two of my big personal musical influences are Say Anything and Jimmy Eat World. I think that kind of reveals itself in my songwriting.
I was inspried to create something from my own personal situations in hopes that someone who listens to the songs can relate. The whole record is about being vunerable, which reflected the way I was feeling at the time.
What was the studio experience like when you recorded? Who did you record with?
We recorded with Dave Piatek at his studio in Cleveland. We had recorded our self titled EP with Dave, so we knew what to expect when going in. He really takes his time as an engineer and producer to make sure everything is perfect. The biggest thing for me was that, Dave seemed as excited about the record as I was, and that was a big insperation for creativity in the studio.
How would you say the band has changed since the self-titled EP in 2015?
In my opinion, I think our sound has matured a lot from our EP. I’ve personally been through a lot since our EP was released and I hope that comes through lyrically on this new record. We’re constantly working on improving our writing and performance, so I think we’re definitely more in tune with each other than we were in 2015. I think the biggest thing though is that our inside jokes have evolved to the point where it’s almost impossible to keep a normal conversation with any of us.
What plans do you have once the release is out in a few weeks?
We’re kicking off our record release with our release show on September 1st, and we’re hitting the road in support of the release until September 10th. Then, in October, we’re doing another small tour and playing Fest 16.
We have a bunch of other awesome shows coming up toward the end of the year as well.
Thanks for taking the time to chat. Where can our readers keep up with the band?
You can follow us on Facebook.
Instagram and Twitter: @deadleavesoh
Also you can keep up with us over at the Take This to Heart Records site.