Fitting in is tough. You need a certain style, a particular flair and in the case of the fickle music industry, a sound that audiences identify with. For Vancouver-based band Elias, finding a niche to fit into is a particular challenge. Because the group is so musically varied, Elias had trouble finding gigs when they were starting out.
"We haven't really played a style of music that has a scene attached with it, getting shows and getting into the circuit of bands here has always been tough for us," says vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Brian Healy. "We're not really heavy, we're not super indie. So it's like there has never been a solid place for us."
After releasing their self-titled EP in 2006 and their first full-length All We Want in 2008, the band proved themselves in Vancouver. Like in any scene, it isn't so much about what you play, but who you know Healy explains.
"We are starting to definitely get to know a lot of those new bands that are coming out of Vancouver now, so there is starting to be that overlap, even though the music, or the styles don't necessarily overlap," he says. "You start to develop friendships with other bands, but it is tough."
This month, Elias is taking their sound back on the road, leaving the familiarity of Vancouver for the adventure of touring. Because they haven't toured for about a year, the band is certainly looking forward to this jaunt.
"It's going to be really nice to get right back into it," says Healy. "There are a lot of places we haven't played in, actually, even longer than a year. It ended up being pretty ideal, because musically, I think [tour mates Pilot Speed are] is a pretty good fit, and we've been fans of theirs for years now, so we kind of lucked out with that one."
The tour is acting as a launch for their new album, Lasting Distraction, out October 13. Elias signed on with Wax Records for this release after All We Want's success. Taking a new approach to recording for the new album, Healy is confident their hard work paid off.
"For the most part [the album] was all done together as a whole which is kind of nice," he explains. "It's a different approach than we've taken before, where we've gone in and done three or four songs and then another three or four songs a couple of months later, but this one we actually went in to the studio and start to finish, did the whole thing. So I think there's a lot more thought given to the flow of things, and how everything works together."
Healy says that the new release maintains the feel of the last album, so previous listeners fear not, it's still the same familiar sound. The group have channeled different influences than on previous recordings and brought a bit more of their personal history into the songwriting.
"We sort of went back in our catalogue to stuff we grew up with, Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon and things like that, to influence our approach to writing, so that was something that was a bit different for us, too, and it gave off a different feel in certain songs on the album."
Healy says he hopes that people will find their own meaning to the songs, as Lasting Distraction is all about the personal connections we make.
"You always think that you're the one person that feels a certain way about a certain thing, and in reality, you know, everyone tends to think that from time to time," he says. "Hopefully that's what comes across when they hear that particular song, whatever it may be on the album."