Everest Guest Blog: Who the Hell is Everest?
Part 1, in which Elijah Thomson introduces himself, the band, their sound and their intentions.
Cool zephyrs bluster and howl in tremendous gusts as pink-white petals somehow cling steadfastly to branches full bloom with the billowing flowers of early spring. Soft white sand shifts along the village streets from the seashore, as seagulls (smartly) stay out of the cloudless sky. The unbounded Atlantic Ocean, wine-dark and white-capped, extends infinitely into the golden shimmering eastern horizon. Along the western horizon: the New York City skyline.
Welcome to Point Lookout, NY: An idyllic island community of perhaps a thousand residents located in an archipelago dubbed "Long Beach," along the southern coast of Long Island -- conveniently situated just 30 miles as a crow flies from central Manhattan. It is here that Everest -- a rock and roll music outfit from Los Angeles, CA -- has decided to rent a house for the month of April, as a base of operations in anticipation of a new LP to be released sometime after the summer solstice.
Your humble blogger, the man on the inside, plays bass guitar in the aforementioned outfit.
The reader might wonder why a rock band from LA would choose a sleepy beach town as their base over the bright lights and big titties of the inner city. They might have suggested Hipstersbuerg, or Göbroken as apropos alternatives. Sohoverrated or Bushwhack would suffice, instead of subjecting selves to the Townies of Lawn Guyland. The reader should understand that the members of this rock and roll ensemble have visited this fine city a number of times in our disparate and multifarious pasts. And while we do appreciate and cherish all of the wonders of a prime metropolitan experience, we also appreciate having a place to park our van.
In spite of where we sons of man rest our weary heads, our days and nights have been in the city -- Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and in-between. Since our arrival a week ago, I've smoked cigarettes outside a cabin nestled 25 stories above Wall Street; ate subs from Bronx's Little Italy on the campus of a Jesuit university; rode in the backseat of a '67 Malibu over the Hudson River; participated in an avant garde off-Broadway production of Shakespeare's Macbeth where the audience masqueraded themselves and chased the players through a multi-level set/building; and ate a late night slice or two.
Oh yes, we're getting our fair share of the cliche New York experiences.
Since this blog is intended to be the first in a series, I won't dwell too much on the retelling of wacky, eccentric events (yet). For the rest of this edition, I want to tell you a little bit about our band, collectively and independently.
As I stated before, Everest has recently completed recording our third LP, currently titled Ownerless, which is due to be released on June 26, 2012, C.E. Ownerless was recorded and produced in Cottage Grove, OR and Los Angeles, CA with the invaluable help of friends Richard Swift and Rob Schnapf. I truly can't wait for this new record to be released. We all couldn't be prouder and happier with the final result. In a way it feels like the creative forces within the band have coalesced and begun working in a type of harmoniousness that had been previously unachievable. Without discounting the efforts on our earlier records, Ghost Notes and On Approach, in a weird way Ownerless feels like a true debut. It's an unveiling, if you will, of a sound honed the old fashioned way: through blood, sweat, tears, and mileage.
Methinks there is no other way to hone a sound.
You see, a band's sound is part preconceived agenda and part discovery... heavy on discovery. A portion of the path to that discovery is interpersonal in nature. Like the divergent skillsets on a basketball team needing coalescing to achieve true transcendence, a band requires a cooperation of all of the body's members. I believe a good band is something special -- as compared to a solo artist -- because ultimately it's harder to achieve a cooperation of disparate creative folks than it is to answer only to one's self (although that does come with its own psychological difficulties).
There are examples of bands that are solo-artists-with-sidemen in disguise. Everest is not one of those bands. It's the creative co-op type, and here's a little bit about the individual members:
Russell Pollard: Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, 2nd chair drums and percussion; composes songs and lyrics. Dark brown hair. Hazel/brown eyes. Currently sporting a thick grizzled beard. If he were a boxer, he would be in the "you probably shouldn't box" weight class. He is a sweet-hearted and caring man to his core, with unnatural tendencies toward optimism; but he always keeps a dark cloud in his pocket... just in case. A beer and whiskey man. Bravely timid. Timidly brave. Raised in Fresno, CA. Dog owner. Gear on current tour: Fender Telecaster; Martin Acoustic; Tungsten deluxe; pedals.
Jason Soda: Background vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards; percussion; composes songs and (more recently) lyrics. Shoulder-length light brown hair. Hazel/brown eyes. Practically no facial or body hair anywhere on his hairless body. Invariable smirk on his face. Connoisseur and online dealer of vintage gear, cars and fashions (specialty: '60s-'80s). Fiercely independent. Acutely self-aware. Quality golf swing. Too cool for any school... ever. Primarily a beer drinker, but appreciator and consumer of all libations. Raised in Coachella Valley, CA. Dog owner. Gear on current tour: '66 Fender Stratocaster; '66 Gibson J50 acoustic guitar; '66 Ampeg Gemini I amp; pedals.
Joel Graves: Background vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, keyboards; percussion; composes songs and lyrics. Shaggy reddish-blonde hair and booshy beard of redder hue, bullshit brown eyes. Resident tortured artist. The incredible sulk. Ladies' man. College graduate (UCLA). Recording studio owner (New Monkey). Naturally generous. Enjoys the gamut of the libation universe. Raised in Fountain Valley, CA. Does not keep animals as pets. Gear on current tour: '66 Gibson Trini Lopez electric guitar; '65 Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar; Tungsten Cortez amp; pedals.
Elijah Thomson: Background vocals, lead and rhythm bass guitar; percussion; composes songs, and when needed, a lyric or two. Long, tousled brown hair; blue eyes. Blogger. Figuratively and literally, the heaviest band member... but, for what its worth, also the strongest... and wittiest. Former and future record producer. Father of two. Ex-husband of one. Tequila and Mexican beer. Raised in Riverside, CA. Former dog owner. Gear on current tour: '73 Gibson Les Paul recording bass; 2004 Ashdown ABM 500 410 combo.
Crane: Drums and percussion; man of mystery. Dark brown hair with a tight cut, long on top. Brown eyes. USC and Berklee. Jazz cat. Patriotically painted truck, without an once of irony behind it. Guitar virtuoso impersonator. America: F*ck yeah! Lacrosse attacker. Nine time Ozzfest attendee. Shredder. Does not keep animals as pets. Doesn't really drink fluids. Gear on current tour: C&C 4 piece. (Thanks C&C!)
Corona Extra joins you in supporting WFUV and Everest, WFUV's artist-in-residence for April, 2012. Corona invites listeners to see a show, grab a Corona Extra and find their beach. Imported by Crown Imports, Chicago, IL. Corona reminds listeners to relax responsibly.