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June 07, 1995 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1995-06-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

o - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, June 7, 1995
Elastica stretch their popularity

3y Heather Phares
)aily Arts Editor
Elastica isn't your typical British band.
Not that there's that many "typical" British
sands appearing on American shores
towadays; the jazzy, hip-hop strains of
?ortishead, the mod revivalism of Blur and
he grandiose decadence of the London
;uede have as much to do with each other
s Abba and Swedish death-metal do.
Still, Elastica stand out amongst its
tntemporaries, not only because they're
tree-quarters female, but because they
>ck uncompromisingly - and because
hey have a surprisingly down-to-earth
attitude for a band with such a huge buzz
ground them. Donna Matthews,
Elastica's lead guitarist, offered a typi-
2ally optimistic opinion about the band's
first tour of the US this summer:" There
was snow all around and we all had the
1u. But we had a good time."
Indeed, Matthews feels that the band's
:urrent tour is an equally good time. Ac-
ording to her, the audiences have been
brilliant. We've sold out every night so
tr. It's been quite different every night;
ometimes people are going mad,jumping
p and down, and other nights they just
tand there and look. It really depends on
vhat people are like in the town. In some of
he 'cooler' towns the crowd just sort of
tands back and watches. It's the same in
3ritain. I think the American audiences are
nore up for jumping around. British audi-
ences are more reserved. We like playing
he things that people go mad to," she
Touring America has given the band
ontinued from page 9
aid no fucking way. It's too scientifi-
ally designed to strip kids of their
noney. It sells the kids this line that
hey're hip if they're there, while they're
;helling out the cash. To borrow a line
from Eddie Vedder - the.kids of today
should defend themselves against the

the chance to see the country during on
their days off. "We've seen bits and,
bobs. When we were in Canada we went
to see Niagara falls. New York was good
because some friends of ours from Lon-
don came to see us, and we went to go
see the Statue of Liberty, that was good
fun. New York's brilliant," Matthews
But her expectations of America were
far from pleasant."I was actually quite
frightened of America before we came
over here because youhear all kindsof sto-
ries about bands from England who come
over here and are never heard from again,"
Matthews said with a shudder. "It's quite
frightening because alotofpeoplehaven't
heard you and it's such a big place. I think
we've had it really easy; we haven't had a
bad reaction yet over here. It'sbeen a really
good time."
One of the things Matthews has en-
joyed about her experiences in America
is the differences in the American and
the British music press, where coverage
in the weekly music rags can make or
break an upcoming band. "I think the
American press is more honest about the
bands, instead of being opinionated, it
tends to give the bands' views of them-
selves. In Britain, you get a lot of sensa-
tionalism and a lot of journalists trying to
improve their careers. They push or dis-
like a band depending on who's cool or
not. They're not reporting journalisti-
cally on bands. It's different when there's
a weekly press; it tends to be more sensa-
tional, where over here there's much less
competition between music papers," she

Matthews alsohad an interesting out-
look on why so many British bands are
garnering press and popularity nowa-
days. "I think it's because not everyone
is in one scene, there's lots of different
scenes. Pulp and Blur are worlds apart,
and Suede and Oasis are worlds apart.
There's lots of different music right now,
and lots of bands doing what they believe
Surprisingly, though, for somebody
with such insights on the music scene,
Matthews seemed unsure of the acclaim
her band has gotten. "I can't really gauge
what success is we've had, really," she
mused. "There's people saying 'Oh,
you're doing really well over here,' but
for us it feels exactly the same. We
haven't had it bad, people are coming to
our gigs every night, but I don't know
about 'successful.' We're just having a
good time."
FortElastica, having a good time takes
preference over pondering the politics of
the music business. Matthews was un-
aware that the band's video for their infec-
tious single "Connection" is a "Buzz Clip"
on MTV. And about the band's recent ap-
pearance on "The Late Show with David
Letterman," she had this to say: "It went
really quick because we werejust standing
and waiting around, and suddenly you're
on, and you play, and it's over with."
Likewise, Matthews is more inter-
ested in playing music than she is con-
cerned about success. "There was a gui-
tar lying around my house when I was
younger," she explained about how she


started playing music. "I played in bands
when I was a teenager. I played lots of
different instruments. But the guitar is
portable, something I could play with my
friends; if I played piano, I'd have to
pack it up in a box to move it. I played
the flute also, but you can't really jam
with your friends on the flute, you
know?" she added with a laugh.
As for how she and the band write
songs, Matthews said "I write lotssof differ-
ent ways. I write with an acoustic guitar,
songs like "Smile" were written that way.
Songs like "2:1" we wrote with a drum
machine and keyboards, and some of it we
wrote on four-track. On the European tour
I was writing all the time. I've been taking
a four-track with me everywhere I go in a
1t Dye
Tibute to a Bus
Along with the trendy band
Blumfeld, 18th Dye are some of the
finest German indie-rock to be had
presently. Their stripped-down,
fuzzed-out soundscapes are both
dreamy and energetic at the same
time, as can be heard on their three
albums "Crayon," "Done" and
"Tribute to a Bus." "Bus," the
band's latest, was recorded by
noisemonger Steve Albini, yet it
bears little of his trademark sound;
while songs like "Glass House Fail-

suitcase. It's really handy; there's-nothing
more frustrating than having a song in your
head and not being able to get itdown. But
when you're creating a song and watching
it come together, it's sort of like a Christ-
mas present," she said with a smile.
Elastica's plans for after their tour i
elude the release of a new single ("prob-
ably 'Stutter," according to Matthews) and
a new video. They'll also start recording
their next album again after theirtour dates
are finished. "It's still going to be very
Elastica-y, with lots of spiky guitars, but we
have a few tricks up our sleeve. It might be
a bit dancey, but it'll definitely be very up-
beat," Matthews said about the new mate-
rial. "Everyone's happy and it's going well.
We're still excited about it."
ure" and "Poolhouse Blue" aren't
afraid to turn up the volume, the
Dye's approach to rock remains ulti-
mately fresh and poppy.
- Heather Phares
Die Cheerleader
Son of Filth w
Human Pitbull/London -
Garbage in, garbage out. Picture
Ethel Merman singing over really bo
grind-core. On second thought, don't.
It'll hurt your brain too much.
- Heather Phares

'90s; fuck the '70s, the '70s were fine."
Of course, being friends with Vedder and
the rest of modemrock's superheroes in
Pearl Jam (Turner and Arm were in the
seminal Seattle band Green River with
Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament and Stone
Gossard)has its industry perks-like field
trips to the White House for instance.
"They got tomeet the president, which
is scary in itself," Turner said."Why is the

president wasting 15 or 20 minutes of his
day to meet Pearl Jam?It was the day after
Kurtoffedhimself, butthathadnothing to
do with why we were there.
"There were little old ladies, and we
were getting a different tour than they
were so they figured we were famous
and wanted our autograph. Kids kept
saying we were Pearl Jam, and we kept
saying, 'No, we're not Pearl Jam. Right
now Pearl Jam's in the War Room with
President Clinton."'
Yep, Pearl Jam's discussing the fate of
the free world with President Clinton in the
War Room. And Mudhoney's working in
their yards and riding their bikes.

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