Amanda Edwards, Getty Images 20 years ago, way before he became a lion, Snoop…
- Posted on Jun 17th 2010 2:45PM by Lonny Knapp
"If you think about the past, you kind of hurt yourself. You just have to keep going, setting goals, and working towards them," he tells Spinner. "We feel like we are writing great songs and we are pushing ourselves to make a better record than the last one."
The Toronto-based trio -- who are slated to perform at this year's North by Northeast festival -- are currently in the studio recording the follow up to their Polaris Prize-nominated 2008 record 'Mountain Meadows.' While the self-described "death country" band, which also includes Casey Laforette (guitars, vocals and bass pedals) and Stephen Pitkin (drums) still operate with an acoustic sensibility, some tracks on the forthcoming album feature new-fangled electric guitars. Sasso admits the new sound might be surprising, but says Elliott Brood are not about to let assumptions limit them.
"Casey's pulled a Judas, and he's playing more electric guitar than you might expect," he says. "Instead of conforming to an idea that other people have for the band, we are just going wherever the songs take us. We just go with what feels good and if a song tugs at our heartstrings, we go with it."
Don't expect a complete departure, however. On 'Mountain Meadows,' the band were pleased with the intimate vibe they captured by recording in non-typical venues, so they recently transformed a town hall in rural Ontario into a makeshift recording studio.
"We are using rooms as instruments again," Sasso explains. "We played Avening Town Hall a while ago and we fell in love with it. It's the perfect place to make music, it sounds great and there's a ten-pin bowling alley in the basement."
'Mountain Meadows' is a cinematic concept album conjuring up lyrical images of dusty plains and wagon trains and was inspired by an 1857 incident in which a collective of Mormons and Native Americans slaughtered nearly 120 men, women and children settlers in an area of Utah known as Mountain Meadows. Fans can bet the group's next record will deal with similarly hefty fare, but Sasso is not quite ready to divulge the theme that informs the album.
"We have an idea, but I wouldn't want to say anything and not be able to back it up," he says. "It's still in the early stages, but we are working towards a certain idea."
While some bands refrain from performing live while working on recording, Elliott Brood are excited to share new material with hometown festival crowds when they appear at NXNE.
"We'll probably play three or four new songs off the record. For us, it's a chance to road test some new songs," Sasso says. "We might fall on our faces, but we like taking chances. It makes it interesting for us."
Elliott Brood play the Horseshoe Tavern on Thurs. June 17 as part of NXNE.