Home Music Elliott BROOD uses history to tell new stories

Elliott BROOD uses history to tell new stories

by The Concordian November 22, 2011
Elliott BROOD uses history to tell new stories
Envision yourself cycling leisurely through back-country Europe: the beautiful landscape, historical villages and ruins, and the deeply entrenched emotions lingering in the air from centuries of battles and lives lost. That is the imagery Elliott BROOD’s new album Days Into Years conjures up.
“This is not really your gung-ho, smash pots and pans album,” said Mark Sasso, Elliott BROOD’s vocalist and lead guitarist. “The rhythm and the crazy rocking out took a backseat to, ‘Okay these are different topics and they’re sombre,’ so we need to approach it differently.”
The self-proclaimed ‘death country’ trio from Toronto drew their inspiration from their common interest in military history and their experiences visiting war cemeteries on their recent tour in Belgium and France.
“This album was supposed to be really soft and acoustic, but for some reason the songs kind of went in another direction,” admits Sasso, but that wasn’t so much the case. Days Into Years revels in the rawness and personal struggles of the band’s members through a historical lens.
“[‘West End Sky’] is Casey [Laforet]’s song,” said Sasso. “He had a terrible breakup, so I think real life inspires and you have to use that energy in a certain way and I think Casey made an amazing song. He used the energy in a good way. You can lose it or you can take it and harness it.”
The beautiful banjo, delicate ruthes rhythms, melodic guitar, and soft-yet-gruff vocals lull you into a dream of lost love, prairie skylines and lonely, barren winter land.
While it might not be the foot-stomping, ukulele-desecrating, hard-rocking sound Elliott BROOD fans are used to, it certainly shouldn’t be shunned. “Northern Sky,” which they released this past summer, pays homage to the style that hooked BROOD fans from the start, making it one of the more popular tracks so far with fans.
“We’ve been playing that one for a while,” Sasso explained. “But ‘Their Will’, which is the last song on the album, has been really good. It’s been picking up a lot of dust.”
“Every time you put out a new album you hope that people like the new songs, but the response has been overwhelming actually, overwhelmingly good,” he said bashfully. “It’s really nice. It shows you that maybe they’ve heard the songs already before, where for the most part you don’t think that they would.”
Sasso credits technology for allowing music to become more accessible to fans. “New day and new age,” he declared, adding that despite the negative connotation that some people attribute to the term “accessible” in the music industry, the BROOD boys aren’t going out of their way to make music more marketable to the masses.
“You want your music to get out to as many people as possible, and if that happens then that’s a great thing,” he said. “We’re not going out of our way and being like, ‘Okay, if we write this song then all these people are going to come flock to our album.’ That’s not how we write. I think if you do that you’ve done yourself a disservice.”
No strangers to Montreal, this past Saturday was the trio’s fourth time playing La Sala Rossa. “It’s got such an amazing vibe there,” he explained. “Those are the places that you really want to play and get inspired to play. The environment that you play in—that room, it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous, and it sounds amazing—that all factors into how enjoyable you have as a night.”
With an extra day in Montreal to enjoy, the BROOD boys are hoping to tour the city and experience as much as they can. “We’d love to catch a hockey game,” said Sasso, and their timing was perfect with the Habs playing the New York Rangers on Saturday night. “I’ve never seen Montreal play in Montreal, and it’s Casey’s favourite team.”

Related Articles

Leave a Comment