WORDS & PHOTO BY EVAN MCKAY
Born out of the small town of Almonte, Ont., Elementals is a three-piece alternative group with an ever-changing and evolving sound that blurs the boundaries between contemporary genres. The three piece group consists of Cody Smith on guitar and vocals, Rick Vaughn on bass and vocals, and Jamie Speck on drums.
The band is often compared to Nirvana due to their similar contrast between quiet verses and loud and aggressive choruses. Those days may be behind the band as they move into a more distinctive sound from what fans have heard on their debut album, I’m Not Here, I’m Not Real released in Sept. 2015.
“We’re in a really weird time right now,” said Smith, the main songwriter for the band. “My song writing has really matured since we first started playing together. So the things you hear recorded right now, you could consider grungy and alternative but you can expect to hear not so much pump-up-loud-yelly music anymore. It’s turned quieter and more introspective.”
While he would have loved the comparisons to Kurt Cobain when he was younger, Smith said it’s far from what he wants now.
“Now I feel like I’m just embodying someone else and that’s just a really sickening feeling,” he said. “It’s not the cause for the way our music is going to change but I am excited for people to not be comparing us to Nirvana so often.”
After playing a set on CKCU’s live music show, Ottawa Live Music, Elementals debuted some impressive new material that certainly steps away from the grungy sound that I’m Not Here, I’m Not Real showcased.
This performance also ga
ve Vaughn a chance to show off his vocal skills that have yet to be used previously in any of the bands recorded material.
“I’ve always been a singer foremost,” Vaughn said. “But starting with this band I moved from guitar and vocals to bass. And a lot of the stuff that Cody had written was done by himself so I added little backup vocal parts where I could. Though with the new songwriting, I think we both opened up space to work together on everything”
Though the exact details and release date for the new material have yet to be confirmed, a new release is indeed underway. Smith spoke briefly on the direction Elementals is taking for their new music.
“I think we’re going to take some time, in terms of layering of the songs. Maybe adding some synth,” he said. “I’d like to take some time with this one and just experiment since we didn’t get to do that on I’m Not Here, I’m Not Real.
“Some of it’s going to be weird. You’re not going to expect some parts,” Speck said.
You can hear Elementals playing some of their new material July 11 on The New Local on 93.1 FM or check it out online at elementalsband.bandcamp.com.