Interview With 'After Nations'
Firstly, introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about the band and how you came to be?
My name is Andrew Elliott, and I’m the guitarist and founder of After Nations - a four-piece instrumental Psych-Prog group. Travis Baker (drums) and Zack Krishtalka (bass) joined in 2016, and most recently, David Sandoval (guitar) came with us on tour this past summer to support the release of our new album, 'Consteleid'. The band has changed dramatically over the past several years; what began as a solo project for myself has evolved into this fast, aggressive, loud thing that we’re all making sense of as it changes and grows.
What were you all up to prior to the band, was this always the chosen path or did you have other dreams and aspirations?
I think we all have a drive for making music, and striving to center our lives around creating and sharing it with others as much as we possibly can. Before diving into music and touring, I was in grad school moving towards a PhD in Ethnomusicology, and had a real passion for linguistics. Linguistics have stuck with me, but my experience in grad school encouraged me to more aggressively pursue what made me feel most fulfilled and alive - so music came into the forefront of everything.
Tell us about your latest Album and why our readers should check it out.
This last August we released our fifth full-length, 'Consteleid' (https://afternations.bandcamp.com/). The album is a kind of soundtrack, moving through different aspects of consciousness, different moments of awareness, experience, emergence, and change. It covers a wide sonic range - from heavier Prog and Post-Rock elements, to Jazz, Psychedelic, and Mathy influences. It’s definitely for fans of groups like The Mars Volta, Russian Circles, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Readers can check out a preview of the album here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFD7zmmdYI4).
Have you ever come face to face with someone within the music scene who has left you awestruck and why?
I’m not really fond of the idea of celebrity - or cults of personality. I think we’re all people, we’re all human, we all have different things we can learn from one another’s experience. Pedestals and personality worship usually indicate some kind of projection and distortion onto something or someone. That’s not to suggest that there’s anything inherently wrong with ‘looking up’ to people, or understanding people in ways that are inspiring - those things just may be inaccurate or imagined to some extent with the idea of celebrity. I’m just suspicious of that idea - I try to actively avoid thinking of people in that way, and believe that there are alternatives to understanding and being inspired by others. In that vein, I have had the real privilege of meeting and sharing time with a handful of individuals involved in relatively underground music - the unsigned, independent music scene where the vast majority of musicians are creating, sharing, living their experience in the broader world of music. Some of those specific individuals - Sherrill Byrne (Kamiposi), Aaron Saye (7th Circle), and Darcie Roy (Muse) - all own or book for independent venues in their own scenes. Time and again, I’m humbled by the kind of dedication, love, and support that they offer to musicians - to people. They embody just this profound, powerful belief and practice of fostering and supporting the creative efforts of others, of giving them a space to grow and develop, and of genuinely coming to music and people from a place of passion and love. They breathe life into the human element of music. And I’m in awe of them, because they selflessly and persistently support the efforts of people trying to express what are often the most powerfully felt aspects of themselves through music, and they do that brilliantly.
If we were to head out to one of your live shows what can ourselves and others expect?
We really strive to have our live shows express everything that you’ll find on our albums. What you hear on 'Consteleid', you’ll experience live. It’s a heavy, intense, fast-shifting, loud, and powerful experience.
If you had one artist/band that you could go on tour with tomorrow who would it be and why?
I think I can safely speak for the whole band when I say we’d want to tour with Pinoil (https://youtu.be/0Os85URWtz8). We all have a massive amount of respect for those guys (the supergroup of Poil and Ni), we’re all inspired by what they’re doing musically, and I think our styles have a really complimentary contrast that would make for a really interesting lineup for people.
You can spend an hour with a musical icon living or dead, who would you pick, why and what would you speak about?
I think I’d want to hang out with Frank Zappa, and while I think discussing the songwriting process for a while would be interesting, I’d also want to talk about all of the aspects of his life that didn’t have to do with music - and in what ways those aspects intersect with their sense of music, writing, and just being alive.
And finally and most importantly is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?
Die Hard is most definitely a Christmas movie - more than a lot of people may realize. If you play Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ backwards, all of the “Aramaic” dialogue lines up perfectly with Die Hard’s dialogue - it’s literally the same dialogue line for line. Same run-time, same dialogue, same movie. So yes, Die Hard is not only a Christmas movie, it can be thought of as THE Christmas movie.
Website - afternations.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AfterNations/