Thursday, August 16, 2012

Streetlight San Jose Show said some nice things about us...

Not to generalize about Santa Cruz MCs or anything, but did you ever notice that Santa Cruz MCs have a lot to say? Dense verbiage is the rule of the land, and Eliquate is no exception. He's both wordy and worldly, stepping to the mic with a laid-back flow that rolls like a wave but doesn't break for anything. In his song "The Nineties," he claims he would have "made it" in that decade, and he's probably right. His sound is live alt-rock meets alt-hop, with the emphasis on riffs and drums instead of beatmaking. With the '90s' imminent comeback, he shouldn't have long to wait before a bunch of white guys goofing in their basement with catchy raps, guitars, a monkey and the occasional zombie is cool again. - Steve Palopoli

Link to WriteUp

Facebook Event

Streetlight Records - San Jose
980 S Bascom Ave, San Jose, CA 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Interview: Santa Cruz Waves

New Interview: Santa Cruz Waves
Local Santa Cruz Band Interview: Eliquate
August 13, 2012
by Jake Fever   

How would you describe your sound?

Elliot: The thing that makes us the happiest is that we are able to pick and choose different genres of music that we love and just take the call and response of hip hop, the shredding solos of rock, the rhythmic breakdowns of R&B, and the sampling of electronic music, you know, every different aspect that we just have as much fun with experimenting with in our songs and at the same time keeping an organized structure.

Tanner: We’re all just coming from different angles.

How would you say you are different from a traditional hip-hop or gangster rap group?

Elliot: We’re pretty much a polar opposite thing. For one, we’re a full live band. I think the biggest difference is that only two, well, three members of the band really grew up listening to hip-hop. We all appreciate it but we all draw influence from many different places. It was the most appropriate medium for us because when we started it was what we were good at. Jamie’s good at making beats, and I’m a rapper. It was just kinda the most natural. I think what makes us different is that we try not to pigeonhole ourselves too much into doing “hip-hop” or doing “rock”. There’s no specific formula when it comes to the song writing or anything. We have songs that are started because I do a weekly beat-battle where we sample lots of big producers but we also have songs that are more country and blues-esque.

How did you guys get started?

Elliot: Initially, it started about 7 years ago in Santa Cruz when I was 19. I’d been writing raps for a while and arrogantly decided to call myself Eliquate and doing shows in Santa Rosa. I moved down to Santa Cruz to go to school down here and that’s when I met Jamie and we started making music together.

Jamie: Yeah, I grew up here. I had basically started making beats because I had a live band in high school. The sound wasn’t similar to ours but the delivery and the set-up was similar. Drums, bass, keys, and guitar, and then we had varying MCs who we would feature. That band broke up and then I met Elliot. When he and I got together it didn’t take too long of doing a couple sets from iPod to computer before we moved back toward that. His roommate was a drummer and so it was pretty readily accessible and comfortable for us to just screw around a bit. We didn’t end up finding the rest of these guys for a while. When we did meet them, it worked out really well because Dan and Cosmo, our drum and bass, and they knew each other and had played together for about 10 years because they had grown up together in high school. Tanner is also a fully self-sufficient musician.

Tanner: Yeah I call myself Schplingidy I do a lot of one-man-band live-looping. I write a lot of my own software to like customize how I perform.

Jamie: He actually had a song remixed by the guy who’s opening for Aesop Rock right now. Edison is awesome. Eliquate’s never had a song remixed.


Why do you think people enjoy your shows?

Jamie: Well the guys say it’s because there’s a lot of girls at them.

Elliot: I think it’s because our goal on stage is to be having the most fun of anybody in the room and I think that kinda -

Dan: Well people like it because he’s all over the stage.

Jamie: I always thought it was because people look stupid if we’re up here having fun and they’re standing against the wall.

Tanner: He always says, you know, get up here, start dancing and everybody’s just kinda like... they needed to get a little kick in the face.

Jamie: That’s something that I’ve found lacking in a lot of hip-hop performances that I’ve been to.

Elliot: We put a lot of energy into the shows. When we get on stage we all just go for it, it’s what we love doing.

What is the biggest catastrophe that’s ever happened to you at a show or on tour?

Elliot: Here’s a good one. Our first tour, we just got to our first show. We’d been through hell and we pull up, like, three days living on the bus with every breakdown you can imagine. We finally get there, and we parked the thing in this field. Right as we get there, Thomas, our manager, grabs onto the storage handle and the thing breaks off.

Jamie: He was trying to grab on and ski down the gravel driveway of this gas station that we stopped at.

Elliot: For every show after that we had to pry the door open with a pair of pliers.

Jamie: Anyone could have stolen our equipment at any given moment if they had a pair of pliers. At first we didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the stuff out and we were in Idaho. We were about to get to this show and maybe not be able to get our stuff out of the back of the bus.

Elliot: But we didn’t want to like test it beforehand just in case we couldn’t get it back closed. But again, we made it work. For every door that closes a window opens.

What’s the best show you’ve ever played?

Elliot: I think it might vary, but one of the later shows on that tour we were playing for a bunch of random kids who had never heard of us. We booked this show in Seattle. We had an open day so we just called around to see if we could play.

Jamie: We got this guy who said “Yeah we were going to have a party tonight, I guess we don’t have to hire a DJ”. So we pulled up and we heard them listening to some of our music through one of the windows, they were checking us out upstairs. We set up, we start playing, there’s a couple people there watching, but it’s still early. And then I swear, I look up, and the crowd has doubled. Not a single one of these people knows us. We showed up playing for free and these kids were actually getting down. There was no chance in question that it was a genuine appreciation.

Elliot: There was one point where Thomas just ran up to the center of the stage with a handful of t-shirts and was like “free t-shirts for everyone!” and just threw them in the air.

Has the Internet helped you guys at all getting your name out?

Cosmo: I wouldn’t know about the shows without the Internet.

Elliot: We’ve resorted to using Facebook to communicate. It’s also motivating because you can see other people working and see what they’re doing and it kinda pushes you to realize that in the grand scheme of things we’re pretty insignificant and we’re lucky to have the fans we have and the people who are at the shows. If not just for a marketing means, it’s a good motivational tool.

Jamie: It’s not like we could walk around and get 5,000 views.

How does your new album differ from the old stuff?

Elliot: Well it’s written by all of us. Ideas were started by individuals but as far as putting it together and arranging it’s been more of a collaborative effort. This is our first album as a band, rather than a five-song free EP.