TVD’s 10 Weeks of Record Store Day Vinyl Giveaways: Elephant Gun, Kid Scissors

Along with Architecture, the Chicago Mixtape show from a few weeks ago also introduced us to the incredible Elephant Gun. The Chicago nine piece has a unique style so difficult to pin to any one genre that I’m just going to describe them as americana/folk/punk/country/pop.

Just a few months ago, in November, Elephant Gun released their third album, Kid Scissors. It’s got such a great sound, that we felt it was only right to share the love, and give away a copy of the record on vinyl. If you don’t win big here, you can always pick up the record through Cassette Deck Media.

After their high-energy, party of a set, vocalist/guitarist Jared Olson and bassist Paul Chivari, were nice enough to stand outside in the cold with us for a quick interview about vinyl, Kid Scissors, and the dynamics of a band with 9 members.

Kid Scissors is your third release, and first on vinyl. What influenced the decision to put this record out on vinyl?

Jared: We had the idea from the beginning that we wanted to make a 12” record, and to write a record that worked on a record – that has 2 sides that obviously have different feels. We had done the CD thing previously, so we were like “we can figure this out”, and looked up Rainbow Records. There’s nothing that sounds like vinyl.

Paul: We wanted to release our previous records on vinyl, but it’s so expensive to do it and we just wanted to do it the most affordable way the first few times.

Would it ever be something that you would go back to, and release your previous albums on vinyl?

Jared: The second definitely, it’s set up for vinyl. It’s 10 songs. We try to write short records. That’s when they did right, when they wrote 40 minute records.

With 9 members, how collaborative is the songwriting process?

Jared: Well, there are 3 main songwriters, and we structure the songs and have our little acoustic demos, and then we bring them to everybody. We have our ideas going into it, but the band members definitely help arrange and orchestrate everything. That’s what’s cool about the band, is that the songs explode into Elephant Gun.

Paul: We have been trying to write as a group. A couple of weeks ago, we actually tried that for the first time. Just trying out an idea right on the spot, and developing it from there. It’s been working. It’s introducing a new creative process for the band, which is interesting.

Jared: We’re like a class, we have to break into sections.

How did 9 members come together?

Paul: The core of us went to high school together and grew up together, and from there it was friends. Everyone knows each other, or is separated by one degree from another person in the band.

Jared: We all go back to junior high. That’s how we keep it together.

Your music, Kid Scissors, especially, feels like it comes from such an eclectic group of influences. Do you have a specific sound you aim for when writing, or do it just happen?

Jared: I think the songs start as folky kind of pop songs in their own right, and with all the different instrumentation and the different upbringings, that’s what kind of gives it that exotic feel. Like Katie Bendorf grew up on chamber music and jazz, and she didn’t listen to all the pop and rock and roll stuff that we grew up on. So she’ll have an interesting part that she was influenced by some jazz record that I’ve never even heard of.

What’s next for Elephant Gun?

Jared: We won some studio time, which is a bonus. We are going to go and hopefully try to record the band live – all of us playing at the same time instead of doing the tracking thing. We’ll do 10 new songs, so we’ll have another record in the works sometime soon.

Paul: We also want to go on tour this summer. I think we’re planning on a 2 week east coast tour to go out, leave Chicago, and present ourselves to the rest of the country. That’s something on the list of goals for 2012.

Lightning Bugs
My Back Yard
Go & Leave
The City Wins
Coolest Dudes (And The Birthday Girl)
Sugar Cane
Where Have You Bendorf (All My Life?)
Cheap Heat
Waltz #3
Sand Naps
When You Were A Bore

For a chance to win a vinyl copy of Elephant Gun’s Kid Scissors, simply share with us in the comments of this post your favorite band with more than 5 members. I’m going to go with River City Extension, coming in 1 under Elephant Gun, at 8.

Please remember, only those of you with mailing addresses in the continental US can enter! The winner will be chosen on Friday (3/2).

Elephant Gun Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp

Photo by Kelly Walter

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