By Marty Mulrooney
Little Brother Eli is a five-piece band fronted by bassist Joshua Rigal and vocalist Alex Grew. Together with Linus Taylor & Adam Stowe on guitar and Benji Page on drums, they released their first EP in 2013 which Alternative Magazine Online described as “arguably the best £2 you’ll spend on music in 2013.” With their second EP releasing today, AMO is proud to present an exclusive online interview with Joshua Rigal – best get those pound coins ready!
Hi Josh, thank you for your time and welcome back to Alternative Magazine Online!
Hi Martin, thanks for having us back it’s a pleasure to be chatting to you again.
What have you been up to since our last interview in 2013?
We crammed lots into 2014: playing plenty of shows and festivals through the summer; we also focused on songwriting in preparation for recording the new EP which we were able to release following the success of our Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The start of 2015 has been spent mostly rehearsing as we prepare for our lives shows to support the release of our new EP.
Congratulations on your Kickstarter campaign being successfully funded last year! How did online community fundraising help with the creation of the new EP?
It was essential. We couldn’t have done it without the generous support of fans. Thanks to everyone who pledged, we’ve been able to record the tracks, produce new photos and imagery, as well as film music videos for the new singles.
Is Kickstarter something you would use again for future projects?
Absolutely, I think it’s a fantastic way to fulfil creative projects and engage with fans. It’s important to be the right project, but it’s definitely something we’d consider in the future if we had a suitable venture. It was incredibly rewarding to be supported in this way.
The reviews for the band’s first EP were very positive – including AMO’s review. Did you ever have any concerns about how to follow-up such a strong debut?
More than anything we’ve just been excited to get something else out, because our songwriting has developed so much since the debut that we’ve got tonnes of material to share. It’s actually been exciting in the last few weeks anticipating the response from you and the other online press because we had such a positive reaction first time round.
Where did you record the new EP?
We recorded the new songs at The Animal Farm, in Bermondsey, London.
I love the new tracks – unmistakably Little Brother Eli but with a slightly rockier edge. Would you say the band’s unmistakable and immediately identifiable sound has evolved over time?
The sound of the new songs has got a lot more of the other band members in it. The first EP was driven entirely by me and Alex. The different personalities, playing styles and influences of Benji, Adam and Linus have really started to shine through in the new material. The sound will naturally evolve over time as our songwriting improves, we experience new things and mature as human beings.
You have several live shows in the pipeline. How does it feel to be taking your new songs on the road?
Having been rehearsing for the last couple of months, it’s incredibly exciting to show our existing fans what we’ve been working on. We also just want to get as many new people to hear our music as possible, playing in new cities, to new people. We’ve got a few warm up shows before our launch party at the Monarch in Camden on the 8th of April.
Does Little Brother Eli ever perform other band’s songs during rehearsals or live shows? If so, is there a favourite track you guys like to play?
There’s not been any recently that I can think of. We’re so busy writing and rehearsing our own material that we don’t get chance to play anyone else’s songs. Although we do need to play one cover for one of our upcoming shows, so we need to have a think about that. Perhaps Sixteen Saltines by Jack White or Señorita by Justin Timberlake – who knows?!?
The EPs are superb but I’m still jonesing for a full album. Is this something you’d like to release in the future?
Yes! We’re working on it, don’t you worry. Keep you ear to the ground in 2016.
The new EP is out today (2nd March 2015) – where can people buy it?
What’s next for Little Brother Eli?
Well we look forward to releasing the music video for Who Do You – the first single on the EP – in May. As well as our slot at The Great Escape festival in Brighton, which should be an exciting occasion. But between now and then we’ve got lots of shows to play!
Thank you for your time! I’m a huge fan and I’m always excited to see what you do next – congratulations on the new EP, I hope your listeners enjoy it as much as I do.
To find out more about Little Brother Eli, please visit the band’s official website: www.littlebrothereli.com