Great new interview with Indie/HipHop band Eliquate about their new sing, “New Country.”
“If all we have are dreams, then dream big,” spits Elliot Wright, frontman and philosopher for the five-piece, California Beat Rock troubadours, Eliquate, on their latest EP, Who The F*ck is Eliquate? Packing an arsenal of rhymes that range from satirical social commentary and inner-soul searching to all-out, shake-your-ass-‘til-the floor-is-wet jams, Eliquate’s music has been charging parties up and down the West Coast since 2009. In that time span, they’ve graced the stage with underground royalty such as Murs, Del the Funky Homosapien, Zion-I, and RJD2 just to name a few. But, who the f*ck is Eliquate anyway?
Unlike most MCs, Wright didn’t start writing until later in his life. His love for words pushed him to jot down more than just lyrics but meaningful messages for Wright’s peers to think about and connect with. The next piece of the puzzle would fall into place when a friend told him about a guy who was making beats that he might want to connect with. Wright met beat-maker and soon-to-be Eliquate guitarist, Jamie Schnetzler, one day as Schnetzler was eating some questionable-looking Chinese food. As Wright tells it, “I asked him if it was any good, he said, ‘yes.’ I tried it, it was, and I’ve trusted him ever since.”
The dream would continue to grow over the next year with the addition of bass-slappin’ sounds by Cosmo Stevens, the pounding beats of Dan Wells and Tanner Christiansen’s blend of samples and keyboard. In 2010 Eliquate released their first album, Arch Rhythm, perfecting their sound by tapping into a social consciousness greater than any of their individual selves. “We wanted it to be party music with a purpose,” claims Schnetzler.
Drawing influence from all musical styles, the creative quintet build an energetic, live performance that is second to none. On any given night, Eliquate will break from convention and bust into an improvised jam with Wright free-styling on the mic to every audience’s amusement. That’s where Eliquate’s real power lies: they’ll hook anyone on the dance floor with their passionate melodies and create fans with their ingenuity and insightful lyrics.
So, who the f*ck is Eliquate? Well, now you know. They are a powerful mix of music and message currently rocking down doors on their Northwest Tour. But the final question remains: what does the future hold for our gang of intellectual deviants? Two words: dream big
Why did you select this song as your current single?
We selected “New Country” because we felt it stood out from the album, and when I showed the album to my Dad, it was his favorite song. It crosses genre lines, and has a message we felt a lot of different demographics could relate to.
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
Because the album is about the disintegration of the middle class, and excepting ones position in life for what it is in a effort to stay present, I felt the theme of encouragement and the power of words was a nice addition to that narrative.
What was the writing process for the song?
The lyrics were written while I was sitting in a lit class in college, I assume I was in the process of ignoring a lecture about the very issues the song presents. As for the music, Jamie Schnetzler had written the main melody and chord progression, giving it it’s name “New Country” because it felt like a hip-hop country song that sounded nothing like Nappy Roots, Bubba Sparks, or Gangstergrass. Eventually, we introduced it to the practice studio and it became the song it is today.
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
I think it’s important to acknowledge the importance of the words we choose to use with one another. We underestimate how much our vocabulary defines the way we interact with the world around us. This song also is about how beneficial a kind word can be at times of need, and how words can be used to bring us all together or tear us apart.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
Because this song is a bit more rock influenced, when we play it live, it is much like a sample of a punk show. It is not a far cry to see a mosh pit break out every so often- (depending on the crowd). A more mellow crowd might be more inclined to dance and keep the beat with a simple foot tap. Ether way, it is a song that always leaves us with some sweaty t-shirts after were done.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
Because it showcases our versatility, I think it could be used as a good example if our sound. The contrast between a driving pace and a smoother more melodic rhythm, shows that we draw influence from an eclectic background.
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
The video is two geezers playing golf (rather myself and my friend Sam in old man masks) at the last hole they decide that instead of finishing the round, that they are going to hit the ball off the course and enjoy an impromptu tour of Santa Cruz. It’s a buddy film, used to articulate the themes of encouragement as well as a tribute to the city that has been so kind to us.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
Nothing gets me out of a bad head space like hearing a song I love, I guess all I am really after is to be able to contribute to that. That and I have always loved unloading my opinion on people (for better or worse) and music gives me a less abrasive and imposing means to do that.
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