Omens by Nick DiSalvo
We started Elder around 2006 as three friends around 17 years old. The band was just a hobby, the last of a long string of different musical projects formed by the same few musicians living in a small town in southeastern Massachusetts. Our first, self-recorded record was released in 2008, which really gave us the encouragement to keep the band going while all of us were attending university. Over the next few years we kept on making music in our spare time until all of us eventually finished or broke off studies, deciding to pursue music full-time. We began touring heavily around 2013, which is the first time we came to Europe, and by 2015 we had put out our 3rd LP and started gaining a bit of attention in the heavy rock circuit. In the following years, the band fractured again as some members moved to Berlin, but we continued working on new music and managed to release another 2 LPs and 1 EP in the years since. Long story short, we write music and go on tour as often as we can.
I would describe our latest release concisely as a heavy psychedelic progressive rock record. There are heavy riffs, multilayered psychedelic jaunts and progressive song structures across 5 long tracks (all around 10 minutes and upwards). We took pains to produce the record almost as a classic rock record, giving it as natural and live an aesthetic as possible while still retaining our core sound. Our influences as a band are far reaching, since we’ve all got very broad music tastes. It’s hard to say exactly what goes into making an Elder record.
Omens has the most straightforward theme of any Elder record so far. It’s a loose concept album about the lifespan of a civilization, going from growth and dominance to decline and eventually being overtaken by the earth itself. One big topic within that is about our own capacity as humans to change the course of events; speaking specifically about our current environmental crisis, it seems that our civilization is paralyzed to fix the systems that are pushing us toward extinction.
Our relationship with our artist Adrian Dexter goes as far back as the band itself; he’s one of our oldest friends and has illustrated every full length album we’ve done so far. We always work closely with him to develop the theme for the artwork while we’re writing the music, and this time he even was with us in the studio. He’s often done grand landscapes for our albums, but this time we wanted to do something more narrative, because the lyrics are more narrative than usual. We hit upon the idea of a study of a Greco-Roman statue he had, suspended in a void. It’s a recognizable motif that immediately conjures up images of bygone empires.
Religion and mythology have always played a role in our music, and to an increasing degree the urgency of contemporary events. We don’t make ourselves an outwardly political band, but it’s hard to live in today’s world and not have it seep into your consciousness somewhere.