June 4, 2013

Indian Film Festival, Rhythm Village Photos

Some of the photos from the Indian Film Festival, Rhythm Village 2013 have been released. Check them out here, we make an appearance. All photos taken by the talented Gene Lewis.


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November 2, 2012

Official Sofar videos released

Hey all, so the official videos from our set at the Sofar Sounds show have been released and they came out pretty good. A huge bucket of thanks to the whole Sofar Sounds crew who were great to work with.. check out the videos of “March” and “Agua” below. More videos on our Videos page..

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August 16, 2012

So Far…So Secret!

This Tuesday, we played at possibly one of the most unique venues ever…an apartment in downtown LA. Now before you judge (because you’re asking yourself right now, “Why is that unique?”) take a look at http://sofarsounds.com/, which describes themselves this way:

“We have created a movement which brings music lovers together to hear some of the world’s most cutting edge artists. We do this in secret living room locations and during performances we ask that nobody talks, this creates the most intimate and spellbinding atmosphere.”

Pretty awesome, right? So we played a gig in a downtown apartment, it was streamed all over the world, and the recording and the video should be up on the site soon if you missed it. Keep watching!

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June 24, 2012

Our Not-So-Silent Performance for Silent Water

Elephants with Guns just played at a screening of a film that’s very special to us: Silent Water.

The film is a short glimpse into the lives of many people who live in Indian villages below the poverty line and struggle daily for things we take for granted, like clean drinking water. The event, held at a women’s club in Hollywood, gave us the chance to jam out for a while as the crowd gathered, ate, and enjoyed drinks. The film was shown, and we heard a great speech from the film’s producer about charities such as Gramalaya, which the event was benefiting.

Then, after the film was shown, we got a chance to play a few more songs before taking off.

If this is a cause that resonates with you, we highly suggest you take a look at the film and at Gramalaya!

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April 15, 2012

Indian Film Festival of LA 2012

We just finished up our shows for the Indian Film Festival at the Supper Club and at the Arclight. Thanks to everyone who came out. Every crowd we played to was amazing. More news and pics and vids will be coming soon!

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April 3, 2012

What this song needs is more… dhol

Phew… where was I? That right… So we were stuck with a song concept that needed dhol but no one in the band knew any dhol players. So I decided to post a question on facebook asking if anyone knew anyone who had a dhol and just as importantly wanted to play with us. I then waited, hoping that at best someone

Raskia suggested I contact some friends of hers, Jess and Malinder from the band Dhol Nation

We decided to meet up at a rehearsal studio in Hollywood to see what would happen and what happened was an amazing jam session. Everyone clicked almost instantly and they even had great suggestions about the structure of the song and so the song was rewritten yet again during that practice with their suggestions in mind. What started out as a 30 second jam piece had now become a full length 6 minute song!

Needless to say they really made the song sound great. We even wrote a sketch of a new song together during practice. So I dont think this will be the last of our collaboration.

The I Just Wanna Dance Show was a lot of fun and everyone played great. I think everyone enjoyed listening to the collaboration as much as we enjoyed playing and in fact we are planning to play with Dhol Nation again for the Indian Film Festival. Stay tuned for details!

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January 14, 2012

We Just Wanna Dance

It’s the night before the ‘I Just Wanna Dance’ show and it’s pretty late. I have to be at the venue early tomorrow morning to set up so I should probably be sleeping, but I can’t… so I figured I’d write about all the prep that went into this show and particularly one song that we will be playing on this show.

Last year, we played ‘Just When It Was Getting Good… I Woke Up’, a moody Indian influenced instrumental piece and ‘Agua’, a Latin rock song with Spanish lyrics. It was a diverse set which I caught everyone off guard because it was not like anything else at the show. For that reason I think it helped people remember us and we got a couple of great gigs as a direct result of that show.

With that in mind, I wanted to do something unique again for this show as well. We will be opening up with another instrumental piece called ‘Elephant March’ and a new song called ‘The Fight That Ends Bhangra Night’ which is a song that has gone through numerous changes since we started playing it and incidentally led us to some cool people along the way.

Initially ‘The Fight…’ was a quick minute bhangra-ish/metal-ish melody we would play at our shows to say goodbye with. We had a couple of these minute long songs we would play partly because we wanted to shake up our set, which could include 10 minute jam songs, and sometimes because we frankly just couldn’t come up with anything good after that minute was over.

Anyway, after a particular show a buddy got annoyed with our minute long song concept and suggested I try fleshing these songs out some more or our album would sound like a sampler cd. I figured she was right and I figured I’d try to flesh out ‘The Fight…’ song as much as I could which I had always wanted to play in some form or another for the ‘I Just Wanna Dance 2012′ show anyway, and which was right around the corner.

Since I knew I wanted the song to have a bhangra feel but hadn’t really heard a lot of bhangra up to that point I started asking my bhangra loving friends to borrow cds and send me youtube links of their favs so I could study the structure of bhangra songs. After a lot of listening, a lot of writing, a lot of erasing and writing again, and a lot of jamming with the rest of the band we all settled on a song structure that came out pretty good. I was pretty happy with the song so far but one thing was sorely lacking in our bhangra song… the dhol. We needed dhol.

To be continued…

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January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!!

We’ve taken some time off over the holidays (yeah, again…), but our recording sessions (and so many other things in life) are back in full swing.  That, and…next weekend is one of our favorite shows of the year, the I Just Wanna Dance show, which will be in Redondo Beach this year.  Tickets are somewhere around $10 a piece, but it all goes to charity.

There’s going to be a few guests playing with us at that particular show–we decided our short Bhangra song that we used to use as a quick exit needed some extra melodies and a few dhol players (yep!)  So come to the I Just Wanna Dance show and see it!  We don’t do this all the time!

Happy new year, everyone!

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December 19, 2011

Aaand we’re back

So as exciting and interesting recording can be, it can also be very tiring and mentally draining. Luckily we were able to take the past couple weeks off and just rest and reflect. I went up to Oakland to hang out with some buddies. Omar went down to Texas to celebrate his brother’s wedding. Sagar and Maya relaxed in town.

Now that we are all back and refreshed and ready to go we have a sprint to the finish line. We are trying to finish up the recording of the album by January and still have about 6 songs left to record. I am pretty excited about the next couple of tracks we have coming up though, we recorded a polka-ish track on Saturday and finished up the touches on writing a couple of rock songs on Sunday. So it was a pretty productive weekend.

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December 12, 2011

NetIP: South Asian + Latin + Jazz + Japanese

We had a great time playing for the NetIP gala (see the pictures HERE)!  The Kyoto Grand Hotel in Little Tokyo was beautiful, all the organizers and staff members were friendly, and we met a bunch of really cool people in the meantime.

Now for the title:  As you know, Elephants with Guns claims several influences…from rock to reggae to South Asian to Latin Jazz, we’ve got a bit of…almost everything.  I remember a few practices ago one of us made an offhanded comment that the only thing we didn’t have as an inspiration that we could trace was Japanese culture…maybe now we do, after our brief experience playing at the Kyoto Grand Hotel.  The outside patio on the other side of the all-glass wall for the banquet hall we played in featured a patio furniture set made entirely of what looked like white marble slabs.  The hallways beyond that were mirrored on both sides, with one end leading to a spa and the other to the huge entrance room of the hotel.  I’m not very good at explaining, so definitely take a look at the pictures above :)

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