Jesse Elliott (of These United States) Interview
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Interviews, Music.
Prior the the band’s show at the Turf Club last weekend, playing with Bitzen Trapper and Horse Feathers, Jesse Elliott of These United States took some time to discuss a few questions with Culture Bully’s Chris DeLine. After discussing the band’s ties to Kentucky, the two continued by touching on the band’s ongoing outreach to fans via social media, the band’s tour, and why These United States is the best band in the world.
How do guys feel about being called Lexington’s equivalent of a super-group?
Jesse Elliott: Well, we’re not all from Lexington, and we don’t think of ourselves as all that super. But, yeah, we’re a group. And we’re pretty equivalent, too. Like, we balance each other. Sort of.
You’re one of the most “connected” bands that I’ve come across in a while, utilizing tumblr, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and ilike. How have these mediums allowed you to not simply stay connected to your fan base, but to expand it?
Jesse Elliott: It’s hard to tell, honestly. It seems like maybe when you’re up on the next Level or three above us, or a very well known band, even, these things would be natural platforms for tons of people to interact on. Where we’re at, sometimes we see some serious feedback from people, and sometimes it feels like we’re just filling time on our laptops between tours. Good time, mind you. Connected time. But still just time. What was I saying?
Oh, yeah, the good old-fashioned way. I think that’s still how a band like ours does it, gets out there, and perhaps, little by painfully little, expands the circles of folks we reach and meet and connect to and crash on the couches of.
Your web site has a detailed list of gigs the band has played going back to 2005 – how important is it to you to journal your process as more forward?
Jesse Elliott: We like to remember the bands we’ve played with and the places who’ve been so kind as to host us. And there’ve been a lot of those. So, really, it’s just a memory device, something we can go back and look at when we’re thinking about heading through a particular geography again and wondering who were the folks who really lit us up there. So, yeah, it’s a journal. But more of a private journal in some ways, a tool mostly just for ourselves. Of course, a lot of people ask about tour history. So why not post it for the world to see, have a convenient spot to point others who are as curious about our own past as we are?
Between A Picture of the Three of Us… and Crimes – which would you say you were more comfortable with through the recording process?
Jesse Elliott: They were so completely different, it’s hard to compare. Apples and snakes, you might say. Picture was starts and fits, real and unreal, floating along, wrapped up in life and time. Crimes was fast, mean, wild, direct. Six days. Six glorious horrible non-stop 12-hour days. Maybe it’s more suited to where we are now, as a band and as people. But Picture is something pleasantly ethereal to think back upon, too – much more dream-like.
Do you think that you’re a better band now than when you recorded the last album?
Jesse Elliott: Yes. We are the best band in the world. Including Lexington, Kentucky. I don’t think there’s any reasonable person, in the world or in Lexington, Kentucky, who would argue us on that point.
After the band’s shows across the Western states what are the plans?
Jesse Elliott: More shows. More albums. More driving. We keep trying to think of other clever things to do, like maybe strike up a friendship with The Flaming Lips and go on an African safari with them. But until we do, we’re just a band; therefore: more shows, more albums, more driving.