California, United States
Adult Alternative / Indie Rock
Hailed by Co-opted Music Magazine as a band that is "clearly determined to succeed," Even Elroy is perhaps this decade's answer to Ben Folds Five in the '90's... with the added element of stellar guitar work and a radio-friendly sound.
Even Elroy came together in the summer of 2003 when Jeff Michaels, a multiple award winning member of the West Coast Songwriters Association and former member of the band Luce, began recruiting members in support of his solo CD Red Jacket. The record featured some of the Bay Areas finest studio musicians and heavy hitting friends, including Steve Bowman (Counting Crows), but the band quickly realized their potential for writing together far outweighed their ability to simply reproduce pre-recorded tracks. What started as a singer/songwriter project grew into a highly energetic live act that continued to push the envelop of blistering piano solos and sophisticated guitars as they worked their unique blend of quirkiness and pure rock across the Northern California club scene.
"Even Elroy is just fun music and it's different. It reminds me that life is good," says one of their college fans. They don't make any political statements or get too deep. Michaels might object, claiming his desire to get a little au naturel with actress Melissa Joan Hart in their song Lie Naked is about as left-wing as you can get, but either way theres no denying the fun this group has together and the chemistry the band has while on stage.
In fact, capturing that live energy in a studio setting was one of the main challenges of producer Jerry Becker (Rob Hotchkiss - Train) in recording the groups new album, NOTHING'S REALLY CHANGED. "There is a natural chemistry when these guys play together that I wanted to preserve as much as possible," says Becker, "and I think we did a good job of bringing that out on the record."
NOTHING'S REALLY CHANGED kicks off with Going Nowhere, an intense rocker summarizing the devotion to a failing relationship. The darker, somewhat haunting rock of Only Time Will Tell follows, then leads way to the catchy, radio-friendly Another Song About Life, and On and On. The Ballad of Tommy Lee Jones slips quietly into the role of epic masterpiece, as extraordinary yet unassuming as the actor himself. Next is Carnival Clown, a tale about a carnival worker going through a midlife crisis. (Without the title, that one is sometimes hard to get, admits the band.)
NOTHING'S REALLY CHANGED winds down with the introspective and stunningly beautiful My Street, and if there is a theme to the album, it's summed up in a feeling of coming full circle in I No Longer Hate (California).
"This album isn't about random characters or events," says Michaels. It's about our band, our friends, our lives... and well, Tommy Lee Jones. It's honest, and I think that's why these songs come across so well when we perform them.
The past year saw a lot of changes for Even Elroy as they relocated their home from Oakland to San Jose, delivered a new baby (the 287lb, 5oz Yamaha CP-70 portable piano the group currently tours with) and underwent several line-up changes on the drum stool with Ryan Machamer finally joining as the group's permanent stickman. But as their album title suggests, at the core of the group remains a focus on unique songwriting and the desire to create great music in an atmosphere where people can come together and have fun.