The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world






When we saw Blues Pills perform live last year, a lot of us had never heard of the band previously so seeing them come out with some fantastic retro rock mixed with blues and soul with an amazing guitarist in Dorian Sorriaux and an even more amazing singer in Elin Larsson, we were blown away. We reviewed both shows in Perth last year and had nothing but good things to say about them, we became fans instantly. So when the opportunity came up to talk music with the singer, there was just no passing it up. Elin's powerful voice is the highlight of the band and talking to her, you get a sense that she is having so much fun with the rising success of Blues Pills. We caught up with her to discuss her influences and the band's debut album.

Andrew: Hi it's Andrew from The Rockpit, how are you?


Elin: Hi I'm doing good, how are you?


Andrew: Good thanks. Thanks for doing the interview, it's much appreciated!


Elin: Thank you for doing the interview as well.


Andrew: So I saw you guys last year when you came over to Australia, I saw you play in Perth and Fremantle and what an amazing couple of shows they were! How was the rest of the tour for you guys?


Elin: Thank you! It was a great Australian tour, we really liked it there. I got sick though when I was there so that was kind of scary. Except for that it was a really fun tour and it was cool too to see Australia.


Andrew: Obviously that was your first time in Australia is that right?


Elin: Yeah that was our first time ever.


Andrew: Did you have any expectations when you came over?


Elin: I thought that there wouldn't be that many people coming to our shows because we haven't been there. I didn't know if there was like a scene in Australia but it did seem that way to me so that was a cool surprise. And also that I heard people from New Zealand wanted to catch our show and then of course I was at the hospital and that's really sad but anyway, but big compliment that you fly from another country to catch our show. Hopefully we can come back and make up for those shows.

Andrew: Yeah definitely. I think with you guys that word is starting to spread around that you guys are something to see live. Nothing against Kadavar or the other bands that played with you but I think you guys were definitely the highlight of the whole tour.


Elin: Oh wow thank you! That's so nice of you.


Andrew: I saw the 2 shows you did over here in Western Australia and I had never heard of you guys before and I have to say I became a fan after those 2 shows and I think a lot of people had the same thing as well. The live shows must be a very important aspect in the success and how you are starting to grow.


Elin: Yeah we are releasing our debut album now and it feels like...I mean we've been touring in Australia and a lot of bands haven't been and they have 2 albums and I think we have kind of built our reputation and gained fans from our live shows. That's the best compliment a band can get so yeah it's fantastic that we have been to Australia and that we have been touring for 2 years before an album!


Andrew: So you have the new album coming out and I have actually heard it and obviously there is a couple of songs from your E.P. but most of it is new stuff. Sounds amazing so what can you tell me about the album?


Elin: Thank you. Yeah some of the songs we have released before and we have rearranged quite a lot. We chose to have some of the songs that we released before because of the fact that all the other releases were supposed to be demos and we recorded it ourselves and back at that time we didn't have instruments. I remember we borrowed broken cymbals and stuff to record the Devilman E.P. and we didn't have much time to focus on the actual music. So this album is really just about the music this time, it's recorded on a 2 inch tape machine, it's all analog. The drums and bass are recorded live at the same time and then we have the overdubs with guitar and the vocals. It had to be live because we wanted to bring that to the album, like the truthfulness of it and that's what's so good with analog because you can't cut, you have to listen with your ears and think like yeah this is my take, you can't save a bunch of takes and cut it. Also it has a warm tone to the album because it's analog. Some songs are really groovy I think and Blues Pills have always been inspired by Fleetwood Mac, especially this record when Peter Green was in the band and it's called "Then Play On" and we wanted to have some of that feeling on this album.

Andrew: Yeah listening to the album I can definitely hear that live feel to it. Oviously this was something you were going for. Do you think all the touring that you have done before the recording has affected the recording of the album?


Elin: Yeah definitely. We have learned so much on this 2 years of touring and the band has become tighter and we understand each other way more musically now than we did 2 years ago. It definitely has inspired us as songwriters or composers, we do this basically everyday so of course you are gonna learn stuff from it and develop. I think you can tell that when you hear the album and then when you hear the other releases as well.


Andrew: Yeah definitely. A lot of people that have seen you live will hear that live feel to it. And also as you were saying before, you were recording in analog. Is that something you did to also keep that retro sound that you guys are striving for?


Elin: "Devilman" (EP) we recorded in digital and we weren't happy with those recordings. We wantd to record in analog because it fits our band and also you get that warm, full sound from the tapes naturally. I'm happy with it now that we have recorded it in analog, it's mixed in analog and we don't really want to go back to digital haha! It captures the dynamics in the song, its all about the feeling like if Corey (Berry, drums) plays heavier or if we start playing heavier, you hear it naturally.


Andrew: So you can't really hide a lot of your mistakes and that kind of stuff as well.


Elin: Yeah and that's good too I think.

Andrew: I wanted to know because you have a truly amazing voice, what do you do to take care of it?


Elin: Thank you. I actually do a bunch of (vocal) excercising when I'm at home. I'm supposed to do it 3 times a day for 30 minutes each time but I have to be honest, I don't do it 3 times a day but I'm supposed to do it 3 times a day. But I also sing different stuff when I'm at home, a variation in my vocal chords. I have an electric piano which I sit and play and sing stuff to and make the vocal chords stretch out. So yeah that's the thing with them is that it stretches the voice because if you keep singing the same stuff over and over again on tour, you get kind of stiff so you need to stretch it. I also have this little thing which I also bring on tour that's like a little thing that you put warm water in and then you breathe the steam in to your vocal chords.


Andrew: Oh yeah I have actually heard about this.


Elin: Oh you did?


Andrew: Yeah I don't remember who the singer was but yeah the steam is supposed to stretch the vocal chords or something like that.


Elin: Yeah and also it's a natural...because when you sing so much, the vocal chords and muscle can get swollen because you use it so much so that steam helps it down naturally and heals it so it's a good thing for people if they are on tour a lot.


Andrew: And definitely for you guys because I think your voice is one of the main aspects of your band so it would be wise to take care of it I would think.


Elin: Yeah.


Andrew: So people keep comparing you to Janis Joplin, do you ever get tired of those comparisons?


Elin: I mean it's really flattering to be compared to her. Janis Joplin is like an icon and she's a legend, she's a saint. She has done so much for blues rock and especially for women I think. But I don't take it that seriously...I mean I take it seriously, I'm happy...but I don't believe in getting my head blown up because I'm not like that as a person. I think noone can be like Janis Joplin.


Andrew: Yeah that's right. I think Aretha Franklin is probably closer to your vocals than Janis Joplin's?


Elin: Yeah Aretha a lot too, Aretha Franklin when I was growing up you could say was one of the main influences. But also the first record I ever bought was a Joe Cocker album so he was a main influence, a male vocalist as well and also Janis Joplin. I listened to her, I listened to The Doors and stuff like that.


Andrew: Which band or which artist was the main reason for you getting into music?


Elin: I would say Aretha Franklin for singing because I would listen a lot to her and when I was younger I was singing to her songs. Even though she wasn't there physically, she was there with her music and she kinda taught me to sing or try. When I was in my teens I was hanging out with the metal dudes in my class and I was really lucky because all of them were really interesting people, they were always exchanging music with each other. And those metal dudes I remember they wanted me to play Black Sabbath with them in the basement of our school and then it kinda opened a complete new door for me just before I was not into blues and soul and some rock but not heavier than that. But they kinda just 'phew' opened that door. So thankful for that!


Andrew: Obviously the new album is coming out soon, as far as touring plans and all that, what have you got coming up?


Elin: This summer we are playing a bunch of festivals so we are going to do that and then we have more booked in October and we're getting support by a band from Iceland who is called The Vintage Caravan. After that we have tours in Scandinavia and working on a tour in France and the UK and hopefully after that we can go back to the studio and record our second album!


Andrew: Oh OK really quick! Do you have anything written so far?


Elin: Yeah I think we have about 11 song ideas so far. We have so much fun with our producer Don (Alsterberg) and that time was really a fun time for us so we are really excited to go back there and hang out with Don and record some new tunes.


Andrew: Cool looking forward to that! And we hope that you come back to Australia, we would absolutely love it.


Elin: Yeah hopefully soon! And then we have our new album with us this time! That would be cool.


Andrew: I think we are just about out of time but it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you! Good luck with the album and your upcoming tours so thanks again!


Elin: Thank you so much and thank you for doing this interview.



Elin spoke to Andrew Schizodeluxe July 2014





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