Caramie Schnell

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September 19, 2012
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Elephant Revival plays a part in life's 'grand symphony'

Where words fail, music speaks.

Those are the poignant words atop Elephant Revival's Facebook page.

"Music is vibrational," said the band's guitarist Daniel Rodriguez. "Everything in creation has been proven to have a specific vibratory frequency. But music and sound is unique. It is an invisible thing that can be felt internally. It can conjure up emotions of joy, sorrow, excitement etc. - emotions that everybody has experience with."

Even nature itself has its own rhythms and melodies, Rodriguez points out.

"Waves rolling in, birds singing, woodpeckers, crickets, frogs ... the seasons even work off of a rhythm. It's almost like all of life is a grand symphony and we are all playing our part."

The band has performed in all corners of Eagle County - the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek, outside in Minturn, at State Bridge Riverside Amphitheater and more, but Thursday night marks the first time the band will take the stage at the Ford Amphitheater, where the Nederland-based band will kick off the inaugural Season of Song festival along with Dala, Jesse Ruben and Michael Tomlinson. It's the band's last outdoor Colorado show of the season, and they're excited to play at a new venue and a new festival, said Rodriguez, who took the time to answer a few questions for the Vail Daily.

Vail Daily: What's new in Elephant Revival's world?

Daniel Rodriguez: We have a brand new EP containing seven new songs of new material, which will hopefully be ready for the show Thursday. We are very happy with the way it came out, and the fact that it was recorded mostly live with very few overdubs, using DSD technology, which is a superior recording technology to the standard methods. The EP is called "It's Alive" quoting a lyric in the song "What's That?" as well as playing into the fact that it was recorded mostly live.

We also have a new songbook with the songs from both our albums as well as from the EP, plus lyrics and chords from three new downloadable songs that come with the songbook. We are excited with the way the book turned out. All five members contributed original unique art and pictures that is used as a background to each page. The art that Bonnie contributed came out spectacular.

VD: This festival has a lot of songwriters coming who people might not recognize by name, but would surely recognize the songs they've written. Who are you excited to see/meet?

DR: You know I have glanced online at all the songwriters that will be playing, and I have to say that I am excited to listen and potentially meet all of them. Now who I come home most excited about is yet to be known.

VD: What do you think distinguishes Elephant Revival from other bands?

DR: I think the fact that all five members write, and perform the songs they write during our sets, is unique. Most bands have a lead singer, even if all the musicians write, there's usually just one singer. Elephant Revival may have a singer who is more talented than others, but we all step up to bat, so-to-speak, once it comes our turn. And I think that appeals to a wide array of listeners ... everyone can relate to one of us in some form or fashion.

I also think that we have developed our own sound that is different from everyone. We are not trying to be anybody else, and I truly believe that the music we are making, although derivative of other styles, is all it's own thing. But that's just my opinion.

VD: Sometimes, after hearing new pop songs, I wonder if the art of songwriting has been lost. But then I hear carefully crafted songs, with lyrics that really make you think, and realize all hope is not lost. Tell me about a song you heard recently where the lyrics really got you?

DR: Well a lot of times big money-big sponsor radio doesn't play thoughtful music. It's actually quite homogenized, over produced, auto-tuned, and contains petty emotions with no goose bump reaction available. A lot of times I find the great songwriters have cultish followings and have no desire to be poppy because of the compromise that would mean to their true calling. That doesn't mean there isn't good stuff being played on the radio, because there is. It just means you have to look harder. The last song I listened to that made me think was Bob Dylan's "It's Alright, Ma' (I'm only Bleeding)" recorded in the early '60s ... or was it the song "The Curse" by Josh Ritter ... I forget. Both great songs.

VD: Tell me about a song you or someone in your band recently wrote. What inspired it?-

DR: Bonnie just wrote a song called "What's That?" which is on our new EP. It's an incredible tune. Lyrically it leaves the whole world wide open. What inspired it, I can't speak for her, but it seems like creation itself and all those big questions we have.

Visit for festival details.

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The VailDaily Updated Sep 19, 2012 02:19PM Published Sep 19, 2012 02:15PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.