Based out of Detroit, Elephants Everywhere (AKA Sean Bartoshuk and John Shekerjian) began their musical journey in 2010 and are now here with their debut album titled Slow Circles.
The 11 tracks come directly from the depths of their hearts and minds. We caught up with the duo, to understand how this album came about, and learned more about their story of the duo was formed.
T.H.E – Hey guys! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How have you been?
Elephants Everywhere – Hey, thank you for having us! We’ve been great. Busy finishing the album as well as working on some other projects we have planned for 2019.
T.H.E – Let’s talk about the name first. Why “Elephants Everywhere”?
Elephants Everywhere – In class one day, back in high school, we were brainstorming and one of our friends was listing off names and said: “Elephants Everywhere”. The name instantly stuck. Since then the name has come to mean a lot of different things to us. It’s a beautiful phrase on its own and can be taken literally or figuratively. Elephants are our favorite animals as well.
T.H.E – What made you guys hit it off in Highschool, back in 2010? Did you guys have similar tastes in music, back then?
Elephants Everywhere – We knew each other long before we started the band. We went to the same school and started playing in an orchestra together in 6th grade. In highschool, we starting hanging out more often and had the same circle of friends who were all really into music. Our friends all shared similar tastes and loved bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and Modest Mouse to name a few. We formed a band with two of our friends and we both played guitar. In college, the two of us fell in love with electronic music and started producing music as a duo.
T.H.E – How best would you describe your sounds?
Elephants Everywhere – To be honest, we have always had a hard time describing our own music because it doesn’t always seem to fit into one ‘genre’. Almost always, the songs we write stem from us jamming to a beat and coming up with a lot of parts so it tends to have plenty of live elements such as guitar, piano, strings, and percussion. Also, the way we feel in that moment determines what sort of emotion or vibe the music will have whether it be happy, sad or somewhere in between.
T.H.E – Your debut album is finally out. What made you guys decide now is the right time to release it, especially considering you have been making music for almost 10 years?
Elephants Everywhere – We started playing and writing music 10 years ago and actually released some music back then with our friends but didn’t start producing electronic music until college. The first couple of years it took a while to really hone our skills as producers and to find our sound. In the early days, we’d often have musical ideas we were excited about, but not know how to produce them. We taught ourselves production and engineering so it was a long process, but eventually, we grew more comfortable as producers and started to be able to make the music we wanted to make. 2 years ago we had a collection of songs we wanted to release but couldn’t find vocalists for any of them. This time around we made songs with the intention of having no vocalists and decided this would be our first release.
T.H.E – How long was the album in the works?
Elephants Everywhere – About 6 months. A couple of the guitar riffs we made 5 years ago and came back to them while writing the album, but most of the songs are only a couple months old.
T.H.E – How did the album come together? Did you guys consciously start working on it, or did it happen on the go?
Elephants Everywhere – We are always writing and coming up with new ideas and at a certain point, we had 15-20 solid ideas that we really liked. From there we narrowed it down to the 11 on Slow Circles.
T.H.E – What can fans expect from it? What served as the inspiration for the album?
Elephants Everywhere – The album was inspired by a lot of different genres which stems from our diverse music taste. We love everything from indie music to pop, electronic, hip hop, rock, classical, etc. If anything, this album reflects our love of electronic music and dance music as a whole.
T.H.E – Tell us about the tracks on the album. Which ones were the most difficult to make, and what is the creative process you guys follow while making music? How does it all come together, and which part of the track do you believe is the most important to create?
Elephants Everywhere – The most difficult one to make was ‘Tanahpele’. The main guitar riff and beat were made in 2013 and since then have gone through countless remakes and edits. 6 months ago we remade the beat along with adding some new guitars and from there we rewrote and produced the rest of the song.
As far as the creative process goes, we either start with making a beat and jamming to it until something sticks or building a song around an existing piece of music. Getting the initial idea down and finishing the first 90% of a track usually happens pretty quick, the last 10% is what takes the longest.
T.H.E – Lastly, what can you tell us about your plans for 2019?
Elephants Everywhere – Keep making music! Having released Slow Circles, we are already working on new music to release later this year. We also have a remix album coming out soon.