Since seeing As Elephants Are in a small hall in the heart of Bucks just over a year ago, the four piece from Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, have come on leaps and bounds. Their air of quiet jitteriness nestled amongst a set that only really sparked to life through stand out song; ‘War Cry’.
A year later and they’re playing the four o’clock slot at Reading and Leeds’ BBC Introducing stage. Confidence has grown, and so has their setlist. Lead singer, Ben Stratford still carries his quivering vocals, reminiscent of Orlando Weeks of The Maccabees, but now he may realise that he and his band mates are on to something, lifting his head up and breaking a grin every time he sees the crowd clapping or singing along. At one point Radio 1 DJ Jen Long is even found to be bouncing upon someones shoulders and at the end of the set Ben chuckles about spotting her – something he thought he’d never see.
It’s always nice to see a band genuinely feeling take a back by support for them, evident through the number of retweets on their twitter timeline from fans, radio DJs and other bands. Their new song, ‘Crystal’ creates a buzz of positive energy and a sense of hope which WE hope is building up to bigger and better things, emulated by the air time it has gained on national radio stations.
I caught up with lead singer Ben to ask him a few questions:
First things first, the name, As Elephants Are, how did that come about?
I wish there was a more exciting story behind it but it was just in a magazine I was reading. We gave ourselves a deadline and it was all we had.
Your new single ‘Crystal’ has had a fair bit of radio coverage since it was released. What was your reaction when you first heard it being played?
It’s alway pretty surreal to hear it on the radio to be honest I don’t think it is something that we would ever get used to. We are always very grateful to everyone who plays it.
In the space of a year you’ve gone from playing small local venues to the BBC introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festival. How did you prepare yourself for such a big festival?
We just got our heads down and try’d to practice as much as we could. We had a show in Edinburgh just before with Half Moon Run which really helped as it was there Reading and Leeds warm up as well.
Did you meet any other artists at Reading and Leeds and get up to any festival antics?
We meet up with our boys China Rats which was really nice to see them playing the festival where they’re from (Leeds), but there was a lot of sleeping until Sunday night really. We will never forget that weekend.
What’s next for As Elephants Are? Is there an album in the works?
We are just going to keep writing, recording and playing shows and see where that takes us. Who knows how far away we are from an album. We have lots of songs but its something we want to be perfect.
(Written by Josh Shreeve)