Its Thursday night… You’re in Chicago and the next day your band plays in front of a massive crowd at Lollapalooza. How do you prepare? As lead singer Elijah Jones of the Atlanta based rock/hip hop band The Constellations puts it “I have no idea where we were last night, all I know is that we had a great fuckin time!”
The Constellations are a band that does it their way. Their musical style has it all, from funk, rock, and hip hop, they blend it all together with a myriad of sounds and throw in the gruff vocals of Jones for a melting pot of music mastery.
Here are some excerpts from my interview with singer Elijah Jones.
Evan J. Thomas - Seeing that you guys paid out of your own pocket to make your album Southern Gothic, did you get any financial help from family and friends? If so, have they been paid back?
Elijah Jones – Yes and no (laughs) Yes, absolutely our family has helped us out. And no, we haven’t paid them back yet. They helped me out spiritually and mentally and couldn’t even figure out how to pay them back yet for that.
Evan – Knowing that Atlanta is your main inspiration for song writing, where else do you get inspiration from?
Elijah - Vegas man, Vegas is my jam. I absolutely love Vegas, its kind of a debauchery scene. It’s not all about the night life, its good people watching. It’s about the pimps, the drug dealers, the junkies, that’s what its about.
Evan - How many songs did you have arranged for the album before it was finalized? Was it tough narrowing it down to 11?
Elijah - We figured out we wanted to start playing live and getting the band together around 12 songs. For the whole album we had like around 20 songs. It just turned out to be a concept record and figured out that it was all about Atlanta and then turned out the record.
Evan - Is there anyone that your wanting to collaborate with that you haven’t?
Elijah - Tom Waits, absolutely. He signed off on us doing “Step Right Up” and it was absolutely amazing. To me the head of my musical influences are Tom Waits and Cee-Lo, and to have Cee-Lo on the record was absolutely amazing and a joy, a joy to work with. Growing up I would have never asked for a better debut record and having Tom Waits involved, I mean just involved and having Cee-Lo on a track was just amazing.
Evan - So you were in the hip hop scene in Atlanta?
Elijah - Absolutely man, I grew up on hip hop.
Evan - Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Elijah- On the road or in the studio man, that’s all I really want to do. That’s my two favorite things about this — being in a new city every night meeting new people and then being in the studio. That’s why I am in this.
Evan - Do you think it is easier in this day and age to make a name for yourself as a band with all the different types of media outlets?
Elijah- Yeah man, it makes it a lot easier to get your music out there but its trying to get people to actually buy your music is the hard thing. I’m a big believer that your dollar is your vote and if you don’t buy the record or buy the song then you leave it up to (others) to dictate what goes on the radio and what gets played so keep downloading your local bands and stuff like that.
Evan - What are you most looking forward to here at Lollapalooza?
Elijah - Right now taking a nap, and getting drunk as shit. The Strokes man, absolutely The Strokes. I’m not going to be able to get to see them though; we have a show tonight after we play today so that sucks.
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