Cornerstone New Band Interviews: Gatlin Elms

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One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase. The Cornerstone New Band Showcase has launched many huge careers for Christian musicians including P.O.D., Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine. The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd. In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and a 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on on Wednesday, June 22.

We continue the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase interview series with Gatlin Elms. This four piece alternative folk band is a rising star in today’s music scene.

Gatlin Elms

Mixing alternative with folk Gatlin Elms, has emerged from the Houston, Texas indie scene with their debut full length album, Carry Me Home. After two years of writing, playing shows and recording, Gatlin Elms has truly realized their passions through the release of the album. Gatlin Elms (writer and front-man), the album focuses all the emotions that go along with trying to fight against life, only to finally accept what you can’t change. Gatlin Elms features Neil Sandoz on bass, Andrew James on keyboards, Gatlin Elms on lead vocals and guitar and Tigh Holmstrom on drums.

Gatlin Elms started out as a solo project, teenager in love with music and even more in tune with creating his own. The Oceans & The Stars album was his first project; one he had worked solely on before meeting with the other three members. He had finished it in 2007 and had it released in 2008.

Gatlin Elms

Interview with Christian Musicians Gatlin Elms

O21: How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?

GE: All of us grew up listening to a pretty wide variety of music but together, we all draw from a lot of Alternative, Folk Rock, Brit-Pop bands.. Travis, DCFC, The Frames, The National, Athlete, Aqualung are all probably played on our iPods each week. We’d like to think we’re in the Alternative Folk area.

O21: What is the best thing about making music?

GE: Man, there’s really so much. We just really enjoy getting to create songs. Gatlin will usually write out the lyrics and melody and then getting to add to that and have four of us giving input and making sure the song is going to be it’s best is so much fun.

O21: How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?

GE: We want our faith to have everything to do with our music. Musically and lyrically we want every song to be covered with our passions for the Gospel. Between the four of us, every song we play is worship and we want to do our best to portrait that every time we play.

O21: What responsibility do you think an artist/performer has to its listeners?

GE: I think an artist’s main responsibility when performing is to play the music just as well or better than your recording, and make people believe that you believe in what you are singing and playing every time.

It sickens me when a show doesn’t go as well as you know it could have.. or a piece of equipment craps out during the first song.

O21: In today’s music scene, with the demise of record companies and mySpace, how does an artist develop a large enough following to sustain a career?

GE: We’re trying to figure that out too.. definitely connect with the people that even slightly appreciate your music and thank as many people as you can that might have been in listening distance to your set.

O21: What is your best memory of your career so far?

GE: Our tour in London back in March of this year is definitely one of our most fond memories as a band. We also won a contest last month and one of our songs, “The Secrets” will be included in the soundtrack of a movie called “Renee” coming out in 2012 with some artists we really really love. We’re honored to have that opportunity. Definitely opening the first box of a new record when it comes in the mail. Both of our release parties have been two of the best nights of our careers.

O21: What are your road traditions?

GE: We have one tradition called ‘Brothers to Brothers’ that we could explain but you would think we were really weird..

O21: What do you love about music?

GE: My favorite thing about some of my favorite music is how it can bring you back to the season in your life when you first heard it, every time you listen to it.

O21:What is your favorite song?

GE: I don’t normally have a favorite song.. but right now, Death Cab For Cutie‘s “You are a Tourist” might be the most perfect song ever written and recorded.

O21:What is the best live show you have ever seen?

GE: I feel like I have said that after many shows.. but definitely one of these.. The Swell Season, The National, Josh Ritter, Coldplay, U2, Snow Patrol, Jonsi (That was a show on an entirely different level though).

Thank you guys. It is always fun to talk with upcoming Christian musicians for Texas.  I look forward to catching your show at Cornerstone 2011.

Gatlin Elms play atmospheric folk rock with a twist that you can easily check out by clicking through to Amazon and buying the band’s latest release, Carry Me Home or Gatlin Elms’ solo debut The Oceans & The Stars

If you just want a taste of Gatlin Elms’ music check out “Carry Me Home” from the One21music Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase sampler that will be released on One21music on June 22nd.

Gatlin Elms will be playing the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase on Sunday, July 3rd at 12:35. See you there!