Elliot Minor are a band who are truly picking up locomotive type speed. Despite the fact their debut album is still awaiting release, the band have already had four Top 40 singles, supported McFly and their videos have recieved regular play on the major music tv channels. Not bad for a classically trained five piece from York. Their album is expected in mid-April and Room Thirteen [R13] caught up with front man Alex Davies [AD] the afternoon before their gig in Aberdeen...

RoomThirteen.com: So just to start, give us a 60 second history of Elliot Minor to where you are today...
Alex Davies: We are a five piece rock band. We're all former school friends, we used to go to school in York. When we finished school we had our gap year and decided we want to be a band. It started off with me and Ed just doing an acoustic duo, writing a lot of the songs, doing demos. Then after that we formed a band. We met up with the other guys and started playing a few shows. Sent out loads of demos, got a management deal and eventually got a major deal! And now we're touring!
R13: And your top three highlights of that history?
AD: We played download last year which was amazing. Also, going to the Kerrang! Awards was really cool, and playing at the Astoria 2 which was awesome as well.

R13: How has the tour been so far?
AD: It's been really cool. We've actually had a few days off because we've just come back from Ireland. We played four dates there, which was amazing, really cool. One of the dates was on Valentines Day in Dublin which was pretty crazy. We're sort of halfway through it, and it's been going really well. The reactions have been really good and the shows have been selling out.
R13: Favourite venue/audience so far?
AD: So far, I think as far as the best show that we've thought we've ever played was in Liverpool. I dunno what it was, everything really smoothly, and we sort of felt we stepped up a level., we were just really happy on stage
R13: Where are you RIGHT now? And what have you done today before this interview?
AD: We are in Aberdeen outside the venue, I've literally just made a cup of coffee, and I've just woken up! Most of the band are in bed right now.

R13: Your classical background is obviously already well documented in your music and past interviews. So what ELSE has been a big influence on your music?
AD: A lot of film music actually. I was into a lot of film scores in school.
R13: Like Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson Williams, that sort of thing?
AD: Yeah and James Horner and stuff. That's just always been a really big inspiration so I think it comes across in the music sometimes.

R13: Has Elliot Minor’s music given you the platform to express everything that you want to express musically?
AD: Oh definitely.
R13: Could we perhaps see, a few years down the line, an Alex Davies side project?
AD: Um, nah. Couldn't do it without the rest of the guys.

R13: Is there a formula to the creative process behind writing an Elliot Minor song or is it sporadic?
AD: Um it sort of depends, but most of the time, we'll start mucking around on chords. It's mostly done on the piano. Record a piano track, then a few guitars and vocals and stuff. I think I find it easier to do on piano mostly, I dunno why. I find it hard to do on guitar.
R13: How much of your lyrics are based on (however loosely) personal experience?
AD: Pretty much all of them are. About three-quarters of the songs on the album was written at school, so a lot of the experiences and feelings me and Ed experienced then were written about. The other songs were done in our gap year, so they are about experiences then. It does differ as it is us growing up. You can sort of see the change in the lyrics.

R13: Am I right in saying the release date of your album keeps changing?
AD: Yeah, but I think we've got a definite one now, on the 14th of April. We're going to release a single a week before on the 7th.
R13: What should we expect when we finally get to hear it?
AD: The albums very diverse so hopefully you'll hear a completely different side of the band. There's a lot more slow tracks on there and a lot more experimentation. A lot of the songs so far have been sort of upbeat, quite simple, catchy songs. There's quite a lot of tracks on the album which are good but they arent sort of standard, upbeat songs. They're a lot longer, there's a track on there which is six minutes long which is pretty cool.

R13: Things seem to have really exploded for you in the past 12 months, coming out of nowhere. Is there a defining point, event or moment where you thought to yourself “this is it, the only way is up”?
AD: It's so scary the whole thing. You don't know how well the next single is gonna do, we don't know if people are going to lose interest and stuff. I think the initial point has gotta be 'Parallell Worlds', when the video first came out, because it was our very first. And actually, probably when the single came out because we weren't expecting to get a Top 40 at all because we didn't have any major label backup and no promotion. Suddenly we were all really surprised about that. I think after that we thought “we might actually have a shot at this.”

R13: Do you have a few examples of what your success with music has enabled you to do that you wouldn't have otherwise?
AD: Um... trying to think... just having the opportunity of going to the Kerrang! Awards and meet other bands that we completely idolise. Meeting Tom Delonge was pretty cool.

R13: Some people seem to have preconceptions of you as another pop rock band in the vein of McFly. Would you prefer to move away from these presumptions? Who would you prefer to be thought in the same vein as?
AD: Yeah we've had a lot of that. Ideally we don't really want to be categorised as anything. If people like it, they like it, if they don't, they don't. I think it's just the way we were marketed early on. We sort of regretted that, because it wasn't really us. We are a rock band but we're not gonna lie, we do have pop songs. It is so difficult nowadays just to actually get accepted, we're very wary of what we do and how you've got to market yourselves.

R13: Your music videos are quite visually creative with some really cool sets. What has been your most favourite to record?
AD: Most favourite was the 'Jessica' one. Everything ran really smoothly. We really liked that video, it came across as being closest to the concept in the beginning. It's quite weird because when you're talking with the director about the initial concept, you've got an idea of how it's going to turn out, but most of the time it's completely different. 'Jessica' was the closest to how we thought it would be.
R13: On the other had, what’s been the most difficult?
AD: Still Figuring It Out was quite hard because a lot of things went wrong and we missed a lot of shots. There was this massive chandelier on the set and it broke halfway through, so we lost about four hours. There were going to be a loads of cool party shots and different locations but that didnt happen which was annoying.
R13: You are sitting watching Kerrang or MTV2 and one of Elliot Minor’s music videos comes on, do you switch over or watch?
AD: I'd switch over. The very first time you watch it is just cool, but you start being really critical of yourself going “shit that parts really cringeful” so yeah, I think most of us would turn it over.

R13: Is there anyone who's really hot on the music scene, or maybe a classic artist who everyone seems to love who you can't just get into?
AD: I could never get into James Blunt, and everyone loved him. I dunno, I just find it really irritating.
R13: On the flipside, is there an artist or band you love that you think deserves more recognition than they currently get?
AD: The Used. I think they should be as big as My Chemical Romance or even bigger. I prefer them, they're just a really talented band.

R13: In an interview with yourself in May 2007 and in it you said you were excited about playing it but apprehensive about the reaction from the Donington faithful. How was it in the end?
AD: It was really good. We're playing it this year as well. We had two choices. It was either be second to headline on the third stage or about 4 o'clock on the second stage. We thought they will make more effort with lighting and stuff if you're closer to the headline so we think we're gonna go with the third stage. I don't know what will happen or how the reaction will be this time but we're just going to absolutely rock it out and go mental.

R13: What can someone who has never been to an Elliot Minor show expect to experience?
AD: Now, just a really energetic show. The more excited we get, the crazier we go.

R13: If you had a venue of your choosing to play a show, any size, anywhere, where would you play and what kind of show would you put on?
AD: Anywhere? Probably an outside one. What's the one Green Day did in Milton Keynes?
R13: The Milton Keynes Bowl.
AD: Yeah that. We'd just max out, have pyrotechnics and everything.
R13: Would you have a live orchestra?
AD: Yeah if we could. Maybe not for every song. That would be cool actually, having an orchestra playing on the last song and just smashing stuff.

R13: Finally, describe Elliot Minor in three words.
AD: Er... let me think... creative... scruffy... and... let me think... this is quite hard actually... passionate! Creative, scruffy, passionate.

Elliot Minor are currently touring the UK. To find out more, please visit their website.