Thursday, December 28, 2006

Arts: Our Very Own: Rafael K.

Garage band: Elphinstone

By Chelsea Werner

WANTED: Bassist
In a music scene where bands are post-post-punk or new-new-wave, Rafael Khatchurian is attempting a more contemporary revival. Khatchurian, a Lang junior concentrating in philosophy and SHI, is guitarist in Elphinstone, a largely instrumental four-piece band with songs that escalate gently into crashing sounds reminiscent of '90s rock and shoe-gaze. Begun in 2005, the recent addition of a singer signals new and improved tracks expected on Myspace in January.

Q: Where are you from?
A: We’re based in south Brooklyn, where we grew up (except Joe, he’s a Chicago guy). The good thing is that the hipsters haven’t moved down Bedford Avenue yet.

Q: What does the band name mean?
A: Originally called Elephant Stone, after a song on the Stone Roses’ first album, it changed because of the risk of getting sued. Elphinstone is a fictional town from Lolita, by Nabokov, one of my favorite novels.

Q: Where do you record?
A: Recording is done in my basement, where we rehearse. The quality is pretty bad. We’re looking to record something professional as soon as possible.

Q: How did you meet?
A: Mike (drums), Paul (bass), and I were friends in high school and played together. Those projects never went anywhere and, prior to forming Elphinstone, we only played one show.

Q: Do you value instrumentation over lyrical content?
A: In the beginning, we had some lyrics written for the songs, but focusing on the music at the time was the best thing we could do. Since Joe joined, the lyrics have been given a bigger role, which is a good thing; he’s a good writer. Often, lyrical content can make or break a song for me.

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