Rock, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues Rock
Buckcherry, Jack White, Kings of Leon, Alabama Shakes
ELAN - If you like @buckcherry & @alabama_shakes, you'll love @ElanSeeUsSpin http://bit.ly/JJjpNv - #CyberPR
I’m here to tell you that we are about to witness the beginning of the Mexican rock and roll invasion and it’s going to be great! Leading the charge from Guadalajar, Mexico, into the states is the band, ELAN.
Guadalajara, Mexico --- ELAN is riding high. "Bad Days Are Gone" is a hit south of the border, and the Mexican quintet has finally set the stage for an entrance in to the American market with the April 17th release of See Us Spin. After 15 years together, seven albums that have sold a cumulative 1.7 million units independently, and countless shows, the band will perform for the first time in The U.S. in 2012.
On their eighth album See Us Spin, the brother and sister led quintet continue a streak as the first Mexican group to release successful albums in English, offering plenty of gritty, graceful style in its tracks thanks to the snake charmer’s dance of Elán’s vibrant singing and deeply human lyrics, and Jan Carlo DeFan’s emotionally expressive, sonically adventurous guitar work that is reminiscent of the best sounds that came out of Jacksonville in the 70’s.
There is a staggering level of musical communication nearly hard-wired into the band members' genes. ELAN has played together since they were children. Guitarist Mauricio “El Pato” López has collaborated with the DeFans since their early teens, while bassist Carlos “Charlie” Padilla Maqueo was in the first jam band with Jan Carlo at 11 years of age, and drummer Michel “Cheech” Bitar DeFan is a cousin. They have been best friends for nearly two decades and have played together for just as long. Jan Carlo shares, "We’ve really hit the point we’re at because of the constant touring we’ve done together over the past 15 years. We’re really a live band, and we’ve developed our sound by playing anywhere we could. In a 24 hour period we could be on a tiny stage in a cantina, and then the next evening on a huge stage in front of
Early in the band's career, they developed their own circuit, one that would live in to the future for every rock band in Mexico. ELAN has designed and created their own roadmap, carrying their own generators, and at least two of everything, from guitars to the P.A. Jan Carlo shares, "If something goes down, you’re not going to be able to find a replacement. When we hear other bands here in the US, or across the pond talking about how “hard” their tours are, we just look at each other and laugh. People take things for granted you know. The first time I left Mexico to record in the US, and walked into a Guitar Center, I sat down on the curb outside and wept. I’d never seen anything like that before”.
Jan Carlo offers, "Nothing good comes cheap. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and we’ve never been stronger.” Elán echoes her brother’s sentiments in sharing, "With Regular Weird People, and now See Us Spin, we’ve found ourselves as artists. We know that we’re doing exactly what we want to do, and doing it better every year. And we’ve learned that what's important is not the place we’re going, but the ride."
Musically, Jan Carlo reflects, "We look back to a day when music had soul and try to carry those qualities with us on our journey, in our own songs and sound." Elán adds, "This album shares that aesthetic, delivering a very raw, dirty, spontaneous and not over-produced feel. We usually write all the time, but I waited until we were almost ready to record to start writing the lyrics and we made and arranged the music together in rehearsal. All of the lyrics were inspired by things that happened in my life, or that I saw and experienced in the previous year, which helped me keep my performances fresh and unfiltered by any second guessing. It was all very natural as it usually is for us when it flows.”
See Us Spin ripples with live energy. The album begins with a stream of feedback that swells into the grinding slide guitar riff, powering “Bad Days Are Gone,” a kiss-off to the past that Elán’s flag-waving performance turns into a good-karma anthem with plenty of whiskey and wildness in the mix. Stranger” is the album's staggeringly powerful blues tour de force. Elán conjures a potent elixir of love and desperation in her lyrics, and evokes visions of Janis Joplin with the balance of gravel, spirit and heartache in her voice as she sings about her “kozmic blues.” At the same time, Jan Carlo recreates the era of the Fillmore auditoriums with a majestic, biting guitar performance that parallels the shimmering six-string heroics of both Fleetwood Mac-era Peter Green and Big Brother & the Holding Company, full of gutty expressive bends, floating sustained notes and a tone that’s equal parts blood and granite. “I felt like I’d left my heart and soul in the studio after we recorded that song,” Elán declares.
It is ELAN’s live approach that makes See Us Spin a powerhouse. “We literally set up just like we do on stage at the studio” Jan Carlo recounts. “Along with our engineer Rafa Sardina [an 11time Grammy award winning engineer, who’s worked with Stevie Wonder and Macy Gray], we have our road crew on hand so the vibe is exactly like doing a gig.” That recording strategy captured ELAN at a new stylistic peak. ELAN’s 2003 debut Street Child gave them a hit in Mexico, Latin America and Australia, with “Midnight” holding at number one on the charts for 21 weeks. The song’s video stayed at the top of the “Telehit” TV music network’s list for 12 weeks. “This Fool’s Life” from the follow-up London Express fared similarly. What Can Be Done At This Point (2007), Shine (2008), Lost and Found (2009) and last year’s Regular Weird People followed, building a sales story of unparalleled success for a Mexican rock band.
Srinivasa Ramanujan lived in a tiny village in India, but he had no formal education. He had no access to modern scientific work. But he came across an old mathematics textbook. From this simple text, he was able to extrapolate theories that had puzzled mathematicians for years. Amazing things come from the rarest, least expected places. The biggest rapper on earth is Caucasian. Arguably, the greatest rock guitarist of all time was African American. It seems like one of the best rock bands you’ve never heard of, may just be from a little town in Mexico. ELAN will cross the border in May with the intention of writing the next chapter of the story with planned performances in Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Tucson, Texas, Colorado and markets across the U.S. and beyond.