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Hail, hail, rock and roll

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A couple of years later, Max met Orion, and the three have been Elatia ever since. Max brings a bluegrass influence, and the result could be called. . .um. . . Max: “We call it ‘tribal lullabies.’ We don’t know what to call it, though.” Orion: “Like ‘psychedelic folk-metal.'” Max: “It’s tough to label it.” A good point. The flyer for the show I went to over a year ago claimed Elatia were “heavy metal bluegrass,” and I went into the Bremen Cafe expecting to hear a banjo get the beating of its life, or maybe some goofy Black Sabbath covers. Instead, I found two acoustic guitars and a bongo, and a set of marvelous, intricate songs sung with inventive harmonies. The band’s electric incarnation is powerful, heavy, and loud, but retains the inventiveness, including the harmonies, and, another hallmark of Elatia, instrument switching. Though shows right now are either electric or acoustic, both are equal parts of the band’s sound. The shared duties and rotated instruments have a musical purpose (Max: “all three of us are singing and taking turns. . .’cause we have different voices”), but they’re also indicative of the group spirit of the band. The group identity is something the band takes seriously, as exemplified by the wall hanging they’ve made and put up at shows. Not just a prop, it is, Orion says “a living thing. . .it does store certain energies.” The band is serious about their mysticism, both on- and offstage, but they have a sense of humor. During a discussion of possible stage show additions, Max mentions “choreographed dance stuff, you know. . .baby doll heads.” Geoff: “We’ve got a huge box of baby doll heads.” Max: “Huge box.” Elatia also boast a strong pragmatic side. They’re moving steadily up in the Emergenza Festival, a worldwide battle of the bands, currently in the area finals. And it’s all in service of the music. Max: “It’s about having fun, that’s the main reason we do it, you know. ‘Cause it is fun as hell.” Orion: “We’re all in it for the same thing. . .wanting to play for people.” Max: “We all three believe in it more than anything, so. . .whatever it takes.” Elatia performs on May 28 at the Rave Bar for the Emergenza Finals Show.