A Chat With Elliot from The Malah
13 Jan 2011

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2011 holds a lot of promise for new music, and The Malah seem to be at the forefront of it all.  I recently had a chance to talk with Elliot Vaughn from the Malah about the bands background and what the future holds for them.  With a tour coming up across the east coast and out in Colorado, The Malah have huge opportunities for growth and I know I am personally excited to see where it will all lead!

The three members of The Malah have known each other since high school, with guitarist Brandon Maynard and drummer Seth Rankhauser, having been friends since elementary school.  The group starting playing together around December 2003, and really starting gigging in 2004.  Elliot explained that “the hardest part was the first couple years, getting songs together and really feeling comfortable together on stage enough to develop the songs naturally.”  It has been recently that the band has grown in popularity by leaps and bounds, thanks a lot to their promotional work with free CDs, and marketing done within the band to keep up with the current trend in which the music industry is heading.  Each season a new promotional CD is put out by the band, highlighting popular tunes, as well as new ones and each contains unique art to catch the eyes of fans.  I was first turned on to The Malah through their Summer 2009 promotional CD, and it is still one I listen to on a constant basis today.  Elliot told me that “this is still the best way to spread their name, and sound to gain a larger fan base.”  Another venture they have been focusing on is video recordings of live shows, and giving out free DVDs of these recordings.  One of my favorite of The Malah shows I’ve seen, at Trinumeral 2009, was recorded and being able to go back and watch it is something I truly treasure.  Elliot told me that “the bands favorite part of a live show is usually the third or fourth song, when the flow has been established and the crowd really starts to feel the music and sync with the band.”

In 2007, they also went into the studio to record an official album which would in turn help them to grow more, and offer them more opportunities.  “Having an album”, Elliot says, “is better than just offering promotional CDs because it gives basis for a tour, and also allows them to express themselves without the limitations of the live setting.”  One of the main focuses of my talk with Elliot was on the new album coming out soon.  Being from a recording background I was very interested in the approach they took when piecing the album together.  Elliot told me that as a group they like to focus their recording efforts to have a live feel, while creating an overall flow that is specific to a studio album.  I was informed that we can expect a four to five song EP coming in January 2011, and a full album release in the Spring.  Something I learned from Elliot that made me love The Malah even more was that they were very involved in the mixing and engineering work of the album, and that it was all done in their own home studio.  This really pointed out to me that The Malah is on the frontline for bands making changes to past habits in the music industry.  The ability for a band to create their own music, on their own time, in their own space is something that is becoming more important as the years move on.

The influences from each members is what truly brings all the sounds together to create what members of The Malah describe as atmospheric, organic electronic music.  I was interested to know what some of Elliot’s favorite concerts were in this past year and found they were very similar to mine!  We both really enjoyed Bonobo Live Band, as well as Bluetech Live Band.  Each offered soulful and smooth tunes that I feel relates strongly to The Malah.  Another favorite of Elliott’s was the STS9 show from Blackwater.  A lot of fans like to describe the sound of The Malah as something similar to early STS9, but that is just the roots and organic aspect that is present in both bands styles.  Brandon and Elliot both explore side projects outside of The Malah which allows for them to try different genres, and focus on more creative outlets.  Brandon’s side project “Aquarium” focuses a lot on ambient music and soundscapes.  This is a way for him to experiment and expand their approach to incorporate the many styles of electronic music.  Elliot’s DJ side project, “Labyrinth,” allows him to mix  and play some of his favorite sounds such as psy-trance, techno, dnb, and driving house.  Everyone can expect great things from The Malah in 2011 and beyond!  As The Malah says, “see you on the dance floor!”

Below is a video of The Malah covering Pink Floyd’s “High Hopes”, which they chose because Brandon’s dad took him to a Pink Floyd concert and it was a life changing experience!  You can also download a live recording of the band in our January “Berries on the Frontline” newsletter!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q77vAbHRVw&feature=player_embedded

The Malah Winter 2011 Tour

Dec 15 :: Jack Rabbits :: Jacksonville, FL
w/ Papadosio
Dec 16 :: Crowbar :: Tampa, FL
w/ Papadosio, Dj Craig Heneveld
Dec 18 :: Hooligans :: Boca Raton, FL
w/ Papadosio, Dj Craig Heneveld
Jan 14-16 2011 :: AURA Music and Arts Festival :: St. Cloud, Florida
w/ Papadosio, Greenhouse Lounge, The Heavy Pets, Noise Org, Zoogma, etc…
Jan 20 :: The Camel :: Richmond, VA
Jan 21 :: Awful Arthurs :: Blacksburg, VA
Jan 22 :: Cider House :: Knoxville, TN
Jan 26 :: Iowa City Yacht Club :: Iowa City, Iowa
Jan 27 :: The Bottleneck :: Lawrence, KS
Jan 29 :: Ullr’s Tavern :: Winter Park, CO
Feb 2 :: Hodi’s Half Note :: Fort Collins, CO
Feb 4 :: Cervantes :: Denver, CO

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