Space Elevator may be a new band to some of you out there, but for us here at MetalTalk Towers we're aware of the band members real Rock n' Roll pedigree and were hugely impressed by their self-titled debut album.
We caught up with one of the driving forces of the band, guitarist David Young to find out more about the genesis of the band, the inside info on their debut album and what plans they have for the future. The first thing I ask him is how long have the band been together?
David Young: "Well, The Duchess and I have been writing songs together on and off over the years while our drummer, Brian (Greene), and I have played in bands together since we were teenagers. Having said that, Space Elevator as we know it now really began back in March 2013, just before we were going into the studio. At that point, The Duchess and myself had been writing and preparing for the album a good six months before that, with the intention of putting a proper band together."
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All the members of the band have illustrious musical careers of their own, so how did the band come together?
David: "Well, I knew Neil (Murray – Bass Guitar) and Elliott (Ware – Piano) from my time deputising on guitar at the Queen musical 'We Will Rock You' in London's West End. Of course I had grown up being into bands that Neil was in, especially Whitesnake and Gary Moore, so playing with him in the house band at 'We Will Rock You' was terrific and even more so having him on our album.
"I knew Elliott from that show too, but he was Musical Director at the time I began in May 2007 but he left shortly afterwards to go on to other things. One of the things he went to do after 'We Will Rock You' was as the Musical Director and keyboard player at 'Rock Of Ages' which was also in the West End.
"I went to see the show and ended up chatting with him in the bar afterwards. It turned out that we were into the same bands but in particular Genesis, Rush and It Bites, so it became evident that he was the perfect keyboard player for us. Brian and I have always worked together and is always my drummer of choice."
So where did the name Space Elevator actually come from?
David: "We just wanted something big and grand, kind of larger than life like Led Zeppelin or something. We banded about loads of names but it was The Duchess who eventually came up with Space Elevator and it had something about it we liked."
Talking of the band's vocalist, the mysterious "Duchess" – are we allowed to know why she chose that particular name?
David: "She will happily tell you that she grew up on a council estate but won a scholarship to an arts and music school. One particular girl on her estate that she didn't get on with decided that she was "up herself" for winning the scholarship and started calling her "The Duchess" so it just kind of stuck (laughs)."
The band recently released their self-titled debut album, so what did that feel like to get it out there?
David: "Absolutely brilliant!! It has been very hard work and it's a self release so we paid for everything ourselves. There was no record label funding which was hard. We had a brilliant engineer and co-producer in Adam Van Ryne (Sting, Montserrat Caballé and Elaine Paige), who was a bit like a sixth member in the recording stage. It was hard pulling it all together but every decision from music to artwork came from us, so in that sense it was very satisfying."
You have said that the album is only available on CD/vinyl – so it's listened to as an album – have you had any negative responses this?
David: "Some, but I have to say that they are very much in the minority. Overall though it has been overwhelmingly positive with people congratulating us on sticking to our guns although ultimately I guess it will cost us some money in lost iTunes sales."
Maybe a bit early to say, but are plans for the second album?
David: "We're definitely planning on it because we have more material there, and have just started writing some new songs. The priority now though is to get this album off the ground. The vinyl version of the album will be released on (Monday) 21st July, and there are plans to release a deluxe edition CD and vinyl later in the year with illustrations, so look out for those!"
How do you think social media has helped the band?
David: "Well it helps to some extent in that we can obviously get the word out about the album release etc on things like Facebook and Twitter. It's difficult to gauge at this stage though, how many album sales and how much recognition for the band generally has been down to these social media sites rather than the general music press."
The band have lined up their debut show in London so does the band have any other gigs lined up after that?
David: "We are looking at a mini tour in Germany at the moment, and then we're planning on coming back to the UK to do more dates later in the year which will hopefully been confirmed soon."
So, what can someone coming to a Space Elevator show expect?
David: "Cat suits!! Well for the Duchess anyway (laughs). We're committed and I think the pedigree of the band shows that we can rock. The live shows will be entertaining though, and there should be great atmosphere at the gigs."
Are there any cities/venues you particularly want to play?
David: "For me it would be great to play my home town of Glasgow of course and down in England it's got to be Hammersmith Odeon or whatever it's called this week, which is where I saw most of my gigs growing up. More generally we would love to play anywhere there is a demand to see us."
Realistically, what do you want the band to achieve?
David: "In the short term (pauses) to sell enough albums to give us a real platform to move forward and record more albums and tour. With whatever success we can generate, just being able to get out and play our songs and make that viable and sustainable so we have a chance to grow as a band here and abroad would be fantastic!"
So what's next for the band?
David: "Gigging must be a priority at the moment, and then after that it'll be working to get the second album out there."
Very special thanks to David Young for taking the time out of his schedule to speak to me.
You can see the official video for the track 'Elevator' here:
You can see Space Elevator live here:
Friday 25th July – 100 Club, Oxford Street, London
(tickets are available now from http://www.spaceelevatorband.com/store)
Space Elevator are:
The Duchess – Lead/Backing Vocals
David Young – Electric/Classical Guitar/Acoustic Guitar
Neil Murray – Bass Guitar
Elliott Ware –Piano/Keyboards/Hammond Organ
Brian Greene – Drums/Percussion
Space Elevator Online:
Official Website: http://www.spaceelevatoronline.com
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