The Untitled Interview #15: Starring Jesse Elliott (These United States)

Some people are music personified, they embody musicality so much that all they can do is play and play and get their sonic innards outside into the world. Jesse Elliott is one of that rare breed of folks. He seems to eat, drink, and sleep, maybe even breathe music. And it's obvious he loves it. It's almost as if he's bemused when he sings, and you can almost see Elliott smiling when listening to a These United States album. Go see them live and you will see it. As I've said before, he's on a different page than most, and you know it immediately. Elliott is by far one of my most favorite souls in the DC music scene, and I'm fairly certain you'll feel the same once you meet him. These United States is becoming quite a band of road warriors, so I predict plenty of chances to take in the joyous spectacle that becomes a TUS gig. In the meantime, well, here's a few good words from the man himself.

Les Enfants Terribles
: How the hell are you?
Jesse Elliott: Yes!

LET: What was the last song you listened to?
JE: "Out at Sea" by Salt-Water-Shoes from Austin.

LET: Playing music is ___
JE: All that's left sometimes.

LET: What album most made you realize that you wanted to make music?
JE: Midnight Vultures.

LET: Beatles or Stones?
JE: Dylan.

LET: What're your top 5 albums?
JE: Right now, and in no particular order:
Slow Gems (Kitty Hawk)
Loaded (Velvet Underground)
Perseverance (Percee P)
Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (Neko Case)
Cheekbone Hollows (The Childballads)

LET: Favorite music-related movie?
JE: The Muppet Movie.

LET: What city or venue would you like to play, but haven't yet been to?
JE: Tokyo.

LET: Half-full or half-empty?
JE: Overflowing.

LET: Apart from your band, which of your peers do you think is making the best music these days?
JE: Cotton Jones.

LET: What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning?
JE: Where are we?

LET: The greatest record store in the world is:
JE: Spillers Records, Cardiff, Wales.

LET: What's the longest flight you've ever been on, and where were you going?
JE: Chicago to Copenhagen, delayed, 24 hours.

LET: Shaken or stirred?
JE: Splashed!

LET: If you weren't in a band, you'd be:
JE: On a Mountain.

LET: You just went on another gigantic tour. How do you get mentally prepared for such long spans of being in new places all the time?
JE: Maps!

LET: What color croquet mallet would you choose for playing with the Queen of Hearts?
JE: Black.

LET: Which feels better: leaving to go on tour, or coming home from a tour?
JE: Being there.

LET: Best song ever written?
JE: “A Change is Gonna Come”.


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