On an unusually warm winter afternoon, I met up with Elias front man Brian Healy and drummer Stefan Tavares at Vancouver’s Library Square. It is quite ironic that we met at Library Square since the structure closely resembles the Colosseum in Rome. In some ways, the boys of Elias are gladiators themselves. They are in Vancouver busking for change in support of War Child Canada.
War Child Canada is an organization that encourages the Canadian government to invest more spending into overseas development. Healy explains that their goal is to get that number to at least point seven percent of the gross national income by 2015. The organization does “fantastic work, trying to help kids and countries torn apart by war,” says Healy.
“We sort of knew this was going on, they were doing [Busking for Change] in other parts of Canada…we and our label thought it would be a good idea to bring it here.” A petition has been set up on their website and those who sign will receive a bundle of three free song downloads.</span style=”line-height: 115%; font-family: ‘Trebuchet MS’,’sans-serif’; font-size: 10pt;”>
“I come from a younger generation. I’m a little more influenced by heavier music than these guys,” stated Tavares.
“Coldplay, Radiohead, Oasis, all those things are real cornerstones of our musical foundation, not to say that we are directly ripping anyone off, but everyone has their influences and this is where we got our start,” Healy added.
Even though Elias makes performing look like a piece of cake touring alongside the likes of Pilot Speed, their start depended on good old fashion hard work. On getting where they are today, Healy explains, “It really is a lot of trial and error, and mostly error for the first part of it.” Healy goes on to say that the simplest things like getting tuning pedals so that the band can play in tune were important lessons.
“We’re still making mistakes and still learning from it,” says Tavares.
It is evident that the band has come a long way. They continue to be featured in a wide range of Canadian media outlets including The Georgia Straight and Global Morning News. Perhaps it is their genuine excitement and passion for making music and playing live shows. Tavares describes touring as exhausting and tough, but at the same time he says that going across the country doing what he loves is amazing. Healy adds, we “get to roll into a different town every night and play songs to a different group of people. How incredible is that?”
Incredible indeed! Elias can be found on MySpace, Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook. As for a Wikipedia page, Healy joked, “That’s a sign that we’ve really made it if someone else goes up there and starts posting information.”
Elias will continue to tour Canada in the New Year.