What are your names?
Isaura (vocals), Lien (guitar), Jorne (drums), Jacob (bass)
What is the band’s name?
How did you come up with the band’s name?
Isaura: It was originally an idea for a song (later this song became ‘A House A Home’). The idea came to me after I saw a video on Youtube where Blessthefall’s guitarist Elliott talks about how music saved his life. Nowadays I still like our band name, apart from the original idea. Music and our band have always been some sort of escape for me, and I just really like band names or songs with first names in them, like Breaking Benjamin or Dead Sara.
What is your genre of music?
Isaura: We usually call it pop punk to keep it simple but we have so many other influences too, like reggae and metal. I think the most honest answer to that question is that we’re still evolving, searching and growing into an own sound, something that really sounds like us, and feels right to all of us.
Give us a little bio about you as a band.
The first two members of Escape Elliott met each other when Lien auditioned for a band spot in a formation that Jorne was already a part of.. Lien and Jorne have known eachother since the summer of 2015. Isaura joined them a couple of months later. Unfortunately, that other formation met a dead end after a year. Not wanting to quit making music, Lien, Jorne and Isaura decided to start over from scratch and like that, Escape Elliott was born. Jacob auditioned a bit later and joined the band after he bribed us with beer (and a funny joke or two).
What made you go in to music?
Isaura: As a child I always loved to sing along with my walkman and imagined I was the singer performing on a big stage. As I became older I kind of lay my head by the idea it would never happen. When I was 19 I the idea of joining a cover band to play at carnivals and fairs seemed cool to me, so I started looking online and I almost immediately found the band of Lien, Jorne and two other members at the time. I auditioned and they let me in! I quickly fell in love with being in our band. I found some real friends there, and I just love being together in our rehearsal space, writing about my feelings and turning those ideas into songs.
Jorne: My parents really (thank you!). I got music classes and started playing the drums from a young age already. But to be honest, I wasn’t “in to” music for a long while. I enjoyed playing the drums a lot but I wasn’t “in to” any bands or artist. At least not enough te inspire me to join a band myself. Until I was 22 and suddenly wondered what I had been doing with the first 22 years of my life. This may sound cliché, but true, it was Green Day’s American Idiot that pulled me off my sofa.
Lien: I used to go to music classes and wanted to learn the guitar, drums or piano, but that wasn’t possible in our town. That’s why I had to play the clarinet for years. During my childhood I was very sporty, but after a knee operation I had to learn to sit still and I was given a guitar to keep busy. The best gift I could have ever been given. In the years after that I taught myself the drums, piano and guitar. But playing guitar was my biggest passion. When I was 17, I met my boyfriend who was already in a band, I became fascinated with bandlife, got dragged along in it and started my first band (a hardcoreband) with him. Ever since I’ve played in bands.
Are you signed?
Yes, recently we became part of the Engineer Records family!
You released your new album ‘Everything Here Is Make Believe’, tell us more about the album.
In May 2019we released our debut album which they recorded with Canadian Recording Engineer & Producer Jesse Gander. The album was baptized ‘Everything Here Is Make Believe’, a sentence that captures the mood of the album well. It’s about escapism, really.
Jorne: Recording this album was a big adventure for all of us. As it is our first record, so it was very stressful and a lot of hard work, but most of all, extremely exciting.
What is the meaning behind the album?
Isaura: ‘Everything Here Is Make Believe’ combined with our band name ‘Escape Elliott’, is like a message. Like, get out of there. The cover artwork (by Tommy Flockman) shows a beautiful painting of outer space, where there are some remains of our world floating around in time capsules. A romanticized picture I imagined after disaster has struck and humanity is no more. I think all the songs have a theme of being disillusioned by the harsh realities of this world, that initially was seen as a magical land through the eyes of the narrator.
The sentence ‘Everything Here Is Make Believe’ is also a hidden backing vocal of Lien on one of our songs, go find it!
Describe each track in two words.
A HOUSE A HOME feeling whole
MARINA BALLERINA cutesy cute
SPACEY night floating
SEA FOAM letting go
HEARTLEAK ouch life
LIVING BREATHING DOLL sing along
ALL SEASONS sad roadtrip
SWEET VANILLA dark takeover
TRUTHSEEKER angrily searching
HEY LORELAI childhood joy
What was the writing process like?
Isaura: I had a lot of tiny pieces of paper with ideas scribbled on them, voice memo’s and poetry I had written along the way. When the melodies for the songs were forming I puzzled ideas and melodies together to bigger stories that would form the lyrics. Moodboards were also a big help for me to visualise the melodies and what I imagined them to be about.
Jorne: I really enjoy(ed) writing the drums for the guitar riffs and basslines the others gave me. I also really felt like everyone was represented in the writing process and not any of the songs could have been written without any of us.. Writing the music really was an iterative process where everyone could throw in ideas. Sometimes it was hard letting go of your own, only to discover someone else just had a better one. Over the course of writing that first album, we matured in debating ideas though. We don’t want to kill each other anymore (that often XD).
What was the recording process like?
Isaura: We recorded in a studio where we had previously recorded demo’s, so it was a nice feeling of coming ‘home’ again in that space. I really love how Brutus and White Lung sound, so we decided to contact Jesse Gander and see if we could work together. He flew in from Canada in January 2019, and we recorded the album in a little more than a week I think. Most of the vocal sessions were in the evening, because my voice would be warmed up around that time. Sometimes I found it hard to capture the mood I wanted when I had to sing something over and over. Often I’d lose the vibe and just sing the line without feeling it, because I had to focus so hard on hitting the notes. It was a learning process for sure!
Jesse is a really cool guy to work with, very excited, works fast and with passion for his craft. It was a joy to have him recording with us. Our time was limited, so we had no time to waste, we worked hard during those days, but there was still some time to grab a bite together and visit some places. Bonding is so important, it’s hard to work together if there isn’t really an emotional connection. I really liked that time of our band and Jesse being together behind the mixing board and on the dining table.
Jorne: Yes, Jesse’s working process in the studio is amazing. I just had to focus on getting my performance down and be my creative self. I loved working in the studio with him too!
Who did you work with on the album?
Canadian recording Engineer Jesse Gander recorded and mixed the album.
Alan Douches of West West Side Music did the mastering.
Do you have any shows coming up?
Yes, some we can’t announce yet, so all I can say is all our shows will be announced on our facebook page!
What else can we expect in 2019?
Lien: Music videos, more shows, we’ll appear in an episode of a TV show this winter. And we’re working on new music. Exciting times
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Isaura: No, I think for now it’s hard enough figuring things out with just the 4 of us, I’d say.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
Lien: Hell yes, Skindred can always contact us, haha!
Isaura: I’d say AFI, but in a few years!
Who are your influences?
Isaura: Manic Street Preachers, Letlive., Enter Shikari, Flyleaf, In This Moment, Halestorm, Brutus, AFI, Kill Hannah, Aerosmith, Katy Perry, …
Jorne: I listen to a varied collection of genres, ranging from classical music to punkrock, but here are the ones that inspire me to play the drums the way I do (If you hear the album and you know these bands, it will totally make sense from a drummers perspective): Paramore, Green Day, Foo Fighters, Blink182. More recent influences are Royal Blood, Highly Suspects, Nothing But Thieves, Pvris. I recently discovered Karnivool too, crazy cool drums there too.
Lien: Skindred, Linkin Park, Sum 41, The Distillers, Atreyu, Letlive, Rise Against, Anti-Flag, Billy Talent, System of a Down…
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Isaura: Ideas come to me when I’m driving or showering or when I hear or see something I like. I like picking up a vibe or atmosphere, and then start building my own ‘collage’ of sentences, thoughts, stories, pictures from there. My writing for this album was somehow a bit all over the place. I’m excited for the writing process for the next album, I think I’ll think more about how it all would come across during live performances. Going to see shows also lights the fire of wanting to grow, to perform better, and wanting to write new, better songs
Jorne: I always try to play what I think the guitar riff or bassline needs, adding a bit of flavour when there is room for it. When playing drums, it’s easy to overplay or not play enough, so I’ll make sure I check with the others to get their feedback. Sometimes I feel like there are a hundred things I can do wrong for that one thing I can do right. If something feels right after a while, I’ll stick with it.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Isaura: I hope we’ll be happy in the first place. I hope we’ll be touring together, healthy and well. I hope we’ll have a 3rd album out and a bit of a following so we can play lots of shows. To keep creating a special world of sound and visuals is the dream.
Jorne: I don’t look that far ahead but try to make the absolute best of whatever is in front of me right now. Where do I want to be though? At a festival playing a show!
Lien: I tend to also live more from day to day and don’t look so far ahead because my health doesn’t really allows it. I really enjoy what we are doing right now. Most of all, I’d love to play lots of shows for lots of years with Escape Elliott, tour the world, but realistically I’ll be replaced (if my health doesn’t allow me to play the guitar anymore). If that time comes though, I really hope to be able to do a lot for the band from the side line like helping with music videos.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Isaura: Carefully craft the perfect playlists to play in my car.
Jorne: what do you mean? XD No seriously… I’m a IT consultant.
Lien: Thinking about doing music a IT consult
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
Isaura: This is such a hard question, it’s not one song, it’s ALL of the songs!! I think Hilary Duff was a big one for me, after seeing The Lizzie Mcguire movie as a kid I wanted to be like her. Aerosmith was also an important discovery for me, as a 12 year old I went to queue for The Rock N Rollercoaster in Disneyland and I was mind blown by all the guitars and costumes and the music that played there.
Jorne: Easy! American Idiot by Green Day, live performance at bullet in a bible on Youtube. One day, I checked the video at 7 pm, by 8 pm I had checked everything I could find on that live performance and by 8.05 I knew I pretty much wasted 22 years of my life with not-playing-in-a-band.
Lien: When I was 17 and met my boyfriend, I went to all his bands shows. They always played one cover: ‘Sorry You’re Not A Winner’ by Enter Shikari. At every show the crowd was so hyped and everyone clapped at you-know-which-moment. That always gave me such a good feeling. It seemed so amazing to me to be on that stage and see the crowd be so enthusiastic.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Jacob : “stop whining”
Lien: ‘Never give up!’ and ‘Okay… and now a little prettier?’
Isaura: When times seem uncertain, keep doing the work, no matter who comes and who goes. Keep doing the work, the work is much bigger than it all.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Isaura: Make the things you want to see in this world.
Jorne: be hard on yourself, but also appreciate what you achieved.
Jacob: it’s the drummers fault
Lien: yep, always the drummers fault
Jorne: Let me change that. Don’t listen to the bassist and guitarist. They’re not that important.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Isaura: … maybe it was supposed to happen. 0
Lien: Everybody has to get through shit in their lives, how you deal with it is what matters in life. Work hard, don’t give up and enjoy the little things.
Jorne: I had to think about this question a little longer, but I really like this one: “It’s not a question of who are we really, it’s who we want to be.” It’s actually a lyric from the song Escape Route by Paramore. I like it especially because it is empowering. In my interpretation, it is an contra-deterministic statement that we all have the power within us to determine for ourselves who we want to be, and can actually reach that person if we only act the way it requires us to act. At the same time, for me, I find the hardest thing in life isn’t doing the effort for what I want to reach, it’s deciding what I want that is the tricky part. How does that work as a quote you can stick by? Well, it gives me the confidence to never restrain from doing anything based on the pre-assumption that “it isn’t me”. F* that, it is me, if I only do the effort. I can do anything, only if I “want” it (badly) enough. Sticking by this quote is also hard, because there are no excuses. The only reason for failure is your own lack of effort.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Isaura: The beach when it’s really foggy. (this can be anywhere really). It’s like walking inside endless white. Like the world is erased and there’s nothing around. A very strange feeling, yet inspiring.
Jorne: I live in Ghent at the moment. The city has an amazingly beautiful historical center with multiple old cathedrals & churches, a stone medieval castle and a waterway running through. A must see when you visit Belgium!
Lien: We do have good beer and a lot of breweries! XD
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Isaura: 1) All our instruments and cables, backdrop, merch, stage risers, … 2) Stage clothes 3) Some glitters 4) Memo to self: Don’t forget to enjoy this 5) Don’t eat so much before the set, you’ll get hiccups
Jorne: Cymbal 1, cymbal 2, cymbal 3, cymbal 4, and all the other stuff I need.
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
https://www.instagram.com/jacobbenoot/ (Jacob) “