It sometimes amazes me how bands come together and then on top of that how I end up finding out about them. Even better is when that story unfolds and the band is so fantastically talented. My Elysian from San Diego is the epitomic picture of just such a band.
After NAMM 2010, I called Sikworld to tell the sales guy, Rice Enright, that they should really cut me a check because I had just promoted the crap out of Sikworld at NAMM donning a different Sikworld shirt everyday and telling everybody where I got it. Rice and I discussed some other promotions and the bands that I knew and/or was friends with, when Rice tells me, “Oh hey, I am in a band too.” He gives me the information regarding My Elysian so I looked them up on MySpace. My reaction was the internal dialogue of, ‘Holy shit…this is amazing!” I was reeled in by the voice of an angel emanating from vocalist, Alison Fried, but became a fan upon hearing the completeness of the band, fueled by the individuality of each creating a full dynamic sound as the collective.
The collective produces well written songs and arrangements as well as a fantastic live performance. That is where the individuality really shines through. Each with their own personality and own sense of stage presence; it doesn’t matter which member you watch, you are entertained. Alison’s passionate delivery of personal lyrics, AlexXx Reyes’ masterful guitar riffs, Rice’s feeling the strong bassline he delivers as he works the stage or Mario G.’s visual performance on the drums make My Elysian not only a band that you can listen to endlessly each and every song, but one that you want to watch.
While Alexx has been around the music scene in San Diego for some time and is well known through her prior roles in Aizen and Media Lab and Mario has also strutted his skills on the skins in the area since the age of 12 in bands ranging from punk to rock. Rice, with a hardcore background, and Alison; both hail from Boston although Alison was born and raised until age 7 in Belgium. To think that she started off as many singers, just singing along to her radio or with family when she was a little girl and in the choir as a teen and ended up in San Diego (after attending University of Redlands) and meeting AlexXx, is maybe just happenstance, but with AlexXx’ encouragement to spread her proverbial vocal wings through doing acoustic sets together is beyond just coincidence. It is more like fate that further blossomed into a remarkable band that lyrically, musically and through performance touches your soul and moves your body.
When asked about their influences, there is citation of KISS and Dave Matthews Band and surprisingly they point to more modern day bands like Muse or Deftones and then no so surprisingly female fronted acts such as No Doubt and without question Evanescence. When Evanescence broke, the symphonic voice of Amy Lee was the draw and undoubtedly you will be inhaled by Alison’s voice, but each ingredient in this band has a unique flavor that binds it all together.
My own personal favorite tune from My Elysian is actually the very first song that I heard from them “Face Yourself.” It brought me to discover the ever evolving catalogue of their music that has diversity and appeals to an audience that is reflective of the vastness of their influences. If you like KISS, Faith No More, No Doubt, Evanescence, Dave Matthews or anything in between, you will fall in love with My Elysian.
Working with Logan Mader (Machinehead, Soulfly) of Dirty Icon, whom Alexx has worked with in previous projects, their catalog continues to evolve. Each new song I hear, I am amazed at how they seem to build a better mousetrap, never stagnating. Earlier this month they shot the video for the song “Break Me Down.” My Elysian appeals to such a broad spectrum of fans, that regardless of where your main musical tastes lie, upon hearing and/or seeing My Elysian.
Elysian is derived from Elysium of Greek mythology and relates to a blissful or delightful state; or resembling paradise. Although I did not ask the band directly, my interpretation of their name is that they have arrived in their own personal and collective Eden with the music they continue to create. The name is well suited, not only with the music they create but the sound that is received by the fans. When you listen to their tunes or see their performance, there is a synergetic connection with the music and you can feel your own personal elysian.