Elias Gets a Much Needed Pat on the Back

Elias, Vancouver's up-an-coming act, is coming to Toronto to play two shows on tour with Pilot Speed (formerly Pilate). The indie-rock band released its second full-length, Lasting Distraction, in mid-October and are currently working the tour van hard to promote it.

Although the vocal stylings of the two bands are very different, their music is easily comparable to Pilot Speed, so the two bands should complement each other quite nicely and it'll definitely be beneficial for Elias to be on the bill.

I got on the horn with Rob Tornroos (lead guitar), who was just taking his lunch break to get serious about what's doin' in his life.

When I talked to Tornroos, they had just officially released Lasting Distraction and it was starting to set in just how busy Elias was about to get.

"This month has just been really hectic. It's one of those months where, literally, yesterday felt like the first of the month and I don't know where it's gone. It's been really good. I'm still here you know."

Elias has been together for a few years now, but Tornroos and Brian Healy (vocals, guitar, piano) have been playing in bands for years together.

"We've been playing in bands together, on and off, since 2001. It's been a long, long relationship between the two of us. One [band] will come and one will fizzle out and then the new one will try to be better than the last one. We've literally been going for that long."

Obviously, my first thought was that Elias is just another project for them and that it too, would just "fizzle out" shortly. What sets this band apart from the last?

"Elias, in its current incarnation, started in 2005. It's been longer than it feels and it still feels like a new band. We've had a few member changes, so that helps keep it fresh."

Lasting Distraction is their first release after being signed to Wax Records in 2008. Tornroos told me about how that contract came into fruition:

"We sent them three newer demos when the band was pretty much on hiatus. We had only been going for awhile and sometimes you just need a pat on the back. Right after we sent the demos, they called us up."

Tornroos is pumped to continue playing shows with Pilot Speed, and having recently played a smaller tour with the band, he knows what to expect.

"It went great! It's one of those things, where I've been a fan of the band for a long time and it was very cool to learn that we'd be opening up for them across Canada. I think it's the perfect fit. Our music is very similar in the melodic-ness and they're quite keyboard-heavy these days as well. Their fans were really nice to us and we didn't expect much, but we walked away from every show surprised and happy - and in the craziest places too. In Lethbridge, Alberta, there were bunch of guys who, before the show, I thought we're going to beat me up, but afterward they ended buying CDs and having us sign them. You never know how things are going to turn out."

Elias will be playing a free show on Tuesday, November 10th at the Horseshoe Tavern and Thursday, November 10th at Berkeley Church.

Photo courtesy of Wax Records.

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