Elliot Talks About Bringing a Song into Being with David Colón and Tim Wegman on Behind the Mynd 1:540:00/1:54
Press and Review Quotes
“Whoa Trippy!” - Naomi Stine
— Rite or Riot
“…A really fine CD” - Don Campau
“Curiosity is a perfect blend of dope basslines, strong vocals and sounds from a variety of instruments” - Naghmeh Shafiei
“He's primarily a bassist but that doesn't even begin to describe the diversity this musician incorporates into his music.” - Rachel Milani
“Racine creates fascinating tracks that could have countless applications” - Beeri Moalem
Naomi Stine's Review of Curiosity in Rite or Riot?, Issue #13
1. Far and Away Elliot Racine: Acoustic Bass Guitar, Voice, Viola, Melodica, Omnichord Patricia Soria Urbano: Voice-Country western sounding!
2. Forces and Flow Elliot Racine: Banjo-Bass, Voice, Conch, Native American Corn Rattle, Cowbell, Djembe-If you like a deep voice, you might like this one!
3. Step In Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Charango, Pungi, Melodica, Lentejon, Ocarina, Computer-This one is FUN-ky in an 80s sort of way!
4. Give a Fuck Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Voice, Electric Piano, Djembe, Talking Drum, Akamba Fork Sistrum, Native American Dewclaw Rattle, Gankogui, Tovshuur, Siyotanka-Lyrics are bang-on straight to the point.
5. A Little More About It Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Voice, Djembe, Güiro, Sogo, Wood Block, Rarámuri Small Drum, Electric Piano, Gankogui, Maracas, Breath-Something about the vocals at the end of verses reminds me of Jazz Hands.
6. Holiday Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Voice, Computer Joy Roster: Voice-If I made you a mixtape, this song might have been on it.
7. You, Me, and Mount Tamalpais Elliot Racine: Upright Bass, Twelve-String Guitar Daniel Riera: C Flute-Very natural-sounding, man!
8. A Morning in October Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Voice, Alto Saxophone, Charango, Tingsha, Bowed Psaltery Flora, Fauna, and Elements of Lagoon-Side Habitat: Environmental Sounds-This song is soo San Francisco.
9. Ass on the Outside Seat Elliot Racine: Upright Bass, Voice, Guitar, Tambourine-I like the melody.
10. How Many Sounds from a Piece of Bamboo? Elliot Racine: Bamboo-I CAN NOT BELIEVE THIS IS 100% BAMBOO!
11. Dream Eater Elliot Racine: Upright Bass, Televi, Piano, Omnichord, Congas, Bansuri, Melodica, Computer-Is this fusional jazz?
12. Inward Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Voice, Computer-I totally think this one could be a hit at Death Guild!
13. Islet Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Computer-Noisecore influence!
14. Root of Creation Elliot Racine: Electric Bass, Voice, Combo Organ, Vibra-Tone, Noisemaker Ratchet, Computer, Piano, Native American Corn Rattle, Djembe, Shacapa Angela Jarosz: Voice-Whoa Trippy!
Naomi Stine's Interview of Elliot in Rite or Riot?, Issue #8
Naomi: How has the pandemic affected your music?
Elliot: One of the ways, obviously, in which the pandemic ha! has very drastically affected my musical life is that for a year, I wasn’t able to perform in person in really any capacity. One of the silver linings there is that I started live streaming and I’ve discovered that: I love playing livestream concerts! Of course the weeks happen where I can’t, but I typically play one livestream concert every week and, now we’re kind of in a lot of ways coming out of the pandemic. Now playing concerts in person is something that I can do again and, even when we get to the point where we don’t need masks anywhere and all that kind of stuff I’m always gonna play livestream concerts on some kind of regular basis, and they’re not gonna replace in person concerts. Not at all, but I’ve discovered that there’s things that I get from in person performances that I can’t get from livestream performances but there’s also things that I get from livestream performances that I can’t get from in person performances. So, one of the, most positive ways the pandemic has affected my musical life is it’s brought livestream concerts to me and that’s something I’m always gonna do, in addition to in person concerts.
N: You play bass, can you talk about that, how that differs, any favorite bass players?
E: I started at Berklee as a guitarist. Until the summer between my first and second year at Berklee I didn’t even own a bass. Things led to me switching from guitar to bass, things I’d experienced my first year sealed the deal. During that first year I realized there were a LOT of guitarists and as a guitarist I was one of MANY guitarists. I remember I, was a freshman I would go to parties and one of the first things people would ask would be “What instrument do you play?” and I remember getting so sick of saying I play guitar that at one party ha I just lied to somebody and told them I played flute cause I was sick of saying I play guitar because everybody played guitar and every time I told someone I play guitar it made me feel ha special. I’d be like “I play guitar” and the reaction would always be “Yeah, no shit.”
I would put bands together for various things and I would realize that how good the band was basically depended on how good the rhythm section was. If I had a great rhythm section behind me I sounded great but if I had a rhythm section behind me that wasn’t pulling their weight then it didn’t matter how I was playing I would end up sounding bad and the band would sound bad and it occurred to me that if I put myself in the rhythm section then I’d at least have a certain amount of control over how good or bad the rhythm section sounded.
In high school, I played in a band that consisted of me playing guitar, and a trumpet player, and a drummer. We had no bass player and so I was playing a lot of the bass lines on the low strings of the guitar so I already kind of knew what it meant to be a bass player. For lack of a better way to say it, I kind of already knew how to play bass.
On a purely physical level I have a wide finger span and the bass actually physically fits my hands better than the guitar. It’s actually physically a little more comfortable for me. So there were a lot of reasons that all came together that led to me becoming a bass player.
N: You’ve been doing livestream want to talk about that; is most of your output solo?
E: The livestream is something that ultimately I like a lot, like I said it’s never gonna replace in person performances, but the livestream’s something that’s gonna be here pandemic or not. Some things I like about livestream are that it’s a way for people to see me perform who might not be able to. Maybe they’re far away from wherever I might be performing or they have some other reasons why they can’t or won’t see me perform in person. I play clubs and things like that and there might be some people who wanna see me perform who maybe they’re not necessarily comfortable being in an environment like that, maybe they’re uncomfortable being around alcohol. Whatever the case may be. So it’s really nice being able to perform for people who might not be able to see me perform in person for whatever reason.
Another thing that I like about the livestream, and this kind of, segues into the, part of the question about, being a solo artist, is with the livestream, at least the way I’m doing it now, it’s really just kind of logistically very easy. Ha I mean I don’t have to go anywhere. I don’t have to lug an amp that weighs as much as I do anywhere or an upright bass that’s literally taller than me anywhere I just roooll into my home studio and switch everything on, and start playing and as of now at least I’m doing the livestreams totally solo.
In person concerts: sometimes I play them completely solo, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I play them as a duo, sometimes I play them as a trio, it kind of depends on where I’m playing–if I’m playing at a larger club, there’s a lot of, space to fill, a certain vibe, I’m gonna play as a trio, fully electric, drummer, keyboard or guitarist, me playing electric bass through an amp that weighs as much as I do. If I’m playing a smaller room like someplace like the Lost Church some kinda acoustic-ish listening room something like that I’m either gonna play that in some kind of acoustic trio or acoustic duo or even solo and there’s benefits—there’s cool things about playing in all of those different formats and they’re each their own unique experience that each has its own special thing about it or special things about it.
N: Do you have an animal theme in your flyers, an artistic direction of theme(s)?
E: A lot of times I do, not every single time, a lot of times there are. I put things into the posters and flyers that I make, I put things in there that not everybody is gonna know, but if you know you’re gonna be like “Oh I know what that is!” August is past, so I don’t feel I’m giving away surprises, but as an example the poster for August livestream, it’s divided into four quadrants. On the upper left is a photo, an actual picture of a bull, on the upper right is a very simple drawing of a bull head, on the lower left is kind of a very quick abstract rendition of that and then on the lower right is the letter A and apparently most people in the world are gonna look at that and just think “Oh it’s a pretty poster” but if you know anything about how the alphabet was developed you know that you’re looking at the history of the letter A, you know that a few thousand years back in the Middle East somewhere people were raising cows and that they had this word for bull that’s something along the lines of olive—started with this A sound and they would represent things that started with an A sound by drawing the head of a bull and then people are ha kinda lazy, over time that turned into this quick abstract couple of strokes and then over time that got flipped for whatever reason and turned into the letter A so there’s this little, treat there for people who, know how the alphabet was developed and most people are gonna look at that and, just think it’s a pretty poster but if you happen to know what you’re looking at you’re gonna be like “Oh, I get it! I know what that is!”
Other posters I’ve done similar things like that with. For anyone who knows what The Great American Biotic Interchange was, the June poster, has that. I have other posters that I do that with but I don’t do that with every poster. Some posters I just kind of, do something in my head that, looks like it’ll make a good poster and then I manifest it, idk it kinda just depends on how I’m feeling and what kind of idea comes to me but I guess the moral of the story is: Keep track of my posters–you never know when you’re gonna find some little treat!
N: What was your best/fav show you played, do you have any fav venues to perform at?
E: One of my favorite venues to perform at is Neck of the Woods in San Francisco. I absolutely yeah, I love performing at Neck of the Woods. That’s a place when I perform there it’s with the the trio fully electric. I have a lot of space to fill there and also the kind of place it is. It’s not the kind of place where you, play, a duo or a solo show it’s a place where you play with a big rockin’ full electric band. That’s where some of my favorite shows have been It’s impossible, to say I have a favorite show but, what makes a show great, all comes from within. It’s when I can, kind of ha ignore all the bullshit in the world and just focus. That’s, when a show is really great for me. I’m trying to think of what kind of external factors would make a show great or not great for me and it’s really hard to think of any external factors. Yeah the things that I need to make a show great for me as far as I can think of at least at this moment all come from within me and if I’m on point then my audience is gonna be dancing, they’re gonna be focusing, they’re gonna be doing all the things that I love it when an audience does but it all starts from me and thats, something I’ve learned over the years.
N: Thanks for the interview! I gotta let you know I was recording but I’m gonna turn that off right now.
N: Ok so...
*ENDS RECORDING. BEGINS TO SHOOT THE SHIT*