By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Gloucestershire-based rock outfit Elessar UK recently debuted the music video for their bouncy new single “VICES,” which chronicles an on-and-off toxic relationship, highlighted by the opening line, “I just can’t get enough.”
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with frontman Ricky Powell about “VICES” and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe your newest music?
Ricky Powell – Our newest music is classed as alternative rock, but actually has a little something for everyone! We really enjoy “chunky” or “heavy” guitar riffs in our songs and we like to go big on rhythmic choruses, but we don’t want that to be all that we do. More often than not, our verses tend to be very pop-influenced vocally, whilst using a wide range of instrumental synth sounds you’d associate with modern music in 2021. It makes for a bouncing live atmosphere with our fans!
Music Bugle – How did you guys decide the band name?
Ricky Powell – We get this every time! (Laughs) It’s actually a very nerdy throwback to our younger years. We’re all very big “Lord Of The Rings” fans and it’s a name given to a character in the films. We took a very long time thinking about names one evening and then suddenly, we saw it appear on subtitles. We didn’t think it would get so many questions!
Music Bugle – What made you guys decide to release “VICES” as a single?
Ricky Powell – It was pretty much chosen for us! During the pandemic and the nonstop lockdowns, we haven’t been able to see each other regularly, but we were very fortunate to have a few songs “in the bank,” so to speak, from pre-COVID-19 times. Then, during a livestream performance set to our fans, we needed to throw in some new songs to fill the time slot. The reaction to it on the livestream was crazy! So, we knew it had to be the first track to bring us back.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Gloucestershire to someone who has never been there before?
Ricky Powell – “Hot Fuzz.” Watch that film and it’s spot on! (Laughs) We often describe it to northern bands we tour with as basically all countryside. The accents are horrific, but it’s small and peaceful, at least. Definitely one those places where “everyone knows everyone,” but it’s produced some very talented bands through the years! If you want to spot it on a map, look for Bristol and then to the right a bit. Hope that helps!
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Ricky Powell – This is a great question, one that definitely sways depending how you view it. When we first started the band, we burst onto the scene very quickly, with fans finding us online easily and growing our audience very quickly through sharing posts, which was great, but then Facebook and Instagram decided to only show posts to 10 percent of your audience, basically killing any chances of keeping a fanbase active. In recent years, I think too many artists become obsessed with their numbers. For example, we’ve toured with bands selling out rooms across the country with less than 600 followers, but other bands with thousands of followers can’t sell 10 tickets in their hometown. I guess if your fanbase keeps active on your social media, then it’s great!
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ricky Powell – It’s been awful, to be honest. We’re a very independent band when it comes to writing music, content creation, etc.. Everything is written, recorded and mixed by us and COVID came in right in the middle of that process. We took a long break at the beginning and then managed to find ways to do the best we could from our bedrooms, but please, can we play an actual live show again soon? We really need it.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need an escape?
Ricky Powell – I’m very fortunate to have the friends I do. I like to keep myself surrounded by them in tough times to take my mind off things, but if I really need a break, I find there’s nothing better than driving at night, with the music turned up loud. It doesn’t matter where you drive to or how you get there, just blast your favorite songs on repeat and find something you can relate to. That’s the easiest way I clear my head!
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Ricky Powell – I actually saw one recently that hit pretty hard – “Winning doesn’t always mean being first, winning can simply be doing better than you’ve done before.” I think it’s incredibly relative to being a musician. I spend so much time looking at other people’s numbers that sometimes, I don’t see my own progress happen! It’s something I’m working on all the time.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Ricky Powell – For me, personally, I’m engrossed in pop music at the moment, artists like Chase Atlantic, blackbear and Pale Waves to name a few, have new releases out, but I can always rely on the guys to regularly spin some rock music my way, bands like Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember and Don Broco have great new albums!
Music Bugle – What do you hope for in the rest of 2021?
Ricky Powell – Honestly, freedom again! I want to play shows, meet new people, travel the country, etc.. I think there will be a big rush for it when everything is safe to do so. We’re focusing hard right now on finishing new material and to make the most out of every moment when we’re allowed out.