Wednesday, November 10, 2004
For a band whose members aren't old enough to buy a beer in the establishments where they play, Ellipsis already has accomplished a lot.
In September, the four-member band opened for Incubus at an 8,000-seat venue in New Orleans. They got the gig on the recommendation of the Times-Picayune music writer, Keith Spera. Since then, the doors keep opening.
To hear them tell it, Ellipsis has been taken under the wing of the New Orleans music scene.
At 19 and 20 years old, the members of Ellipsis decided to take a break from school at Loyola University and pursue musical success that seemed to be starting for them. It was a decision they made in complete exhaustion. For almost two semesters, the group would attend classes during the week, then jump into the van every Friday for a weekend of gigs.
"We would arrive back on Monday and make it just in time to go to class," drummer Eric Heigle said. "Both of our roles suffered. School was holding us back from music, and we obviously weren't doing well in school."
With their class schedule cleared, the band booked a series of tours across the country after releasing their CD, "But A Breath."
"The Incubus show was such a great experience for us, but we were completely satisfied until the next day," Heigle said. "We decided we can't ever stop until those (8,000) people are there for us."
Ellipsis' members grew up in New Orleans and have known each other for years.
"Me and the guitar player have known each other since pee wee little league baseball," Heigle said. "And in high school, we were definitely keen to each other in the music scene. We didn't learn our instruments together, but we definitely have been finding our voices together."
The voice they have found is driven by the heavy guitar of John Michael Rouchell, paired with the high-pitched, belting voice of Craig Paddock.
They see themselves as a band determined to keep rock 'n' roll alive.
"Anybody who is keen to what's going on can attest to the fact that it's on a down as far as rock music is concerned," Heigle said. "With rock music and popular music in general, the art is gone."
For inspiration, they look back to bands such as The Police, Led Zeppelin and The Clash and to contemporary bands such as 311, Incubus and Modest Mouse.
"A lot of people say that rock is dead or punk is dead," Heigle said. "But there are a lot of people keeping it alive. They're doing it for the right reasons and they may not be making the same impact, but they aren't selling themselves short for that impact."