Written by Sarah Greengross and Aubre Jean
From the bedroom to the Bluebird, Elephant Quiz has come a long way in the six years (April 13th will mark their 6 year anniversary) that they have been playing together as a band. In high school, the original members of the band began playing in guitarist and vocalist Andrew Pickel’s bedroom. The scene was chaotic to say the least, with drums balanced on a pool table and amps resting on the bed and furniture.
Named after an elementary school gang, Elephant Quiz is now a well-known entity in the Bloomington music scene. Along with Andrew Pickel, four other talented men make up the musical smoothie that is Elephant Quiz. Jake Kowalczyk, once the guitarist, now speaks quicker than you can think and doubles as the MC and FX. Kevin Hinnefeld brings the funk with his bass riffs. Dan Wood keeps the beat and brings the heat on the drums, working along with Hinnefeld to create stellar dance beats. Finally, Zach Fraiser, once the MC, now shreds on the guitar with an unforgettable smile.
Many bands fit into a specific genre, whether it is hip-hop, indie rock, electronic, reggae, etc. However, Elephant Quiz cannot be tethered to a genre. They think of their style as more conceptual than genre specific. The group picks a concept, writing lyrics and creating music around that concept. Each song seems to operate in its own world; it has a unique vibe and truly showcases the group’s creativity.
Elephant Quiz has come a long way from their first show at Rhino’s. The band is now playing shows at popular bars such as the Bishop, The Video Saloon, and the Bluebird. However, while bars have proven to be a great place for EQ to showcase their music, playing at house parties seems to be a unanimous favorite with the band.
“House shows are the most impactful out of all of the shows that we play,” says Pickel. It is obvious after watching Elephant Quiz live, that the group feeds off of the energy that the crowd and their fans put forth. Elephant Quiz’s fans not only provide them with fire and energy during shows, but help in getting the band’s name out in the public eye. After a competition via Facebook, Elephant Quiz saw an overwhelming amount of fan support that eventually led them to play at Wuhnurth Music Festival in September 2010, an opportunity that the band will surely remember as a milestone for Elephant Quiz.
While they have never officially sat down and verbalized their visions for the group collectively, both Fraiser and Pickel made it clear that they hope to be self-sustainable as a band, writing and producing new material, and like most artists, eventually making a decent amount of money.
“The next steps that we plan on taking are getting on a status of headlining at small venues and then filling the opening slots at larger venues,” says Pickel. In addition, Elephant Quiz hopes to hit the studio soon, looking at the release of an EP in Fall 2011.
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