DOPE Magazine: When did you first realize recording your own music was something that you could make a career out of?
Elderbrook: I guess I started recording music in my teens when I was fifteen or sixteen. It was just me and a guitar, and I would sing. But I was really shit. I was really bad, man. But then I started to wrap my head around recording software and then realized you could put other stuff in there. Then it all warped together into what has now become Elderbrook if you know what I mean.
All self taught?
Yeah man. It’s the only way!
How did the collaboration between you and Andhim happen? And do you speak German as well?
I don’t speak German. Although, my last name means ‘to vomit’ in German. Literally just by chance. It’s the worst thing ever.
What’s your last name in German?
My last name is Kotz. But in German, kotze is the noun “to vomit.” Literally whenever I go through passport control, whenever I sign into a hotel in Germany they’re always like “tehehe.” Just laughing at me! Elderbrook is a bit more Lord of the Ringsy, a bit more Game of Thronesy. Definitely super English.
How did it feel to be nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Dance Recording after only releasing your first EP just a few years ago? What was the snowball effect?
I don’t know man. Look I did this song with song Camelphat. We made like three songs in one day. Two months later they text me and they’re like hey these guys wanna sign Cola. I was like, really?! I’m like yeah, sure that’s fine. Like we liked the song, but we weren’t really sure if anyone else really would. Turns out some people did! And yeah I guess the Grammy thing came about eventually. We got the email! I guess there’s an email you get. But yeah, it was great to even be nominated.
Cola was a MASSIVE song both here, around Europe and in the U.K. Did Coca Cola pay you any residuals off that?
Honestly I just used the words Coca Cola because it was phonetically really interesting. It’s got three C’s in it. It’s a really percussive word. Which I think thing sings really well, ‘C- C – Cola!’ I think that’s why I was drawn to it, if you know what I mean. I haven’t seen shit from Coca Cola though.
Tell me about your newest track, Capricorn. Was the astrological narrative of this track taken from your personal life or a relationship you had?
You know I’ve met a lot of people who are into astrology. And we’ve had a lot of in depth debates about it. It’s a funny story. I wanted to make a cool song about someone’s whose girlfriend is super obsessed with horoscopes. Like if she reads that their relationship is going to be good for that day, then that’s it, right? There’s no going back. So he gets a job at the magazine that she reads and starts writing the horoscopes. Which is kind of a cool idea. But it’s like just one of those random ideas that just turned into a popular song!
So we’re out here at the Life Is Beautiful festival. Is this your first time in Vegas?
I’ve been out to Vegas three times. The first time was for the Further Future festival. There was some really shit rain that year. The second time I was out here supporting Hayden James. And most recently I played at a local spot here in Vegas called the Bunkhouse. And now I’m back baby!
How do you feel about all the marijuana in the air now that it’s legal? Do you smoke as well?
I do smoke marijuana. Only when I’m in the States by the way because it’s legal and I hate dealing with drug dealers. It’s exciting though. The money speaks for itself. There’s so much that the government can invest in now with the tax revenue coming in. It’s insane the amount of money that’s being made.
Have you been to Amsterdam? How would you compare it?
It’s more professional here. It’s more monitored. I think people are still finding their feet over here though. Amsterdam is much more set in their ways. But the weed is just the same. It still gets me super high.
Who can we look forward to you collaborating with next?
Diplo. Which is super cool. I’m actually big fan of him. I’ve been working with T-E-E-D (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs). Like I was a big fan of T-E-E-D growing up. He’s big in the U.K. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs…weird name isn’t it? And honestly he was one of my inspirations going into electronic and singing at the same time. As a male singer and a producer it doesn’t really happen in dance music that often. So it’s really new territory for me.
Life Is Beautiful is part of a bigger tour you’re doing to round out the end of the year, what are your plans for 2019?
In 2019 there will be an album. It’s still being finished off right now, but I swear to God it’s coming. It’s a long time coming. I’ve been working on it in the best part of like a year, two years now. It’s good man. I’ve got hundreds of demos to sift through, but it’s just the finishing left. It’s the finishing! I promise you this though—it will be your next favorite album.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
10/03/18 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA, US
10/05/18 – U Street Music Hall – Washington, DC, US
10/06/18 – Elsewhere – Brooklyn, NY, US
10/24/18 – Heaven – London, UK
10/25/18 – Green Room, The Academy – Dublin, Ireland
10/27/18 – HÄKKEN – Hamburg, Germany