Interview with Elsie Binx Vocalist Erin Elsie Accomando


By Mick Michaels

COSMICK VIEW: Hello Erin! Welcome to The Cosmick View. Thank you for
taking some time out of your day to chat with me, it is greatly appreciated.

CV: Detroit has a plethora of rich and diverse musical history; the Motown
Sound, the Blues, Rap and Rock n Roll, being immortalized in songs such as
Bowie’s “Panic in Detroit” and of course Kiss’ “Detroit Rock City.” The artists
who came out of the city are a who’s who of musical nobility: Stevie
Wonder, Madonna, Alice Cooper, and Diana Ross just to name a few. What is
it like for you to be from a city that has such an impeccable and successful
legacy of artists?
Erin Elise Accomando: Our city sort of precedes itself in a way that if you’re from Detroit, you must be hardcore and mean. I get that a lot when we’re on the road. People say they can tell we’re from Detroit because we tell it like it is. Of course we’re friendly, but we also have no time to put on a facade. Our songwriting style is similar. On first listen, it’s melodic and has vast contrasts in soft acoustic parts versus heavy rock parts, but when you delve deeper, you hear the complexity of both the music and the lyrics that can only come from a group of players who live somewhere like Detroit. I feel like all the artists you mentioned before can be described that way at some point or another in their careers.

CV: Is there one major Detroit artist you find yourself connected with?
EEA: I’d say Jack White & The White Stripes are my biggest Detroit influences.

CV: Do you see your Detroit musical heritage as having great bearing on
your songwriting approach? Does it affect the way you choose to write?
EEA: I don’t really think that Detroit has a lot to do with how I write but I do think it affects how my honestly and unwillingness to sugar coat the truth comes off. My band writes in a few different ways… Sometimes I come to them with a full song idea already written, sometimes one of the guys has a musical idea/demo that I write lyrics to. It’s very organic. We never try to force a song out. It’s important that the inspiration comes from a true place. That’s what makes our songs very relatable.

CV: How has Elsie Binx’s sound and style been enhanced by your continued
collaborations with The Sound Shop Studio?
EEA: Well, ELSIE BINX’s sound IS The Sound Shop Studio. My producer, Kevin Wesley Williams, and I are the band’s founding members. Without his production knowledge and talents, our sound is no longer ELSIE BINX. He’s always got great ideas on how to perfect the structure of our songs, and he’s always messing around with effects and crazy sh*t in the mixing process. I personally love the digital/industrial sound some of our songs have, even though they’re all recorded with real instruments.

CV: As a producer, what did Aaron Golematis bring to the mix on Elsie
Binx’s first album in 2015? Did his influence affect any of the initial
EEA: Oh, absolutely. His influence GREATLY pushed these songs to be the amazing pieces you hear today. I wrote all those songs when I was between 19-23 years old and they needed a lot of work lyrically and structurally. Seeing him work on those songs and getting coaching from him vocally changed the way I sing and write for the rest of my career.

CV: The band’s genre is listed as “Rock”, but without question there is a
whole lot more to what EBX really is and has to offer. Tell us a little more
about the band’s signature sound development.
EEA: I like to say we are “Rock ’N Roll with Pop ’N Soul”. The band brings the metal and rock sound to life while I stack the pop/rock/soul melody and a million harmonies on top. One of the bands more collective influences is Queen. In the future, we strive to continue to be as musical and hope to someday be as experimental as they once were.

CV: Your vocal style in particular comes across as a hard rocking, soulfully
deep, country extraction. Is this a natural, “out of the box” style for you or
something that has been honed and crafted by choice?
EEA: You know, growing up, I made a point to sing every song EXACTLY like the artist did, down to every note, tone, vowel, vibrato, breath, etc. Because of that, it’s taken me a long time to find a unique voice for myself. The singers I emulated most were Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lauryn Hill, Brandy, and Britney Spears, so I can totally see why I’m a mixed bag of vocal qualities. To this day, I still find it hard sometimes to NOT “sing in the style of” said artist while I perform our music. It’s something I’ve tried hard to undo but old habits die hard. I’m constantly trying to build my voice to be it’s own unique sound. Trust me, it’s not easy.

CV: Who are some of your personal musical influences?
EEA: Well, outside of the singers and bands I’ve already mentioned, Lady Gaga, Boston, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin and Aerosmith. I’m also HEAVILY influenced by Broadway musicals such as CATS, RENT, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, and Singin’ in the Rain. And just like every other 90s kid, I know every word to almost all the original Disney musicals.

CV: What’s your go to album for inspiration?
EEA: Honestly, I don’t find inspiration by listening to music I’m familiar with. I find that when I listen to music I don’t know, it continuously inspires me to keep growing musically and keep searching for my perfect sound and the band’s signature sound as well.

Elsie Binx started out as two people working together to record an
album. Now the band is currently at nine members. What benefits do you
see having such a large caravan of musical talent available?
EEA: 2018 has brought many changes for us. This includes us now being a [regularly] 6 piece band, sometimes 7 at most. It has its pros and cons, but we’ve become a family. They are my best friends and I look forward to hanging or playing with each and every one of them. We are all SO different. I don’t think some of us would’ve ever met outside of these circumstances. I’m SO glad we did though. On a personal level, they are my rock (and roll) and the reason I have such high aspirations for us a band. On a musical level, every single one of us is from such different walks of life and musical inspirations that the sound we have will always be inherently unique. Plus, having more people to spread the word about shows and other appearances is the best thing ever.

CV: This year, two new members joined the band; drummer Darin Curtis
and bassist Tom Harper. Has the band’s groove changed any? Has their
induction into the fold offered additional songwriting direction?
EEA: Actually, I don’t think the sound changed much at all. The biggest change has been our chemistry on and off stage. These two are the most happy-go-lucky, chilled out dudes a band could ask for. They roll with the punches, have great ideas, and help us put on an amazing show. They’re team players and are always the first ones on the scene for a writing or production session. Our direction has always been to go harder rock and they are all about it.

CV: Passionate, dynamic, energetic, enigmatic, impressive…; all words that
have all been used to describe you and the band. What do you feel is the
secret ingredient that makes the EBX chemistry work so well?EEA: I think of all those words, passionate and persistent are the most important. This is all we want to do. Make music, get on the road and play music, repeat. All of us have been making moves in our personal lives to be able to do this full-time if it presents itself. We’re always writing and always looking for a tour to jump on in the near future.

CV: This past Spring, EBX completed a 10 city tour. What was that
experience like for the band?
EEA: I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, but mine was pretty great. It’s hard work but it’s also the exact work that I want to be doing. I didn’t mind traveling hours and hours in a van with my favorite people every day because we got to meet new people and fans across the country every day, too. We got closer as band mates and also accomplished our first every DIY tour. We gained super fans and made venue friends in every city we hit. We can’t wait to do it again.

CV: The band is now preparing to record a full-length, all acoustic album as
their next endeavor. What prompted the decision to go all acoustic?
EEA: This decision was made because our audience’s responses to our acoustic shows were vastly different to that our of rock show. I think there is a time and place for both versions of our show, but our acoustic shows tend to go over really well with EVERY demographic, whereas our rock hows typically only go over well with audiences averaging 50 years and under. The acoustic album is being released to both broaden our horizon and hopefully gain new fans of all demographics, as opposed to just sticking to our ‘rock’ genre that is convoluted with all sort of sub-genre and mislabeling.

CV: What’s 2019 hold for
EEA: We are planning our Spring tour (4/20 is already booked in CA), our release of the acoustic album is not set but definitely near, and I believe we’ll start production on a new rock album as well. We plan to tour as often as possible! Lots of great stuff!

CV: Thank you again
Erin for spending some time talking and sharing with
our readers. I wish you all the best and continued success with all your
future projects.

EEA: Thank you for having me!

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