Though they've only been a band since 2008, Philadelphia-bred indie pop/rock quartet Cheers Elephant have become known for their live shows, which have featured special guests, choreographed dancers and free photo shoots. The band, who describe their sound as "chew it up, spit it out, rock and roll," recently took part in an exclusive interview with GRAMMY.com to discuss their creative process, important lessons they've learned and membership in The Recording Academy, among other topics.
Cheers Elephant lead vocalist/guitarist Derek Krzywicki says one of the most significant benefits of Recording Academy membership is meeting new people. "We've already met some good people, and that's what we're all about," he says.
Krzywicki personally cites guitarist Adrian Belew as one of the most significant people he's met yet and who offered the musician one of the most important pieces of advice he's received yet. "[Adrian] had heard our new album and he was raving to me," recalls Krzywicki. "He [said], 'Just keep doing what you're doing. … If it's right it's right, and it's [going to] work for you if you keep trying. That resonated pretty substantially with me."
Fronted by Krzywicki, Cheers Elephant features Jordan del Rosario (guitar/vocals), Robert Kingsly (percussion) and Travelin' Mat (bass/vocals). In 2008 the band released their self-titled debut featuring 12 tracks penned exclusively by the band members. In 2011 the band was nominated as the best indie act in the Tri-state area by TriStateIndie.com. Released May 8, Like Wind Blows Fire is Cheers Elephant's third effort.
Since forming in 2008, the band has performed with artists such as singer/songwriter Chubby Checker and Devo and at festivals including the Philadelphia Folk Festival, which the band cites as one of their most memorable performances.
"The stars aligned that day, performance-wise and crowd-wise," says Krzywicki.
The band is currently on tour throughout the United States, with select dates scheduled through August. As for what to expect from future Cheers Elephant live performances, Krzywicki says while he can't reveal anything yet, it's going to be "quite substantial."