With their fourth album, “The Great American Midrange,” the Elms have honed in exactly what it is they do.
“We’ve come to this conclusion that we’re just an American rock band, born and bred to lift the roof off the place when we play,” explains Owen Thomas, frontman for the quartet from Seymour, Ind. — John Mellencamp’s home town. “Before we were more influenceable and would look at what New York was doing, what London was doing.
“There’s more of a purpose now. Our identity is forged much more than it has been in the past. I think everything we do now is very much rooted in the blues scale, and we really have embraced our personal histories, too — in working class families and how we grew up and everything. What’s cool to us now is authenticity.”
Thomas had, in fact, dubbed the Elms’ sound “The Great American Midrange” even before it recorded the new album in Nashville. But he says its 12 songs illustrate the title, and not just musically.
“It’s also a metaphor for the great working class out there,” explains Thomas, 30. “I think of the working class as having this great kind of droning sound of sort of frustration and just existence. Certainly in the town that I live in, there’s not a lot of people pursuing their dreams. They’re just pursuing survival, really.
“That’s kind of what ‘The Great American Midrange’ represents, just a great American working class and their attempt to put one foot in front of the other every day. That’s a pretty noble thing, you know?”
The Elms perform with the Pat McGee Band and Will Daily on Tuesday (Nov. 17) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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