7” Survey: Elsa

Every edition of this season’s Long Winter, we’re releasing a free split seven-inch, each side featuring a song from one of the night’s featured artists. To compliment the releases, we’ve issued a seven-part questionnaire to each of the artists involved, giving the subjects an inch (about 85 words) of space to answer each of our questions. 

Even though they’re set to release their Never Come Down 12-inch March 31 via One Big Silence, Elsa didn’t mind reaching into the archives to commit “In Waves” – a song from the same sessions as their 2013 I Do EP – to wax on the March instalment (LW-005) of Long Winter’s split 7-inch series, available free to the first 250 guests through the doors at the Great Hall on March 13. In this questionnaire, singer/guitarist Jonathan Rogers explains the origins of the song and tells us about a near-fatal winter experience.

Long Winter: Who are you and how did Elsa come about?

Jonathan Rogers: My name is Jonathan and I play guitar, sing and write the songs in Elsa. Elsa started as me recording some songs for fun and putting them online. I was really bummed at the time because another band I was in completely fell apart. I received an offer to play a show because of the songs I put up and didn't have a band so I asked my best friends to help me out. Once we all started to play together we had so much fun that we just kept doing it!

How about “In Waves”? What inspired that?

Pretty typical girl stuff! It was one of the first 10 or so songs I wrote for the band. During the time I was going through a difficult break up. My friends were trying to get me to go out and meet people but I could not fathom looking at another girl. Just the whole: “nothing compares to her” feeling you have after you get dumped. And then finally, I met this really smart/beautiful girl while hanging out the studio where my friends were recording. It was an amazing relief to just not think about my ex for a second. I went home and wrote that song the same day, so it's kinda about going in and out of that great/awful feeling!

For lots of listeners, this will be their first point of access to your music. Where does this song fit into the rest of your catalog?

This is an older track but we still play it every show because we get a good response from it. We actually recorded it the first time we went into a proper studio as a band. 

Once they’re turned on to this, what releases (songs, EPs, albums, or otherwise) should people pursue as logical next steps to getting to know your music?

We have a 12-inch EP called I Do which was recorded in the same session. A lot of people seem to know our song "In Two," which is from that release. We also have a new 12-inch coming out at the end of this month titled Never Come Down.

When you think of winter, what’s a memory that stands out for you?

I grew up in the Caribbean so I do not have many winter memories, thank god. I do have one particularly traumatizing one, however... I was very young (four or five) and I can remember slipping and falling into a snow bank that completely enveloped me. I couldn't breath and couldn't get myself out of the snow. Thankfully, my father realized I was in trouble before it was too late and pulled me out to safety. I hate winter.

How do you survive winters in Toronto?

By drinking away the five months until spring at my local bar.

What are you most looking forward to for the March 13 edition of Long Winter?

I want to see Dirty Frigs play cause I haven't yet! I also really want to meet Scott Thompson 'cause I love Kids in the Hall.

To hear Elsa visit them at elsa.bandcamp.com

Interview by Tom Beedham (@Tom_Beedham). Photo by Colin Medley.