Interview with Rishi Dhir, vocalist, bassist,  song writer, sitar player and more and still more.

© Bowen Stead

It’s a honor to make this interview.  Elephant Stone (Canadian Indie Rock) 4 albums, 2 EP, now Mien with the first album (2018 April 6), Mister great Dhir you caused this mess, isn’t it ?  But If I have a good information about it, Mien is a project from 2004 with Alex Maas, no ? Tell us more please Rishi.

Yep, it’s all my fault. The great thing about this job is that I get to travel all around the world and meet amazing musicians/artists. It all started at SXSW 2004 when I was supporting the Brian Jonestown Massacre and met Alex and Christian Bland after the gig. We hit a off right away. A few months later I passed through Austin to play a show and stayed at the Black Angels’ first house on 'Haunting at 1300 McKinley' and have kept in touch ever since.

In 2005 I discovered the Earlies’ debut album and ended up doing a few shows with them. That year I recorded sitar for both “Deer-Ree-Shee” off of the Black Angels’ Directions to See a Ghost and “Breaking Point” from the Earlies sophomore album. JM, from the Earlies, and I started sending recordings back and forth in 2006; not really sure where it would all go.

In 2006/2007 I began writing the songs that would ultimately become Elephant Stone’s 2009 debut album, The Seven Seas. A tour supporting BJM followed in 2010 as well as the Glass Box EP.

In 2012 I became the Angels’ touring bassist/sitarist and toured throughout the US touring with The Horrors as well as Australia (where I ended up playing with Beck). I was a huge fan of the Horrors’ Skying and became fast friends with Tom. It was also around that time JM sent me a rough demo of the song that would become “Black Habit”. 

In 2013 Elephant Stone released our sophomore album and toured everywhere. I believe it was around this time that Alex recorded the amazing vocal for “Black Habit” and Tom jumped on board….

So, at first, 2009, Elephant Stone , who and how was the beginning of the story ?

Yep. It started with me wanted make an album that affected me the same way as George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. The was my reference for the Seven Seas.

Do you compose everything ? what  do  you need to find inspiration, the bright idea ?

For Elephant Stone, yes. I find musical ideas when I’m in a kind of daydreaming state and strumming a guitar or going for a walk. I try not to overthink the creation process.

Rishi, coming back to the actual album with MIEN, it’s the first album with 10 tracks, tell us how long you realize it ? If you had to give a name to the sound of this album, which it would be ? Because, every song has its own style ?

The creation process was very free and democratic. We all gave a piece of the puzzle and did not try to force the sound of the album in any direction. It all happened very organic and naturally.

Have you a favorite track from this album and if so, which and why ?

I really love it all. The great thing about MIEN is that there are so many things that are magical to me. Unlike Elephant Stone, I do not know who played exactly what and all the pieces/parts of the songs. Tom/JM/Alex are such amazing talents. I do really love Hocus Pocus.

Tell us your projects concerts (Austin ?) and maybe new single or album ? European tour ?

Yes! Debut at Levitation Austin. Can’t wait. You’ll have to wait on tour news.

Apart from music, what are your other passions ?

My wife and kids. Music and family. What more do you need? Well… I also like single malt whiskey, indian food, biking, sci-fi...

© Caroline Perron 

 Interview by Julie Aras