Interview - Elke and the Jandel


Elke and the Jandel are one of the funkiest emerging bands this year; combining six energetic and passionate souls to create the raw and groovy tunes that just keep flowing... The other week I got to catch up with two-sixths of the high school mates: Felix Smith (Keyboard) and Sam Nakkan (Lead Guitar) to talk about welcoming new band members, what really went down when they played with Skegss and releasing their entire demo collection.

“We started off as a 5-piece with Dan, Luke, Max, myself and our friend Ruth singing but at the beginning of last year she wasn't really up for performing and doing the whole band thing so we brought in Nelson to sing and Felix to play keys who were already making music together at the time so it made sense to add both of them.”

Expanding from a five-piece to a six-piece, the Wollongong based indie-rock/pop band have joined forces and entered the new year thriving. With major changes to the band itself and to their sound, being heavily inspired by various iconic artists as Felix states “We all generally have a broad taste in music including the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, San Cisco and The Jungle Giants… A bunch of us listen to artists like Catfish and the Bottlemen and The Wombats too.”

Nakkan describes their sound as “Kinda like ravioli, cause it can look like simple pasta on the outside, but be surprisingly interesting on the inside,” well I hope you have a taste for pasta because these tunes are too good to turn down! Speaking of which their recent demo release NikNakk has hit the streets with animation done by their mate Dom O'Donnel marks a significant time in the bands career “NikNakk was the first song that was brought to the band after Nelson and I had joined,” adds Felix. The six-track piece can be found over on their Youtube with a sweet acoustic version of The Waiting Game up on Triple J Unearthed. Felix shares with us his personal faves “I'd say probably NikNakk or The Waiting Game; both give off good vibes and are easy to bob your head to,” which at the end of the day is a pretty important factor!

With a creative process down pack they all work closely together, each bringing unique content to flesh the songs out and provide the world with dance-worthy beats, we all like a boogie right?! Travelling back and forth between the Gong and Sydney (with numerous incentives) to produce the demo, Sam reveals “We recorded the Drums and a few other instrument parts in Sydney at JMC Academy for free cause Nelson was doing a course there which meant that we actually ended up spending more money on sushi than the recording,” he laughs. “When Nelson completed the course we ended up finishing the recordings from home.”

Staying close to home, literally, by creating and rehearsing in Felix’s garage Elke and the Jandel are now dedicating their time to producing a shitload of more tunes for our earholes. Taking control of their future in the music industry with no managers or record labels involved “We haven't really opened up that avenue yet,” inputs Felix, they’ll be releasing their new single themselves as he furthers “We've been doing stuff by ourselves pretty well plus it saves money but we will need to start thinking about that idea in the near future if we want to further our music.” So if anyone is keen to get on board then hit them up!  

Rewinding the tape back (pun intended) to January when the team hit the road travelling towards Batemans Bay to play with legends Skeggs; just one catch they didn’t actually know that. “It was funny cause we knew we were playing the gig but we didn't know that it was with Skegss until we were sent the promo poster a few weeks before the gig!” Sam muses. Having played numerous gigs this support show was definitely a highlight… Being contacted by a booking agent, the boys agreed without knowing the exact details – dedicated musos right there! “It ended up being a pretty fun weekend down the coast for us all,” expresses Sam.

Exciting times ahead for Elke and the Jandel with upcoming gigs, fresh shirts (designed and made by Ellis Baker) and songs in the works. The energy and vibe that radiates off the stage is unreal so be sure to catch them tomorrow as they take over everyone’s favourite waterhole Coledale RSL.

May 27 – Coledale RSL (headline)
June 8 – Rad Bar (supporting New Venusians)
June 9 – Heritage Hotel Buli (supporting Kava Kings)