We are really into local music at the Gazette. So it was a real pleasure to chat recently with Ashley Brandt ’07 of the campus band Eclipse. Short one member, they still press on and will be releasing a debut record come October. And if they don’t have a big record deal yet, you can catch them at a variety of gigs around campus this semester.
Daily Gazette: How did you get started?
Ashley Brandt: We started during the summer of ’05. Sam Graffeo ’07 and I began playing at a local venue called The Point, in Bryn Mawr and then during the past year we added a violinist, Wren Elhai ’08, who also sings in Sixteen Feet.
DG: Have you guys recorded anything? Will it be distributed?
AB: We actually just finished recording our debut album called “The Game” and it’s on sale now for $10.
DG: Do you have a manager yet? Are you planning a tour?
AB: That’s actually a really interesting question. We are short a singer, Sam, right now given that she’s abroad in France so Wren and I not looking to really “tour” so to speak. Eclipse, as we are called, is pretty much a Swat band and not looking for a manager or to tour. However, I do have a manager separate of the group as a result of our recording endeavors. I am currently in the process of signing the contract although I am very skeptical about the idea and hope to play at larger venues in the city and do collaborations with other artists and record another album with Eclipse.
DG: What are some of your influences? What kind of music do you play?
AB: I can’t speak for Sam given she’s abroad but I know that she loves Zeppelin, Powerman 500, Metallica, Disturbed, a lot of heavy metal bands but also has a soft spot for Alanis Morisette and Jewel. For me, the kind of music I listen too and the kind I play are relatively different. I grew up listening to classic rock like the Doobie Brothers, Hootie, and Bon Jovi and love that music still, however, I listen to a lot of hip/hip, trip-hop, downtempo, and techno and some new age.
DG: Do you plan to take some time off from college to pursue the band?
AB: No. Unless Virgin Records knocks on my door to sign us then it’s not even an option.
DG: How was Swat for musicians? Were you happy with the campus community?
AB: Actually, no comment. Although I will say I have greatly appreciated what the WRC has done for me and the band. They’ve been a big help.
DG: Are you playing any local Swarthmore gigs?
AB: We generally will play at open mics thrown by the WRC or Rose Tattoo Cafes at Olde Club. There is a show for Earthlust coming up that we will probably play at. Aside from that we’re being thrown an album release party at Emerald City in Philadelphia on October 6th. The show should start sometime around 9 and we’d be the headliner along with some other bands. We’re really urging people from Swat to go.
DG: What’s the best rock and roll story so far?
AB: Haha…we really don’t have one yet.