The Gravity Drive is a prime example showing that the music distribution world has seismically shifted and we are in” Kansas” no longer. Even 10 years ago it would have been difficult to imagine a husband and wife being able to create music in their living room in West Dorset for public consumption. No less then being able to independently distribute that music and gain a following of any size without music industry backing. Yet that is exactly what The Gravity Drive has accomplished. The duo made up of Elijah and Ava Wolf took time to answer our Q and A about their fantastic debut album ‘Testament‘.
XS – Are you pleased with the public’s response to “Testament”?
Ava: Yes. Our fans have been fantastically supportive and encouraging. We have already started demoing the next one.
Elijah: I’m Overwhelmed that it’s touched people and that it’s being played and enjoyed and am very grateful for the kind messages and support we’ve received.
XS – What first inspired you to start on a music career?
Elijah: I knew from a very early age that all I wanted to do was write songs and create albums and lose myself in the journey of making music. I just remember being completely blown away by the feeling music gave me and sold my soul at about the age of 8
Ava: I sold my soul when I met pans married Elijah lol!!
XS – Is there a story behind the name of your group? The Album?
Elijah: When we were thinking of a band name Ava was flicking through a book we have about the unexplained and all that jazz and she stumbled across a page which had a print of an old US magazine from the 1950’s called ‘Fate’ magazine. One of the headlines on the magazine cover was ‘UFO solution. The Gravity Drive?’ She passed me the book clearly already quite cuffed that she had found our name and asked me if anything on the page jumped out as a name. I took a look and said ‘yeah The Gravity Drive’ and so we were born. As for the album title we were just discussing what the album meant to us and I said ‘it’s a Testament’ and we decided on that.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/137551568″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
XS – Do you listen to a lot of other current musical performers and acts, is there one genre you find yourself returning to time and again?
Ava: Yeah we listen to as much new music as we can find. Our taste is pretty wide. We can go from Aphex Twin to Ella Fitzgerald to Pharell quite happily and everything in between.
Elijah: Ava is always rooting out and discovering new music and making playlists. Our house is full of music all day long. I tend to obsess on one album or artist for a month or so.
XS – What was the first album you owned?
Elijah: Dark Side of the Moon on cassette. My Dad bought if for me. I listened to it in bed on headphones when I was about 10 on my trusty Walkmen. It terrified me in a good way.
Ava: Elvis Presley’s greatest hits given to me by my parents one Christmas.
XS – What has been the biggest surprise being in the music business?
Ava: How easy it has been to communicate with DJ’s at national radio. We had a notion that they might be in some high security building protected by a force field that prevented the likes of us, the independent artist, from entering but we’ve had tremendous openness from DJs who genuinely care about music.
Elijah: I’ll echo that and say that behind the idea of the traditional music industry with all it’s power and money the DJ’s that play new music are really supportive and they really care about musicians and music. They live for it as much as we do and we’ve been very lucky and blessed.
XS – By your own measurement, what would success look like?
Ava: To continue to provide a happy home for our daughter. On top of that a number 1 hit record.
Elijah: I agree with Ava and I’ll add this. Success is a new song on the go which feels like the most exciting song you’ve ever written, catching it on record to the best of our ability and performing it to the best of our ability so that someone else can enjoy it. Madison Square gardens would also be nice.
XS – With the beautiful interwoven vocal sound you create, how do you decide who gets to sing which part?
Elijah: I write my parts and Ava writes hers. There may be a little bit of editing and arranging those parts between us but they mostly come from us as two individuals and become one. Ava has a real instinct for harmony I haven’t got.
XS – What do you wish you had known about the music business that would have made things so much easier?
Ava: It’s tricky this question. I think in truth we don’t know yet what the thing is that will make things easier. We may ultimately find we might have to sign a deal to support us in order to reach a wider audience. It may be really naive to think we can do this on our own independently. On the other hand….
XS – What is your most vivid memory of making this release?
Elijah: Working on Trick of the Light. I’d written the song and gone to play a gig. I came back to hear Ava programming and arranging a piece of music and I just heard it fit in my head with the song I had just written and at that point the whole album and the way we would come to work all just sort of happened by accident. That’s the point I knew what we were and how it would work
Ava: I’ll add to that when we got the final mix back from Pete Schwier it was amazing. He’d just polished it to perfection. We were amazed at how we sounded!
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/58897501″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
XS – What is one thing you would like listeners to take away from your release?
Elijah: I’d like someone to have the feeling I have when I fall in love with a song.
Ava: The feeling that they’d want to play it again straight away.
XS – How do you breakdown the songwriting responsibilities.
Elijah: I write the songs. Ava is my biggest fan and harshest critic and she green lights a song and then writes her parts and then we develop it’s direction and identity
Ava: I’m the butter on his crumpet.
XS – What is your favorite song on the release?
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/100771322″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
XS – Vinyl, Download or CD?
Elijah: We don’t mind as long as the artist gets paid. We are not fussy about it.
XS – What was your album of 2014?
Elijah: New Shores by Black Submarine. Nick McCabe is in my mind is a magician one of the worlds greatest living musicians.
Ava: Ghost Stories by Coldplay. It has been on in the house more than anything else