Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted via email. Questions and answers may have been cleaned up for grammar and clarity, however the content has not been altered.
[Omayra Lopez/AltWire]: What was your biggest drive towards music? Could you please describe the moment that you decided this was the path for you?
[Mike Iorio/Elephants Dancing]: Music has always been an interest to me. Using tones and rhythms to sway a listeners emotions has become my biggest musical drive. I was simply a drummer until my high school music teacher introduced me to J.S. Bach. His music opened the door to a world of wonder that I could not wait to explore.
[AW]: Did you come from a musical background, did you grow up around music?
[MI]: Music wasn’t presented to me as often as I would have liked, but I did not have to venture far to find it. My musical experience began with my brother’s ability to rock a guitar. This led to me playing drums, getting a Bachelor’s degree in music performance, publishing classical works, and singing in a reggae band.
[AW]: What is your best childhood memory?
[MI]: One year during my childhood I remember being at Animal Kingdom in Disney. I spotted a bunch of hand drums on the path and they seemed to be missing a drummer. The young me decided it would be fun to play those drums to my heart’s content. After a few minutes I came to realize that I had attracted a crowd. It was an amazing experience that I am blessed to have had.
[AW]: What was the inspiration for the name, “Elephants Dancing?”
[MI]: The band’s other singer and guitar player Danny Sales has a good buddy named Kevin. Danny’s bud suggested that our band name should be “Elephants Dancing”.
[AW]: Which artists have been your source of inspiration for your style of music?
[MI]: Our original inspiration was the reggae stylings of Dirty Heads. We loved the beach vibes and sweet raps. Our inspiration is still growing, but some of the most recent being: Hirie, Mike Love, Iration, Ballyhoo!, Kash’d Out, Pepper, Wait for Green, and so many more.
[AW]: Mike, your bio states that you and Danny met at a young age, how long have known each other? How old were you when you started the band?
[MI]: Danny and I have known each other since summer camp in our home town. We always knew music was a shared passion, but hadn’t tried writing together until the summer of 2015. I was 21 when the band started.
[AW]: How and where did all of you meet?
[MI]: The other members have come from all over. The current line up consists of mostly music students and educators. Most of the original meetings come from jam sessions or school performances.
[AW]: Could you please describe the strangest venues where you’ve performed or strange and funny stories on stage and on tour?
[MI]: A few months ago the band was left without a drummer. With a numerous gigs booked we scrambled to create a solution. The strangest experience was opening for several metal bands as a drumset and acoustic guitar duo.
[AW]: If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?
[MI]: I would have to stay within the arts. Perhaps I would write literature or delve into the world of comedy.
[AW]: Is there anything else you would like to share with your fans?
[MI]: Elephants Dancing will be releasing a single and a new album very soon. We also have a single with the new brass section being released September 1st!
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