Pick Your Poison - An Interview with Elijah Noll
Interview by Kyla Rain
Raw, honest, and brutally real - the latest release from alternative soul singer, Elijah Noll, has caught my eye and wrapped me in emotions I didn’t expect to experience.
Released on August 24th, “Poison” is a fierce response to the inner struggles of the artist, while still being universally compatible with issues we as listeners face every day. You always know it’s going to be something special when a musician lays everything bare for the world, and that’s exactly what Noll did with this track. In our interview, we asked what emotions were drawn in this creative process. Opening up, he tells us, “I was fighting tears while writing that chorus. That’s how I knew it was special.”
Pared with a portrait-style music video (directed by Raúl Gonzo), we follow the artist as he battles with his own “poison”, lyrically and visually taking us along for the ride. Keep reading for more insight on upcoming singer songwriter, and details on the creation of his latest project.
Make sure to catch him on tour this November with the Mowglis and Arms Akimbo.
First off, can you tell me a little bit of background about yourself? What initially got you interested in music, and why did you decide to pursue it as a career?
I’m a Los Angeles-based artist from Portland, Maine. I’ve played various instruments throughout my life, but I primarily play guitar and sing. I started playing the violin when I was three years old, so I’ve been involved in music for as long as I can remember. My mom played violin and drums, and my dad wrote poetry for fun. I always loved playing music but didn’t really consider it a lifetime career thing until I was seventeen or eighteen. I started writing when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old.
How have you taken your own personal inspirations and channeled them into your music?
Lately I’ve been really nostalgic for music I was listening to back in the early 2000’s. All of the great emo bands as well as Goo Goo Dolls and Third Eye Blind to name a few. I also really love hip-hop and soul music. I feel like those specific genres have melted together in my brain and influenced the music I’ve been writing these days.
What was the thought process behind your single "Poison"? What emotions did you draw, was there an underlying story?
When I wrote the song, I was feeling like I had lost control of myself. I was dealing with the consequences of some reckless decisions and likened it to being poisoned by my own mind.
I was fighting tears while writing that chorus.
That’s how I knew it was special.
How do you feel this release reflects you as an artist?
I’m really proud of the song, and kept it really close for a long time. I’m glad to have finally let it out into the world so I can move forward with new songs I’ve been writing, and let other people have it and hopefully use it to help themselves work through similar feelings that I was having.
When thinking up visuals for the accompanying music video, were there any other ideas in the running? Why did you decide to create the video the way you did?
I didn’t have anything specific in mind. I knew I wanted to find a visual artist that I was a fan of, and let them do their own thing and follow their personal vision. I’m grateful to have been connected to the great Raúl Gonzo, who directed and animated the video.
Let's say the music you make is the soundtrack for a movie, can you describe what that would look like for us? What does your music look like visually?
A stroll through a dark, trippy forest filled with eye-opening experiences. The lead character has to face their demons head-on along the way. There are scary times, but also triumphant and exciting times. I don’t know how it ends yet.
What can fans expect from you in future ventures?
More emotional music that feels uplifting, honest, and mysterious at the same time. I’d love to get involved with some creative project outside of music as well.
If you could only send one message, to every person in the world, what would that be?
Trust your gut over other people’s opinions. You are a powerful force, capable of manifesting the future that you dream of, and you deserve brilliant love.
And then finally, anything else you'd like to say, just throw out!
I can’t wait to get out on tour with the Mowglis and Arms Akimbo in November! It’ll be my first tour, and I’m excited to meet a bunch of new people <3