Martin Baker: bass
Robert Baxter: Guitar, Vocals
Christian Conte: Drums, Vocals
Edward Horan: Keyboards, Vocals
Andrew Wholf: Guitar, Vocals
They might be young, but don’t let that fool you. Elevator Pitch, a teenaged quintet from Hoboken, New Jersey, are quickly making a name for themselves with an almost indescribable fusion of technique, creativity, and wit. “There’s not a specific genre for what we do,” says drummer Christian Conte. “We’re taking the best of all our influences. We’re punky when we sing, but there’s a lot of jazz theory in what we do too, and yet we’ve got a lot of poppy chord progressions.”
Guitarist/vocalist Andrew Wholf agrees. “Every time we practice, we’re always trying to be creative and experimental. We’re always throwing different things together so that people will hear the final product and just think ‘Elevator Pitch.’”
Elevator Pitch’s self-released debut EP, “First Floor,” showcases two songs that exemplify the group’s range. “Eric” is a funky throw down about Eric Trump that melds a sharp-witted political critique with punk-rock chops, showcasing keyboardist Ed Horan’s charismatic lead vocal. The EP’s second track, “Vladimir Putin Has A Weather Machine,” is a sinewy instrumental that highlights the band’s technical dexterity, with ear-bending progressions falling somewhere between modern jazz and sophisticated pop.
Wholf started sharing musical playdates with keyboardist/vocalist Ed Horan when they were in grammar school. “I’d get so excited to go to Edward’s house every week and have band practice,” Wholf recalls. Horan grew up in a musical household – his mother is singer/songwriter Kate Jacobs – and their home was a hub for Hoboken’s musical community.
After that, the group coalesced organically. Guitarist/vocalist Robert Baxter, who immigrated from London with his family as a child, shared a guitar teacher with Wholf, and drummer Christian Conte just showed up one day and made himself at home. “To be honest, I have no idea how we got Christian,” Wholf recalls. “One of us knew him, and he came to jam with us a few times, and he just wound up in the band.” The same thing happened with bassist Martin Baker, a high-school acquaintance who joined the group after a mammoth six-hour jam session.
Baker comes from a musical family too. “My step-dad plays guitar and my mom plays the ukulele, so I picked up what was left – the bass – and we play songs around the house,” Baker says. “I didn’t really get serious until about two years ago, but I’ve tried to learn as much as I could as quickly as I could.”
Elevator Pitch represents a true musical democracy, with all of the members contributing to the songwriting, and four of the five members taking turns on lead vocals. “I know that when I bring a chord progression to the band, it will become something totally different when we’re through with it,” says Wholf.
“We all have completely different styles,” adds Baker. “The kinds of songs that Robert comes up with are completely different from what someone else might do. He’s a poet, really; his songs are meaningful in a way you don’t hear in pop music.”
Ask these young tyros to namecheck their influences and you’ll hear names that their own parents probably wouldn’t recognize. “I really like disco, I just love those basslines,” says Baker, who claims neo-soul artist Rex Orange County as a current favorite. Wholf lists surfer turned soft-rocker Jack Johnson as a big influence.
Matthew Bellamy of England’s Muse ranks high as another band hero. “I love the way his music is drenched in classical music theory,” enthuses Baker. “I like to think that we’re inspired by the people who took inspiration from the original generation of classic rock. I love to listen to the blues and hear the way it’s evolved from the Fifties to the Sixties to now.”
Elevator Pitch has been working with producer Rob Shepherd and engineer Corey Zack at The Cocoon recording studio in Jersey City. The group plans to release several short EP’s over the next few months while working on bookings. For more information, contact , or visit elevatorpitch.bandcamp.com and Instagram.com/elevatorpitchofficial.