Literature Lessons with Former Rilo Kiley Guitarist, Blake Sennett of The Elected

Posted by    |    February 6th, 2012 at 9:17 am

Wearing a yellow Bob Marley tee paired with seersucker shorts, Blake Sennett casually walks through Club Dada, hours before he will perform to a hipster crowd that looks as if they rolled around in Buffalo Exchange moments before arriving at the venue.

As we sit down for his interview, the lead singer of The Elected band fumbles through the Facebook application on his iPhone, frustrated with social media.

“I have my own personal Facebook, and then I have ‘The Elected’ Facebook, and the label put me on as an ‘administrator’ which, I know that gives me access to things, but how do I post to something if I’m an admin?” questions the former Rilo Kiley guitarist.

As I show him a strategic method to technologically morph from Blake Sennett the man into The Elected the band, we discuss our California origins, and joke about the stronghold technology has over our lives.

I ask him if I’m allowed to say that I was – am – a big Rilo Kiley fan. “Yeah, aw thanks,” he responds, a hint of longing resounding in his vocal chords, “Yeah, I liked Rilo Kiley too. I think we all loved Rilo Kiley,” he says, poking around on his touch screen phone before clarifying, “I mean; not everybody, I just mean, people in the band.”

Sennett finishes his war with Facebook, and prepares to answer a few of my questions. Hours from now, he and his new band will play the dizzying, carousel melody of “I’ll Be Your Man” from 2006 record Sun Sun Sun, as well as “Have You Been Cheated” and “Born to Love You” from most recent record, Bury Me In My Rings. The show will make for an interesting night of gorgeous, slow melodies. Sennett will appear uneasy and shy onstage, and the aforementioned hipsters will dance around the cement floor in front of The Elected’s equipment. For now, Sennett’s attention is focused on my digital recorder, ready to answer questions that could potentially draw more fans to his brand of indie/alt music.

What is one thing that we can expect to see onstage tonight?

Desperation. No, I’m kidding. What you can expect to see on stage is a steel drum.

What is your impression of Dallas so far?

I’ve been here a bunch of times; I’ve always liked Dallas. I always think of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders when I think of Dallas, since I was like 8 years old.

Do you have a favorite book or a favorite author?

Probably John Fante. He’s my favorite author, if I had to have a favorite author. There are some really great classics, but those are not my favorite authors. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is super good, but [Beecher Stowe’s] other works aren’t that great. The Hunger Games, for instance, is really easy to read. It’s just pulp – like watching Reservoir Dogs is easy to watch.

What’s your favorite thing about being onstage?

Trying something you’ve never tried before, practicing something and making it work – but the stakes tend to be a little higher when you try something like that because it can really take a shift.

Your most recent album is titled, Bury Me In My Rings; is there a piece of jewelry you always wear?

There’s this coin I keep in my pants; it was given to me by my friend’s Godfather. He was a silver hoarder; he gave it to me as a gift, as a good luck charm. We all had them in Rilo Kiley; kept them in our pockets, and when there was a decision to be made, we would consult the coin of truth, flip the coin and base our decisions on the coin of truth.

The music industry has gone through such a crazy period over the last few years with the Internet’s uprising; what makes staying in the music industry worth it to you?

I think art is like a compulsion; like a sickness. Like with people who steal things, you know? I think that artists don’t necessarily do art because they want to; they do it because they have to.

Laura Stillo is the Arts & Entertainment Writer and Creative Social Media Producer for YouPlusDallas. Follow her on Twitter at @laurastillo.

Tags: , , , , ,