Blake Sennett is feeling more alive than ever. The founder and bandleader of The Elected is at his rehearsal space in Los Angeles, California practicing material just days before the indie pop-rock troupe embark on a national summer tour to promote their third studio album “Bury Me In My Rings” which is available on iTunes.
Unlike their previous two full-length efforts, 2004’s “Me First” and 2006’s “Sun, Sun, Sun,” the happy accident that is “Bury Me In My Rings” was written and recorded on the fly. “It was the first time ever I remember going into the studio without songs to record, so the plan at the beginning was to go in without any expectations and just start recording stuff,” the 34-year-old enthusiastically recalls. “I tried to confine myself and confine the process to me and me alone -- as a player and a singer at first.”
“Then after three weeks of that, I became fatigued trying to reach the bottom of the well,” he continues. “I don’t know if I reached the bottom, but I was too tired of digging, so I called upon friends to have them record with me and brought in some of my people to finish it out.”
Bury Me In My Rings
“Bury Me In My Rings” is the finished product. The breezy 12-track collection features 70’s-flavored west coast pop-rock with a modern twist, earnest lyricism and a parade of catchy hooks. Of the many standouts are “Look At Me Now,” “Time Is Coming” and,” perhaps the highlight of the entire album, “When I’m Gone.”
Another gem is “Babyface,” a love-binding delight, which was picked as the leadoff single. That decision was made by The Elected’s new label Vagrant Records, and that’s one decision Sennett was completely comfortable with.
“The label chose that and it’s their job to choose things like that. If I chose the single, it would probably be the wrong one, so I just let them choose it,” he says. “It’s important to let other people contribute and get people’s advice. Controlling over every single facet, it gets busy and gives you a fucking migraine headache. You gotta let people into your heart and your art.”
But for a while, his heart simply wasn’t in the music.
In 2004 Sennett -- who acted in 90’s television shows “Boy Meets World” and “Salute Your Shorts” -- was pulling double duty as one of the principal songwriters of rock band Rilo Kiley and the head honcho of his new project, The Elected. Between recording vigorously for both groups and constantly touring in support of new albums, however, Sennett was getting sick of the music industry. By the end of 2009, he was roasted, toasted and burnt to a crisp.
A Much Needed Break
“My life was passing me by,” Sennett admits. “I didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle or go scuba diving or do a lot of things when it came to growth in my life -- not just as accomplishments, but like spiritual growth and as a person. I felt stagnant and shrinking, and I think there’s more to life than reaching your goals. I think reaching your goals and dreams are super important. Without them, I couldn’t live. But I realized I had focused only on that at the expense of my betterment as a human being on the planet.”
I went into the rehearsal space and grew to actually remember that I appreciate making music.
The pop-rock singer-songwriter spent some time away from the music industry and did the things he wanted to do -- like learn how to ride a motorcycle and go scuba diving. Truthfully, he just enjoyed the chance to take a breath and relax for once.
Still, he felt like something was missing and a void needed to be filled. Soon thereafter, a dear friend called him up and before he knew it, The Elected was back in action. “My buddy said, ‘Let’s play some music.’ I said, ‘Ok,’ and he started recording me,” Sennett explains. “I went into the rehearsal space and grew to actually remember that I appreciate making music and loved it, and was something very important in my life.”
No longer feeling buried by the music industry, Blake Sennett is living on his own terms now.
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