The Literary Greats sounds like the type of band name conceived by a bunch of obnoxious book worm twits. You know the type; people who boast about reading Proust while everyone else in the room is talking Stephen King. But it wasn't. It was a phrase written into a song by a perfectly nice guy who doesn't read all that much. And although The Literary Greats may not exactly be a band comprised of such prolific writers as say William Shakespeare,Edgar Allan Poe or Charles Dickens for example; but boy would i pay money to see those three rock out on stage from beyond the grave, the Houston, Texas natives provide just as much fresh and organic prose to their harvested music as their forefathers did to literature centuries ago. With a crop full of catchy, sing-a-long and foot tapping beat inducing songs at their disposal,I find it hard to believe that The Literary Greats have yet to be shoved in our faces at every opportunity like so many manufactured and repetitive bands out their already. The Literary Greats are quite literally a breath of fresh air and I can only hope that we are being allowed to enjoy and savor The Literary Greats like a fine wine or in this case a really good book that you just can't put down! Front man of The Literary Greats, Brandon Elam took some time out to talk to The405. Check it out! Just for our readers at home, can you tell us who you are, where you're from and how and when the band got together? We are The Literary Greats from Houston, Texas. We were all friends before we started the band, playing in different bands and were involved with different projects when we got to know each other. Brandon and Ginsbach played in a power pop band named Haywood and Taylor and Darin played in a metal band named Day of Solace. Kris Becker was a classical pianist. We officially formed the band about a year and a half ago. Brandon Elam – Vox, guitar, keys Taylor Lee – Guitar, Vox Darin Lee – Bass Chris Ginsbach – Drums Kris Becker – Piano, hammond Did you have any initial aims with regards to the sound you wanted to create or their content when you formed the band? Our main focus was and is on the songs and we let our sound just happen. Our diverse backgrounds come through in the music. You can hear a little country in what we do, but the melodic pop elements and dark metal tones are also there. Where or form whom do you draw your inspirations when writing new lyrics and music? Does the music you listen to affect the music you make? This is a great question. As the song writer, many of my lyrics come from every day conversations. I think you can hear it in the songs…they’re very conversational. So in that regard, my inspiration comes from friends, family, co-workers, store clerks, waiters, pastors, car washers, etc. How did the name "The Literary Greats" come about? We needed a name and wanted something we could have fun with. Its actually a lyric in one of our songs Devotion. Do you think its easy for musicians like yourself to get exposure, with the likes of MySpace providing so many unsigned bands and artists with a platform to launch their music on? In some ways its easier in that there are many outlets to ‘publish’ your music: last. fm, myspace, facebook, youtube, etc. However, that very ease of publishing also makes it harder to get exposure in that people are overloaded with content. Overall, I think these platforms are a good thing in that bands do have an easy way to share music, regardless if its 5 people or 5 million. What are your favorites books of all time? I read some fiction but I spend more time on histories and biographies. Favorites include: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Odyssey, 1776, The Srewtape Letters, Black Mass Brandon, I noticed that besides being the vocalist of the band that you also play guitar, bass, percussion and keys. Do you believe that it's necessary for a bands front man to be able to play an instrument; like so many others these days, or would you opt to only use your voice if you had the choice? One of the first audio engineers I worked with would say, ‘Nobody can do what you do better’ when he heard me talking about my shortcomings as a vocalist. I happen to play many instruments because I’m stronger on instruments than on vocals. I’m not a vocal ninja like those on American idol, but I love to sing and write songs so I mix it up and do both. My style of vocals mixed with my style of playing is what I do best so that’s what I do. All this to say…an artist should go with what works for them. How would you describe your music to a first time listener? I like calling it ‘Alternative Americana’ though its been called power pop or indie rock. It is guitar driven with a mix of clean and overdriven tones. How has the writing process changed since the early days? Writing has stayed pretty consistent for us, even as we work on our second record. I typically write the core of the song and record a demo at home. I hand it over to the band and they add their parts and we work together on the arrangement. Many times, the only parts shared between the original demo and the finished song is the lyrics and melody. And finally, where do you hope to see the band in 3 years time, in terms of doing new projects (e.g side projects) and any other personal aspirations you each have in life? We’ve all been friends for quite some time. I’m looking forward to growing with these guys and creating more music. One goal is to produce a new record each year. Taylor and I are audio engineers so we have free access to studios and we do everything…engineering, mixing, and producing. Being self sufficient has freed us up to focus on writing and production. Its great because we get to shape everything. Be sure to check out more from The Literary Greats by visiting their Official MySpace here