Ezekiel here—the sadsack, angry and perennially frustrated ringleader for Young Elk. In a month from today, we will release our debut full length LP on vinyl called The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost.
When we play shows, I play the part of the incoherent maladapted front man where I somehow placed myself into a role that I was never meant to be placed. But I have to be honest and say that this record means a lot to me.
Many of these songs were written in awkward and painful spaces. And I really do not mean that metaphorically. I wrote the bulk of these tunes in a period of being almost destitute after coming within an inch of my life after life-saving lung surgery after a near-death brush with pneumonia and a side order of sepsis.
The thing that no one tells you is that when you come so close to dying, everything changes. When I went into the hospital, I was (in my own way, and as much as I am capable of being) a devout Jesus dude. I considered myself on the left side of things, but I had a bedrock. I had faith. It was at the center of everything—my marriage, my work ethic, my outlook on life and death.
What most people will tell you is that a brush with death draws them closer into the divine. They turn things around. They press deeper in. They draw nearer to that spiritual "life force." That didn't happen to me. Instead, I came out of the OR more confused, angry and heartbroken than I had been in my entire life.
I peered back through the looking glass of my life and saw decades of spiritual abuse—from before I was born to growing up mormon to joining a pentecostal church joining various reformed theological movements. I woke up pissed off and nothing could calm me down.
So naturally, I wrote a song called, "God is Cruel."
When I got out of the hospital, Young Elk was born. From here, the songs seemed to ooze out. It didn't take very long for us to figure out how to do what we do. We learned quickly that we could write and arrange new songs at a very rapid pace. After releasing our first EP, Minor Keys on cassette and vinyl in late 2015, we spent the next year recording what would become The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost.
As a band, I think we always set out to make songs that we love. And we really do love these songs. For a group of dudes as grumpy and disenchanted as the four of us, we're really fucking stoked to share this record with you.
If you haven't already, you can hear the first single off of the record here: http://popocculture.co/2016/09/24/young-elk-paper-cuts/
Or you can pre-order the record (due out November 18th on our own imprint Make Records) here: https://youngelk.bandcamp.com/album/the-dark-side-of-the-holy-ghost-digital-pre-order