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Eliquate- A Chalkboard’s War Against Erasers

by Mat Weir


Eliquate“A lot of attention is given to the ‘best of the best’ or the ‘worst of the worst,’ contemplates Elliot Wright, front man and lyricist for Eliquate, about their debut full-length, A Chalkboard’s War Against Erasers (ACWAE) which dropped on August 20th. “But a majority of people don’t fall under either of those categories, so our album is a celebration of the average person.”


For those who haven’t heard the name Eliquate, here’s a recap. The five-piece group has been rocking the Santa Cruz, California music scene since 2009, blending hip hop, funk, rock, punk and everything in-between for a sound that is truly all their own.


“Every single show, we have someone telling us they love our ‘ska/reggae sound,” laughs guitar player and beat-maker, Jamie Schnetzler. “Then the next person says it’s a great mix of hip hop and jazz and I think, ‘Wait, you guys were at the same show?’”

Wright met Schnetzler, one day as Schnetzler was eating some questionable-looking Chinese food.


As Wright tells it, “I asked him if it was any good, he said, ‘yes.’ I tried it, it was, and I’ve trusted him ever since.”


The two began collaborating on several tracks, quickly incorporating Dan Wells on drums, Cosmo Stevens on bass, and later, Tanner Christiansen on keyboard.


EliquateThey have since played several sold-out shows at the Catalyst (including the Santa Cruz Music Festival last July), a couple West Coast tours and finished their first national tour earlier this year. Not bad for a fledgling band who’s first recording was a five track E.P., Who the F*ck Is Eliquate?,  released in January 2012.


“Being out on the road really reminds you what life, and living, are all about,” explains Wells from behind his drum kit. “Which goes back to the album [title]. We have a very short amount of time in life, and in the long run we are very insignificant. However, that short amount of time is all we get.”


One wouldn’t expect a hip hop/funk/rock album by a bunch of post-college, 20 something year olds from the Digital Generation to be a mind teaser about the philosophy of syntax, literature, perseverance and the moments of self-deprecation before the inner phoenix rises again. Yet, ACWAE is tightly packed with tune after tune that draws the listener in and demands active listening.


“In the end,” Schnetzler summates “This is the first real showcasing of what we can do, and what we will do. This is us.”


You can purchase A Chalkboard’s War Against Erasers at iTunes, Amazon, or on the band’s site, Eliquate.com.


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