Robin Eckman – Drums
Jim Cullen – Bass, Vocals
Pat Wescott – Guitar, Vocals
Influences: Mike Patton, Guided by Voices, XTC, Skeleton Key, Elliott Smith, Sparklehorse, Jesus Lizard
Notable Bands Played with: Don Caballero (Touch and Go), Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So’s (Epic), Film School (Beggars Banquet), Medications (Dischord) , Army of Me (Doghouse)
Notable Venues played (partial list): The Talking Head Club (Baltimore), The 8x10 Club (Baltimore), Fletcher’s (Baltimore), Mojo 13 (Wilmington), The North Star Bar (Philadelphia), The Khyber (Philadelphia), Danger Danger (Philadelphia), Niagara Bar (NYC)
Discography: “Exchanging Gifts” (2006), “Hail Cannon” (2009), “Fireside Chats” (2106)
After spending a few years playing drums in several different San Francisco bands, Robin Eckman moved back to his hometown of Annapolis, Md. , in 2005. He looked up former high school friend Jim Cullen and they began working out riffs which would form the framework of the first Elder Statesmen album, Exchanging Gifts. Jim recruited fellow co-worker and guitarist/vocalist Pat Wescott while the two were working together at the Paul Reed Smith guitar factory in Stevensville, MD. Thorougly impressed by demos of Jim and Rob’s frenetic , technical style, Pat told Jim, “This stuff is awesome but I’m not a metal guy.” Jim replied, “We’re not looking for a metal guy.” Pat added his indie-rock pop sauce and in just a few short weeks, they recorded an EP which would later bloom into a full release. They began playing high-energy shows throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Exchanging Gifts & Hail Cannon both received accolades from American Songwriter magazine, as well as several prominent online blogs.
After spending many weekends in Jim’s brother Ryan’s studio, they finished their next release, Hail Cannon in January of 2009. Full of experimentation (pots, pans, backwards sound effects) and sonic textures (samples, old pianos, acoustic guitar) the Statesmen combined the thunderous rhythm section of their first release with pop hooks, hand claps and harmonies to produce an album that they simply find hard to describe.
In 2014, the band got together to work on some new material and quickly found themselves with a handful of new songs. This materialized into the bands third studio release Fireside Chats, which continues to combine the ferocity and pop elements of the first two records in a more refined and succinct style.
American Songwriter Magazine (2007) – “Occasionaly an album is really good enough to drive your imagination away from the iTunes display and straight to the possibilities of the stage…the Statesmen triumph in the tradition of forefathers Shudder to Think, Jane’s Addiction and (oddly) Steely Dan with a shockingly addictive mix of pop melody and explosive performance.”
Onlinerock.com (2007) – “The easiest thematic comparison is probably to Modest Mouse's more discordant (yet still melodic) offerings, yet repeated listening here offer up many more worthy comparisons; influences as varied as King Crimson, Primus, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, XTC and Jane's Addiction come through clearer and clearer the more you sink your teeth into this meaty piece of music.”
Prognaut.com (2007) –“ I just can't get enough of Elder Statesmen, they satisfy two things I love about music…. Memorable melodies and complex song structures. In many ways they do more in short, more concise songs than some of the bands that force out 20 plus minute epics.”
Philadelphia Weekly (2009) – “Elder Statesmen’s sophomore album Hail Cannon combines those disparate influences into 37 minutes of crunchy riffs, epic choruses and thoughtful, personal lyrics. Songs are alternately tight and meandering, resulting in alt-rock anthems punctuated by loose, psychedelic hazes and thrashing drum beats.”