Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 10th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Making their Mark

event EliquateEliquate dusts off, releases ‘A Chalkboard’s War Against Erasers’

The road to success is littered with obstacles that many artists never overcome. But where others stop and think, Eliquate charges ahead; bumps, scrapes, and the once looming threat of homelessness be damned. “To put it in perspective for you,” says Elliot Wright, lead vocalist/MC, “on our first tour, we left right after getting evicted out of our house … the first, second, and third tour were like that. We came back and were totally, like, shit homeless.”

Lately though, with a national tour under its belt and a new album ready to drop within days, the Santa Cruz based hip-hop outfit seems to be well on its way to success. “We were able to raise $8,000 for our national tour,” bassist Cosmo Stevens says of the online donations from fans. “We most definitely would not have made it without Kickstarter. We went into it knowing that we weren’t gonna get back from the tour being huge rock stars, but at the same time we knew that we needed to go out there and prove that we could. We needed to go out there and plant seeds in all of these places.”

Self-described as “Ratatat meets Atmosphere” or “Red Hot Chili Peppers meets The Roots,” the band—which also features Jamie Schnetzler (guitar/backup vocals), Daniel Wells (drums/backup vocals) and Tanner Christansen (keyboard/samples/monomer)—wins over crowds with its pristine beats and rapid-fire lyrics, melding the energy of a live rock band with the spontaneity of a freestyling MC.

Eliquate’s latest album, A Chalkboard’s War Against Erasers, is a new kind of project for the group, according to Stevens. “This album has been like the culmination of all of our work for the last four years—the most real recording experience we’ve had,” he says, referring to Prairie Sun Recording Studio, where Paul McCartney, Tom Waits, Wu-Tang Clan, and now Eliquate, have all recorded. “When you’re recording at home on your own setup and you jump from that to a multi-million dollar recording studio, you know, the boundaries definitely expand. This place was just unreal.”

“I think this album is just that, it’s an album,” Wright chimes in. “When we recorded it, we kind of made all the songs with the same idea and all followed the same motif or the same theme. And we were a little bit more conscious about how we were gonna execute that. The EP (Who The F*ck is Eliquate?) was just kind of party music. This album still maintains the energy of the EP, but at the same time, it’s more cohesive—down to the name, A Chalkboard’s War Against Erasers.

“It’s sort of an acceptance of mediocrity, but a refusal to not wanna try harder, or try just to make yourself proud,” Wright goes on. “Because, chalk is never gonna win against an eraser, but that’s not the point. It’s the fact that it did exist at one point. Regardless of if the album goes anywhere, if we even get remembered in 20 years, the fact is that this album is an attempt to show that we existed, to encourage other people to attempt to show that they existed as well.”

That unwavering perseverance was exemplified during the inaugural Santa Cruz Music Festival in July, when Stevens fractured his wrist the night before Eliquate was scheduled to take the stage. Rather than let it slow him down, the dedicated bassist ripped off his cast just before the show, played his heart out, and even did a stage dive.

“The beautiful thing about Cosmo’s cast story is that it really reflects how Eliquate has made shit work,” says Wright, “because though we do things the hard way, we still rip our cast off and jump into the crowd no matter what.” 

Eliquate performs at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23 at The Catalyst, 1011 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz. Tickets are $7/adv, $11/door. For more information, call 423-1338.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist