This Friday, the Beatles vs. Stones benefit at the Loft will showcase thirteen artists in a battle of the bands that features music by two of the greatest rock bands of all time. Eliot Bronson will be performing his renditions of popular songs, and Alex May talked with him about the event.
You’re playing a battle of the bands performing Beatles and Rolling Stones songs to benefit poverty and homelessness around Georgia. How did you become involved in the project?
I’ve done several fundraisers for Poverty Is Real and donated songs to their compilation CDs over the past few years. They do great work in the community so I’m always happy to help out.
As a songwriter, are there specific things that you have picked up from listening to the Beatles or the Rolling Stones that have aided you in your craft?
You probably couldn’t avoid the influence of these bands if you tried. I love how The Beatles never stopped pushing themselves to grow as artists. They could have easily kept churning out they same kind of material that worked for them in the past, but they never did. The work just continued to deepen and mature with each record.
In performing covers of famous songs, to what degree do you feel it is important to remain true to the original recording?
I don’t think it’s important unless you’re a cover band. You’re not going to do a song BETTER than The Beatles or The Stones, so you might as well make it your own. There really aren’t any rules in art. Or their shouldn’t be.
Do you feel that there are any artists today that have a fan-based rivalry similar to that of the Beatles and the Stones?
I’m not sure there ever was a real rivalry, but I don’t know. Their seems to be a lot of that in Hip Hop, but I don’t pay that much attention to what’s popular anyway. I just keep my head down and write songs.
The climate of the music industry is very different than it was when these bands first rose to stardom. What modern factors do you find important in getting your music discovered, and do you think that today’s music environment offers an advantage?
It’s easier than ever to make your art and share it with the world. That’s definitely an advantage on some level. But if the Beatles or The Stones were just starting out today, I doubt they would even get signed by a major label. In the end it’s impossible to say what’s better or worse though. We tend to think very short term when it comes to music. We’re used to the idea of great painters, authors and other artists not being appreciated in their own time. We’ve just gotten used to the idea that great musicians are supposed to be superstars. Maybe that time is over. Maybe it will return. For lots of reasons the sixties and seventies were a golden-age in popular music that allowed for incredible artists like The Beatles, The Stones, and many more to develop and thrive.
And finally: Beatles or Stones?
Of course they’re both great, but… Beatles. Definitely Beatles.
Thanks to Eliot Bronson to taking the time to talk with us, and make sure to see him at the Beatles vs. Stones concert on December 13th!