Elliott Brood (often stylized as Elliott BROOD) is a Canadian three-piece, alt-country band formed in 2002 in Toronto, consisting of Mark Sasso on lead vocals, guitar, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, and kazoo, Casey Laforet on guitar, lead vocals, backing v...
Elliott Brood (often stylized as Elliott BROOD) is a Canadian three-piece, alt-country band formed in 2002 in Toronto, consisting of Mark Sasso on lead vocals, guitar, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, and kazoo, Casey Laforet on guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals, bass pedals, keys, and ukulele, and Stephen Pitkin on percussion, sampler, and backing vocals. The band's style has been categorized as "death country", "frontier rock", or "revival music".
Members Mark Sasso and Casey Laforet grew up together in Windsor, and began playing as a band after moving to Toronto following high school. They played their first show in 2002 with two other musicians at Toronto club Holy Joes.
Although the two other musicians dropped out of the band's lineup after only a few shows, Sasso and Laforet continued as a duo, hooking up with producer Stephen Pitkin to record their first EP, Tin Type. Tin Type was recorded over two days in Mark Sasso's living room. The band called the recording space "The Orange Room" because it was painted orange.
The EP was released in January 2004 by weewerk Records, and came packaged in a brown paper bag containing a handmade photobook done in the style of the American Old West.
Pitkin recorded and co-produced Tin Type, but did not officially become a band member until the band released its first LP, Ambassador, on Six Shooter Records in 2005.
Much of Ambassador was recorded by Joe Dunphy in a former abattoir in the Toronto Public Stock Yards, which had been converted to a recording studio called "Monumental Sound". The album was named for the Ambassador Bridge which connects Windsor with Detroit.
The band released its second full length album, Mountain Meadows, in 2008. Mountain Meadows was coproduced with John Critchley at Green Door Studio in Toronto, where the album was also mixed. In keeping with the band's fondness for incorporating unique room tones within the recording, a number of locations across Canada were selected, including Healey Lake Lodge in MacTier, Wayne Town Hall in Wayne, Mount Robson Lodge in Valemount, and Halla Music in Toronto, as well as Casey Laforet's kitchen and Mark's garage. The album was shortlisted for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.
Until June 2008, Pitkin's contribution to Elliott Brood was embellished by his use of a Samsonite "Silhouette" suitcase instead of a conventional bass drum. After pummeling through several cases at inopportune times, he decided to put the idea to rest. This came after a particularly destructive encore on a double bill with United Steel Workers of Montreal at Le Divan Orange club in Montreal. The destroyed case from that show now resides as an art installation on the wall of the Moho Tavern in Peterborough.
In 2010, the band wrote the score for Adriana Maggs' film Grown Up Movie Star. Their song "West End Sky" garnered a Genie Award nomination for Achievement in Music: Original Song.
Paper Bag Records became the band's new record label in June 2011, and released their new album Days Into Years on September 27. Much of the album's content was inspired by a visit to the Étaples Military Cemetery during a tour through France. Days Into Years spent eight consecutive weeks in the top 10 on the National Campus and Community Radio Association's !earshot radio charts, peaking at No. 1 in the folk/roots/blues category, and at No. 5 overall.
After a number of years in Toronto, two members of the band are now based in Hamilton.
Elliott Brood has toured extensively throughout Canada as well as internationally. They have opened for acts including Wilco, War On Drugs, The Head and the Heart, Blue Rodeo, The Black Crowes, Corb Lund, Do Make Say Think, and The Sadies. They also headlined the first "Wood, Wires, and Whisky" tour across Canada in fall 2007, with The Acorn, Sunparlour Players, and Plants and Animals. Elliott Brood has also played at major music festivals such as BBK Festival Bilbao Spain (2014), The Sasquatch Festival (2013), Pickathon in Portland, Oregon (2011/2009), the Olympic Village in Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics in British Columbia.