The Elegant Few: Get Out of Your Seats and Move and Grove

We recently had the chance to sit down with Marc Carter with The Elegant Few about their crazy busy world.

EGuide: Is there a story behind the name of your band?

Marc: It is rather unique. In all honesty, it just kind of came to Raymond Stanford and myself. Our original intention was to inject a level of class into this particular version of the cover band formula so the name ended up being perfect on a couple different levels. Also over the years, I’ve heard from countless people that it is a name that sticks out, which is always a win-win.

EGuide: Who is in the band and what do they play or do? How many members are there total?

Marc: There are four members total in the band, starting with Ivan who is the lead singer. Raymond Stanford is the lead guitarist and does vocals. Myself, Marc Carter, plays the bass guitar; and David Perry is the drummer.

EGuide: What genre of music do you consider your band to play?

Marc: Well, you’ve seen us a few times, so you know we cover the spectrum: from 70’s funk to 80’s rock to current day dance music. We also do plenty of various other classics that get bodies on the floor dancing. That is always our goal – to get everyone out having fun and dancing!

EGuide: Where is everyone from?

Marc: Raymond and David are both from Athens, and Ivan and myself are from Tyler.

EGuide: How did you guys all meet? There must be cool connections.

Marc: I worked in a nightclub where Raymond and David’s previous band played. The club was called The Down Under Pub and Grub in Tyler. We became fast friends, and after their band broke up, I posted something on Facebook about wanting to start a band. Raymond called, and the rest is history. Raymond discovered Ivan at an open mic night and a week later he auditioned for Raymond and I in the backseat of Raymond’s truck. He fit right in and was a perfect fit with the band. Even though Ivan had never been in a band before, his mother was a local performer in the Tyler area for years and was very well known and loved, so Ivan had a foundation of musicianship. We’ve been together since December of 2010, so we are right at 7 years.

EGuide: How did everyone get started?

Marc: Ivan has been singing since he was a young child, and the rest of us started our journey at around 11 or 12 years old.

EGuide: Describe a live show for someone who hasn’t had the honor of seeing you guys.

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Marc: Our number one goal since day one is “to bring a party to whatever stage we are on.” Nothing makes us happier than seeing a room full of people having a good time dancing their hearts out. We bring the party! We pride ourselves in keeping the dance floor filled. Our shows are high energy at the highest!

EGuide: I see your set list is all covers, what sound are you guys going for?

Marc: Our set list was based on combining decades of songs that are known for making people dance. Our goal is for everyone attending our shows to get out of their seats and move and groove to the music. We try to separate our sound as a band from the sound of the original song, but we try and stay pretty true to the original by projecting a level of energy that we feel sets us apart from other bands performing the same songs.

EGuide: Any CD’s, albums, or EP’s out?

Marc: We do not. The Elegant Few is strictly a working, performing, cover band although don’t be surprised if you see something in the future from members of the band separately.

EGuide: What is your favorite song to perform and why?

Marc: Because I am a rock ‘n’ roll and heavy metal guy at heart, “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol is one of the songs that we play that I get to get my rock ‘n’ roll out.

EGuide: What does Tyler and your Tyler fans mean to you?

Marc: We love seeing our family, friends, and everyone else enjoying our shows. We have definitely been blown away by the amount of support Tyler has shown us since day one. We are always excited to play in our hometown of Tyler.

EGuide: Anywhere that you simply love or that stands out that you have played?

Marc: The Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas is a stand out for us. It’s a very famous nightclub, and it is extremely hard to get on stage there. That makes it a very humbling place to play. We have played there multiple times over the years.

EGuide: What has been the biggest challenge as a band to overcome?

Marc: In all honesty, we haven’t had much to overcome throughout the years. All of our personalities gelled from the beginning, and our business model provided a clear trajectory for us to work toward. We’ve been ‘grinding’ since day one, and we’ve only succeeded more and more every year.

EGuide: What advice would you offer people who are just starting out, either individually or as a band?

Marc: Even part time, this life ain’t for everyone, but you definitely have to work hard and play a lot.

EGuide: If you could pick one band to see live, living or dead, who would it be?

Marc: I can’t speak for the rest of my bandmates, but as for myself, Pink Floyd On The Dark Side of the Moon tour.

EGuide: What was the first album you remember purchasing?

Marc: Easy one: “Pearl Jam 10.”

EGuide: What piece of music equipment can you simply not live without?

Marc: My Ernie Ball Stingray Music Man Five String Bass, which is my absolute baby. Also, a close second is my Jean Larrivee Acoustic Guitar.

EGuide: If I was to turn on your playlist, what song will it show you have played the most?

Marc: “Suicide Silence,” you only live once.

EGuide: 10 years from now, what would you like to be doing?

Marc: Well like I said, we all have day jobs and families, but I’m pretty sure in the near future you’ll be seeing a few of us playing somewhere doing a rock ‘n’ roll/ heavy metal/ classic rock project. But who knows what the future will hold.

EGuide: Anything else you would like people to know about you guys?

Marc: One fun fact is that our drummer David Perry is actually an extraordinarily accomplish bassist and has played bass in numerous bands. He has actually refreshed and relearned his drumming skills for this band. I personally was a guitar player for 18 years and learned to play the bass for this band, so that’s relatively interesting I presume.

EGuide: Anyone you want to thank or acknowledge?

Marc: Our families and all of our awesome fans from Tyler. If they weren’t out there dancing, we wouldn’t be up on the stage playing.

Upcoming performances:

  • March 18th at Lago del Pino, 14706 County Road 1134, Tyler
  • April 22nd at Lago del Pino, 14706 County Road 1134, Tyler

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