iNDIE iNNOVATION: Exist Elsewhere

exist_elsewhere_notes Notes & Article by: Stefan Aronsen

My friend Lauren Busley from Schwartz MSL in San Francisco contacted me a couple days ago about interviewing a couple of bands for Macworld’s iNDIE iNNOVATION. To which I casually responded, “HELL YEAH!!!”

She gave me the contact info to the first band, Exist Elsewhere from LA. A few days later we Skype’d and had a great time … however amidst our interview I discovered they were competing against our local love Mister Loveless. It was then I realized we had an amazing battle on our hands. It might be all love in the indie music scene … but I think you and I both know how much SF and LA love competing … IN EVERYTHING!!! However in this interview I am going to be neutral and admit I am excited for both bands! 

I created a series of questions for both bands. The goal of my questions was to find out what the bands are doing that works or perhaps doesn’t. Ultimately my hope is to help other bands experience the same success!

Hello Exist Elsewhere! So what are the names of each person in the band?

Noah Benardout – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Luke Walton – Lead guitar, Vocals, Keyboards 
Brandon Woodward – Drums, Vocals
Nick Petrou – Bass, Vocals, Keyboards

How did you find out about the indie innovation competition and macworld/iworld. 

Our manager discovered iNDIE iNNOVATION while reviewing opportunities on Sonicbids.

What apple tools do you use most? Is there one you couldn’t live without?

We use our iPhones all the time for:

  • Communicating & Scheduling Rehearsals
  • Recording Song Ideas
  • Social Networking
  • Sending Visual References and Inspirations

We use our iPads daily for:

  • Creating Loops, Beats and Synth Sounds For Our Music

We use our computers for:

  • Sharing larger files and storing our music via airdrop, public folder sharing and dropbox.

We couldn’t live without out any of the above! Also super important to the creation of our music are the number of apps we regularly use.  We constantly combine and experiment with Reason, Maschine, Spacelab, NLog MIDI Synth, Beatwave, Animoog, Synth, SoundPrism Pro, Bloom and finally SynthStation

Do you have apple products on stage with you?

Yes and we have really custom-made stands for our iPads and iPhones too. We use our iPad for several songs for synth sounds and loop control. We use our laptop for drum loop control patched into our drum machine. Our drummer uses his iPhone to play a click track via the app tempo. We are developing using our laptop for streaming purposes too

What song would you say best encompasses your desire to define the sound of your generation?

One of our new songs called “Tokyo”. We’ll be playing this at Macworld and going into the studio that following week to record it as part of our new ep.

You’ve been together since July 2012. How did you form the band?

Noah, originally a solo artist, had been given a prestigious residency at the Hard Rock Cafe, hollywood and decided to form a band around those series of shows. On the recommendation of Chris Sampson the dean of the popular music program at USC, Noah met luke. Luke brought in Brandon and nick two other students also on the program. There was an instant chemistry and desire to make this band more than just a fad, to make it a business, a brand and hopefully a job for life!

What have been the biggest challenges?

Coordinating schedules!  But we have navigated it successfully so far with a lot of late nights and a lot of driving!

I was informed that you all have roles off the stage, who is responsible for what?

Yes, very true, Noah and Brandon deal with all the image and look of the band. Luke deals with the social networking. Nick deals with the business and marketing. Collectively and individually we all write songs.

Do you get together and plan.

Every day we communicate via email, text message, phone, Facebook group. Every week we have a dedicated band conference call. We have a dedicated band round table meeting every other week. Every couple of weeks we plan at least one social get together. Once a month we have a full business plan review

How did you create your persona? Your overall look for stage, web, cds?

Noah and Brandon are constantly sharing visual imagery and reference from extensive research online and through various recommendations. We have a great team of professionals that we constantly consult, including a fantastic graphic designer named Sarah Oh, a super cool merch company called Rapt Clothing. We also have sponsor support from Floyd’s 99 Barbershop and RVCA Clothing.

How do you currently promote your band?

Through a number of strategic social network platforms. Some examples include, Sonicbids to find gigs and opportunities and as a mode of sending out our EPK. We use Facebook ads to promote projects and to create new fans. We also use Facebook to stay in touch with our existing fan-base. We use Fanbridge to keep our fans and business contacts with up to date information and breaking news. Our website is used to aggregate our current successes and development. Twitter and Instagram are fun for updates and to capture images that float our boat. There a few other tools we use such as Tumblr and Soundcloud and as we said earlier, we try to use a business approach to strategize and keep the flow of information relevant and direct to specific areas of our fan-base and business contacts. 

What has been the best way to plug-in to the industry around you? (Other bands, industry folk, fans)

We always try to stay on top of current trends and emerging music through recommendations, blogs and radio play.  We love: HypemachineRolling Stone, Kings of A&R, Smoke Don’t Smoke, Buzzbands la, BBC Introducing, Beatport and KCRW Music Blog just to name a few.

We also love to see a lot of shows and events, we use this as an opportunity to engage as many industry people and other artists as possible and to get advice and information about the scene. We aren’t overly proud and we appreciate others advice on what it takes to be great.

What is your favorite venue to play in la?

We’ve played a number of really great shows here in LA these past few months, including some classic venues such as: The Roxy, The Viper Room, The House of Rock, Tommy’s Place @ USC.  

What venue do you want to play, but haven’t?

We’d love to play the Troubadour and House of Blues next. As to our wish list, that pretty much encompasses a number of great arenas: La Live, The Gibson Amphitheater, The Staples Center, The Wiltern and The Greek to name but a few.

Are there any bands that you love that we should watch for? Perhaps from la or sf?

We are in touch and friendly with a number of other “bubbling under” bands. Currently we are excited about two bands from USC: Bear Attack & Mora Mora.


(See full notes here: link)


Exist Elsewhere will be playing with Mister Loveless at iNDIE iNNOVATION Thursday, January 31: 4:00pm – 5:00pm Moscone Center West, Room 2005. I hope to see you there!


For more on Exist Elsewhere you can visit the links below:

Created July 2012

Genre Indie-Rock

Members Noah Benardout – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Luke Walton – Lead guitar, Vocals, Keyboards 
Brandon Woodward – Drums, Vocals
Nick Petrou – Bass, Vocals, Keyboards

Hometown Los Angeles, California

Record Label Unsigned

General Manager Marc Benardout

Influences Coldplay, U2, The Beatles, Mother Mother, John Mayer, Radiohead, Doves, Eric Clapton, Robbie Williams, Stereophonics, Kraftwerk, Sigur Ros + many many more!

Current Location Los Angeles, California
 stefan_aronsen_sf_intercom So what do you think? I’d love your feedback!– Stefan

Stefan Aronsen

Stefan Aronsen

Band Aid, Art Director & CEO at SF INTERCOM see his design portfolio at Stefan Aronsen
Stefan Aronsen is a graphic designer that specializes in helping bands & brands become more viable utilizing his 5 P's - Plan, Personify, Promote, Plug-in, Play.
Stefan Aronsen
Stefan Aronsen
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