Electric Breakfast first performed as Stockholm Down for C Lot, April 2013 and débuted as Electric Breakfast at the Winter Park Pub in April, 2014. When they kicked off the C Lot lineup in 2013, bass player Kery Harrelson said he didn’t “think anyone was quite aware of what we were all about, certainly not Andy Straus” (who had been asleep in a van backstage after a late performance the night before). “He crawled out of the van just about the time we were finishing, saying ‘There ain’t nothing like a little electric breakfast.’”
by Cynthia McCoy, This Side of Berthoud
It is Electric Breakfast’s pleasure to serve up its debut album “Over Easy”, and the metaphorical “spread” has got some bite to it. A CD release party is set to heat up the Ullrs Tavern stage in Winter Park Saturday night, May 13.
Robert “Elroy” Guy, “Kery O” Harrelson, Corey “Albacore” Saines, and Scotty “Hicks Six Six” — they are the men who leave the world behind in an electric storm of punk, metal and rock … for “Second Chances”, … “Hellbound” (on an escalator), and on a “Warpath” of sorts. There may be “Bloodshed”, but they definitely won’t fall for “That Girl” again.
Harrelson describes their style as “satirical cheese metal with a dash of punk and whatever else we might find in the spice cabinet.” The new album — a tasty buffet of heartbreak and world strife, with a meaty side — started out as a simple “demo” recording for general promotion.
Electric Breakfast “whittled away at the tracks” for a couple years, let them simmer then come to a rolling boil, and uncovered enough material for at least two more helpings (one if you’re ravenous like they are as musicians).
Saines wrote most of the songs for the album, with each of the other members blending in his sizzling personality. He pictured “Hellraiser-type stories” when he wrote “The Man Who Left the World Behind”. It is a “classic tale,” he explains, in which a guy joins with Satan for power, and is “damned to hell.”
“Bloodshed” may seem like a “pro-war/anger song,” he said, “but is the exact opposite. This is a song of peace and questioning why mankind always returns to bloodshed.” On the other hand, “Warpath”, Saines said, “is exactly what it sounds like.” The same logic applies to song “Second Chances,” which is about a guy who proposes a “second go-around.”
Saines said “I Slew the Beast” was “possibly the song that grew and improved the most from the process of making the album.” It is about “an arrogant (‘mid-evil’, he jokes) hero (who) saves his village from a mythical-like creature.”
“Fool’s Bi***” was his “‘bring on the heartbreak’ (song),” he said. (He admits he loves Def Leppard-like arpeggio ballads.) “Hellbound” is another of his favorite songs, with its “verse riffs” and moving lyrics. He said it has “this testifying kind-of feel where the subject is facing his demons literally. There are times when most of us will be raising our hands in a church prayer/fan gesture just from hearing that chorus.”
“Sh*tstorm” was his contribution to the punk side of the band (mostly to appease Guy and Harrelson’s wishes). Song “That Girl” “had the hardest journey,” Saines said, explaining “having to fight and gut that one out,” with a “band-wide tweaking.” Now it has become “another band favorite.”
Demons chase and torture a group of people in song “Run For Your Life”, until it is revealed they were just on a downward spiral from bad decisions. Harrelson helped a lot with a rewrite of the lyrics.
Another early favorite is “Witch Doctor,” in which Saines took Harrelson’s advice to stop making so much sense. Saines said “There’s a story here, but it’s beautifully confusing.”
He wanted to “mash up speed-metal with blues,” he said about “Escalator to Hell”. “In some early house-party gigs, the crowd loved ‘Escalator to Hell’ and usually made us play it twice because of how fast it is and how fun it is to mosh to,” he said. “Then there’s this sweet jerky riff and progression that lands us into slow blues pretty-(darn) smoothly where Elroy yells in deep blues about that ‘WOMAN!’.”
The album was mixed and mastered by a friend of Hicks: Jeremiah Pilbeam, White Elephant Records. Hicks has always wanted to write an album with Pilbeam (who produced Hicks’ last two).
With his robust flavor, Guy is the energetic front man for the group, playing guitar and singing lead vocals. His father dabbled in classical guitar and Elroy started lessons in fourth grade (he also plays mandolin).
“There is nothing like establishing a connection with other musicians and coming up with a tasty jam,” and connecting with those who enjoy the music, Elroy Guy says. “It is an honor and a privilege when that happens.” In college, he and a friend started band Habitual Sex Offenders in a storage room behind a comic book store, which his friend owned. They needed to record a demo and started their own label Chicken Ranch Records. The friend continues the label to this day and Guy hopes to work with him again soon.
Guy discovered Grand County in the ‘90s, when he came to the area with friends on a road trip. After moving here permanently, his musical adventures led to Tasty Home Cookin’. He also has veteran performances at Save the Fraser’s education celebration Riverstock (as Aunt Bunny’s Mustache) and the end-of-season celebration at the C Lot at Mary Jane Ski Area (with Electric Breakfast emerging first as Stockholm Down in 2013).
It is with Tasty Home Cookin’ that Guy met Saines, who had come to Grand County after he fled New Jersey for Denver, Colo., realizing he “moved west for the mountains, not for I-25 … .”
Saines said being lead guitarist for Electric Breakfast is a major honor for him, and that most of their material runs “through a few cliché themes” (like “evil woman doing me wrong” a.k.a. “That Girl”). His favorite: “exploring the shallowness of our present society while suggesting Buddhist perspectives of attentual alternatives.”
“Honestly, I have no idea how I surrounded myself with these three incredible musicians and great friends,” he said, “yet our musical communication with each other is incredibly precise.”
Harrelson started playing music in college (after a friend broke into his house, woke him up “at the crack of noon one day by throwing an old steel-neck Applause guitar at me (still in bed) yelling, ‘Learn it!’,” he said.) “I guess he got tired of me saying, ‘I don’t think that’s the right note’ sometimes when he would play.” He plays bass for Electric Breakfast, and also has a guitar, resonator, mandolin, and is “still trying to figure out” a dulcimer.
Guy and Harrelson met in college in Louisiana, where they grew up. Harrelson moved to the Fraser Valley around the same time Guy had, coerced by another friend who skipped town for Winter Park after a run-in with the law. (It’s an intriguing fugitive story, involving ghost hunts, and an unfair criminal trespass charge). “I picked up the dog,” Harrelson said, “a guitar, a small bag of not-nearly-warm-enough clothes and we left the next afternoon.”
He and Guy didn’t even know they had moved to the same area of Colorado; they wound up staying at the same friend’s house. Harrelson also lived in Guy’s basement for a while and the two would play often. (The colleagues performed a bit as the Minstrel Cramps.)
“Eventually Scotty showed up,” Harrelson said. He jokes, “Core must’ve smelled that he was a drummer because it didn’t take too long for the two to show up with gear at my house.” Harrelson said those jams were pretty scrambled, “but there was an aftertaste of something that could be.”
Hicks hails from Michigan and was a self-taught percussion man since his early teens (he also writes songs on guitar, piano, harmonica, and bass). He is the drummer for Electric Breakfast (and with local bands Hotter ‘n’ Grits and Hunker Down), and says he’s more of “an idea guy” (than songwriter) for the band.
“These guys are way easy to work with and allow our songs to shift/evolve as ideas come,” Hicks said. “(It’s) A breath of fresh air. We are different. We are goofy, satirical, but in the end, we hope to deliver solid performances.”
Freelance journalist Cynthia McCoy
Local journalist Cynthia McCoy inspires to cover any and all art forms in Grand County (culinary, performance, media, and musical). She grew up in Hot Sulphur Springs and worked for Grand County Publishing (Sky-Hi News, Winter Park Manifest, Middle Park Times, and daily tribunes) for almost a decade. Her current passions flow freely into This Side of Berthoud, a division of Slopeside Productions. There is a calendar updated daily on its FaceBook page, and the company is currently putting together a third compilation CD.