Eurovision

Elephants From Neptune: “It’s best not to reveal all your cards before a classic rock showdown” [Interview]

Once again Estonia is using its popular Eesti Laul format to select not only Estonia’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, but as a showcase for local talent. With the grand final tomorrow, we took one last opportunity to speak to the contestants, and today we hear what Jon Mikiver from Elephants From Neptune has to say.

escXtra: Hey! Thanks for taking some time to speak to us today! Firstly we’d like to congratulate you all on your qualification to the semi-finals of Eesti Laul 2015! For those of us who aren’t so familiar with you, can you please introduce yourself and tell us your role in the band?

Jon Mikiver: My name is Jon Mikiver and I am the soul behind the beat aka the drummer. I also write some of the lyrics to our songs.

Rain, Robert, Markko & Jon
Rain, Robert, Markko & Jon

X: How did you all come together to form the band?

J: Well basically me and the guitarist Markko aka The Birdman we’re performing as a rock duo and Robert (singer, guitarist) and Rain (bass) were doing their own thing. Somehow the universe drew us together, we decided to jam and have been flying on that high ever since.

X: Elephants from Neptune is a rather interesting name, how did you decide to call yourselves that?

J: Let’s just say.. what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

X: Where were you and how did you feel when you found out that you had made it to the Semi-Finals of Eesti Laul? Who found out first?

J: If I remember correctly, we were doing a concert in Helsinki, Finland. They announced the winners on television, so we got to watch it through the internet. As we had to go on stage in a matter of minutes, the overall emotion was “Oh, that’s cool. Now let’s go do what we’re supposed to do.”

X:  Was your song “Unriddle Me” made specifically with Eesti Laul in mind?

J: It was not made specifically for the contest, it was just the only song from our new album “Pressure & Pleasure” that was under three minutes.

X: In your own words, what is your song “Unriddle Me” about?

J: The point of the song is wanting to find somebody so perfect who can make you feel good and unriddle your inner mysteries/demons.

X: How would you describe the “sound” of Elephants from Neptune?

J: Raw, dirty and has everything you need to have a good time.

X: This year there is a direct 50/50 split between Eesti Laul songs in English and in Estonian. Why have you chosen to sing in English and would you record an Estonian version?

J: Well, it’s pretty obvious. It’s just the most popular language in modern music. Why would we want to narrow our chances of getting somewhere when out of the seven billion people in the world, only 1,5 million speak Estonian. Don’t get us wrong, Estonian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. And if someone asked, I don’t see why not record an Estonian version. Just for the laughs, ‘cause it would most definitely sound weird.

X: Can you give us a hint as to what we might expect to see from your live stage performance? Will it vary from your semi-final performance at all?

J: It’s best not to reveal all your cards before a classic rock showdown.

X: Participation in Eesti Laul means many things to many people. Why did you enter Eesti Laul 2015 and what do you hope to achieve from the contest?

J: Eesti Laul has a lot of media coverage. We’re hoping to introduce our music to new people.

X:  What are your feelings on the fact that if you win you will be representing your nation at Eurovision in Vienna in May?

J: It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

X: Are you Eurovision fans, and if so do you have any favourite Eurovision songs? Perhaps a favourite Estonian entry?

J: Well.. I don’t really watch it, but I know that we won back in 2001. That was a big deal back then for a small country like us.

X: Now some questions to get to know you a little better, how did you spend your most recent birthday?

J: I was with some of my closest friends at the place I love the most.

Jon, Robert & Whiskey
Jon, Robert & Whiskey

X: Can you tell us a secret about yourself that very few people know?

J: No.

X: Do you have a favourite alcoholic beverage?

J: Whiskey.

X: Where is your favourite place in Estonia and/or where would you recommend someone visiting Estonia go see?

J: Estonia is very rich in nature. I would recommend just driving around this beautiful country, stopping where ever you feel the urge to. If you enjoy the city more, I’d recommend walking around in Tallinn’s old town. It’s also very beautiful.

X: What is your favourite food to cook?

J: I’d say pasta, ‘cause I make one hell of a pasta.

X: If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you choose?

J: A dog. I wouldn’t want to have a pet that doesn’t naturally suit the human environment.

X: What is your favourite colour?

J: Black.

X: Finally, do you have a message for our readers?

J: Keep supporting bands and music that you love. And know that for us, you’re never a fan, you’re part of the family.

Elephants From Neptune take part in Eesti Laul’s grand final tomorrow evening with the song ‘Unriddle Me’ which you can hear below. On behalf of everyone at escXtra we would like to thank Jon for his time time and wish him and the band all the best in the contest and with whatever comes next.

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Liam Clark

I am a founding editor of escXtra who now works as a member of the Estonian Delegation's Press Team. Even though my Xtra days are behind me, I still like writing the odd piece here and there. P.S vote for Estonia 😘 🇪🇪 ❤️

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