San Bernardino Sun – March 2006

Jeremy Scherer, Correspondent

When Blake Sennett decided to put his band, The Elected, together, the reason was pretty simple: “I’m a workaholic,” he said.

Sennett is currently devoting most of his energy to The Elected but also splits his time with local area favorites Rilo Kiley. While many would be happy to rest on their laurels when they already signed to a major label and are lucky enough to traipse the globe, Sennett has a different take.

“When I’m away from home, I really miss it. When I get back, I relax and enjoy a bunch of stuff I can’t do on the road. I sit back and play video games for three days or whatever. But after two months, I’m ready to hop on a plane. And that’s why I have to keep doing things. I kind of just freak out if I’m there too long.”

Though he has a relaxed demeanor while being interviewed, Sennett made it clear he does not like wasting time.

“When I made the first record (‘Me First’), that wasn’t really my intention. First, I was recording a few demos at home and I got some help from some buddies and it just became the album. With this one, I was going for the complete opposite of that. I wanted the whole thing done in a certain amount of time. Six months tops. I like to burn both ends of the candle.”

While it might have been rushed, the new effort, “Sun, Sun, Sun,” feels anything but. This is the perfect lazy day album. Its soothing properties come from the California canyon rock of the 1970s, similar to The Band, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, with an occasional pinch of 1950s doo-wop.

Songs like “Did Me Good,” “The Bank and Trust” and “?Biggest Star” all have a sense of mirth about them that will either make fans smirk or cheer along.

Sennett is thankful that he is able to do this project.

“A lot of people ask me about what’s going on with Rilo Kiley. It would be silly not to talk about it. It’s where I come from and it’s where people know me from. With The Elected, I’m just taking a step back from them for a second. Jenny (Lewis, lead singer of Rilo Kiley) is doing her solo thing at the moment. We are both doing something for fun and we are going to come back together really soon to work on the new material for the band.”

On paper, The Elected doesn’t have any permanent members. Sennett explained, “It’s not a band per se. I’ll play some songs for Mike (Bloom) and if he says he likes them, we’ll go from there. I’m really impressed with anyone who can do this type of thing alone. Putting the songs together, playing everything and all of that.”

Multi-instrumentalist Bloom was around for the first album and said about the new one, “I’m always there for him.”

In the case of “Sun, Sun, Sun,” he means that literally. During Rilo Kiley’s last world tour Sennett, along with Bloom, decided to record “Sun, Sun, Sun” whenever they could find time or space.

“I was playing with the band for the shows, and Blake and I would use every opportunity of free time we had,” Bloom said. “While everyone else was out seeing Europe, we were throwing a bed against a wall to muffle the sound so we could work. We decided we had to strike while the iron was hot. Fans were probably expecting another record, the label was interested and we felt the writing process was going really well.

“It’s hard to look back at how we did it. On some levels it was amazingly hard and I would never suggest doing it that way to anyone. But at the same time, it was really fun.”