Elephants of Scotland is the brain child of multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Rabin, who took upon the challenge in 2010 to start a progressive rock project in Burlington, Vermont; a place better known for jam bands, cows and maple syrup.
After a year of the usual growing pains that include writing original music and finding the right combination of musicians that could work together and share a common vision, he settled on the talents of Ornan McLean - drums, Dan MacDonald - bass and John "Lefty" Whyte - guitars, with everyone contributing to lead and back-up vocal duties except for McLean who thinks drummers shouldn't sing.
EOS released their debut album Home Away from Home in the spring of 2013 which was met with positive reviews and praise from the international progressive rock community for which the band was previously relatively oblivious. On the strength of this album alone and with very few gigs under their belts, they were invited to play the prestigious three-day international progressive rock festival RoSfest in Gettysburg, PA in 2014.
With a year to prepare for that show and not wanting to rest on their laurels, EOS got to work on new material and put together a recording studio where they could work at their own steady and measured pace. The goal was to release a more mature and powerful album prior to making their appearance at RoSfest. They accomplished this with the self-produced sophomore release Execute and Breathe in the spring of 2014.
Shifting gears to rehearsing and playing a few shows as dress rehearsals, EOS opened the Saturday roster of bands at RoSfest at the acclaimed Majestic Theater with a blistering 90-minute show that included most of their two albums and ending with an unexpected standing ovation. Two days later EOS opened up for the amazing Swedish band Beardfish at the New Jersey Prog House Music Series at Roxy and Dukes in Dunellen, NJ.
These shows set the stage for what the band could do and provided the exposure they needed to launch their career and reputation as a contender in this lauded genre of music for which they are honored to be considered members of and that include many of the bands that have inspired them.
Through the internet, word of mouth, the quality of their albums and the power of their performances, they have a growing fan base around the world and are selling their music and merchandise as far away as Europe, Asia, South America, Mexico, Japan, the UK, Iran, India and Russia.
Elephants of Scotland plan to keep working, playing and sharing their music with the world and will release a live DVD of their RoSfest concert and an accompanying live album later in 2014.
Dan MacDonald - bass, vocals
Dan played in bands in the Connecticut and Boston area music scene throughout the late 1980s and into the early '90s. He put down the bass for 12 years and could no longer resist the call to "slappa da bass." Bass and performing music had been missing from his life long enough. Enter, ELEPHANTS OF SCOTLAND!
Dan believes in playing with everything he's got, crankin' it up and giving the crowd a solid show. Dan plays a Geddy Lee Fender Jazz played through an Ampeg SVT 450 and 410 HLF cab.
Ornan McLean - drums
Ornan has been playing drums in rock bands for the past 20 years with barely a break in between and is currently playing in Hot Neon Magic (80's covers), Dirty Blondes (punk) and Elephants of Scotland (progressive rock). Judging from his varied musical career and current projects, Ornan will play just about anything (that country band thing just didn't work out), but his primary musical influences are rooted in the progressive rock genre of the ‘70s. So landing in a band where he can do roundhouse rolls without complaints and write grooves in odd time that he can't remember is just about the perfect place for him to continue exploring his musical journey. Ornan has three drum kits of various makes and models.
Adam Rabin - vocals, keyboards
Adam brings the hooks and innovation from his long-time studio pop project Mailbox to feed his need for Prog Rock with Elephants of Scotland. Adam plays a Roland Juno-G with a Roland Lucina AX09 keytar so he can strut around the stage like the cool kids or look all bad ass with an imposing stack of keyboards.
John Whyte - guitar, vocals
Founding and only member of Lefty and the Left-outs, John has been harassing people with his playing since 1977, performing throughout New England and even New Jersey. Viciously saddled with having to perform "Safety Dance" with Hot Neon Magic, John has searched for ways to enact his sonic wrath and has finally found it (the Batman thing didn't work out but that's another story). John is a Line 6 advocate bringing the gospel of the James Tyler Variax and HD500 to the affected masses.
Greg Skillman - lyricist
Musician and songwriter Greg Skillman has played in bands of many styles for the past 25 years. He's collaborated with Adam Rabin in the bands Magpie, Mailbox and Mahout, and was invited to wordsmith for his new project. As a lyricist for Elephants of Scotland, he draws upon the fantastical and mystical, while never abandoning the actuality of humanity. He finds inspiration from sources that span the gamut from esoteric tarot to quantum physics to David Letterman. His other current project, Neb Crabula, is hard-edged absurdist rock-n-roll, with a debut EP due out by the end of the summer.