Yelephants to headline One Eyed Jacks for the first time

Julia Engel, Contributing Reporter

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The student-comprised band Yelephants will perform 9 p.m. Saturday at One Eyed Jack’s, accompanied by Loyola University New Orleans bands Donovan Wolfington and Pope.

The band, which consists of Jack Hardy, Mike Benson, Robert Tornillo and Jeremy Herbsman, has been together since early in its members’ sophomore year at Tulane. Saturday marks the band’s third time at One Eyed Jack’s, this performance will be the band’s first time headlining and playing with other bands the members know personally. Yelephants first made an appearance at the Toulouse Street venue with FIDLAR and then again with the band’s personal hero, Julian Casablancas. 

In 2011, the band only consisted of Jack Hardy and Robert Tornillo.

“It was just me and Robert writing a bunch of stuff, like literally anything that worked,” Hardy said. “It was really bad. Really bad music. We’ve done our best to hide those from the Internet.”

Though Yelephants’ sound is constantly evolving, its song “Kermit” from the most recent EP, “You Look Divorced,” serves as a catalyst for its most current musical style.

“We realized that was a good direction to go in. And then it just started to work out and then we just tried to be FIDLAR for a while, but we’re not punk enough,” Hardy said.

Benson and Hardy had a hard time describing the band.

“A fast pop band for drunk people, but we also described it as ‘b**** punk’ for a while … ” Hardy said. “It’s just whatever happens.”

The band does not hide its inspiration. Punk sounds emanate all over the “You Look Divorced” extended play where grungy and gritty overtones hang loose above the soft lo-fi recordings.

The band’s live shows, however, are a completely different animal.

“There’s a general air of debauchery at the Yelephants concerts,” Andrew Balfe, a friend of the band, said.

This recklessness can be traced back to the Yelephants’ past house show performances.

“The house party scene has been good to us and pretty formative of our sound,” Benson said. “That’s a legitimate direction we’ve been trying to go in for a while. It’s way more fun.”

Yelephants is currently working on a full-length album, which will be inspired by many of the band’s musical idols, including The Strokes and Twin Peaks.

When asked which songs they’ll be featuring on Saturday, the band remained relatively tight-lipped.

“All the hits, all the classics, but ‘Five Tulips,’ definitely,” Hardy said. “Oh! [And] we have a super-secret special cover. It’s going to be great. I am so excited about that cover.”