Elk Tongue
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Elk Tongue

Laramie, WY | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Laramie, WY
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Rock Psychedelic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Elk Tongue: local band hopes to make progress in career"

Whether it’s playing house parties or doing regional tours, the local Laramie band Elk Tongue has been busy building their name and gaining recognition.

Elk Tongue is comprised of four members, lead singer and guitar player Keaton Elsasser, lead guitarist Seth Leininger, bassist Sean Hess and drummer Dylan Stowers.

The band was formerly known as Harriman Exit, but changed their name with the arrival of Stowers as the new drummer. Stower has not been in a band prior to Elk Tongue, but he used to play jazz band in high school and stayed within that genre until now.

“I think I can bring something to the table with Elk Tongue that their other drummers haven’t been able to do because I have a different background,” Stowers said. “I feel like it’s something that’s helping them out, to toot my own horn, because they’ve had troubles with drummers before.”

Stowers has yet to go on tour with Elk Tongue, but will go with them this summer.

“We’ve only been on one tour so far; we will be going again in August,” Elsasser said. “Our first tour was pretty small, I think only eight dates, maybe ten, in Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Wyoming, basically stopping where we had friends and where we could find a show really.”

Elsasser said they have to email “countless strangers” months in advance to have places to play.

“The level we’re at is more about finding shows and really supporting shows that have main acts already,” Elsasser said.

Though they tour, the band also plays house parties when they can.

“We love house shows, I think we’d almost prefer house shows,” Elsasser said. “It’s a much more intimate feeling because everybody there is friends, it’s not somebody else’s establishment, and it’s a house, probably in someone’s living room.”

They recently played a house party in their own house, paying tribute to David Bowie and Alan Rickman who both passed away this year. They played a set dressed up as the two stars to pay respect. Elsasser said their next house show will be April 15 and will take place at the band’s home.

Stowers said Elk Tongue has new music in the works for their upcoming tour and plan to have a CD out before their next tour.

When writing new songs, they find their inspiration through “heartbreak and partying and just being conscious,” as Elsasser would like to explain it. The songwriting process has creative freedom for all the members.

“It’s pretty democratic,” Stowers said. “Someone has an idea and we all play off of it and if someone has different expectations, then they tell that person and we all talk about it. It’s never like, ‘you have to play this way’ because I guess we all just get along well enough musically to make it happen.”

Elsasser said that all the band members are playing and writing every day.

“Playing music with people is like having sex with them,” Stowers said. “It gets better the more you play music with them. That’s just the way I see it, after a while you get to know each other and then you can do something great a little easier.”

Stowers said they are “functioning as a unit” the more live shows they play.

Though Stowers is the newest member of the band, he has a positive outlook on the future of Elk Tongue.

“It’s really slow progress with the band and getting attention, so the hardest part is making physical progress,”
Stowers said. “It’s definitely not instant gratification because most overnight successes are 10 years in the making. It takes time, you have to play a lot of free shows to not play free shows anymore.”

To keep up with Elk Tongue and their future events and music releases, you can find them on Facebook. Elsasser said they’ll also get a page on SoundCloud to post music as well.

“I’m further than I thought this band could ever go,” Elsasser said. “I would love to see us tour another country. I’m not expecting way too many things out of this, but that is something we’d love to do.” - Branding Iron


A Field Guide to Mammals



Not to be confused with the body part of the North American mammal, Wyoming’s Elk Tongue was conceived to create a fusion of sounds that have been called “Psychedelic Desert rock.” Being from various musical backgrounds drives them to create environments reminiscent of the past and the future. Elk Tongue is four friends who have come together to share love of funk inspired rock and roll.   

Keaton Elsasser is an American composer, guitar player, and lover of all around good times.  Keaton began creating and recording music out of the pure egocentric urge to hear what he sounds like. After graduating high school, Keaton moved from his humble hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming to the blazing-hot party town of Tempe, Arizona where he spent most of his time in his air conditioned apartment smoking pot and writing songs. After his stint in the sun, he moved to Colorful Colorado where he began releasing music on Soundcloud under the moniker Cousin Flamingo. During this time, he also co-founded the experimental pop band, Harriman Exit. Both of these projects helped shape the sound and energy Keaton brings to Elk Tongue. 

Born and raised outside of Cheyenne, WY, Seth Leininger began to teach himself guitar and keyboard in his late teens. In his early twenties he started his solo ambient/electronic project MANTIS, and joined the band Harriman Exit as lead guitar/effects player. He now continues the same role in the psychedelic-desert rock band Elk Tongue, using a range of versatile sounds. He is currently a student at the university of Wyoming for Geology/Anthropology/Painting.

Also a Cheyenne native, Shawn Hess started playing bass guitar at age 11 and has played with bands covering  reggae, country, doom-metal, glam-rock, bluegrass, funk and psychedelic. Shawn played upright bass for 4 years in the popular Cheyenne bluegrass band BeatGrass before they disbanded in early 2014. Currently, Shawn is playing with a handful of local Laramie acts including the nine-piece string band known as 10¢ Stranger, as well as sings and plays acoustic guitar in his own classic country revival group. Harriman Exit recruited Shawn Hess to play electric bass in 2012. Since their move to Laramie, WY Shawn now brings his tasty grooves, driving lines and melodic low-end to Elk Tongue.

Not from Cheyenne, Dylan Stowers has been playing drums for ten years. His focus quickly shifted to the drum set after joining jazz band in high school. Despite not playing for some time after enrolling at the University of Wyoming to study geology, the drums found him again in the winter of 2012 and he has been involved with local music projects ever since. In the spring of 2016 he joined Elk Tongue, contributing an eclectic view of the drums to an already unique indie rock sound. He lives in Laramie, WY and spends his free time rock climbing and skiing.

Band Members