Elvana interview: "Never underestimate the power of a joke..."

The Nirvana cover band fronted by an Elvis impersonator is on track to total world domination thanks to the band's musicianship, killer live shows, and the timeless classics they perform.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 10th May 2023

Putting the king of rock and roll on the mic in the biggest grunge band of all time might sound bizarre to many. Maybe even blasphemy to a few. But at Elvana shows, naysayers are struck with an epiphany, realising Elvis and Nirvana are, in fact, the perfect combination. 

With huge sell-out shows across the UK and beyond, appearances at some of the biggest and best festivals, and countless die-hard fans, it seems the sky is the limit for Elvana. 

Due to tear up the stage at Highest Point Festival this weekend, we had a chat with Paul (Elvis) about how they came up with such a mad but wonderful idea, the band's rise to stardom, and what we can expect from their upcoming performance at Highest Point that’ll no doubt be wild, baffling, but ultimately brilliant. 


First of all, we’re absolutely buzzing for your set at Highest Point, so thank you for taking the time to chat!

"No problem! Great to meet y’all! We’re super stoked to be performing at Highest Point."



Can you explain what typically goes down at your gigs for those who’ve never attended one of your shows?

"We have a massive party in celebration of the songs of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, peppered with Elvis Presley tracks and a whole hunk of burnin’ love."




You’ve probably been asked this before, but fusing Nirvana and Elvis sounds like an idea a bunch of mates came up with in their local pub. Then, when they tried it out, it turned out to be more beautiful than they could ever imagine. Are we kind of right there? How did you come up with this crazy, incredible idea?

"You’ve almost hit the nail on the head there, my friend. We’ve all been ‘musicians’ in original bands for many years now, but around six or seven years ago we were asked to perform some cover songs at a friend’s fancy dress party. We knew we wanted to perform some Nirvana songs, but none of us looked like Nirvana, so we decided we would dress up as Elvis and his backing band and call ourselves Elvana (please note, I don’t claim to look like Elvis either, but any excuse to wear a jumpsuit?!) The first show went so well we got asked to do a whole bunch more, and the rest, as they say, is… historical. 

Since then, we’ve gotten to perform a whole bunch of incredible shows in a whole bunch of incredible venues and festivals all over the world… So never underestimate the power of a joke that gets out of hand."



How long did it take to nail that Elvis impression? Or was it a gift you’ve always had?

"Still not nailed it!! Work in progress. Sometimes I sound like Nic Cage, sometimes I sound like Goofy. If you’re lucky, I might sound like Kurt Cobain. Most of the time, I don’t sound like Elvis?! But God (and our fans) loves a trier. Am I right?"



What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen at one of your gigs or festival performances?

"We see a whole bunch of amazing costumes at our shows and our fans really buy into the party atmosphere. The wildest thing, which we see at most of our shows now, is folks forming mosh pits, circle pits and crowd surfing to Elvis Presley songs. TCB."

[editors note: TCB means ‘taking care of business’, a phrase Elvis often used]




Photo: Elvana Elvis Fronted Nirvana / Facebook.com


What’s your favourite song to play live and why?

"So many! Current favourites include our mash-up of ‘A Little Less Conversation’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ or our grunged-up versions of ‘That’s Alright Mama’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes.’"



Do you ever see yourselves fusing other artists to create new bands in the future? Maybe Tom Jones and Metallica for Tomallica, or something like that?

"That’s a great idea! Can we have that one?? We’d love to fuse more artists, but just don’t have the time at the moment as we’re so busy with Elvana. Some of our favourite ideas in the past have included ‘Johnny Clash’ Johnny Cash vs the Clash and ‘Black Metal Lace’ a really heavy version of ‘Agadoo’ and the Superman song."



I remember seeing you guys play in Gorilla in Manchester, a relatively small venue. But you’ve also brought the party to Glastonbury and the main stage at Download. Did you ever imagine you’d be tearing it up at some of the biggest festivals in the UK or was that the plan all along?

"Gorilla was a whole bunch of fun, but that show was during a short break in the strict rules of the COVID-19 lockdowns (that period of time we don’t like to talk about too much) when many folks were too afraid to come out and play, so it was a lot more ‘intimate’ than we had been used to in recent days. Pleased to say that those nervous COVID times are behind us now and we just sold out the incredible Manchester Albert Hall last month, which was the biggest show we’ve ever performed in Manchester.

We truly can’t believe that we’ve now managed to play at many of the ‘bucket list’ festivals and venues in the UK and abroad, but it’s like an addiction for us, and we continuously strive to go even bigger and harder!! So expect to see even more from Elvana in the coming years. Stadium tour, anyone??"





What is it about festivals that you guys love?

"We love being able to perform to and ‘convert’ new folks who haven’t seen ELVANA before; they come along to check us out because they are at a festival and why not!? We also love being able to perform for younger fans who often come to festivals with their parents and are experiencing live music for the first time. Such a buzz. And people are just in a good mood at festivals, right!!??"



Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming set at Highest Point this year? What atmosphere are you hoping to create, what can we expect?

"All killer, no filler!! Bring your dancing pants."



What artists are you excited to see perform or share a stage with at Highest Point this year?

"So many great artists to choose from, but if we were going to give a shout-out to anyone, it would be the incredible ‘Cuban Brothers’ who’ve been very supportive of our band and are just the best guys!! We’re also excited to catch up with Arielle Free and Craig Charles who’ve both regularly bigged us up on their own radio shows. Thanks, guys!" 



Catch Elvana performing timeless classics with undeniable swagger, gyrating hips, and wild, infectious energy at Highest Point on the 11th - 14th of May in Williamson Park. With the crowd in the palm of their hand, their set is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of this year’s bash. We’ll see you in the pit!

Secure your tickets for Highest Point Festival now at the bottom of this page. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header image credit: Elvana Elvis Fronted Nirvana / Facebook.com 


Tickets for Highest Point Festival | Thur 11th - Sat 13th May 2023 | Williamson Park in Lancaster

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