Now fronting Wales’ most exciting new Rock band Y Rei, I caught up with Aron Elias for a chat about his early days with Pep Le Pew and his new musical direction.

Being sent to the corner of the classroom for bad behaviour and generally being treated like a piece of shit is basically how Aron Elias’ schooldays went

AE – I turned up at exams stoned. I was taking mushrooms at school and behaving like a juvenile delinquent, that’s what my mum used to call me.

The only thing that kept him at school was the music lessons, for his practical exam he played the 24th Caprice by Paganini through a single amp with an electric guitar, which lead to

AE – my school report was full of U’s and F’s but my music teacher wrote that ‘Aron is one of the best guitarists in Wales’ something that gave me a huge boost.

Another boost came in the form of seeing Roni Size perform at Glastonbury.

AE – I saw Roni Size do drum and bass playing a double bass and that’s where I got the idea for Pep le Pew mixing real instruments with a more technical sound.

Pep le Pew was formed in Porthmadog with Dyl Mei and after gigging around, the band grew with Ed Holden joining the ranks. At this point Aron discovered he was dyslexic which explained a lot about his failing school days. He then won a place at the prestigious Paul McCartney School of music in Liverpool.

AE – I wanted a place at the McCartney School to show my former teachers that I wasn’t an idiot.

As things got busier with his band Aron left the college to concentrate on the band.

AE – between the band and the social side of things I was living a rock and roll existence and was never at the college.

After 2 albums the band finally called it a day when Aron walked away

AE – I had got bored being known simply as Aron from Pep Le Pew, or that welsh hip hop guy. It was fun living the life of being in a band but after three years I needed a break.

Having had enough of touring Wales and partying Aron decamped to Spain to busk around with his classical guitar. It’s here he started writing new material with songs such as ‘Ansicir’ , ‘Boddi Tristwch’ and ‘Rebal Heb Achos’ , which later feature on the EP Psycho Prydferth, the first release of his new band Y Rei.

The band consists of two young local lads Richard Roberts and Alex Moller both of whom also play for Gola Ola.

AE – they are both amazing musicians, Alex is arguably the finest drummer in Wales at the moment.

Drawing inspiration from the like of Pantera, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam and Black Sabbath the band truly rock. On top of this the band also has Aron’s need for experimentation stamped all over them as he continues to work with a classical Spanish guitar and the double bass to name but two instruments. The new direction is for a specific reason for Aron

AE – there was a need to bury Pep le Pew as I needed a break, but the funeral was a joyous one. Dyl Mei has his own projects now, as he’s a seriously creative guy. But we are still all one big happy family with a healthy competitive streak running through the household.

Before leaving Aron tells the story of a girl who asked him to play bass for her during his time at the McCartney school in Liverpool. He said no as he already had too many commitments at the time and thought nothing else of it. Only recently he saw that girl again

AE – I was sitting watching top of the pops and then I saw her and though I
know her.

It was sandy Thom doing ‘I wish I was a Punk Rocker’

that was a close escape to say the least.

Check out the band here link

Their debut album is expected sometime later this year.

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