Blue Dirt/ Red Carpet
In the spring of 2005, Benj Hochfelder was a high school sophomore and Anna Schmidt had just graduated high school. Benj had been writing music for a couple of years, but had only performed a few times. Anna had been the drummer of another band called Lumnotten. Right as school got out, they went on a choir trip together to tour the country of Costa Rica. After ten days of sneaking out night after night to experience the magic of the tropics together, they were forced to return to their flat little streets. This caused a tremendous void. Making music together began to fill that void. It started in Anna's brothers old bedroom with Benj strumming and Anna drumming. In August, Anna moved to Omaha, Nebraska to go to college and the two became separated. Four months later, Benj packed up shop and moved to Omaha. He secretly lived in Anna's dorm with her. During that winter, more songs were written and Benj and Anna officially became Foreign Elfest. By the spring of 2006, twenty six more songs had been composed, originally centered around the instrumentation of guitar, keyboards, and percussion. Benj soon began focusing on a smaller set of songs to fully produce. In the summer and fall, he wrote more parts for those songs. These included bass, violin, and piano. In the fall, Richie Rosenthal and Rob Strobel were found to play the bass and violin parts, respectively. Lauren Blakemore played keys for about two months as well. Anna and Benj self-recorded some songs in the house that they had then moved into with Rob. In early December 2006, Benj met Tony Bonacci and showed him a couple of the songs. He told Benj he liked what he heard and that he'd record them for free in his bands home studio. Foreign Elfest's eleven song debut, Blue Dirt / Red Carpet, was recorded there with Anna playing drums and Benj recording all other parts, minus violin. Blue Dirt / Red Carpet was independently released in early March of 2007. A few months after the release of Blue Dirt / Red Carpet, Foreign Elfest altered their live shows. Benj and Anna began presenting a more direct instrumentation of the songs by stripping back down to a duo. This included guitars, keyboards, and percussion. Benj pulled out the distortion pedals and learned to play both the violin and guitar parts on the guitar at the same time for certain songs. He also played keys. Anna started rotating between playing drums, keyboards, and guitar parts. Foreign Elfest is touring this summer and fall.