Five Minutes With: Edmonton-based Rock Band El Niven and the Alibi

Unapologetically original, uncompromising in their vision, Edmonton-based El Niven and The Alibi (ENATA) create music which is equal parts poetically bittersweet and rank rock n ‘ roll. With a natural bent for lyrics, ENATA’s sound, infused with life experience and grunge rock attitude, is undeniably theirs.

ENATA was conceived in a musical therapy program at a juvenile detention centre when guitarist and lead singer, Elliot Niven, met drummer, Jeff Burwash, in their youth. With an obsession for groove-laden rock and roll, ENATA’s combined devil may care attitudes – together with a love of being on the road – has landed the band on a musical stride. Over the last few years, this has resulted in a collection of “dangerous music.” They are true blue rock and rollers, blazing a path with their own brand of Western Rock.

Niven’s music grabs people’s interest. As he says, “I have things to say and people to reach.” ENATA brings unprecedented energy to their live shows, playing on stages of all sizes across Western Canada, the U.S. and South America, having performed on large stages with the likes of U.S.S., Current Swell, and Dear Rouge. To supplement live shows and deliver music to everyone, ENATA has been engaged in a project called the “ – Or Busk” tours. Most recently, in the winter of 2020, they did a “Baja – Or Busk” tour. On this trip they drove the entire length of the Baja, Mexico from Tijuana, to LaPaz and back over three weeks, picking up local gigs and playing in the streets nightly. And in 2018, they completed an “America – Or Busk” tour, where they drove from Edmonton, Alberta to New York, across to L.A. and back to Edmonton, playing fully amplified and electric gigs on the streets and creating content of the tour en route.

El Niven and the Alibi


El Niven and the Alibi





Latest Album:

“Unleashed” EP out December 15th

Latest Single:

“I Hate LA”

Latest Video:

Favourite musician growing up:

Scott Weiland, John Frusciante

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl

Road or studio?

Whichever one is paying and providing rooms! I love both.

Any shows or albums coming up?

The last one “I Hate LA” was out a few weeks ago. The next one is called “Don’t Waste Your Time”! It’s out Dec 15 along with our “Unleashed” EP. Next year we will be releasing a new song every six weeks for the next year at least.

Favourite musician now:

I’m so all over the place that’s tough lol.

Guilty pleasure song:

Stretch n blaze

Live show ritual:

Tune up my guitars and make sure I have water on stage.

Favourite local musician:

El Niven and The Alibi

EP or LP?

Singles. I’ve been listening to more full-length albums lately though.

Where can we follow you?

Instagram | LinkTree


Rapid Fire Local Questions:

What is your favourite local restaurant?

The Italian Centre or Pho King

What is your favourite street in your city and why?

Whyte ave / 118th ave

What is your favourite park in your city and why?

Queen Elizabeth Park

What is your favourite music venue in your city?

Blues On Whyte

What is your favourite music store in your city?

Blues On Whyte


About Demian Vernieri 538 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.