Q&A - Eagulls
Q: You often choose subjects that can come from a dark place such as thalidomide birth defects (which your granddad suffered from) and the futility of religion. Is this simply a case of writing about what you know, or is there more to it than that?
A: “It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know.”
I find that most listeners reviewing or questioning our music tend to channel in on the fact that my lyrics have dark tendencies, which overall they are right in thinking so, yet they don’t seem to put two and two together in the fact that these darker, more hard to come to terms with subjects are often the things that are occurring every day in everyone’s day to day lives. I try to write about subjects that the everyday person would avoid stating as they seem to be the subjects which are much more compelling.
Q: Although the dark lyrical content has remained on the new record, 'Ullages', there has been somewhat of a change from the dark visceral punk of the first album to the more gothic tone of the new one. What caused this change of direction ?
A: The change of direction came as we had a lot of time to process what we had previously created on the first record. We knit picked the faults and contemplated on how we could differentiate our musical abilities to be more diverse for over two years. As time goes on peoples tastes change and people’s lives change too, which in effect lead us on a different path sonically and lyrically. We could have carried on doing the same thing over and over again, but to us that would just seem ludicrous trying to repeat a feeling through music that had already happened to us all 2 or 3 years before. “When you stop doing something, it doesn’t mean you are rejecting the previous work … It’s saying I have exploited it now and I wish to take a look around another corner” David Hockney.
Q: How did the recording process differ from the first time round ?
A: The first album was pretty ‘bish, bash, bosh’. It was written fast, performed fast and recorded fast. This time round we took a lot more time to contemplate and reflect on what we were creating as we focused much more on textural detail and diversity in material and pace with a number of different recording and mixing techniques involved. One difference was that we recorded most of the record straight to tape.
Q: You've been able to travel over the world. Has touring impacted the group and if so how?
A: Touring as a band of our stature is not glamourous at all. We are not treated like kings like most people tend to think. Touring rubs off on your mentality leaving us feeling pretty bitter at times. I suppose without the bitterness we would’nt be ourselves though. So we just get on with it I suppose. No use in crying over spilt milk right?
Q: With the first album you had to hold down day jobs to keep the band going. Is this still the case or have you been able to give them up ? Do you think in Cameron's Britain being in a band is truly a matter of being hunger artists ?
A: We all quit our jobs to go on tour in 2014, but none of us are better off from that situation it seems due to the fact that nobody wants to give us the gold teeth or the platinum chains. Most of us that could get jobs got them to keep us alive whilst we wrote ‘ULLAGES’. Living in Cameron’s Britain, then going into Theresa May’s post Brexit Britain is a dismal time for any creative. It truly is a joke. It’s not just artists who are going to be hit hard by these ridiculous so called democratic decisions that our government is making, it’s going to be everyone.
Q: Gentrification among other things has hit UK independent venues. As a band who support independent venues wholeheartedly what do you think the current situation is and where is it going ?
A: The UK’s independent venues are a dying breed. It’s really sad to see them disappear, but where some go, more D.I.Y one’s seem to crop up. The issue is though, is that our government chooses not to put any more money into the arts to support these venues. The struggle is real.
Q: What are thoughts on the term Post Punk and genre in general ?
A: The term Post Punk is so vague that it’s beyond a joke to have it as a genre. I find it annoying how people lazily label music with the term and other terms, but I guess some people just can’t be bothered to come up with any new words. It’s 2016 and Punk supposedly occurred in 1977, so how post punk can we be getting with this term. It’s pretty ridiculous.
Q: What did you listen to when you were 15? What do you listen to now?
A: When I was 15 I was listening to bands that were much before my time such as Siouxsie And The Banshees, David Bowie, The Cure, A Tribe Called Quest etc. I just couldn't seem to get to grips with the music that was being made at the time.
Now I seem to listen to a variety singer songwriter music. Most of which is still before my time such as Lou Reed, Matt Johnson, Rowland S Howard, Brian Eno etc. I’m always looking for music I’ve never heard before still.
Q: What do you think of Leeds' musical output? Are there any Leeds bands we should check out?
A: Leeds will always have a strong musical output as there will always be the interesting mix of locals and students looking to find like minded artists and musicians to be creative with. It’s been going on since the 70’s and I don’t feel like it will slow down anytime soon. Hookworms are a great band from Leeds. If you ever get a chance to go and see them live then you should.
Q: On a slightly lighter note, any more chance encounters with Bill Murray?
A: Sadly theres been no more encounters with ghostbusters lately.
Eagulls are currently on tour - they play Liverpool Psych Fest on 24 September.