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The Comedy of Errors

Eagulls on their Second Album

26 October 16 words: Louron Pratt

The Leeds band discuss their second album, Bill Murray, and playing The Chameleon…

If someone had been living under a rock for 7 years, and asked you who you were, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them I’m a young entrepreneur who makes a quid or two selling pasties. 

How different was writing your second album compared to your debut and what is the biggest lesson you learnt in the intervening years as songwriters?
There was no major difference other than time. I think the first time around, we went into the studio when we had an album’s worth of songs, whereas the second time, we were kind of working towards a deadline. I’m not sure if it ultimately changed anything, but you felt it in the back of your mind. In terms of lessons learnt, that's quite a difficult question. I think you learn so much when writing, you learn about structures, recording techniques, when to stop, when to move on, how to take your time, when to let something go, how to be satisfied, how to approach one another, the time in the day at which you’re most creative. All sorts, I look forward to the next time around so we can implement them all.  

Who or what are you biggest inspirations when it comes to making music?
I think we as a band are more inspired by how we feel collectively in the moment. Our surroundings, our current attitude, the atmosphere amongst us, amongst friends, amongst family, amongst the city we live in. The time of year, the time of day. I think it’s a lot to do with personal headspace and our reaction to what's going on.

It seems that you’ve been to quite a wide variety of places; where has been your best place to play?  
I honestly couldn’t pinpoint a single place; we’ve been to that many. New York will always remain special to me; Slovakia sticks out; Melbourne jumps out; Mexico stands out; but I also love Belgium. This year we’re heading to India and China, new ground to cover, hopefully they will be ones to remember too. 

What was it like getting your first features in magazines like NME and the Guardian?
When you first start as a band it’s quite exciting, I think you almost find it had to believe. The biggest thrill is telling your Mum about it, though.

How was the whole experience of meeting Bill Murray at the David Letterman show?
It was great and very surreal looking back. We’re big fans, as many people are; he was very humble and had a joke or two with us. I think it was the first time in my life I’ve been near someone as famous as him, so I’m glad he was still human. Although, I must admit, I missed actually meeting Bill because I couldn’t find my coat, so I was in a different part of the building trying to find it when the others were with him …

What is currently your favourite song to play at gigs and why?
Probably My Life In Rewind because it has a lot of different parts, which makes it interesting. I think it stands out in the set too. 

What has it been like playing Nottingham in the past – any memorable or enjoyable moments?
I grew up not far from Nottingham, so I’ve been to a fair few gigs there, but with the band I think we’ve only played there 3 times [maybe 4?]. Quite a while back we played The Chameleon Arts Café; it’s a really good venue there, I used to like going there to see bands too. A memorable one was seeing Mika Miko, then running over the road [I can’t remember the venue] to see Black Lips. Probably nine or so years back, I think?

How do you approach playing live compared to recording in the studio?
It’s a lot rawer live I suppose, but we try to replicate the newer stuff as close to the record when playing live as possible. Obviously you have more layers going on in the studio, more control, but I think we’re getting good at doing it live as the gigs come on. 

How’s the Leeds music scene at the moment? Can you recommend anyone who we should check out?
Leeds will always be a boiling pot for new bands I think. There’s gigs of all sorts every night of the week and the scene is very active. There’s a band called Fehm who have their first album out next month, definitely worth a listen. Grand live too. 

What plans do you have for after this tour?
Like I mentioned before, we have China and India from November onwards, which I’m really looking forward to, then after that it’s Christmas dinners, then after that we’ll delve deeper in to album three.

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