Interview: Seegulls

Chester’s finest Seegulls return off the back of their self-titled debut EP with new single ‘Eat, Lazarus, Eat’. Eudaemonia caught up with the band to hear about why their new single ‘packs a lot more heat’ than before, and what they’ve got planned for 2017.

Quick name check. Who’s in band and how did you meet? 

We got James Kitchen, Cash Burns, Ellis Lincoln, Matthew Carney and Joshua Goodyear. We all met on a music course at Chester University because we literally cannot do anything else.

Your new single sees you taking on a more heated approach than we’ve seen before. Has anything in particular spurred this change?

We’re all in our third year at university now and third year takes it out of you. We’ve kind of had enough with the education system at this point and all the unrest and discomfort that recent events have put the world in aren’t easily reflected in breezy indie music. Our music tastes have changed since we’ve started uni, we don’t just listen to The Libertines anymore and we’re trying to look to more influences. I also think our ability of musicianship and songwriting have changed and we’re trying to push ourselves more. “Eat Lazarus Eat” is as experimental a song as we’ve ever put on record (all six of them) and we still just want to keep expanding, keep absorbing stuff and keep getting bigger and better.

Where did you take inspiration from for ‘Eat, Lazarus, Eat?’ Your sound certainly harks back to the very popular indie guitar scene in the 2000s.

Musically, we kind of wanted to move away from that indie sound! We’ve been compared to The Courteeners often and whilst that’s all very flattering, we feel that the state of music is overflowing with bands that are just offcuts of the safe and boring sound of indie rock music. A band called Japandroids were a big influence writing this, as were Queens of the Stone Age, First Impressions-era Strokes and I (Kitchen) love hardcore music, especially vocally and that kind of shines through.

Lyrically, it’s difficult to describe. A lot of the words were born of frustration and confusion and anger and a general not knowing what the fucks going on. It’s inspired by reading about eating disorders and different and difficult relationships people have with food.

I think it’s something the media overlook somewhat when all they focus on is drug abuse, sexual abuse and self-abuse. Something that should be so simple can be so damaging and I don’t think it’s focused on enough so why not?

There was some great music in this period, but many guitar outfits found it a struggle to stick out amongst a very popular sound to adopt. What’s up Seegulls’ sleeves that you think will help you cut above the rest? 

The indie music from that period can be very one dimensional- it either was interesting musically but had nothing to say, had something to say but had a limited musical direction or had neither going for them. I’d say out of that entire scene maybe Bloc Party, The Libertines, The Cribs and Arctic Monkeys really fused those two aspects together. I feel like that is what we’re trying to do, especially now.

Pop music is fantastic but if channelling yourself can come off as something that might be less comfortable, I’d rather do that. I don’t us to be an easy listening band. I want these songs to be remembered.

Manchester has an incredible rich heritage when it comes to music. Was this the catalyst in the decision to move the band there?

We actually moved away from Manchester (Ellis is from Failsworth, James from Stockport) but the music scene historically and currently is fantastic. We’re all based in Chester and we are lucky enough to be involved in an under looked but phenomenally talented music scene there.

If you’re looking for new bands, you’ve got to check out greenroom, Sustinere, Herbivore Men and Deh-Yey- they’re all fucking incredible, as well as Peaness who are doing incredibly well at the moment!

It’s quite refreshing to hear a guitar band that hasn’t doused everything in chorus and reverb – in fact you’ve gone for quite the opposite. Was this a conscious decision in your sound? 

I think our last EP whilst we’re incredibly proud of it is quite synonymous with a lot of music that’s kicking around at the moment. Yeah, we did want to move away from that- I think, apart from the lead guitar, there’s little to no reverb on the whole song and I feel that makes it more direct.

You’ve been described as a “live band in essence” – what can newcomers expect from a Seegulls’ gig? 

A Seegulls gig is by no means a spectator sport. We want people to get involved and we believe that a strong relationship between the band and the crowd equals the best gigs. Singalong’s are encouraged, dancing is mandatory and there will occasionally be some subtle but intriguing homo-erotica between me and Cash.

We hear you have a massive summer ahead – what’s on the agenda?

The summer is when the Seegulls come out mate. That’s all I’m saying.

Listen to ‘Eat, Lazarus, Eat’ here: 

Words by Conor Richards

 

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Image via Seegulls

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