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Interview

Eagulls: the road to the Paul O'Grady Show

Everyone has to have a dream, right?
Published: 12:51 pm, May 20, 2016
Eagulls: the road to the Paul O'Grady Show
Eagulls' debut album was no slouch, but their follow up 'Ullages' is something else entirely. The kind of confident, strident album so few bands ever get around to making, it sounds like the kind of timeless record that gives birth to whole sub-cultures of its own. While obvious comparisons might be made to certain 80s indie icons, there's no denying that it has its own skin - the feel of a band who are discovering who they really are, and where that leads them.

So while the rest of us are wondering how big the venues could get, or how high up those festival bills they might find themselves, what is frontman George Mitchell aiming for? The Paul O'Grady Show. Of course he is.

Your new album is out now. It feels as though the band has experienced a lot since the debut - have there been any particular highlights?
The highlights since the debut for me is seeing the record go to places where we all thought it never could go. When we started to write the songs from the debut we never thought anyone would hear it or see us play it live outside of our style of musics community. So to travel all around the world playing those songs to fresh ears was quite an achievement I feel. 

At what point did you start working on ‘Ullages’?
‘Ullages’ had a slightly stuttered start to its full progress. The basis of the first song started in September 2014, but then we carried on with touring and it put a halt to our creative schedule. The album really came together fully from February 2015 onward as that was when the main body of the albums songs were constructed. 

Did you have an idea of what you wanted to create straight off the bat?
I feel each member of the band had an idea of what they wanted to achieve from the start, but the main idea we all enforced upon as a whole was progression.

How did you find the process once you were in the studio? Were you well-prepared before going in?
Before going into the studio most of the songs felt close to a finished state musically, but lyrically they were not. I had a rough time with the lyrical process this time round due to an array of circumstances, but I managed to get their in the end.

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There feel to be religious connotations across the record, was that influenced by recording in a converted church?
Religion is a subject I tend to look into with my lyrics quite regularly as I find it peculiarly interesting, but it just so happened by chance that the studio was once a catholic church. The studio's surroundings was not the influence on the religious connotations. The influence for those words must just be buried within me somehow.

Are there any more overarching themes?
I wouldn't say there is one prominent theme that flows throughout the record as I really tried to talk about a number of themes instead of one. But there is a sense of optimism hidden in the lyrics on this record that is more visible than that of the last record.

Was there anything you learnt while working on your debut that you were able to implement on the follow up?
We learnt a lot about using effects on the debut album in which I feel we were able to implement on this record in a much more productive manner, such as using certain effects at the right times to cause certain tensions and atmospheres in the correct places, instead of just throughout the whole record like we did with the debut. 

How do you feel about your debut now you’ve a little more space to reflect?
I see the debut as our first proper try at recording our music. I hear a number of things that I'd change right away if I was to have to do it all again, but it is what it is now and I feel it was a good body of work for our first stab at making an album. At that time we wanted 10 songs that encapsulated our heavy and abrasive live performance and thats what we achieved.

What one achievement would mark the pinnacle of success for you with this album?
I don't really have any goals in mind. I'd just like people to hear what we've made, come to our shows and enjoy themselves. But, if we get to play on the Paul O'Grady show then we can hang up our gloves and live life knowing we made it... BIG TIME.

Eagulls' new album 'Ullages' is out now.
"stopper" ]

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