Eliza And The Bear have had a busy year on the road supporting the likes of Twin Atlantic, and stopping off at Reading & Leeds Festival, before heading out in October for an incredible headline tour! The guys are also gearing up to release their brand new debut self titled album in February! So we caught up with EATB frontman James Kellegher to talk all things Eliza And The Bear!
Hi James! 2015 looks to have been a busy year for you, what’s stood out as your highlights of the year so far?
Announcing the album has been a huge point for this band, when we first started we just wanted to write music casually, no pressure, no shows, just a creative outlet. So to go from that, to releasing an album on a major label is something we couldn’t quite get our head around. Its a milestone. Its a milestone for anyone like us.
You guys played the Festival Republic stage at this years Reading and Leeds Festival, what was that experience like?
Ridiculous, Ive seen a lot of bands play Reading and Leeds, and I’ve seen bands play the festival republic stage. To be on the other side of the barrier, and to get a reaction like we did, really makes it abundantly clear that we are doing something right. People seem to want to take time out of a, lets be honest, incredible festival line up to come and see me and my mates pissing about on stage.
You’ve just finished a UK headline tour playing a mix of both intimate and large venues across the country, how was that for you?
It had been a year since we had played any form of headline show, so it was really good getting stuck back into that. Every time we head out on a headline tour I notice a massive leap forward, this year people were just nuts, every single person in those rooms we played came to have the time of their lives and I hope we helped out a little bit with that.
What was it like playing such a large headline show at the Koko in London?
Koko, being a london boy, is a venue I grew up going to. I crowd surfed for the first time watching UnderOath there. When we first teamed up with our management, about 3 years ago, we were taken there to see their other band headline. I remember being in awe of the size and the scale of it all, and dreaming of playing there, but at that point it was just a dream. So in a nutshell, it was a dream to play, an absolute dream.
We have heard a few newer tracks at your shows this year, both ‘I’m On Your Side’ and ‘Oxygen’ seem to bring some contrast to your live set. Have you taken a different approach to writing these songs compared to your older material?
It was a conscious decision to stray from the path when writing the album, we wanted to showcase what else we could do. An album has to have contrast, no matter how much you like Light it Up, 12 tracks identical to that is gonna bore the shit out of you. We all come from bands that are really quite different to EATB so finding contrast was quite a natural process.
Your self-titled debut album is due out on the 19th February, what can we expect of the tracks that have been kept under wraps?
As I say before there are a few tracks that will surprise you, a few curveballs, and of course plenty of pop goodness!
What’s your favorite track on the album and why?
It changes, regularly. At the moment I’m in love with a track called ‘Cruel’, it means a lot and we’ve been playing it live and people seem to be picking up on it and asking when its coming out. Its hard to sing though, that sucks haha!
You recorded the album in Nashville, was it important for you as a band to get away from the UK to pull the album together?
When looking for a producer that was the first thing that we all agreed on, getting away from london, it didn’t have to be LA or New York or anywhere else fancy and cool, it just had to be away from home. Nashville was perfect, music city, being surrounded by sound for 2 months solid was an amazing experience
Who would you say has inspired you in creating music as a band?
I don’t really know, when I was a kid i just used to love playing drums and being loud, but i can’t pin point an actual singular influence
Finally what is on the schedule next for Eliza and the Bear?
Album album album album album! (Christmas first!)
Check out our Live review of Eliza And The Bear at the Leeds Brudenell club here!
Eliza and the Bear release their self-titled debut album on February 19th, and you can pre order it now over on www.elizaandthebear.com