Interview – Eliza and the Bear – Reading & Leeds 2015 Preview

With the Festival season in full swing, Eliza and the Bear are gearing up to play this years Reading & Leeds Festival, so we caught up with frontman James Kellegher to see what is in store for the summer and the rest of 2015!

How has 2015 been so far for the Eliza & the Bear?
2015 for us has been great, most of it has been spent quietly planning and plotting things behind the scenes!

You played some pretty awesome venues in support of Twin Atlantic in May, how was that?
The twin tour was sick, we have been friends with the guys for a few years and have always said, “ah we should tour together man” “Yeah man, we should tour together” etc etc. We finally did it, and it was a lot of fun. We met a lot of new people and fans, which is always an amazing thing. And then topping it off at the monstrously huge hydro in Glasgow was the perfect way to end the tour.

Eliza and the bear
James Kellegher – Manchester Albert Hall supporting Twin Atlantic 05/05/15


You also just recently released your new EP ‘Make it on my own’ and it’s been greatly received, how has that been for you and is it nice to have some new music to add to your live sets?
Make it on my own is still a new song to us, we only wrote it a week before we went to make the album, so the first time we’d played it live was after it had been released. We normally play a song live for months before it gets heard online so it was nice to switch that up, if a little scary. The response has been crazy good and we couldn’t be happier with it.

‘Make It on my Own’ was recorded at Blackbird studios in Nashville with producer Jacquire King, (Kings of Leon & Of Monsters And Men). How was the recording process and what made you choose to work with Jacquire?
There was something in Jacquires work that was right for us, there is a lot of space in the songs that he produces but at the same time they sound huge and ballsy. We wanted that dynamic, powerful edge that he could bring to us. And working in the states in Nashville, Music city, had its own appeal. Being surrounded by music for 2 months was amazing.

You guys are heading to Reading & Leeds Festival this summer! What does it mean to you being involved in such an iconic UK festival?
I went to reading as a kid, its the first festival i went to and still my favourite. Playing there feels like I’m doing something right, I’ve got to a stage where 6-7 years ago i would have been watching from the crowd. As you say, its iconic. We get to be a part of something iconic.

You’re playing the Festival Republic stage that has a great reputation for up and coming bands, what can we expect from your live set?
Energy and lots of it. We’ve been waiting for a while to play this festival! So expect 30 minutes of loud, summery, good vibes and 5 very excitable lads

Your song ‘Friends’ is one of our personal favorites and it feels like the perfect summer festival song! Was it written to be performed at big festivals like this?
When we wrote it, I don’t think we even thought we’d be able to play festivals! But it feels like it was right? The chorus hasn’t got too many words so anyone who hasn’t heard it can probably grasp it by the end.

Who are you guys looking forward to seeing over the R&L weekend?
Limp Bizkit! and Metallica. Not two bands you’d probably associate with us I’m sure!

If you could pick 3 headliners for the ultimate Reading & Leeds Festival line up, (excluding yourselves!) who would they be and why?
Bring me the Horizon, I reckon their production for a headline slot like that would be insane
Sigur ros, Again similar reason, crazy light show, maybe they can headline Sunday.
Eliza and the bear, cos i wanna headline reading and Leeds.

Finally, what are your plans for the end of 2015?
End of 2015 is a bit of a mystery so far, but I’m sure we will be gearing up to go full steam into our album campaign!


You can catch Eliza and the bear on the Festival Republic stage at Reading Festival on 28th August and at Leeds Festival on the 29th August.

Eliza and the Bear are also on tour across the UK in October on the following dates:

Manchester Club Academy             Thu 01 October
Glasgow Stereo                                     Fri 02 October
Newcastle Think Tank                       Sat 03 October
Leeds Brudenell Social Club          Mon 05 October
Bristol Fleece                                        Thu 06 October
London Koko                                        Wed 07 October
Birmingham O2 Academy 2           Fri 09 October
Brighton The Haunt                           Sat 10 October



Tickets for Reading & Leeds Festival are on sale now.

Danny Peart
Editor / Live Music Photographer / Journalist at Soundcheck-Live

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