"We all wanted to push ourselves out of our comfort zone..." - hmv.com talks to Eagulls
Leeds alt-rockers Eagulls return with brand new album Ullages today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and we called up George Mitchell to find out all about how it came together...
When did you start work on Ullages? Did it take you a long time to write?
"We started to write the album at the start of last year, but playing shows away abroad kind of stunted the records growth a little. It mainly came together in the space of five months."
How did you want the album to move on from your self-titled record?
"We all wanted to push ourselves out of our comfort zone into writing material that we wouldn't have created back in 2013. We wanted more dynamism, more texture and deeper lyrical content."
You worked with Matt Peel on the album, what did he give you as a producer and why didyou decide to work with him?
"We decided to work with Matt Peel again as we feel comfortable working around him. We are quite intimate with our creative process and felt that going to some flash studio in LA to work with renowned producers would have been a bad decision. So we stayed at home in Leeds comfortably working with Mr Peel."
Which of the songs on the album took the most work to get right? And which came together most instantly?
There were some songs that we didn't ever finish at all, but the one that took the longest to get done was possibly 'Blume' as it was a mish mash of one of Goldy's (guitarist Mark Goldsworthy) ideas and one of mine. Quite a headache. 'My Life In Rewind' was possibly the most instant song that we've ever written though. It fell out very naturally."
What’s the song on the album that you’re most proud of?
"I'm most proud of 'White Lie Lullabies' as it was a song that came to life later on in the writing process where we were all comfortable in our new sound. I really like the lyrics and the way they sit with the music."
Which song are you most looking forward to playing live?
"I'm most looking forward to playing 'Euphoria' as it's upbeat and has a nice flow to it."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Does it have a unifying theme?
"There's not one conscious unifying theme, but I see now that subconsciously there seems to be ties with hopes and dreams and British social mentalities."
Where did you get the title of Ullages from?
"ULLAGES is an anagram of EAGULLS and it is a word describing the space and volume of what is left in the bottle. The album title is a nice way to some up the way in which you can view the songs. Either pessimistically or optimistically."
And where did you find that cover image?
"I went to view a Peter Mitchell exhibition at my friends bookshop Village Bookstore in Leeds. Peter is one of Britain's best contemporary photographers and it's an honour to have his scarecrow series as the imagery for our album and singles."
What are your plans to take the album out live? Looks like you’ve got some pretty big festivals lined up?
"Lots of EU headline shows and also big festivals all around the world."