Note to bands: record a raging cover of The Wipers and I will write about you. Eagulls are from Leeds and play loud, brash and snotty. Like D2P alumni Yuck, they take their cues from Our Band Could Be Your Life-era American rock, and like all of those bands, they’re born of hardcore and balance being smart with being silly (that name!). Their debut single “Council Flat Blues” is out now on Moshi Moshi imprint Not Even. You can stream it and read its excellent back story below. They also (finally) resolve the big ‘eagle vs. kestrel’ debate that has consumed the FADER office for most of 2011.
Download: Eagulls, “Mystery (The Wipers cover)”
I read on Abeano that you are named after a Shaggy song. Is that true?
Henry: Yes, it’s true. We’d just watched Neil Young at Primavera Festival and a Shaggy song came on over the stage speakers. We were dead pissed and were singing along, but then Goldy (guitar) started singing a different version.
Mark: It’s from when I was younger with my sister at a caravan holiday camp called Blue Dolphin and the shitty club singer was on performing his version of the song, but it sounded like he was singing “girl you’re my eagle, you’re my darling eagle” and we just imagined him serenading this eagle perched on his arm and were in creases.
Mark: Yeah, we heard that some American pub-rock band had a similar name and had some sort of success. However, we then didn’t do anything for about six months.
Some of you used to be in hardcore bands. How hardcore are Eagulls?
Mark: Even though we donít have an obvious hardcore sound it definitely filters through, Musically and melodically we are influenced by a lot of those American bands from the early 80s who started out playing hardcore punk and went in other directions, such as Husker Du, Replacements, Dinosaur Jr, Wipers and so on. But lyrically I think there are undercurrents of those snottier, more cynical bands such as The Adolescents and Circle Jerks. So if you’re talking about a certain attitude or outlook then I’d say we’re pretty hardcore. As for our previous bands, on listening we were definitely influenced by heavier, faster bands, more in your face, whereas Eagulls are less overt about it, but it’s still there.
Kestrels are better than eagles. Discuss.
Mark: An eagle could easily knack a kestrel, but I suppose a kestrel would be better to just chill out with.
Tell our readers the three best things about Leeds.
Henry: 1) Mine and George’s neighbor, because he tried to slice them with a meat cleaver.
Mark: 2) The Brudenell social club, it’s a class venue and a decent pint of Smiths.
Mark: 3) The soon to be O’ Kellys, which will be an Irish themed, family strip club that Eagulls one day hope to establish.
Stream: Eagulls, “Council Flat Blues“
Do any of you live in a council flat?
Henry: One of us used to live in a council flat above a butcher’s, but that’s about it. But the towns we are from all have large council estates, so we all know what they can be like.
George: Council flat blues was inspired by my teenage years hanging around with my friends in their parents’ houses. It just so turns out that most of my friends parents were either on drugs or drug dealers. At the time I just got on with it all and I thought it was the norm, but looking back at it now, it’s far from it! A lot of the stories come through in my lyrics and council flat blues really shows that time. When I was around 16 I went to Arts College and I met a girl who I really wanted to go out with. To cut a long story short I asked her and her friend to come round to my friend Sam’s house. The girls were already a bit frightened when they saw all the swords and weird shit in the house, then there was a knock at the door. We were being held up at gunpoint for an unpaid drug deal by Sam’s parents! First date. She went out with me though.
You sound angry. Not many bands do nowadays. Why are you angry?
George: “Anger is an energy” — John Lydon. Haha! To be honest I’m not always angry. I sing the way I do as I feel that’s how it should be. I know a lot of the bands around nowadays have the same overall sound, but Iím fed up of the sound of a beach, I’m from the fuckin Midlands, no coasts in site! To be fair, I think a lot of the new bands are amazing. It’s just the bandwagon bands that piss me off. We set out as a band with a huge punk influence and I think the anger comes from this, definitely through my vocals.
Council Flat Blues is out now on Not Even.