Eades interview: How this Leeds band have transformed from a lockdown experiment as they announce debut album
While the world was in lockdown, Eades were jamming in their homes and finding their feet as a band.
The art-punk five-piece, based in Leeds, was formed by singer and guitarist Harry Jordan and his best mate Tom O'Reilly in 2019.
Initially a "fun creative outlet" for the Leeds Conservatoire graduates, the band had recorded an impressive 60 songs in their first year together - despite being unable to perform for much of the pandemic.
After recruiting Same Wilde on bass, Dan Clifford-Smith on drums and later Lily Fontaine, who adds vocals, synth and percussion, Eades have now headlined Brudenell Social Club, played shows in Europe and are set to release their debut album in the spring.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Harry said: “We only started taking it seriously about six months before lockdown, we recorded an EP and then got locked down before we could play it.
“We were bored, so we became a little machine - I’d record a bunch of instrumentals and send it to Tom, he’d write the lyrics the next day and we’d go back and forth.
“For our first album, we ended up having around 60 songs that we could choose from.
“Then between the [Covid] waves, we’d rehearse non-stop because we were desperate to play live.
“We all started getting more creative and pulling from each other’s influences, that made everyone more passionate because it was something we could all put our stamp on.”
The band is named after Harry's grandparents, who bought him his first guitar when he was nine and pushed him to follow his dream of becoming a musician.
His grandad, Les Eades, picked up the bass guitar while Harry was learning his first chords.
"We'd have lessons together to keep me inspired," Harry, 26, said.
"My grandad became a hero in my eyes when I was growing up. When I started the band, originally as a fun side project, I thought it was nice to pay tribute to him.”
Eades' sound has a nod to the punk and garage-rock era, but the band aren't afraid to delve into new genres, Harry explains.
“We try to make sure anything we do is authentic," he said.
“We record, mix and write the songs ourselves - from the first processes, the drum sound, the guitars, to the final tweaks. That’s what makes our sound ‘us’.
“That gives us more freedom to play with different genres."
That eclectic sound is reflected by Harry's inspirations; from The Clash, The Libertines and the Buzzcocks to American indie rock band Car Seat Headrest.
“Velvet Underground, more recently, has been my biggest inspiration when writing songs," Harry added.
"I like how they went against the grain at the time, the 1960s was a hippie-world and they were singing about controversial things for the time.
"They did their own thing and their sound was like no one else.”
After Covid restrictions were eased last summer, Eades have finally taken to the stage to perform their debut EP Microcosmic Things, released in 2020 on their own label Bam Bam Records.
They headlined Brudenell Social Club in November, promoting their upcoming album Delusion Spree - set to be released this March.
“A lot of us have agreed it was our favourite music experience to date," Harry said.
"Recording the album was amazing, but seeing people’s reactions in a place that matters so much to us is as good as it gets.
“There were nerves but it was overtaken by excitement, performing had been taken away from us for so long and we were so desperate to be doing it again."
“When we started in music there wasn’t a massive Leeds scene," he added.
"But over the years people have stuck together and done gigs with each other. There’s a lot of support from other acts in Leeds. Leeds is a hotbed of talented people.”
With a headline tour, second album and more shows on the way in 2022, and an eventual goal of playing Glastonbury, Eades is now far from the bedroom project that Harry first experimented with.
“In a weird way, the pandemic has helped us a lot," Harry added.
"It’s given us time to focus on our sound and how we produce. As tough as it’s been, it’s been beneficial for us maturing as a band.”
Launching Bam Bam Studios
As well as recording and jamming with Eades over lockdowns, Harry and drummer Dan launched Bam Bam Studios - offering full audio production including writing, recording, mixing and mastering.
They have worked with a raft of Leeds bands and artists throughout the pandemic, including Honey Guide and Daisy Brain, and plan to expand to a larger venue this year.
Providing a space for musicians was particularly important at a time when the industry was struggling to stay afloat, Harry said.
“It was our way of still being able to do music at the time," he added.
"Recording was a big part of what got us through it. We were charging just enough to get by and a lot of our time was spent working in the studio with some amazing bands."
Debut album Delusion Spree out in March
Eades are preparing to release their debut album, Delusion Spree, on March 4.
The project was written in lockdown and recorded live in an old barn house in the North Yorkshire countryside.
“Expect lots of energy, tempo changes and weird noises,” Harry said.
“There’s mistakes in there but it only gives it character, those mistakes have become part of the music.
“The album is about being in your early to mid-twenties and trying to get your life together, while the world around you seems like it’s falling to pieces.
“It’s about trying to keep your head afloat and deal with the confusion and disillusionment you might have, coming to terms with the loss of loved ones or anxieties about what you're going to do with your life.”
The band have shared a string of singles in the build-up to the album launch, including Reno - which tells the story of someone who has given up on the ‘right way to be’.
Harry said: “When we finished it, we listened to it about three times in a row and were dancing around in the studio.
“We pushed ourselves to do something we hadn’t done before; it sums up the change in our sound between our EP and our album as we’ve become a bit more gritty.
“Sundays, the last song of the album, is about searching for escapism while we were locked inside. It leaves the album on a hopeful note.”
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