23 October 2018   |  Last Updated 06-11-2014 09:28

      INTERVIEW: Eliza & The Bear

      Chirpy indie fivesome, Eliza & The Bear, are quickly becoming one of the best new talents in the indie pop world today.

      With a new album out in the new year and a fortnight before they play their biggest headline show at O2 Academy Islington, Will Whitby caught up with lead singer James and guitarist Martin to see how they feel about new sounds, festivals, Spotify and life on the road before their show at Ruby Lounge in Manchester.


      WW: So how are you finding the tour? Ever been to Manchester?

      James Kellegher: We’ve played Manchester a couple of times, it’s almost like a second home to us. Callie our piano player when we started was at Salford Uni. So we used to split time between here and London. One of the biggest shows we’ve ever played was here with Paramore at the Arena. Manchester is always good to us. Tour has been great, it’s been going on for a long time so we’ve set into tour mode. Settled into traveling, hotel living and eating crisps and sandwiches all day.

      Martin Dukelow: It’s our second time at Ruby Lounge as well.


      WW: You’ve released your EP, Light It Up, as well as singles, Friends and Brother’s Boat. What are their themes and inspirations behind them?

      JK: Light It Up for me was all about having a negative feeling and turning it on it’s head and making it a positive one. It came at a time writing the album when I was having a shit time with writers block and getting good stuff together, so I turned it into a song so that’s what Light It Up means.


      WW: So what makes you write a song?

      JK: It can be a lot of different things.

      MD: [To James] You’ve got that little book where you write down all your ideas.

      JK: Yeah, I’ve got a little black book and it’s full of little one liners. Say when I’m driving my car and I think of something I’ll get home and jot it down. Then we’re writing a song I can sit, pick a cool line and then the melody comes in. Sometimes it can just be a random spark of inspiration.


      WW: Do you prefer writing at home or on tour? Bit of both?

      JK: We’ve never written on the road before.

      MD: It’s something I’m actually looking forward to, especially when we record the album having everything set up and focusing on the material we have at the moment. But it’s also a chance to have some downtime and work on some new stuff.

      JK: The way we wrote this album was we were in the studio because we actually had the time to sit and write. When it comes to the second album we’ll be on the road for the most of it. We’ll have to adapt.


      WW: What are the best and worst bits of touring?

      MD: Best bits are that you get a lot of downtime so you get to check out a lot of the city you’re in, get some cool nightlife too. Downs for me is the food, you’re just eating unhealthy crap food.

      JK: Downside for me is that I’m really ill at the moment and you can get really ill on tour.

      MD: That’s probably down to your health because you’re constantly eating rubbish on the road. I’ve tried to keep it alright.


      WW: You’ve played a fair few festivals over the year, where was your favourite one?

      JK: One of the stand ups for me was Y Not. We don’t expect much when we play festivals but when we went out there was 2,500 people standing there waiting to watch us and it was just… wow. They were loving it and that was a great experience.


      WW: If you had to make your own festival, who would be your three day headliners?

      MD: Radiohead one day

      JK: Got to be Coldplay.

      MD: Live it up with Jay Z and Kanye West.


      WW: Indie, like all other genres, is evolving. Started off quite deep but now we’re quite chirpy with you guys. Where do you think it’ll go next?

      MD: There has been a big pop infusion.

      JK: Pop is less of a dirty word now. Bands are less afraid to be pop. I remember being in a band when we were 16 and refusing to be pop. It’s less “dirty” now so people embrace it more. It’ll be interesting to see heavier bands hitting on the pop and seeing what happens.

      MD: It’s hard to predict where things are going to go but for us we just write what we are into at the time. Go with the flow. It could turn round next week and be metal!



      WW: What did you both listen to growing up? Did your parents have an influence on you?

      JK: My dad was a big Fleetwood Mac fan, he was never like *in old man voice* “you must listen to this son”.

      MD: My dad was into all his music. The first show he took me to was AC/DC. My mum was really into The Jam. They were both into music. They were the reason I picked up a guitar. They always took me and mates to gigs and watched too.


      WW: So what was your favourite gig when you were younger?

      M: AC/DC at Wembley was something special. I was a massive Korn fan, saw them at Brixton.

      J: Green Day at Milton Keynes Bowl.


      WW: With Spotify, Youtube and unfortunately Piracy around, people listen to music in a completely different way to as they did a few years ago. Do you find it harder to become a musician? How do you feel about the situation?

      JK: I think it’s still early days for us to be massively affected by that stuff, we don’t chart with our singles. At the moment we’re not worried but down the line it might.

      MD: I think it’s been declining. Stuff like Deezer and Spotify are great to use, but there is that thought worrying about how that is affecting the musicians. We’re living in this day and age so you either deal with it or do nothing at all.

      JK: Spotify definitely helps, I’ve found a lot of new bands on Spotify. I was at a gig last night and the support act was moderately small and I was there today listening to them on Spotify.

      MD: It helps people find music and get to shows and then they’ll hopefully buy the albums. So it can hold a spark of interest for a band but who knows where it’s going to go.


      WW: You played EVAC in Liverpool yesterday, how was that?

      JK: It was great, it was Saturday night in Liverpool and one of the most lively gigs of the tour.

      MD: We’re massive Liverpool fans so we had a good time. We played Sound City this year. The promoters gave us free tickets to Duke Dumont who was playing downstairs so we had a good night out!


      WW: You’re also soon playing your biggest headline date at O2 Islington, how are you feeling about that?

      JK: Properly properly excited for that show. There are minimal amounts of tickets left. We’re getting ready to play it, it’s our biggest headline show and a hometown show. Family and friends are going to be there, it’s going to be a special one.


      WW: What’s next for Eliza And The Bear?

      JK: We finish this tour cycle and then two weeks and we record the album. So next year should be debut album promo and be a really busy year for us, touring as much as we can worldwide.


      WW: Where would you like to go most internationally? M: For me it’s Hong Kong.

      JK: We were out there for 4 days playing a show, it’s surreal. It’s crazy.

      MD: It’s the culture shock we enjoyed the most. I’ve been to America but the culture is normal.We go to Hong Kong and it was mental.


      WW: Got any good jokes?
      MD: What did the policeman say to the belly? You’re under a vest.

      *James hangs head in embarrassment*

      MD: Well at least fake laugh.


      WW: And finally, if you had to describe Eliza And The Bear in 3 words, what would they be?

      JK: Uplifting

      MD: Sexy

      JK: Pop