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Interview: The Lovely Eggs

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Hatched out of a husband and wife union, The Lovely Eggs have been experimenting with weird psychedelic punk rock, centering around social realism and witty jargon, ever since 2006.

Image credit: Darren Andrews

As beacon carriers for the underground DIY scene, The Lovely Eggs' music is constantly progressive and experimental, with NME describing them as "one of the country’s most beloved underground bands". The release of their 5th album, This Is Eggland, sees them exploring heavier psych riffs, delving into themes of witchcraft to being on the wrong side of the music industry. 

We caught up with Holly, who prior to the interview had just completed the extremely punk-rock task of washing up, as they embark on their 14-date UK tour next month with Leeds post-punk noise band Mush, Manchester feminist post-punk band Ill and poet slash comedian Rob Auton in tow.

Speaking ahead of the tour, Holy gushes how “We’re just really just really looking forward to going on tour with them cause we’ll get to see them every night and it’ll be really nice to meet our fans cause we always have a party when we go on tour...Basically it’s just like seeing your extended family, cause you’re touring all round the UK. We’re really looking forward to it cause you just don’t know what’s gonna happen.” 

Historically, working in relationships in bands can be polarising (look at relationships like that of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth) and allow the creative process to flourish, but also eventually lead to demise. However, with Holly and David their musical conception only strengthens their bond. 

“I think sometimes when you’re in a band with other people, that gets left behind in a way, like caring for other people, you’ve all got your own agendas and your sights set on the future of the band and sometimes you can be hurtful towards people, and you know, and that doesn’t happen with me and David because we put each other first, always, so the band just takes a backseat in that respect, we get on really well, we always have fun.” 

“You know, we’ve got a five year old kid now so things aren’t as wild as they used to be...when you’re travelling about with your other half, and getting free booze and you're getting travel 'round the world and stay at people’s houses and make new friends, it’s a pretty good life really. We still do that, we just don’t get shitfaced.” 

Despite being a shining example for the DIY band community, for their latest album, the pair recruited The Flaming Lips and Tame Impala producer David Friedman, after a “wild dream slash practical joke” conceived from a drunken conversation at their kitchen table. Every story Holly has to tell is endlessly funny - she injects vibrancy and humour into the most mundane occurrences.

Speaking of the recruitment of Friedman, she tells how they first got through to a Chinese takeaway and then two wrong numbers before she could leave the “Oh, hello my name’s Holly, I’m in this band and we think you’re great and we’d love you to produce our new album” message on the answerphone.

“Anyway one year later we got an email from him, saying 'I’ve just checked my studio answerphone and I’ve got your message, and I just checked out your stuff and I really like it and I wanna work with you' and that was that, so once he said that we were off you know we like we don’t even need to think twice.”

Social realism and witchcraft are prevalent themes in the pair's lyricism. In particular, the occult (as many songs on the album make reference to witchcraft) are inspired by the ‘spooky’ town of Lancaster, which they hail from. The observations of the environment and the narrative of personal experience are extremely important to the conception of lyrics.

“I don't think you can possibly be true to yourself and write about stuff that isn’t you. You know Charles Bukowski, he wrote Post Office when he was working at the post office, and then when he became famous as a writer he started writing books about women, which were all about these women throwing themselves at him when he was more of a successful writer and I really appreciated the honesty of him writing about his surroundings, 'cause obviously when you’re a rich person, you can’t go writing books about signing on the dole and that.”

Ultimately, the message to take away from The Lovely Eggs' music is to take life with a pinch of salt and turn gloom into glitter.

“Living in a small town like Lancaster you could be stifled by it, and you could scream about it and resent it and be really bitter, or you could accept it and find the humour in it. And Richard Brautigan inspired me a bit as a writer and a poet a bit to do that myself, and to try and find goodness in the shittest, darkest parts of life, you know I think that’s important.”

“But if we were millionaires living in Hollywood, I would be singing about palm trees, I’d keep it real.” 

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