Eagle and the Worm’s groovy experiments
BACK FOR MORE: Eagle and the Worm say Maitland is one of their favourite places to play.Eagle and the Worm play the Bitter and Twisted Festival on Saturday, November 1, along with the Beards, Jebediah and the Griswolds.
ALTHOUGH they’ve had a two-year silence, don’t think all has been quiet behind the scenes for Eagle and the Worm.
The Melbourne indie outfit, best known for their massive sound, seven-piece stage crew, groovy lyrics and layered instrumentation which permeate early songs like All I Know, have made a comeback in Automatic, the first new material for the band in some time.
The single is just a taste of dozens of songs to come from the seven-piece, currently comprised of frontman Jarrad Brown, Richard Bradbeer, Lachlan O’Kane, Emily Caracella, Ross Beaton, Liam McGorry and James Fleming.
Brown said the band have used their time away from touring and the spotlight to get experimental in the studio – an exercise that’s produced a lot of material.
‘‘We’ve pretty much made two albums,’’ Brown tells Weekender from his home in Melbourne.
‘‘To start with, we recorded at Sing Sing studios in Melbourne. We recorded 30 or so songs there, and then we sort of went away and started another stream of recording … and messed around and flipped all our stuff on its head and tried some different things.
‘‘It would’ve been easy to record a couple of albums and put them out and go ‘great’. But I guess while we’re together and while we have the opportunity, we’re well-supported, I just wanted to really invest in making some really interesting creative decisions.’’
The experimental process was influenced by musical greats like Yoko Ono and David Bowie, who are mentioned occasionally by Brown on the band’s official social media accounts.
‘‘I love Yoko. I’m totally into that vibe,’’ Brown says of the Japanese visual artist’s thought-provoking posts on Twitter.
‘‘I’ve always been really interested and passionate about collaborating, saying as a songwriter you don’t know everything. It’s a bit more human to accept there’s flaws in art.
‘‘Some of my favourite artists are like that – like Bowie. He never wanted to be perfect, he sort of wanted to be a pioneer or an experimenter and at the same time obviously had a deep love for pop music. I’m inspired by those people a lot.’’
And, though Eagle and the Worm may not have reached the same level of fame as Bowie or Ono, their music has left a lasting impression.
Older material like Give Me Time from 2012’s Strangelove is continually played and requested on youth station Triple J. With any luck the two new records, which Brown describes as bodies of work, will have similar success.
The pair don’t yet have names or exact release dates: right now, the band are discussing how they’re going to be visually represented, packaged and distributed.
‘‘If we’re lucky we’ll get something out this year, but I definitely think both releases or both bodies of work will be out the first bit of next year,’’ Brown says.
‘‘We’ve spent so long on it, it’ll be nice to have it see the light of day.’’
Part one of the material, recorded at Sing Sing studios, will have a similar flavour to previously released single Automatic – but Brown relinquished creative control for the second session to see where the sound could go.
‘‘There’s a body of work we’ve done that represents how we record as a band live in the studio, then another body of work that’s probably a bit deeper: Eagle and the Worm really cut up and stripped back and experimented with and collaborated with,’’ he says.
‘‘I’m not sure what will go out as a sort of lead track first, if it’ll be from one stream or another.’’
But once thing is for certain: both Brown and his fans are eagerly anticipating Eagle and the Worm’s appearance at Maitland Gaol’s Bitter and Twisted festival next Saturday, where half of their set will be full of new material.
Brown said he jumped at the chance to play the festival after having happy musical memories from past performances at The Junkyard, the Gumball festival and Pigsty in July.
‘‘I guess we’ve made quite a few friends in Maitland,’’ Brown said.
‘‘It’s one of our favourite places to play, to be honest, so we’re always happy to get a call from someone around the area who wants us to play.’’