Interview w/ Eyesore & The Jinx: "Five years ago, I wouldn't have been able to write that"!
Liverpool-based Post Punk outfit Eyesore & The Jinx have become a favourite around the city thanks to their vibrant, angular rhythms and astute social satire. Their sound is instantly recognisable with its thick Art-Punk grooves and unique vocal style and not often does it feel like so much is going on with so few instruments at play! We spoke with the trio ahead of their debut album 'Jitterbug' (Out this November).
Q. Where did the name Eyesore & The Jinx originate from?
A. “The three of are quite big personalities and have very strong opinions on what we like and what we don't like. That extends to every aspect of what we do and so it takes a long time to kind of agree on anything really. So the name took a long time. We already had quite a lot of songs before the name came along and I thought the eyesore kind of summed up the themes around the songs quite well. It was all dealing with very British problems, some wider political issues and some quite narrow individual, introspective issues as well. It was all quite bleak and quite grim stuff and I thought that encapsulated that quite well. Then Eyesore on its own didn't really do it justice because that conjures up something very serious so the jinx sort of has that playfulness to it because there's a humour to it, it's looking at these quite grim issues through a humorous lens”.
Q. Where does this desire come from to use humour to convey these more serious issues?
A. “I think if you use humour as a writing tool you can say a lot more and it's a lot easier for people to digest as well. It's easier for people to meet you on your level if you're using humour as a tool and you can kind of speak about what you want. It's a very British thing I think, it's like when you go away and you meet someone of your own order, it's the first person to crack a joke, isn't it? And I think music does the same, it's kind of establishing a relationship between yourself and a listener”.
Q. Where does this desire come from to cover such serious political & social issues in your music and are these issues the main inspiration behind the lyrics on your new album?
A. Well the last, five or six years have been quite turbulent, haven’t they? I just felt like that was the right thing to do, really. There was a lot of subject matter to find out and it felt like a waste of opportunity not to write about that kind of thing. But it's all different really, there's no sort of one place the lyrics come from. It can come from conversations with people, a lot of it's from books and some is from the news, but that was kind of the earlier stuff. I’d say the album is less on the nose in terms of its political approach. I'd say the newer stuff is a little bit more sort of introspective but I mean, politics is in everything, isn't it? Everything that you go through is affected by politics and decisions that are made above your level”.
Q. What prompted this change in lyrical direction?
A. “Since 2020 everyone's lives have changed but I had a particularly difficult few years where my life essentially fell in on itself and that changed my approach really. I suddenly had a load of new material because everything sort of fell apart over a very short period of time. I guess it's the same kind of thing as before. When there’s so much going on in the world it’s a waste not to write about it but when there’s so much going on in your life it's a waste not to write about that to”.
Q. Would you say your sound has shifted on this album too?
A. “We had an extended break for the first time in like two or three years where we couldn't really get together. When we finally got together again we kind of naturally gravitated towards this very anxious sound where everything was suddenly very short and tight and quick, which we just kind of exacerbated tenfold and so the album is very twitchy, hence the title ‘Jitterbug’. So yeah, maybe like unconsciously things sort of developed and listening habits changed as well”.
Q. Your debut album has been a long time coming, do you feel that now is the perfect time to put it out there?
A. “Yeah, definitely. Ideally we would have done it in 2020 but circumstances out of our control and then you know various things that have happened since then have kind of like now is like the time to do it really I mean we could have kept going and kept writing songs to try to get Something that we would consider, you know, the perfect album, but I don't know, you can keep reaching for this perfect album and it's never really there. So it's come to a time where we need to say this is your album, get these songs out and then kind of move on to something else”.
Q. You mentioned before that you’re all big personalities, do you feel this comes through in your music?
A. “Yeah, definitely. I'll use the drums as an example.I think Owen’s playing is very individual so there's a lot of personality in the drums which you don't always get in other bands. There's a general consensus between the three of us that it's just about the collective song, not the best part necessarily but we don't really get involved too much in each other's individual parts.
Q. Can you talk us through the inspiration behind your latest single off the album, ‘Nocturnal Athletes’?
A. “Its an ode to Bruno Mars. It came out of the back end of a period where I tried to like get me shit together, I stopped drinking and started going to the gym. The gym had always terrified me, just like massive people, big egos and just not for me at all. To mitigate the risk of running into those kinds of people who I didn't want to run into, I started going to the gym really late. I'd be on the bike or treadmill, or whatever and every fucking time, Bruno Mars was on the screen and it felt like it was just me and Bruno Mars in the gym. So just from that I wrote this ridiculous song about me and Bruno Mars having this kind of relationship where we're trying to outdo each other and who's got the biggest achievements while he's winning Grammys and, you know, I’m smashing weights".
"It’s the most ridiculous song I've ever written but it worked very well, and I'm quite proud of the introspect in there. I think five years ago, I wouldn't have been able to write that kind of song. For me it kind of sums up the album!”.