In conversation with Holly from the Lovely Eggs;
As they head out on their UK tour we caught up with Holly from The Lovely Eggs; the plan had been to chat to both her and husband David, however David was recovering from a bout of pneumonia that saw him hospitalised – thankfully he is now recovering at home under Holly’s care;
LTW: So, how is David?
Holly: He’s on the mend, he’s in bed as I speak; I’ve been bringing him three meals a day on a tray, so he’s alright now, but last week he was very ill – we did two sets at Festival No. 6 knowing full well he’d got or thought he had pneumonia, he’d had it in April and it felt the same, but we just got through it, played both sets then drove straight to the doctor, who promptly admitted him to hospital… joking aside, I was well worried about him, but he’s on the mend, a weeks bed rest, we play the gig tonight (Ramsbottom Festival) and then he’s going back to bed for a week.
LTW: With the tour approaching he needs to be fit
H: Hopefully he will be fine for the tour, he got pneumonia back in April, and we had the tour in May; then the Doctor said ‘ he’s fucked, should do anything for a good few months; our view was “we’ll see about that”, with this one, he’ll be fine for it!
LTW: Looking back at the last eight to nine month’s, certainly since the release of ‘This Is Eggland’ its been a frantic period, ‘Eggland’ was on rotation courtesy of BBC 6music, not to mention the acres of press attention; how did that feel?
H: It does feel brilliant, because we’ve never had that before, and for a band like us, who do everything on their own terms, we don’t really compromise on anything that smell like bullshit…so to get that sought of success, for us was brilliant! Really, it’s not about the reviews, or being on the radio, its more about exposure, we wanted more fans to be into us – a lot of the time we get messages saying ‘I’ve only just discovered your band’ despite that fact we’ve being going 12yrs! So its good to get the word spread about us… but it was pretty mad, unexpected – its brilliant, we’ll definitely take it!
LTW: I felt that the overall sound on ‘This Is Eggland’ had altered slightly; was this a conscious decision or as I would suggest a natural development from those earlier albums?
H: Well, we have always said we’ll never stay the same, we have a lot of very different sounding songs; people should be under no illusions that we do this band for entirely selfish reasons, its for our own amusement and pleasure, not the amusement and pleasure of anyone else, so if people don’t like it that up to them, its like take it or leave it if you, but when people take it, then that’s a great thing – but we have never, we always change our sound if we want to.
We started off a lot lighter sounding, and I guess after 12 years your going to start getting bored, so we try different stuff and have now gone down a heavier possibly psychedelic route… its just what were into at the moment, but we might change next year… its literally on our whimsy, we don’t really give a fuck about pleasing people, we can sound terrible but if people like it that’s great. We want them to like it, but at the same time we don’t make it so that they will like it.
LTW: Has the writing, the creative process altered is it still just the two of you?
H: Absolutely, its not altered at all, in fact it probably will still sound similar to our older stuff as we recorded it ourselves don’t forget, Dave Fridmann mixed it and produced it, but we still recorded it all ourselves at Lancaster Music Cooperative with all the same shitty, normal equipment we have used for the last decade
LTW: I think that getting David Fridmann to produce the album was a master stroke, how did that come about?
H: We have this philosophy of “why not?”, and the world is a massive place, yet its also a tiny place, and I just thought “you know what, I’m going to try and contact him”, I tried to find an email for him, but clearly he doesn’t put that out there, not wanting to get lots of ‘come and produce my band’ requests, but I found a phone number for him, a number liked to his studio; I got drunk one night and I just phoned, I got two wrong numbers, first was a Chinese take-away, then a garage, and the then the third time I got a studio answerphone, I thought shit, what do you do, then ‘fuck it’ so I left a message, this garbled drunken message saying who we were and how much we loved his production, and basically how we were massive fans… David was like 2you daft fucker, ringing him up, what an idiot, like he’s ever going to work with us… and then a year later we got an email! It said I just listened to my answerphone, I’ve checked out your band I think your brilliant, I want to work with you
LTW: Well if you don’t ask…
H: A little bit, but its certainly good to dream; the thing is were now at a point were we’re playing shows, we are selling them out, and we never ever imagined that we could get to a level were we would be able to do that, but sometimes its about not ever letting anyone tell you who you are, all that ‘your a niche band, you wont play to more that 100 people’. I will not be fucking told what I bloody well am, or what I can bloody well do… I believe a lot in fate, what will happen, will happen, I know it sounds a bit fuckin weird and hippy, but I believe in magic, and odd things happening, I think, let go and just see what happens – I’ve never liked people telling me my limits, I will not be limited. That is a big motto for a DIY band, for all DIY bands, “never stop fuckin trying – be positive, NEVER give up, always take the positive out of any situation; good or really bad!
LTW: What do you think Dave brought to the album, did he take away some of eccentricities?
H: No, I don’t think they were there in the songs, we were sick to the back teeth of people say “ooh, aren’t they funny” and telling us that they had a can of beans the other day “you should write a song about it”; like no, you write a song about you own fucking life, and leave me to write songs about what I chose, people were picking any trivial point, an event in the street, like; a woman slipped on dog shit the other day – The Lovely Eggs should write a song about it. It got to the point it was a bit offensive, I was writing songs about my life, it wasn’t just pick something trivial, and people think that’s The Lovely Eggs schtick, and it got on my nerves, because this is our life, the fact we are singing about trivial things is because our lives at that moment in Lancaster, a small Northern town we fuck all to do can be pretty fucking boring and trivial… its not signing about this shit for the sake of trivia, I heard people so many times saying you should write a song about it and it would be someone emptying the bins, or some drops a doughnut on the floor; so I think we got sick of that so purposefully on ‘Eggland’ we though no, not having that… but ‘Dickhead’ is a bit like that!
Its about progression, you have to progress
LTW: Exactly, you strive towards new targets
JH: Yes, and you react against stuff, we did ‘Eggland’ and people may wrongly think Dave changed it, but those songs weren’t there, the sort of ‘People Are Twats, ‘Don’t Look At Me, I Don’t Like It’ songs weren’t there, it wasn’t funny to us anymore’
LTW: Your not thinking of ditching some of the older stuff, ‘Fuck It’ is almost becoming an anthem;
H: Well everyone has there own favourites, but we have no interest at this moment in playing the old songs, we’ve been going 12 years, and that’s what I was on about earlier abut getting more fans; people are discovering us and requesting ‘Digital Accordion’ and I’m like “where have you been for the last 10years?” we had played those tracks at every gig, and we have played hundreds of gigs if not thousands, there is a bit of “were over that now”. I’m not saying we will never play the old ones again, we do ‘Fuck It’, ‘Allergies’ ‘People Are Twats’ and other older stuff, we may well play them in the future, but we are playing what we want at the moment, the new songs are what we fell represent us, wouldn’t really want to play songs that don’t interest much anymore.
LTW: You took ‘Eggland’ to some great festivals this year, I saw you a few times, you were clearly enjoying yourselves; do you still get excited about actually getting up and playing?
H: Yes! We have a five year old son, we don’t get out much anymore, so being on stage has become our going out, its a party, we meet so many people from right around the country, people we know because we have been touring for 12 years, fans have become friends… we are from that punk rock spirit of having a good craic, have a drink and if you cant do that then were not interested in doing it anymore – that is literally the bottom line, so when we are smiling having a good time on stage – that is our agenda, has always be so since we started the band; get on stage, get pissed up, play some tunes, have a laugh – that’s what it is… none of this sober, professionalism that lots of bands seem to be doing these days!!
LTW: Has the success of ‘Eggland’ forced some level of professionalism upon you both?
H: Well we are both two pretty organised human beings, ‘Eggland’ was distributed by Cargo, but we are serious about it, we have had so many shit jobs, we are frightened that we would have to go back to them, if that shadow was looming over your shoulder, you will work your arse of to make what your doing work… its a working class mentality, we are from that background with those shit jobs, we know which way our bread is buttered.
LTW: So what’s next, the one thing that’s missing seems to be The Lovely Eggs in Europe?
H: Next year we are concentrating upon writing the new album, then recording the album which we have to just stop everything for, we cant tour, and write the album, its chaos enough as it is, doing everything ourselves, with a family; so we do one thing at a time. We are trying to get to Europe, but its just us doing it based here, over the past 12 years we have built up a brilliant promoter and contact list, but its confined to the UK, so we are trying to get someone to help us over there.
Its difficult to gauge how well know we are in Europe, we certainly get orders for records from across the European area, but I don’t know if there is a market to see us live; we will see!
So these dates in the UK are going to be the last for a long time, I don’t know if we will be touring the UK in 2019 – so if people want to come and see us, they better get their finger out!