EYEMOUTH is my most fascinating find of the year. Experimental in sound, spectacular in vocals and mysterious in lyrics. Haunting gothic spiced grandeur out of Sweden. They produce electronic soundscapes which they color magnificently with unusual ‘rock’ instruments such as mellotron, vibraphone, accordion and santur. ‘I Remember’ was the first Eyemouth track I heard. An ongoing groovy & monumental drone with captivating creepy vocals on top heading slowly towards a gripping and colossal finale. Stunning stuff. The band released three EP’s so far. Three sonic revelations. Reasons enough to meet the band: David Lilja, Tove Ekman, Joakim Åberg and singer/songwriter/musical maestro Marcus Lilja …
When and were was the band conceived?
David Lilja: “The three of us, Joakim, Marcus and David earlier played together in another band called Estrange, here in Gothenburg. But back in 2010 we found ourselves so far from our earlier sound that we actually had become a different band. And soon after Tove joined us on drums we became Eyemouth.”
What’s the story behind the group’s name?
Marcus Lilja: “It’s something that came to me from reading the book of Daniel 7:8. Daniel saw a beast with a horn. On the horn there was eyes like eyes from a human and a mouth speaking great things. Many seem to interpret it as the antichrist, but you could also see the whole context as a part of yourself. Looking at it in that way it also follow many of the themes of our songs.”
You sound different from today’s alternative ‘rock’ bands. More experimental with the use of unusual instruments. Tell us more about the conception of your peculiar sound.
Marcus Lilja: “It’s not like we are instrumentalists in any way, but we’re working hard to get the sounds and the atmosphere to match the tension in the songs. Usually it starts quite organic and then it runs through my modular synths and suddenly it just sounds… the way we want it. Eyemouthic.”
Did any specific artists inspired the band to follow that sonic path?
Marcus Lilja: “Well, it’s kind of hard to tell what comes first. Do I get inspired by Current 93 and Coil or do I find and love them because I am who I am? But I think all of us listen to music that push the boundaries a bit further away from the conception we woke up to.”
Some songs sound like being written for a scary movie soundtrack. Are you aware of that horrific effect?
Marcus Lilja: “Yes, in a way. Not that we try to make that kind of soundtrack, but like I said before, we try to get a certain sense that follows our intention with the song and its lyrics.”
On the other hand a song like ‘Will There Be A Light’ has more of a spiritual tone. Do you deal with spirituality in your work?
Marcus Lilja: “It would depend on the definition of spirituality I guess. I think most of the lyrics deal with the fraction between who I am and who I think I am. They usually have a sense of transcending what lies before your eyes so in a way they are spiritual. Will There Be A Light is dealing a lot with guilt and how to deal with tomorrow. I’m using a tape recording of me and my sister from when we were little children, and it kind of sets perspective of time, change and death.”
What stories does the band want to tell/sing to the world ?
Marcus Lilja: “I don’t think we have a preaching approach, though you would sometimes get the notion we do because of the tone in the songs. But I have always felt the need to express parts of me that I don’t easily deal with. Those things I struggle with have always made me feel inferior to any fellow-creature. In a way I guess all people can relate to dealing with stuff in their past they would rather forget. I have always felt a longing for something to complete me and my search have taken different ways. I suppose you could find traces of that in the lyrics.”
What is an Eyemouth concert all about? I can imagine that visual effects are used to suit the monumental music.
Marcus Lilja: “Well, if you’ve been at an Eyemouth concert you should consider yourself very lucky, because so far it’s just been a few. We have some plans and ideas how to make it a memorable event. As it has been we’ve been very glad if anyone has been decent enough to switch the light from green to red. If they’ve made it in sync, you can just imagine our happiness !”
What band or artist would you really like to go on tour with ?
Joakim Åberg: “That´s not an easy question, since we don´t know that many bands! We really like Swedish bands like Dödens Dal and Siri Karlsson though. And true artists like Chelsea Wolfe of course !”
Several Swedish artists/bands were/are triumphant all over the world . Like The
Cardigans First Aid Kit, Fever Ray, Icona Pop and more. Does Swedish pop & rock has something in common?
Joakim Åberg: “Not so sure about that. Most of what we´re listening to certainly has. Music with a melancholic vibe that is. But I guess there’s some truth in it, since most of the music from here seems to have a ‘minor’ feeling to it anyway.”
‘Noera Genesis’ is the title of your new, third, EP. What does that expression means?
Marcus Lilja: “It’s taken from The Corpus Hemeticum and would mean the birth in understanding or intellectual birth. It’s about how to completely free oneself from the body and be made into gods. This is somehow a theme on this EP or a kind of reference to the lyrics. In most cases as an inability to understand the concept and instead losing oneself.”
Can you tell us already what the fourth EP will be like?
Marcus Lilja: “It will spin off the first three and explode into something else.”
Joakim Åberg: “Guess it´s more about weight, but maybe not strictly in the musical sense. You´ll just have to wait and see !”
Will the four EP’s be released as an album?
Joakim Åberg: “We are working on that. Don´t know how yet though. Got to find a way to get it financed somehow. Guess crowd funding won´t be the thing for us. Not enough people know about us yet !”
The social media: a blessing or a pain in the ass?
Joakim Åberg: “A bit of both sometimes. It´s great to connect with other bands/artists/other music fanatics, but it can be kind of shallow sometimes. Guess it´s how it’s supposed to be though. It must be hard to invest real emotions for everyone too. That said, it´s probably the best and most direct forum right now anyway.”
Best track you heard in 2015 ?
Marcus Lilja: “ Dragged Out by Chelsea Wolfe.’
Joakim Åberg: “Or Simple Death, live in Gothenburg maybe !”
Chelsea’s already back – definitely Eyemouth’s favorite artist…
What album would you steal from your parents’ collection?
Marcus Lilja: “They had a collection of albums of classical music. The cover of those records had the most wonderful colours, all 70ish. People at a lovely breakfast table in different family constellations. They intrigued me very much as a little child. I would love to fill my walls with those records.”
Joakim Åberg: “Or anything with Jethro Tull. Haha.”
If you could travel back in time what artist would you like to jam with?
Joakim Åberg: “The Bad Seeds when Blixa Bargeld still was around !”
Abba or The Cardigans?
Marcus Lilja: “Abba doing covers of The Cardigans songs like Don’t Blame Your Daughter, You’re The Storm and Hanging Around.”
What’s the band’s next step?
Joakim Åberg:” We´re really looking forward to start recording songs again ! It´s taken us quite some time to get our EP´s out, but now I guess we are more or less ready for it again.”
Thank you all for this interview ! May the road rise with Eyemouth !
Three EP’s – explore and get lost in it…