Time for something completely new to us on this Bank Holiday Monday. Fresh out of Glasgow we bring you an intriguing new project that’ll bring noisy trauma to your ears and bend your mind with its addictive intensity.
The Eagertongue is unlike anything we’ve heard recently, as evidenced by new track The Butcher, which is quite simply one long blitz of bizarre synthy noises with deluges of fuzz – which he succinctly labels “harsh noise.”
The Eagertongue is a one-man project of poetry meets fuzzy noise inspired by punk, which he himself describes as “cathartic punk and harsh noise.” The Eagertongue himself (he’s called Graham), tells us: “There’s a lot of things that have led me to that path. I have always connected with words – from Phil Collins as a kid, to Aaron Weiss in my teen years to Eric Paul, Justin Pearson and Wesley Eisold now. It just evolved – my first band was very wordy and was almost spoken word in a way; I just wasn’t aware of it.”
He’s been in bands, but his musical influences have evolved to very recently lead him down the route of becoming a solo performance act, fusing harsh noise with spoken word poetry – it’s quite the unique combination.
The Eagertongue tells us: “Well, I struggle to be in a band with people, my creativity is very much my own and I like to own that creativity – it has to be mine and I struggle to negate on that. I like what I write to be an embodiment on myself. I can’t do that if I have to carry another’s mindset with it. It’s a diluted version of the inside of my mind. I couldn’t play an instrument so it was my only real choice at the beginning. I don’t think I’m spoken word now though, I would class myself more as a harsh noise act – the spoken word over the top is just my take on the genre. I’d like to think I am, but I’m sure I’m just reinventing the wheel.”
And the story of what inspires his Eagertongue persona is even more fascinating. Graham told us: “I have a space in my mind that I don’t like to venture into in my day to day life; it’s a side of me that needs cleansing. By playing live and writing is to cleanse it of the dark sides by delving into it head first – if that makes any sense.
“I was in a band called Fall Short! Conform! a decade or so ago and when that broke up I never really knew what the next step for myself would be and spent many years just doing life really. Buying a house, getting married – all that stuff. There was always a gap though, but it’s hard to find that world where you can exist on your own and still be comfortable with what you’ve brought to the fore. I’m still working on that; it’s a process.”
Of course, harsh noise isn’t going to be for everyone and, as Graham tells us, that’s fine. He sees it as almost like a form of meditation, and the darkness of the sound is inspired by the topics that inspire it – in his words: “A need to create. It’s an obvious answer, but it’s true. It’s just need. I do write a lot about death and sex. Both are topics I’m really inspired by. I used to spend a lot of time around cemeteries as a kid and I think dead stuff is pretty cool. Let’s say I wear a lot of black!
“I’ve had people tell me they don’t understand it but like it. It’s just harsh, abrasive noise and I often tell people that the racket I create is what I feel in my mind every day, and obviously only I know what that is. If you like to watch someone that will trigger your senses and make you relive bad memories – I’d take a chance on me and see it live then decide how you feel afterwards.”
His style has been inspired by the likes of Prurient, Cold Cave, Bjork and The Chariot. He explains: “Dominick Fernow (Prurient) was my introduction to noise music, Wes (Eisold, Cold Cave) was my introduction to dark wave, goth culture, poetry and fashioning a vision into performance, whereas The Chariot were the perfect mix of passion, belief and utter, utter chaos. In regards to Bjork – I think I’m just in love with her. She’s perfect and has done everything on her own terms, which is not necessarily a new thing – but to do things on your own terms and be fucking good at it over 20-30 years is damn impressive. I think Homogenic is one of the most perfect albums ever written.”
The Eagertongue has a demo of new noise ‘stuff’ called A Waterfall of Organs coming soon, with gigs ramping up too – he even played someone’s kitchen earlier this month. Gigs include weekender Knifedoutofexistence in Scotland in mid-September, a headline set in Derby in October, before ending the year with a gig alongside US band Boy Harsher on 28 November. All his upcoming gigs are here.