Eagle-Eye Cherry: Back on Track, finally back on a stage
Leggi questo articolo in Italiano qui
To celebrate 25 years of career, the Swedish songwriter Eagle-Eye Cherry returns with a new album, Back on Track, and a new World tour that will also stop in Italy next February. We had the chance to interview him to know a little bit more about the new songs, how he lived the forced stop given by the pandemic and on the legacy of having written Save Tonight.
Welcome on VEZ Magazine and thank you for your time.
Let’s start talking about your album Back on Track: do you think it’s possible to find a link (it could be either a word or a feeling) among the tracks of the record?
“When I was working on the album I started revisiting the music I listened to when I was a teenager. Stuff like The Ramones, The Clash and Talking Heads and I think it found it’s way into the music. Not so much the sonically but the feeling I had when I was young and listening to their music… it got me inspired and energised.”
When did you start writing the new songs? Before or after the pandemic hit us all?
“I had started writing new songs prior to the pandemic. I wanted to capture the energy of our live shows in the recording so we went straight in into the studio right after finishing my Streets of You tour. We recorded eight songs planning to return and finish the rest album but then Covid came and put everything at full stop.”
After almost a career 25 years long, six albums and dozens of songs, has your creative process changed or your approach remained constant over time? And how do your new songs usually come to life? Over the guitar or in some other way?
“When I made my first album I wasn’t sure of who I was musically. So Desireless was the journey where I found out who I am. By the end of the album I knew exactly what I’m about musically. The difference between then and now is that today I don’t question during the writing of a song because I’m totally at home with my sound. Mainly drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and my voice.
Usually songs are written with an acoustic guitar. Either on my own or together with other songwriters.”
To compose, to kick-off a new album, in particular Back on Track is it something you feel you have to do, as to satisfy a creative need, or is it a more natural process, for which you don’t necessarily need to feel an urgency?
“There isn’t really a beginning middle or end. Songs are being written throughout so that the next album is up and running when the touring and promotion ends. Although after my third album I did take a long break from the business and thought maybe I wouldn’t continue as an artist. But eventually I missed touring too much and couldn’t stay away… I had to get Back on Track.”
Once the songs are recorded, do you like to be involved in the mixing and post production phases?
“Yes, I like to be involved and make sure the album sounds the way I want it. It’s got my name on it so I have to be 100% satisfied.”
Following up on this, how different is the current musician Eagle-Eye compared to the one from 1997?
“I’m a little older. I’ve been around the block a few times and don’t feel restless like I did in 1997. Now I know to focus on what is important. I love playing live gigs and that is my reward for all the hard work… writing, recording and promotion. I’m also a father now and that outshines everything else in life.”
During your upcoming World tour, who will be with you on stage? Who will take part to your band? What type of show will it be and what should the crowd expect?
“Yes, I’m very excited to get back on the road. It was very hard during the pandemic to not be able to go on tour. I love to travel and be on the move so to not be able to even leave your apartment had me climbing the walls.
So to finally get out in the world, to meet the fans and share the music will be fantastic. I’ll be bringing the band I’ve been working with a few years now. We are a tight unit after having played so many gigs together. We’ll be playing a lot of the songs from the new album. A lot of the new songs are written because I was missing these kind of tunes in our show. Big energy! And of course we’ll be playing several of my songs from earlier albums also.”
In the end, a question that might sound a bit weird but I’m going to dare… during your career you wrote a ton of beautiful songs, there are real gems in each and every one of your albums as undeniable proof of your value as a songwriter, so here’s the question: have you ever thought or wished you never wrote Save Tonight, a hit that remarks an age, that surely gave you visibility, success and so much more, but that also ends up to outshine everything else you have done?
“It’s a good question. I often say that if having a massive hit like Save Tonight is a problem then that is a good problem to have. Save Tonight has taken me around the world and given me everything I dreamed since I was a kid. So, no I don’t wish I never wrote Save Tonight.”
Thank you once again for your time and see you in Milano!
Editing and translation: Francesca Garattoni