Eagulls Prove Pure Punk Is Alive & Raw

31_EagullsPhoto: Courtesy of Eagulls. Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
In our mile-a-minute music landscape, it's easy to lose sight of old-school values like working-class punk and no-nonsense DIY. Luckily, Leeds-based act Eagulls is all too happy to remind us. With early singles like "Nerve Endings" and raucous covers of The Mekons and Killing Joke, the band thrashes through its songs with the fury and dynamism of early Dischord Records and Steve Albini productions. (Those hoping for an interview with some milquetoast Californians will be sorely disappointed.) To a world accustomed to faux-'80s sheen and pre-fab reverb, Eagulls offer an aggressive and — some would argue — much-needed refresher in true-grit rock 'n' roll. We caught up with singer George Mitchell to talk his recent trip to New York, being the odd man out, and winning over audiences show after show.
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Playing With Fire
"It was amazing. The most memorable moment was probably blowing fireworks off of the apartment roof. That was pretty funny. [We were staying] just near the Brooklyn Bridge in some posh apartment. It was good."
Industry Crowd
"It was a bit mixed, because it's CMJ. It's not straight-up fun. There are music people and PRs and all the shit that goes with it. It was good, though, still. It's good to play in front of people who have never heard of you before. People are trying to judge you, but then you end up winning them over. I always like doing that. From day one, we've always been the outsider band. Our music was completely different. We'd get put with, I dunno, some shitty band that people think are cool, and we'd have to end up playing with them. We've always been out in front of audiences that don't want to see us, but end up enjoying us."
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No Gimmicks
"It's nice to see people actually taking something that's for real without the stupid fucking gimmicks that all the other bands seem to pull off. We're in it for the music and nothing else. We're just straight-up, and that's about it."
Getting Signed
"We were doing South by Southwest and had just played a gig. Just as we were playing Krist Novoselic [of Nirvana] had just walked in. After we played — it was so hot — [I was at] a little sink at the bar. I turned around, and this man was just there. He said, 'That was really good. Can I talk to you?' I said, 'Gimme a minute, I'm fucking boiling.' It turned out that was Tim [Putnam] who runs Partisan Records. We started talking and emailing, and it turns out, he was one of the kindest and most generous people I've ever met in my life."
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Hometown Heroes
"This week we're playing two sold-out gigs with Parquet Courts, one in our hometown, Leeds. That should be one of [our] best shows in England. It's at our favorite venue — this place the Brudenell [Social Club]. The next day we play Glasgow with them on Halloween. That should be a laugh — I'm sure everyone will get dressed up."

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