INTERVIEW: eating burritos at Bigsound with Newy alt-rockers Eat Your Heart Out
Once upon a time, five young high school kids in Newcastle formed a band, won the Triple J unearthed Groovin The Moo comp, snagged a record deal and now sit poised to take over the USA later this year. A Cinderella story on paper perhaps, but for punk-tinged quintet Eat Your Heart Out, there's more than just a group who can wield their art like nobody's business. Sure, they'll give your speakers a healthy shake and can rage alongside the likes of Simple Plan and locals Trophy Eyes - but resonating beyond their hard-hitting brand of grungy punk rock is a splash of refreshing honesty and warmth; a quality that seamlessly translates when you meet this lot in real life.
In between their giant recent tour alongside alt-rock legends Movements and their upcoming adventure in the States in a few months alongside American pop-punkers Real Friends, The Soundcheck crashed the band's lunch during Bigsound 2018 to chat through the incredible journey from young up-and-comers to bona-fide success story - plus what this explosive quintet has planned beyond 2018. Interview with Caitlin Henry (vocals), William Moore (guitar), Dominic Cant (bass), Jake Kronin (drums) and Andrew Anderson (guitar) below.
TIANA SPETER: Hi Eat Your Heart Out people! So we're here at Bigsound currently, you're performing here this week obviously, and you've also recently been touring with Movements and you'll be heading off to the States later this year alongside Real Friends. What a huge little run for you guys of late, how are we all feeling?
DOM: Run down (laughs)
WILL: It's a "good" from me, not as run down as Dom (laughs).
TIANA: Oh Dom, why are you so run down?
DOM: I got a cold right at the end of the tour (laughs).
ANDREW: I think you partied too hard.
CAITLIN: Yep, everyone's had it!
TIANA: Share the cold love! So tell me: Bigsound. What motivated you guys to come along this year?
CAITLIN: I think it was just always something that we'd seen, but never really realised we should probably apply for? And then this year we were talking to some of our team and they were like "you have to do it!!". So we were like "ok, cool!". And then signed up and...
JAKE: And it worked out well, it coincided with the end of the tour as well and we were gonna be here anyway!
WILL: And a bit of a holiday in between! You can't argue with that!
DOM: It's not an opportunity we get in Newcastle either.
TIANA: Well that actually leads extremely nicely into the next question...I'm finding more and more there's a whole lotta buzz around Newcastle and its music scene...do you guys feel like it is on the rise? Or is it something you have to leave to appreciate?
WILL: There's a strong support for a lot of the lo-fi kind of stuff in Newcastle right now, like your Raavies (RAAVE TAPES), your Fritz all these really great bands that kind of have those party...well not party..but kind of party/rock/surf-rock vibes and they just keep it really fun and great for everyone. We don't necessarily quite fit that image, we were more in the little run before with Trophy Eyes. And Hombre Records and Drone, DIY venues that kind of supported alternative music. So as far as alternative music goes, it's not really booming in the way that you see in Sydney or Melbourne. But if you can get people out to support something, they are also super enthusiastic. But as far as the lo-fi stuff goes - yeah, they kill it! They kill it so hard, it's sick.
TIANA: It seems like a heap of sweaty loose nights always popping up on social media from a lot of Newy shows lately. Hot damn, Newcastle!
DOM: We had one the other day!
ANDREW: So we can confirm it's true. Yeah, it was very good.
TIANA: Excellent! And while you're proud Novocastrians, you've also had quite a massive trajectory, particularly of late. But has it actually been a short journey, or is it the same old story that you've been plugging away and people just assume it's this quick success story?
JAKE: Years in the making.
CAITLIN: Yeah, we've been a band for like six years since we've been in high school so it feels like a long journey to us, but I guess when you look at it, at the scale of things...a lot has happened in the last two years.
DOM: If you put it into some kind of graph it really starts to ramp up in the last two years.
WILL: I don't think we'd always stopped to appreciate it cos we were so busy living through it...
CAITLIN: Like focusing on the next thing.
WILL: Yeah, on the next thing. But now we're starting to really see the opportunities that have come to us in the last two years. We've really been given a good shot.
TIANA: Speaking of these opportunities, one huge one was obviously signing with Fearless Records...an incredible feat, but what was that experience like getting that news?
WILL: It was pretty unbelievable!
DOM: I remember getting the email one morning, like rolling out of bed and checking emails. And I saw Fearless Records, and I was like "what the fuck is this?!" (laughs).
ANDREW: He got outta bed very quick!
CAITLIN: I remember you sent it and you were like "Caitlin, you're gonna love this!". It was just super exciting, but it was a really long process actually from when they first approached us to when the signing was actually announced. It was like a year?
WILL: They were kind of scouting us, and then they weren't scouting us so hard, it was on the back-burner a bit. And then some things happened, then all of a sudden they were very interested again. It was around the time of Groovin The Moo when we got the spot on that. And we happened to live-stream it, and lots of the guys in the US were watching, the guys from Movements who we just came off tour with were watching...and everybody saw it, and they apparently believed in what we could do from seeing that and the next day it was kind of there!
ANDREW: Yeah, literally all in a couple of days it all happened.
EAT YOUR HEART OUT RIPPING IT UP AT GROOVIN THE MOO 2016
TIANA: And along the way Eat Your Heart Out have played some huge shows, you've shared stages with Simple Plan, Movements...and more! Has there been a standout live show along the way? Do you prefer playing these huge shows, or perhaps these more intimate venues instead?
ANDREW: I'd say our hometown show the other day? And Sydney!
CAITLIN: I think the smaller shows and the more intimate ones were a lot more enjoyable than the big ones.
WILL: They were fun!
CAITLIN: Oh yeah, they're definitely still really fun. But when people are really into it and right in your face and stuff, it's really special. But yeah, the one we just played in Newcastle was really, really special.
WILL: To have Ambleside watching us, people we really look up to...and to have Movements watching us play a hometown show.
CAITLIN: And we don't play Newcastle very often!
WILL?: Yeah! We weren't even sure how we were gonna go coming back to Newcastle, who we were gonna be playing to. And we were just blown away by the support of our friends and fans, just having a good time!
PIC BY BRANDON LUNG
TIANA: What I love the most about the Eat Your Heart Out story is you're now playing alongside some of your musical heroes, you're signed to a label that reps them as well...it's pretty incredible. Your tunes are catchy as hell, and you've got some super fun music videos as well...but in terms of how you write your music, and perhaps it's not a sexy question...but is it a collaborative process and it comes really naturall? You've all obviously known each other quite a long time, is it a well-oiled machine?
DOM: Yeah, it's usually just...it's the same old story, someone has an idea that they bring to everyone else, and we usually get around that idea or not. And a song comes out of it! Once the collaborative band that is Eat Your Heart Out has played it, it's completely different to the thing that came out of the original person's head. So as much as one person can write a song, it takes five people to finish an Eat Your Heart Out song.
'CONSCIENCE' FEAT. PATRICK MIRANDA (EAT YOUR HEART OUT)
TIANA: And when you guys first started, is the current incarnation of Eat Your Heart Out the band you always wanted to be?
JAKE: Pretty much from the start!
WILL: If I ever wanted to do something, I don't think I was ever capable on my instrument of doing the thing I wanted to do. Back then I probably wanted to shred more, and have cooler, bigger parts or something! But no, I can't see it being any other way than what it is now because that's what happens when we play. We still wanna grow and progress and push ourselves on our instruments.
ANDREW: And shred!
WILL: Yes, and shred! But at the same time it's more about the musicality and the structure for us than those other technical aspects. And we lay back on that musicality in our own way in our field.
TIANA: So it has been a huge journey for Eat Your Heart Out already...but do you guys have a bucket list band you'd love to play alongside with one day? Although you may have already played with most of them already potentially!
ANDREW: Actually we discussed this the other day, and it was like Alexisonfire...
CAITLIN: Yeah, Jimmy Eat World too!
JAKE: Definitely Jimmy Eat World!
WILL: If we could tour with them that'd be amazing.
CAITLIN: Yeah, even one show with them, that would definitely be a big tick off the bucket list!
DOM: I'd go Taking Back Sunday.
TIANA: I think you guys should just make an Eat Your Heart Out festival and just invite all these bands
DOM: (laughs) See who turns up on the day!
TIANA: There's obviously a lot on the go for you all in the next little bit...but beyond all this, what's next for Eat Your Heart Out?
CAITLIN: At the moment a lot of our focus is on our debut album that we're working on right now so pretty much that and just touring as much as we can! That's really our focus right now!
TIANA: Well I'm so stoked to be able to catch you guys live at Bigsound, and can't wait to watch what happens next for Eat Your Hear Out! Thanks so much for chatting!
EAT YOUR HEART OUT WILL BE HITTING THE STATES THIS OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER ALONGSIDE REAL FRIENDS. FOR TICKET + TOUR INFO HEAD HERE.
FOR ALL OTHER EAT YOUR HEART OUT INFO, CHECK OUT:
BY TIANA SPETER