Eep are a band who took a shot in the dark and it ended up being a success. The quintet wasted no time after forming and released their debut album in 2020, and have wasted even less time in producing another stunning body of work. 'Winter Skin' arrived at the back end of 2021, and is a true statement of rock and roll fuelled shoegaze that delves between different genres throughout.
The versatility of Eep shines through incessantly in their sophomore album, and we caught up with them and asked them all about the process of making a second album so quickly after their first and not dwindling on that first album bounce that we all see and hear for so many. Here's what they had to say...
Hey Eep! For our readers who may not have heard of Eep before, could you tell us a little bit about your unique sound and style?
Rosie: If EEP were a tree, the acorn would be shoegaze that is watered with water made up of all the different influences of all 5 members of the group. We never quite know how the styles are going to morph and merge in a song, but we really trust each other’s instincts and the end result is always something we’re happy with.
You've just released your new album 'Winter Skin', how does it feel to get it out there?
Lawrence: It feels great to get the album out so that everyone can hear it. Making this album, it felt like we got a bit more artistic, and everyone was able to showcase their unique voice.
Rosie: It feels really freeing and wonderful. Every song had a different songwriting and iterative process that came together organically with zero stress. One day we just realized we had finished all the songs and we had a lot of fun doing it.
Sebastian: Finishing an album is always such a great feeling but nothing beats sharing it with your family, friends, and the world. I did a lot of remote tracking for Winter Skin. When I listened to the masters for the first time, I was so awestruck by my bandmates. I’m excited to hear what everyone thinks!
Serge: It always feels great to get new music out, but this record release has felt special. We have received such nice feedback from listeners and the music has come at the perfect time for a lot of people. We had a comment recently from a radio DJ saying our music touched her in a way she hadn’t felt in many years. That kind of praise shows me that what we’re doing is important and special and reminds me why I started doing this in the first place.
Ross: It’s always exciting to get your music out into the world. You live and breathe an album for a while in the studio, and you get to know the songs and the sounds and get excited about how everything turns out. Then, you get to show it to all of your friends and family and supporters and it almost makes the thing new again because you get to hear the music through their ears and hear their interpretations of it. Having other people connect with your creations is one of the best feelings in the world.
Were there any creative differences or boundaries that you found when making the album?
Ross: We approach our process with a very open-minded and egalitarian approach, which so far has worked extremely well. Everyone in the band is an experienced musician and everyone is kind, so we don’t really run into any real conflict in the writing and recording process. We have all learned to trust each other and we all approach the process from the standpoint of serving the songs over anything else, which helps prevent any ego clashes or unhealthy competition.
Lawrence: I don’t feel like there were any creative differences on the record. Ross does a great job of putting everyone’s unique voices together in a way that makes sense. Rosie is the heart and soul of the group and allows all of us to be conduits for the music.
Rosie: In general, whoever brings a demo to the table is really aware that because everyone adds their ideas to it that it may become something very different than the original. If there is a certain part that feels important to the song, we generally communicate that to each other and to Ross, our bandmate and producer. Honestly, sometimes agreeing to letting the song evolve is a great exercise in surrendering ego in service to something bigger.
Serge: Nothing major. We’re all strong individuals, but are also civil and democratic. Every one of us has our own solo project and we work in other bands, so this outlet feels, for me at least, like a place for collaboration without ego or restraint. Any one of us can change the direction of a production, and it’s always for the better. Going with the flow in this way and honouring the contributions of each individual allows this project to achieve a result that’s better than the sum of its parts. It has a cohesion that sounds like we have a singular vision, and I think that has a lot to do with our all-for-one and one-for-all mindset.
You have been very productive over the last two years, recording and releasing two albums! Are you going to slow down in 2022?
Rosie: Even though the last track of “Winter Skin” gently suggests to “Slow Down,” our natural cycle seems to be one album a year. I naturally start working on new songs for the next EEP album almost immediately after mixing the previous album. Because all of us also have outside projects, coming back to EEP and to each other every year is like a welcome reunion. It just feels right for right now.
There are definitely elements of prog rock in your sound, is this genre a main influence for your band?
Rosie: Our lead guitarist, Serge, is part of a prog/psychedelic project and as such, his influence does help shape our sound. As for me, I’m influenced by early Verve, King Crimson, and 60s psych rock, so I think that definitely bleeds through as well.
Serge: That’s funny that you picked up on that, because I wouldn’t necessarily say that EEP is prog rock-y, but I also work in another band called The Anhedonians that is prog-y, and I’m sure in a way that bleeds over into what I do with EEP.
Ross: We all listen to a wide variety of different music, and prog rock is definitely in that list to varying amounts for each of us. As for me, I love a lot of the 70s-80s kind of progressive pop rock like Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, etc., and that’s definitely an influence that informs my musical contributions.
Who are your biggest inspirations as a group?
Serge: El Paso, family, friends, live music, food, literature, and making good records.
Lawrence: I think the biggest influence on the group is the interactions that we get to have with one another.
Sebastian: I think my biggest inspirations for EEP are the rest of my bandmates. Rosie’s songs and lyrics alway provide something to bite on to and get a groove going. Ross and I record together at Brainville so we’re always exchanging musical ideas. Collaborating on “Stargazer” with Serge was some of the most fulfilling songwriting I’ve done. Lawrence is such an incredible drummer, I feel like I play a thousand times better when I’m with him.
Rosie: Every song is inspired by something incredibly different. It often starts with the phrase, “What If we…?” The song “Stubblefield” was inspired by the funky drummer riff played by Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown’s drummer). For “Ángeles,” we brought in big djembe drums. And reversing guitar and flute loops led to “Stargazer.” It always leads us to experimenting with sound.
Ross: I can’t speak for the other members, but I’m inspired by anyone who is creating honest work, whether it’s music, visual art, crafts, advocacy work, or even food and beverage creation. I love seeing people’s passion and try to absorb that passion so I can put it back into what we create.
Have you got any live dates to support the album in 2022?
Rosie: Yes. So far, it looks like we’ll be in Austin during South by Southwest for some unofficial showcases. And we’re working on a few other possible dates in the spring.
Lastly, what can we expect from Eep next year?
Rosie: Honestly, who knows? Everything we’re exposed to, everything we listen to, and everything we go through in life will inform and help us create new songs for the next album. That bit of mystery is really fun.
Listen to the album in full here: