Interview with Eye Emma Jedi
Liverpool-Norwegian band Eye Emma Jedi, having made some serious waves over in Norway, turn their attention to Blighty with a long-awaited UK debut at a free show at The Kazimier next month. Nerve chatted to guitarist Joe Wills.
Formed two years ago from the ashes of the much-admired Dire Wolfe and myriad other projects, Eye Emma Jedi make their first foray onto a UK stage next month. Guitarist/synth player Joe Wills describes the members alongside him and bassist Dan Croll as, “Alex Pavelich - geeky, ball grabbing frontman, Andrew Murray - lead guitarist, still going through a Jimi Hendrix phase and Andreas Westhagen - stereotypical tattooed punk drummer”.
With two-fifths of the band hailing from Norway much of their live work has been undertaken outside of Blighty. Given how often the five members find themselves on Merseyside, it’s slightly surprising that the band’s Kazimier show will be their first gig in the city. “Since it’s our first UK show, we thought we’d try and lay on a cheeky free spread of talented bands we know well in a place that we all love” Joe explains. “The guys from Everisland are helping promote it and they’re very passionate about the things they put on, so we’re in very safe hands.”
A rather obvious enquiry about what inspired the band’s name receives a dry response. “The lure of being asked this question countless amounts of times, I expect. All publicity is good publicity mind, even a crap band name” Joe says. “Having said that, I’m reliably informed by our frontman that it stems from an age old joke with a certain Irish lady” he adds enigmatically.
As Dan Croll’s solo career takes off and Joe is currently busy writing and recording with the much-tipped Kankouran, how does Eye Emma Jedi differ to those other musical ventures? “It’s a very different challenge to be honest” Joe says. “There’s a lot of technical discipline in realising our recordings live. Neither myself or Dan had played synth or bass before in a live outfit, so it was a nice change of scenery for us. Everyone needs to have their own baby, and that’s why Dan does his solo stuff and why I produce artists and write with Kankouran.”
Joe continues, “having said that, I think it’s equally important to have different musical outlets so things stay fresh. I’m hugely excited by the current family and scene we’re building.”
While the quintet understandably share much in common with Kankouran and Dan Croll’s solo work, with their polyrhythmic beats and nimble African inflected melody lines, one of the principal differences between the two acts is volume. The blazing axe onslaught of colossal indie bangers Wounded Eyes and debut single Crucified are nigh on perfect for drunkenly thrashing around the Krazyhouse dancefloor.
Following the Kazimier booking, the band head back across the North Sea. “Our Norwegian booking agent has been going to town with our summer schedule” Joe says. “We’ve got a few great festivals in Norway coming up including one way up in Alta in the Arctic circle. Other than that, we’re in process of finalising a German tour, plus we’re down to play (extreme sports festivals) Boardmasters and NASS.”
When asked what next for the group, aside from hoping to “make the most out of the luxurious Norwegian lifestyle”, Joe plots the all-too typical trajectory of many indie acts in the current climate. “Release an EP, get some hype, release an album, get a 7.2 rating in Picthfork. Then we’ll tour Japan, quickly release a second album, get a 3.8 in Pitchfork, get dropped by label then start something else.”
While the above predictions are highly contentious and hopefully well wide of the mark, the band’s gig at The Kazimier on 1st March is at the very least nailed on.
Eye Emma Jedi play The Kazimier, Wolstenholme Sq on 1st March.
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