Artist Interview: Dominic Eagle

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Tell us about yourself and your music

I’ve always loved music. I spent my teenage years with headphones glued to my ears wherever I went. Maybe people thought I was anti-social, but I always felt that there was an inescapable depth to the music. I spent hours upon hours getting lost in albums by incredible artists such as Radiohead, Grizzly Bear, Gorillaz, Fiona Apple, QOTSA, and so many other diverse musicians. I guess it was inevitable that I’d want to make my own music someday. Of course, that doesn’t mean my early attempts were great… I remember my friend unsuccessfully trying to teach me to play acoustic guitar. In her words (not mine), she said: “Never mind… Not everyone can play an instrument.”

However, a few years later, another friend let me buy his old acoustic that had two gaping holes in the side of it from a car crash. From there, I taught myself to play guitar. The self-taught method worked well for me. I also started to produce and record songs in my room at university (college) using Garageband on an iPad. I couldn’t sing or play electric guitar loudly because I didn’t want students to kick my door down and tell me to shut up, but it was a start.

It was hard to focus completely on music during university, but I really started to put my full energy into it after I got my degree. A year later, one of my tracks was played on a local BBC Introducing radio show. I know it’s not the same as getting a million views on a YouTube video or signing a deal with a big label, but that recognition meant so much to me. When I was invited for a live interview on the same show, that was a strange experience. I’m a bit of an anxious person, and that comes across in my lyrics. I worry about everything from my personal life to the mess that we’re making of the world – there’s a lot of scope to my anxiety. Still, it helps me to create meaningful music.

Anyway, speaking on a live radio show without fumbling over my words gave me a new sense of confidence. This was less than a year ago, and I’ve returned to my music with a new perspective. I’m trying bolder things. I’m mixing alternative rock with genres that I’ve never touched before. I’ve listened to hip-hop and grime since I was a kid, so it’s about time that it influenced my music. I’ve got some crazy things in the works, and I can’t wait to show the world. I’m even thinking of doing live shows at long last. I just need to find the courage to get out there. I need to know that there are people who want to listen to my art. That’s all I care about. If I had to choose between making £1,000,000 from my music or having 1,000,000 fans then I’d choose the latter.

Talk to us more about your latest release

Last October, I released Tree Rings. It was my second release, and it’s a thousand times better than my debut. Obviously, I was inexperienced when I released my first record. I’ve learned a lot about music production (and singing) since then.

The themes on “Tree Rings” range from global warming and our wonderful planet (hence the title of the album) to my personal relationships. In terms of the sound, there are guitars, strings, piano pieces, and much more. On my upcoming album, things are getting even crazier. I’ve been listening to a lot of Brockhampton, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, and so on… My influences are varied.

What inspired you to write this release?

The world around me. As I discussed above, I worry a lot. I think about the future, and I want to protect it. I’m not a tree-hugger, but I do want to look after the planet. I love people, so I want us to have a home. In my mind, it’s as simple as that. And the more I think about these things, the more it changes who I am as a person. “Tree Rings” marks a significant transition in my life. I’m becoming the person I want to be. And, I’ll be honest, I’m happier in myself than I’ve ever been. As dark as the album can be in terms of its sound, there’s a hopeful tone underneath it all.

Describe the writing and recording process

It involved me, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, a keyboard, synths, strings, bass, and lots of other wacky sounds. I actually ended up using Garageband on an iPhone to record it, so that’s even crazier than using an iPad. I don’t think the DAW matters too much. What matters is that you have some well-written and well-produced songs. And I think I have those.

Any plans to release a video?

I’ve already got some music videos on my YouTube channel. I created a claymation video for “Tree Rings” (I like to be creative in different ways). I also got professional help to create an interesting video of a lady in a lake for another song… The title of that track is “Naked Lake”, so I’ll let you figure out the content of the video.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not yet, but I would love to do so in the future. I’ll definitely need a live band to help me recreate my songs. I’m struggling to find people who can commit to this, however. Still, I’m hopeful that my luck will change.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

Weird yet emotive; that’s how I’d describe my music. In fact, that’s how I’d describe myself. As strange as my lyrics and style may be, I dig deep and get personal with the things I say. Musically, I try to keep the songs catchy and addictive without adopting a mainstream sound. You should be influenced by other artists, but who wants to sound exactly the same as everyone else?

Who have you been listening to lately?

As mentioned earlier, I’ve been loving Brockhampton. There’s so much energy in their music. A lot of hip-hop is the equivalent of what rock used to be, in a way. It’s powerful, reckless, and rebellious. Still, I love the aesthetic of a lot of modern rock too. Alt-J is as cool as ever, and Jack White’s latest release was experimental and wacky. I loved Grizzly Bear’s album last year too. They make absolutely stunning music that’s unlike anything else out there.

Who are your biggest influences?

Radiohead, definitely. That band changed the meaning of a “band” to me. They merge acoustic instruments and digital production so well. They showed me that an artist can make screeching rock songs and trippy EDM beats at the same time. There shouldn’t be any boundaries when it comes to music.

Fiona Apple also can’t go wrong when it comes to beautiful jazz-pop songs. She’s one of the best songwriters on the planet. How does she keep doing that?

Tell us about your passions

My girlfriend, my friends, my bowl of Weetabix (not sponsored), and a quite skim through my Twitter feed to see what crazy things are happening or “trending” in the world today (through the lens of heavily biased public opinion, of course).

What else is happening next in your world?

I’m coming out with a new album soon (did I mention that?). I’m pumped for it. I want to push myself further than ever before.

 

 

Thanks for an awesome interview, Dominic

 

 

Connect with Dominic Eagle

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dominiceaglemusic/Twitter: https://twitter.com/dominiceagle_Reverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/dominiceagleSoundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dominic-eagleYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZ7CabpKElyZU1fMfEEVwuA