The Lovely Eggs are an amalgam of all the best things I remember about being a youth in the 1990s. They have a knack for writing wonderfully sloppy and sunshiney power pop anthems, but they also appropriate the rambunctiousness of riot grrrl and the sugar-coated fuzz of lo-fi indie pop. The band’s third LP (along with their back catalogue), Wildlife, dropped in the states last week. The album manages to pack 18 aggressively infectious gems of punkness into under 39 minutes. The songs are both legitimately good and playfully catchy enough to appeal to both those who grew up on Lollapalooza and the children they likely now have. The Lovely Eggs are comprised of Holly Ross and David Blackwell. They are married, living in Lancaster, England and have been recording together since 2007. They recently took some time to catch me up on what the Yanks have been largely missing out on over the past half-dozen years or so.
Izzy Cihak: First of all, thank you so much for sending me a hard copy of Wildlife. Almost no one does that anymore and I don’t have anything to play digital music!!! Plus I just love it, including the album art.
The Lovely Eggs: Thanks very much. Yeah we are quite old school like that. We like writing letters and sending stuff in the post. We often hand-write a lot of letters out to our fans (if we have the time!) and we once sent out what we believe to be the smallest letter in the world. The envelope was the exact size of a British postage stamp. We never thought it would get there, but it did. It was like an eel swimming through the Sargasso Sea. Could have been licked up by a dog at any time.
Izzy Cihak: So you’ve been around for a few years now, although you’re still relatively obscure in the states, so I’m curious, what have been the highlights of the project so far?
The Lovely Eggs: Well, for us this band is not a project. To call it that makes it sound like we’re going to do a Powerpoint presentation on it. For us, the band is a way of life. We set up The Lovely Eggs to re-write the rules about what it means to be in a band. For a lot of bands their main agenda is to get signed and get famous. But we just wanted to fuck all that. We wanted to have fun, party and play loud. And nothing’s really changed.
We’ve played just about everywhere you can imagine from scrap yards and industrial estates to boats and book shops. We’ve toured with lots of bands like Art Brut and Shonen Knife and have supported bands like Half Japanese, Young Marble Giants, and The Slits, as well as playing SXSW. We’ve also worked with some great labels, such as Cherryade and Too Pure, as well as working with people like Gruff Rhys (who produced our single “Allergies”) and getting to master it at Abbey Road Studios. You still can’t beat the buzz of a sweaty, packed out gig though. People coming out to see us play and getting into it and joining the party is always a highlight for us.
Izzy Cihak: And is there anything that you think is especially significant to know about the band… or is it all in the music?
The Lovely Eggs: Well, we have a punk rock ethos of no rules in our band, so that means that some of our songs are 10 seconds long. Some of our songs are 6 minutes long. That’s how it goes when you have your own band, so we’ve got a lot of different sounding songs. We are also married and live in a small northern town in Lancashire which is a cross between Twin Peaks and Coronation Street.
Izzy Cihak: Your third LP, Wildlife, just got a US release. What were the album’s most significant influences and inspirations? Musically, you remind me of a lot of my favorite albums from the ‘90s on Lookout! Records.
The Lovely Eggs: We wrote Wildlife when we had just finished touring our second album, Cob Dominos, so it’s really influenced by the isolation of coming back to our home town of Lancaster. We went from meeting new people and partying every night in big cities to being at home in a small northern town leading a pretty reclusive life. So we wanted to write about the dichotomy of that. Where we live is in quite a rural part of England, home to some stunning countryside and natural beauty, but also has its scummy underbelly with smack dens, pound shops, and dog turds. We liked the idea of living in a place that could be so beautiful but so ugly at the same time. It’s just the ridiculousness of that really and that’s what the record loosely hangs around, along with the usual themes of food, death, telephones, Brautigan, etc. Not sure what our musical influences really were. But yeah, we’d probably not be out of place on Lookout! Records.
Izzy Cihak: Do you currently have a particular favorite album track, whether one that best represents your current state of mind, or one that’s just most fun to play? I love “Scooter’s Got Itchy.” It reminds me of The Slits, but with an added ‘90s alt rock vibe.
The Lovely Eggs: Well, “Don’t Patent That Shoe” is kind of a quintessential Lovely Eggs song. It kind of has all the ingredients that you might call classic Lovely Eggs. It is short, loud, three chords, and is quite lyrically playful. It doesn’t really make sense, but yet you definitely “get” what we are trying to say and this is it… We’ve got our style. Don’t sit on it!
Izzy Cihak: You have really cool style and also make really cool music videos. What is it that inspires the visual side of The Lovely Eggs? It seems pretty cohesive.
The Lovely Eggs: Do we? That is weird. In fact, video artist Casey Raymond (who made all the videos for the Wildlife album) is so anti-cool that he refuses to make a music video which includes people at parties enjoying themselves. He would rather put my head in an omelet. We have asked him to do a video of us flying on a magic carpet but he said no. Too cool for him, you see?
Izzy Cihak: Since you’re not only musical partners, but “life partners.” I’m curious, do you have any particular favorite married acts from music history?
The Lovely Eggs: Well, most have them have split up now haven’t they? RIP Kim and Thurston. Don’t know if they were even going out but you can’t beat a bit of Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra.
Izzy Cihak: What are you most excited for in 2014? Any chance of some US dates?
The Lovely Eggs: Well, we are writing and recording a new album at the moment, so we are full on with that. Hopefully we’ll finish it in time for release next year. Would love to come to America to play out live again. We once did a 21-date tour of America with only a beach towel to sleep on, which was pretty unforgettable.