EB & The Deadlights / Exclusive Track By Track feature ahead of debut release
With EB & THE DEADLIGHTS ‘s incoming debut album, Echoes Of A Dreamless Life, set to drop next Friday. We exclusively spoke to band leader Ethan about this monstrous debut record and he offered an extensive breakdown of the release:
“We originally weren’t planning on doing an album, but as time went on & the song variety grew & the concept became clearer during the writing process we really didn’t feel like this could be an EP. Personally, all my favourite albums are 9-10 tracks long and clock in under 45 minutes anyway so we didn’t really think there was much difference between a 5 track ep and a 9 track album. We considered splitting it into 2 five track eps, but when everything was completed separating this group of tracks just didn’t feel right.
The concept for the album is both fantastical & horrific, I wanted to write something that was essentially the innocence and hopes of Peter Pan Vs the darkness & madness of Dracula, with this young couple Jacob and Lily basically decide they want to make something of their lives and escape from the problems they are both experiencing and search for something better. I always love books that involve characters who are flawed but trying to be good people who are in search to make their lives worthwhile but ultimately stumble into a darkness worse than they could’ve imagined, and in this story that darkness comes in the form of a madman who goes by the name of Asher who is under the impression he will find his better place by killing himself but decides that it could be a lonely trip on his own so when the two parties cross paths he decides he is going to take Lilly with him. I read a lot of horror and fantasy novels as you can probably tell.
Mac and I were wanting to evolve the sound a bit from what was previously done on our debut, and we knew we both had mutual love for bands like Creeper and Biffy Clyro, as well as wanting to to keep that 90s shock rock sound we had developed on Still See Ghosts and to an extent our stand alone single Unmarked Grave. So we worked with a different producer, Graham Davidson of Half Bap Studios in Belfast and he really helped bring our vision to life musically. To me we just threw it all into the mixing bowl and what we have recorded is the result.
I don’t think anyone had to think twice about this being the opening of the album. It is the perfect start for it in our opinion, as it kicks off the new sound as well as introducing us to our main characters for the first time. Funnily enough this track almost didn’t make the cut when we were intending on doing another EP which, which I find funny considering now it is literally the lead single. This song is essentially the spark of the idea and Jacob saying to Lily “Let’s just get up and go, don’t worry about anything because it isn’t something that we have to worry about anymore if we do this”. It’s a very uplifting song but it still has that for the throat pulse I like to think we have developed. Lyrically I had never really written anything in that vein before, so it did take me quite a few tries to get it to feel right. Musically I think this is going back to that mutual love for that modern punk rock sound that myself and Mac share. The intro actually came from our producer Graham, who I mentioned earlier. He wasn’t 100% sure if we would like it or not but I remember just smiling ear to ear whenever he sent me through the first mix with the intro. I don’t think we could’ve kicked this album off any better to be completely honest.
When Mac sent me through the demo link for this song, I was watching an interview with Alice Cooper where someone asked him what makes a good hard rock song and he said something along the lines of don’t tell me about saving the trees and the environment, I want to hear about your girlfriend or your car. So essentially this is the good old fashioned classic lust driven rock n roll track. Conceptually I knew I couldn’t just plank the characters from point A to point B immediately, but I also didn’t want to write a song about walking about the place or travelling, we only have 35 minutes to work with here after all, so I figured sane this track had a classic rock feel it can be a flashback to the first time Jacob & Lily met. The chorus is essentially Jacobs pleading to Lily for help and has a somewhat more serious, darker tone than the rest of the song and him essentially saying “I need this, and I want you to do it with me, so what do you say?”. Then the end of the track takes things in a much heavier, more chaotic feel. I like to think of Macieks solo bass section as the snap back to reality and our runaway couple having found what they were looking for then when everything comes back in that is when we meet our madman, which brings us to Pain That I Need.
PAIN THAT I NEED
Every story needs its villain, and this is where we meet ours. Asher isn’t supernatural in any way, he’s very much human which when I’m reading a Stephen King novel let’s say, those types of characters who are human but just as scary as the supernatural clown haunting the sewers are the ones that get under my skin the most. Asher is this mentally deranged man who, much like Jacob and Lily, wants to find something better but is fully convinced that the only way he can do it is by killing himself but to truly find what he is looking for it has to be done on his terms, although the trip to his afterlife or whatever you would like to call it could be a lonely one, and some company wouldn’t be scoffed at. He is a character you can have sympathy for, but we will get to that later. Essentially, he has both our protagonists captured and is going through everything in his head. Musically I think this track is the most in line with what we have previously done, both musically and lyrically while still feeling like something new.
I think it could be safe to say that this is probably the most pop track we have released, but lyrically it keeps that dark element that I always want our songs to have. This track is Asher basically deciding that he doesn’t have much use for Jacob, and that he would probably be dead weight so himself and Lily can probably make the trip to his other world without a third person. I wanted it to sound like a psychopath trying to convince someone to follow what they are saying and really hammer home that this Asher fellow is really quite an unpleasant being. Honestly though outside of concept it is just a big lust driven hard rock song with a massive chorus and catchy hooks.
This song is without a doubt the darkest track we have written in my opinion, both musically and lyrically. I wanted the lyrics to sound like they have come from someone who hasn’t got their toes on the edge of the cliff, but someone who has jumped off of it, but the end of their fall is nowhere in sight. As I said earlier, if you are taking this as more than just a collection of songs and paying attention to concept this the part where I wanted some form of sympathy to stem from asher, if this was a book or movie it would be the part about the killer someone would consume and then go “No wonder this guy has ended up how he has, this is messed up”. That doesn’t mean it is an excuse for what is actually happening, but it does have things make more sense in the reasoning behind what is happening.
ART OF DEATH
This track is very much in the vein of that modern punk sound we discussed earlier, but much more for the throat version of it. We needed something that was heavy but didn’t rely on the usual contents of the well that bands wanting a heavy song to seem to go for these days. As opposed to chugs and constant heavy vocals the entire way through we wanted to have something that sounded heavy in a more chaotic and almost desperate sense. Concept wise this for me is when Asher decides the talking is done and it is time to get the wheels in motion. I wanted this track to sound like the embodiment of madness and desperation, and I think we pulled it off.
KILL YOUR ANSWERS
I am about 90% sure that this was the first song that was written by Mac for the band when he joined. Vocally this one kills me to be honest, it has a lot of changes, and we are playing it live for the first time in about 2 weeks at my time of writing this, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. Conceptually this is the first time Asher considers if he is doing the right thing or not, still having that chaotic feel that Art Of Death had and I feel like both the tracks go hand and hand so it only made sense to pair them with each other in the running order.
We are very much on the home stretch now! Well, this song to me sound wise is like White Zombie meets Architects. Our protagonists have finally found the way to get the upper hand on our villain via a knife to the side and this is his dying snarl to them. Realistically he knows it is game over, if he wasn’t dying on his own terms this plan would have never worked how he was intending in the first place (if it would have worked at all is a whole other question that never crossed his mind), so who knows what is coming next for him, but he does indeed know that it isn’t going to be pleasant. This is probably the heaviest and most metal track of the album so to speak, and it is one last splash of chaos before we reach the point where the curtain closes, which brings us to our grand finale.
This song is very much my favourite of the album and favourite thing this band has written so far. To be honest, this track contains the meaning of the album in one line, “Was it worth the pain, the heartache to find something much the same?”. The villain has been defeated, and now it is very much a case of getting the hell out of there. It is essentially Jacob telling Lily that while no it didn’t go anywhere remotely like they thought it would have, if he could do it with her he could get through anything no matter the problem. We knew we needed to go big with the last track. It is after all the end of this story, for now at least, so we decided to make something that would essentially be the drama filled epic closing a story if this type needs, with our main characters analysing the situation and attempting to make their way out of the darkness to find some form of light and try to get back to some normal form of living. It isn’t particularly a happy ending, one more so with a glimmer of hope if nothing else. I seriously don’t think that this album could’ve had a better closer, and this track is most definitely already cemented as the show closer whenever we finally get to play it live.”