Interview | Ealadha on metal, EP plans and recording

Leeside post-metallers Ealadha play the Roundy in Cork tomorrow to launch new single ‘Bathe’, supported by fellow post-metal outfit Partholón. It marks the beginning of a busy year for the three-piece, including a new EP. Mike McGrath-Bryan finds out more.

‘Bathe’ released before Christmas, the result of an extensive recording/production process. How was the song written and can you give us some insight on the aforementioned?

We spent the past year experimenting with new structures and different melodies before defining the template for this single.  

All of our songs are conceived with a guitar melody played on a more than likely out of tune acoustic guitar. We take this into rehearsal, dissect it, oftentimes set it on fire and begin all over again until we’re eventually happy with it. But that initial melody is key, as it sets the mood for the entire song.

For ‘Bathe’, we were keen to have the vocals and drums front and center to mark a shift in our sound.

The recording process went incredibly smoothly with Shauny Cadogan from LastLight Recordings in Temple Bar at the helm. To be honest we couldn’t be happier with the end result. From day one, he just seemed to be riding the same wave as us and we hope to work with him on the rest of the EP. If he will have us back of course. Our tea consumption got wildly out of control at times – sometimes dabling in Earl Grey or getting off on Barry’s and even matcha.

It’s the follow-up to ‘Limit of Our Sight’, released in 2016. What was the process like on that record and how do ye feel about it now it’s been around for a while?

Well I think we were maybe less prepared going into the studio with our first EP. I recall driving to do vocal duties with a half written verse on a napkin in one hand and hoping for inspiration to kick in along the journey. We are still really proud of it, but have learned a lot of lessons along the way in terms of the do’s and don’ts of recording.

There’s another E.P. due this year – what can we expect and how does the process differ this time around?

We really took our time with this recording and I think this allowed us to add more textures and nuances rather than our initial perhaps more rushed approach. Subtle vocal harmonies and ebow are dotted about on our new single, and I think this elevates it in terms of dynamics over our previous releases. We’ll certainly be taking this path for the rest of the EP.  Expect more extremes with an emphasis on vocal hooks, bigger guitars and dreamy sequences that are just well…dreamier.

Cork metal is in an interesting place at the moment, a wide variety of interesting ideas throughout – what do ye think and who are some of your favourite bands?

Considering how crippled the city is in terms of venues to support underground bands, it’s surprising there are any actually active at the moment! But yes, there are some fantastic metal/rock acts within the scene. Some standouts for me are “Horse” with their unbridled live act, the lumbering beasts that are “Soothsayer” and “Patholon” and of course the infectious and hook laden “Hope is Noise”. But there are bloody too many to mention (The Magnapinna, Bailer etc)!

Ye’re playing with Partholon on the 9th in the decidedly un-metal venue of the Roundy. How did that come about and what are your thoughts heading into it?

We just happened to be gig ready after rehearsing our setlist and wanted to put on a show to mark the release of our new single. Jamie Coughlan from Overblown jumped on board and suggested the Roundy as a possible venue since it’s becoming more open to different genres of music.  We’ve not played with Partholon before, but are fans of their sound. It should be a sonic feast!

What’s in the band’s sights for 2018, after this gig?

Completion of our new EP entitled “Versions of You” is our main goal for the first half of the year. We have literally hundreds of hours of demos we need to distill down and decide on what fits for the new release. We hope to hit the studio in the Spring of 2018 with a release following closely afterwards.

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