Eleanore and the Lost - Full Interview
Ernest was lucky enough to speak to Eleanore.
Eleanore and the Lost are eternal. Not from the point of view that they have amassed a huge following but the fact that their style of music will be around for a long time. Their songs will move forward and remain current within the genres and they will endure.
The opportunity arose to pose some questions but before that, taken from their social media pages, is their story.
Eleanore & the Lost is a symphonic folk-rock band with elements of gothic and the creation of independent singer/songwriter, Eleanore, from Surrey. The band line-up comprises David Burt on guitars and keyboard, Jake Perrett on drums, Mike Chapman on bass and Sharon Wells on backing vocals.
After winning many fans with the release of debut album, "Parlour Game", Eleanore & the Lost have enthralled audiences with stunning live performances, showcasing Eleanore's spectacular 4 octave range and Kate Bush-esque vocals. As such, it really is no wonder their reviews have showered them with compliments.
Eleanore launched her debut album in November 2009. In the interim, as well as promoting the first album, Eleanore has composed for three independent films, and was commissioned in 2011 by the international charity The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) to compose the theme song for their 50th anniversary. The resulting song, "My True Nature", was also used as a stimulus piece for a nationwide competition by the same name. She has also had airplay and performed on various radio stations including BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Berkshire.
Eleanore & the Lost are currently promoting second album, "The Gift", with a series of gigs that have been proving very successful in gaining new fans, and the new album is as its title suggests - a gift that keeps on giving! A special edition CD of the entire album will be released in the future.
In the studio as well as onstage, Eleanore's music and voice are truly captivating, and evidence that she continues to compose songs with great, well-written lyrics, memorable melodies and spine-tingling, epic choruses that you can't get out of your head for literally days… and days.
"The awesome vocal might and musical presence of Eleanore & the Lost are unleashed! Eleanore, a Kate Bush-like vocalist stole the show and certainly uplifted the audience, evident by standing ovations at the end." Pete Rann, Royal Borough Observer, Windsor Festival.
We’ve checked everywhere and ‘North Star’ seems to be the most recent release. Are you guys currently writing and when do you think we will see something new?
Yes, I’m currently waiting to hear the first mix on a new song from my producer and have another waiting to start production; it’s been a problem getting time in the studio unfortunately. Meanwhile, I’ve written some short tracks and recorded the strings for some of them (they’re a mix of mini songs, a cappella and instrumental pieces) which will act as section markers as I combine all of the songs released on The Gift Parts I, II and III into one album - 'The Gift'.
Vocally, you are outstanding. Is your voice natural or have you had any training?
Thank you very much, that’s a lovely compliment! Both of my parents are classically trained singers and I completed my own classical singing grades as a teenager so I suppose it’s a mix of genes with some training on top that has meant I’ve been aware of good technique but can choose to break those rules when the style requires it!
What exactly is a four-octave range and where are you at with being compared to Kate Bush?
It means that if you use the chromatic scale (which I sometimes think of as both the black and white keys on a piano!) I can sing something like 48 notes in total from the lower part of my vocal range to the higher part. I joke that at the top of my range I’m communicating with dolphins!
I do get comparisons to Kate Bush and I don’t know if it is because of my high vocal range which she also used to have or to do with other things. I don’t think my music style is always that similar to hers but whatever the reason is, I consider her to be an artist who truly experimented with music and I have great admiration for artists like that, as they seem to place challenging themselves and fully expressing themselves through music before any kind of expectations of them and seem to feel free to play with genre, vocal style, types of instrumentation etc. It feels like their music is a truer representation of who they are or their imagination. I also like that she wrote about a lot of different subjects, which is something I also like to do and these days I have several of her songs on my playlist at home!
You have a huge following of 18k on your social media page yet remain independent. Is that your choice or simply luck of the draw?
Very early on I realised I no longer had any great wish to be signed to a label because, whilst I don’t have the funding or distribution that a label has, I have control over every aspect of my music. I decide what styles of music and subjects I’m going to explore when writing, I co-produce my music, choose what I wear for photoshoots and videos, I design my own posters, merchandise and promotional material and I’m currently rebuilding my website the way I want it to be. I’m also the one who’s in touch with all my online followers and really enjoy chatting with them, sharing interests with them and have often known several of them by name when they’ve turned up to gigs because I’ve seen them pop up regularly on my sites! I think that making them feel valued is very important as they’re lovely, loyal people and I’d just be singing and releasing music to myself otherwise! It’s interesting how, even ten years ago, independent artists were referred to as “unsigned” as though they’d failed in some way, but now the word “independent” says something very different about artists like myself.
Have you got anything in the diary regarding playing live next year and what festivals do you have your eye on?
I haven’t currently got anything booked as these days I work to a cycle: writing, production, release (in this case it will include CD pressing), promotion and then finally performance. This helps in terms of how my funds are directed and we’re much more selective about where we play these days too. There are some venues/festivals that I’ve played at before that I’d love to play at again though!
Symphonic Folk-Rock to my mind is a difficult genre to work with. Do you have any issues putting your tracks together and what is it about folk that you love?
I think there are touches of a few genres within my music but it has developed an ‘Eleanore & the Lost sound’ because I write what I want/feel the need to and it just so happens that I often tend towards minor chords and layering up of vocal harmonies and string lines, amongst other things. I usually hear a vocal line and lyrics with a little instrumentation in my head which I get recorded into my music software and then I build the rest of the instrumentation and song structure from that, hearing the parts in my mind as I go along.
I didn’t actually realise there were folk elements to my music until I asked my fans to tell me how they would classify what I create - I was quite surprised! Since embracing folk as one of the genres my followers hear I’ve actually grown more interested in it and would like to experiment more with it in my writing over time, particularly as I’ve discovered that my family heritage is from all countries in the UK which makes me feel rather Celtic!
What do you feel that it takes to be able to stand out in this industry?
I’m sure it’s quite a debatable subject but I think it’s probably a mix of talent, creating your own sound and brand that’s true to you, finding out what kind of people your fans are going to be and then also learning how to do a lot of jobs that you didn’t think you’d need to, like online promotion, graphic design, web building etc - unless you have the money to pay a lot of people to do those things for you! Some very lucky breaks can also really help but won’t guarantee longevity...
What do you think of the current independent scene at the moment?
I think it’s where the most creativity probably lies. The charts are not where I would go these days for musical inspiration, so I think artists elsewhere are probably the ones who are trying out new things and writing what moves them. I follow various independent artists online as I find both what they create and how they promote it very interesting. There are now lots of imaginative ways of releasing music, some of which I’d like to try.
You are very much into film making as well so which is your true passion?
Music is definitely my first love and what I’m always working on, but I love any opportunity to appear in a film and give acting a go. Even when I make a music video, I get the chance to tell the story of my song a little as the performance side of music, whether in a video or on stage, is a type of acting to me and something I really enjoy.
Have you written anything else for the WWF or anyone else for that matter?
It was just the one song, ‘My True Nature’ which was commissioned for the World Wide Fund for Nature's 50th-anniversary campaign of the same title, but I was also asked to write a fairy lullaby for 'Tales of Albion' by Egotrip Media and given the chance to sing it in the relevant scene in the film! I’ve also had my music used in a few other films, I’m always very happy to have my music added to a film soundtrack!
What would you like to say to your army of fans out there?
I like to say as often as I can a huge thank you to them! I’m always struck by how lovely my fans seem to be, online and when I meet them in person and we also share lots of interests! I think like everyone, I have times when I feel doubtful about my music and abilities and sometimes someone will have posted a lovely comment on one of my pages that just makes it all worth it again for me. I’ve had people say what a difference my music has made to them and I feel humbled and really quite emotional when something like that happens!
What do you see as the future for Eleanore and the Lost?
As I said before, I admire artists that challenge themselves so I want to continue finding out what kinds of music I can create and trying to constantly improve and experiment with the music I make. I want to continue to explore a lot of different subjects in my songs and also to perform in new places.
Any final words?
Thank you for inviting me to be part of your magazine!
If readers would like to listen, they can find my music all over the place! On iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube etc and my newest song is on Bandcamp. And if anyone wants to know more just come and ask me - they’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.