Crossfire Eagles Q&A
Sheffield band Crossfire Eagles release their second EP 'Major Arcana' next Friday (12 March), which is well worth checking out whether you're a rock or indie fan. The guys kindly took some time out to answer a few questions below ahead of the release of the EP.
Crossfire Eagles are James Wilson (Guitar / Lead Vocals), Tyler Savage (Guitar / Vocals) and Keaton Barker (Drums)
'Major Arcana' is released on the 12th March and will be available on all the major digital streaming sites. You can also still pick up the band's debut EP 'Dreamers and Screamers' (2018) and a number of singles from those same sites.
Hi Guys, thank you for taking some time to answer a few questions. First off, for those readers who might not be familiar with Crossfire Eagles, could you give a short history of the band?
Established in Sheffield, 2018 by Tyler Savage (son of Def Leppard’s Rick Savage), Crossfire Eagles are a well-balanced hybrid of indie rock and classic rock that specialize in catchy hooks, anthemic choruses and memorable harmonies. Crossfire Eagles have 56 gigs under their belt (only cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions during 2020) and have played up and down the UK from Sheffield’s Corporation to London’s Dublin Castle and are set to play Liverpool’s Cavern Club later this year.
And who would you say were the main influences on Crossfire Eagles?
Crossfire Eagles have developed their own unique blend of indie/classic rock where you can hear influences ranging from bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen and Arctic Monkeys all the way through to bands such as Queen and Foo Fighters
You've got an excellent new EP 'Major Arcana' out - were the seven tracks on it recorded before the lockdowns started in March 2020 or did you have to record and mix some of it during last year? Has Covid presented any specific challenges (apart from obviously not being able to play live) to you as a band over the last year or so?
'Major Arcana' was originally recorded in November 2019. We were extremely lucky to have our full EP recorded before any restrictions were put in place as we know some bands have been halfway through an album before the lockdown.
In terms of the challenges we've faced during Covid-19 restrictions, none of us have had the chance for a proper meet up or practice, so we've had to make do with regular Zoom calls! It definitely has impacted our productivity since it's much harder to write new material in this climate. However things are beginning to look up for this year!
Where did you record the EP? Was it somewhere that you have recorded before?
'Major Arcana' was recorded at West Homesick Studio in Kelham Island, Sheffield. The previous single 'All You Know' was also recorded there.
Where did the name 'Major Arcana' spring from? And what gave you the idea for the tarot card theme of the EP's cover art and the singles you've released from it?
The name 'Major Arcana' and it's tarot card theme was one of those off-the-cuff ideas! Like the stories told by tarot cards, each song on “Major Arcana” is represented by its own card with its own story.
How do you feel 'Major Arcana' differs from your first EP - 'Dreamers And Screamers' - from 2018?
As with anything, the more you practice the better you become! Since our first EP, we have become more experienced songwriters. With the addition of our new producer, we've had the chance improve our music and style.
What's your favourite track on the EP? Were there any tracks that didn't quite 'make the cut' and that you've left off the EP?
Keaton (Drummer)'s favourite track is Sweet Talker.
The original plan was to add more tracks to the EP. However, with the Covid-19 restrictions, we've been unable to record any new material. As a blessing in disguise, this gives us time to develop previous ideas and work on bigger and better ones!
What is the writing process within Crossfire Eagles? Who comes up with the music? And as the singer, does James come up with all the lyrics?
We don't follow any strict formula to be honest. We have written songs in many different ways, however it is always a case of one person coming up with the initial idea/nucleus of a song, then that idea is presented to the rest of the band, which leads to further development of the song. Most of the time, this is done spontaneously in a practice room where we can all jam and share our ideas together on the spot. In this aspect, it is so important that everyone is on the same wavelength so we can all impose our personalities/style on a proposed idea. We feel the best songs are the ones that come most naturally.
The general pandemic situation has prompted bands to try alternative ways of reaching their audience - livestreams, podcasts etc? Have you tried any of these and how did it feel doing these? Do you think bands will continue to carry on with these methods if we return to some sort of semblance of normality? And do you think the way bands reach out to their audience has changed forever now?
In the past James and Tyler have done an Instagram livestream in the run up to one of our singles. The response from it was very positive! What was meant to be a quick 30 minute livestream turned into an hour of jamming and Q&A's with fans. This is something we haven't tried before and probably wouldn't have thought to try if it wasn't for the situation we're in. It's an eye-opening experience and goes to show how special these interactions. It's certainly something we will be doing again, even when we return to normality!
Do you feel there is a strong underground / indie scene in the Sheffield area at present? Any particular bands from Sheffield you'd recommend readers to check out?
Sheffield has a large array of underground bands; many you would have heard in places like Café Totem and Record Junkee. A few bands we'd recommend are Frazer, Oddity Road, and The Sickboy Method
With the success of Arctic Monkeys over the last 10 - 15 years, do they still have a particular influence over the Sheffield music scene at present?
There isn't a rock bar/club in Sheffield that you won't hear at least one Arctic Monkeys banger in! They have especially influenced us and our way of writing songs.
And have you received any advice from Tyler's dad or the other Def Leppard guys as you've progressed?
Of course. We've been given their full support, such as being aired on Joe Elliott's Planet Rock Show, but the industry has completely changed since Def Leppard were in our position.
And finally, what plans for Crossfire Eagles in 2021?
Our plans for 2021 are to bounce back bigger than ever! With our new EP out 12/03/21
we can't wait to be able to perform it live to an audience. We're also ecstatic to get back into the studio and start planning new material.