Eureka Ma­chines

Tak­ing the DIY route can be hard go­ing at times, but no one tells these guys what, when or how to do things.

Classic Rock - - The Dirt -

Since form­ing in Leeds in 2007, the au­ton­o­mous Eureka Ma­chines have carved out some­thing of a niche as ‘the lit­tle band that could’, re­leas­ing four self­fi­nanced al­bums of riffy power-pop and punk fizz while build­ing a fear­some live rep­u­ta­tion through hard graft and DIY pro­mo­tion. Their lat­est record is Vic­to­ries, a noisy, stripped-back tri­umph that gets to the core of what the quar­tet do best.

We caught up with lead singer/guitarist Chris Cat­a­lyst, whose CV in­cludes play­ing with Gin­ger Wild­heart, Robochrist and Ter­rorvi­sion along­side his on­go­ing mem­ber­ship of the

Sis­ters Of Mercy.

Is the stripped­down sound of Vic­to­ries in­tended to ap­prox­i­mate Eureka Ma­chines’ live shows? Ab­so­lutely. We de­cided to take it back to brass tacks this time around. It was writ­ten to sound good in a room, and that’s what we did – re­hearsed it through a lit­tle PA at nose­bleed vol­ume, and it made us all ex­cited. That’s the real test.

How did the ex­pe­ri­ence of mak­ing your 2017 solo al­bum Life Is Of­ten Bril­liant play into the mak­ing of Vic­to­ries?

In Novem­ber 2016 I had a fairly ma­jor rug pulled from un­der­neath me: I was half­way through mak­ing our al­bum and my girl­friend of seven years left me for her ex-boyfriend. It was just a mad time, and mas­sively in­flu­enced the out­come of my solo al­bum. I had to change a lot of the words, be­cause I just wouldn’t have been able to sing them, phys­i­cally. I was also go­ing to lose my house, and man­aged to just about save that. So 2017 was about try­ing to work out how to save my­self from fall­ing any fur­ther into this slough of de­spond. How did you stop that hap­pen­ing?

I ba­si­cally put my head down and did what I was brought up to do, which was graft­ing my bol­locks off for a year. The whole episode left me in a rough spot, but on­wards and up­wards. Do­ing the solo al­bum gave me a lot more con­fi­dence as a song­writer for when I got back in a room with my three best mates to do a Eureka Ma­chines record. Vic­to­ries is as much about us swim­ming against the stream as a band as it is my own swim­ming against the stream for the last eigh­teen months or so. And I got some great tunes out of it.

“We re­hearsed the al­bum at nose­bleed vol­ume and it made

us all ex­cited.”

The song Lit­tle Vic­to­ries lays out the band’s DIY aes­thetic – press­ing for­ward, do­ing what you be­lieve in, even if it’s hard go­ing.

Yeah. Noth­ing great ever hap­pened eas­ily, but we have the cre­ative free­dom to do what­ever we want, un­der our own steam, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The ini­tial idea for the al­bum was that I wanted to do al­most a rock opera, based on the band trav­el­ling up and down the M1 in our big green van, try­ing to carve out lit­tle vic­to­ries where we could, try­ing to save the world through pop mu­sic.

What’s the lat­est with The Sis­ters Of Mercy?

The Sis­ters will never stop, but what for­mat that takes is up to An­drew [Eldritch, main man], as al­ways. And if I’m around, then I’ll be stood next to him. The one thing I’ve learned about An­drew from work­ing with him for thir­teen years is never to sec­ond-guess him. He’s al­ways beaver­ing away on some­thing or other. I’m sure it won’t be long be­fore the roar of the big ma­chine is lured back into power. RH

Vic­to­ries is out now via Wrath Records.

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