Analogue Music | Eggy


By Matt Conner

Ready, set... sit.

A few years ago, the members of Eggy were on the verge of breaking out, riding the momentum of a debut album with numerous festival appearances booked and a wave of early fans who'd taken to the group's dynamism from the outset. Possessed by an innovative spirit and a refined palette, Eggy felt destined for a bright future.

Then the world shut down. Appearances were canceled. Opportunities were lost. A global pandemic robbed a young band of its energy in an industry where even a single chance is hard to find. Yet looking back, drummer/vocalist Alex Bailey says he's glad the band had to wait a bit—that they weren't as ready for a breakout season as they thought they were in the moment.

These days, Eggy is riding as high as ever with a bit more clout than before thanks to the exciting experimentation exhibited on their ever-growing catalog. Waiting Game is the brand new album in the stalls awaiting a September release, but we caught up with Bailey to tell us more about the band's history and taking his turn at vocals from behind a drum set.

Analogue: Take me back a bit to the start because you were riding some really good early momentum right before the world shut down, am I right? That had to be a real gut punch.

Alex Bailey: Absolutely! We had just joined our first booking agency. It was Madison House at the time, and we were getting all of these amazing gigs and offers. We had this summer lined up poised to be our breakout summer. We were going to play all of these big festivals, at least in our scene, and we were so excited about it. We bragged about it to all of our friends. And then the world shut down and one by one, these festivals all started canceling.

It definitely was a punch to the gut, but we tried to make the most of it, which I think we did. We did a lot over COVID. We did some livestreams at home, which was the beautiful thing about living together at the time. We didn’t have to expand our bubble to practice. We were all in the same house, so we basically got to work right away.

'Waiting Game' cover art
'Waiting Game' cover art

We started recording a couple of singles. We also started this cool thing called Choose Your Own Eggventure that was a sort of collaborative project with our fans. We wrote short stories with them, offered them different choices within the stories, and then it ended up amalgamating into a set of music, which was based on choices they made that we ended up performing for them.

So we tried to make the most of it that we could, but it definitely brought up feelings of uncertainty. I remember a lot of people said livestreaming was the future, that people wouldn’t want to go to shows anymore but that they’d want to sit in their houses and watch livestreams. So there were a lot of feelings like, ‘What the heck are we going to do?’ But I think we came out of it okay.

We gained a lot of fans and a lot of attention from those streams. We played Peach Music Festival, which was our first festival back after COVID and we were the first band on the first day on a Thursday and it was raining. We thought no one would show up. There was no reason to expect anyone—maybe 100 people. But it was completely packed with people as far as the eyes could see. That was such a reassuring feeling that we were back, that we didn’t go anywhere.

Analogue: Are you a better band on the other side for having gone through all of that?

Alex: Totally. It was definitely tough. It was not an easy time being locked up with the same four people for a year and a half, but we got through a lot of stuff. [Laughs] We became better players. We became better friends. I think it ended up being a blessing in disguise because when we were going to go into that big tour at the time in 2020, I don’t think we were ready for it. I don’t think we were ready for those big plays we were poised for.

After taking the time to get refined as a band, personally, and musically, I think we’re finally ready for that big breakout. It’s been a crazy couple of years post-COVID but it’s been incredible. We’ve been to 45 states. We did 118 shows last year, which I never thought we’d play that many. Everything feels like it happened the right way.

Analogue: Let’s talk about the new album. What are you the most excited about with this newest set of songs?

Alex: We recorded the new album in Pasadena with James Petralli of the band White Denim. I’ve been a huge fan of the band since 2013 when I saw them open for Tame Impala. Dani [Battat], our keyboardist, and I got a chance to chat with him after a show in Connecticut and we actually went to get drinks and we hung out for a couple of hours. That was when we started the conversation that it would be fun to work together.

A few months later, we started chatting on Zoom to talk about the songs—talking through the structures and lyrics. He really helped us kind of refine the sound we were going for. We went and spent three weeks in Pasadena in the studio. I literally slept on the couch in the tracking room and lived and breathed the album. We did nothing else while we were out there other than recording.

It was such an incredible experience. We got to experiment in so many different ways. Another very exciting thing for me is that I sing all of the songs on the album, which is very new to me as the drummer. I think the rest of the band felt that my voice would portray these songs in the best way. It’s a very exciting, new adventure for me. I’m curious to see how it’s received by the fans.

But I’m so proud of all of these songs and the work that we’ve put into it. It’s the record we’ve been wanting to make for five years now. It has all of the ear candy we love on other records. It’s very song-based. It’s not a traditional jam band album. I think there’s one guitar solo on the whole album. [Laughs] So it’s definitely a turn for us, but it’s where we want to be musically right now. We’re excited for people to hear it.

Analogue: Was the vocal responsibility a real stretch for you? Or did you feel ready for it?

Alex: I wouldn’t say I was reluctant, but I wanted to ensure everyone was truly okay with it. I have some writing credits on the album, but really the songs were mostly written by Jake [Brownstein], Dani, and our friend Patrick [Amarante], who helps us with lyrics. So I really wanted them to be comfortable with me taking their songs and doing my own thing with it.

"It’s definitely a turn for us, but it’s where we want to be musically right now. We’re excited for people to hear it."

Once I’d stepped into the role, I think it started to feel really comfortable, especially in the studio. I went to Berklee College of Music and did a lot of recording and engineering work there, so I have a lot of experience and I’m very comfortable with tracking and being in a studio.

I realized a flow when we were in Pasadena where I was able to engineer and produce my own vocals. I knew exactly what I was going for. It might have taken some time but I knew how to achieve it. So they’d let me lock myself up in a room for a couple of hours for each song but they trusted me that I knew what I was doing and how to achieve it.

I’m forever grateful to them for trusting me with that role and passing these songs on to me. It’s obviously still their words, their music, their feelings and everything that went into it but I’m happy and grateful to portray them and pass them along to the people.

Analogue: Did that present some live challenges or shifts?

Alex: Yeah, usually the drummer is tucked in the back with a bunch of cymbals in front of his face. [Laughs] I’ve tried to work on my stage presence and just the coordination of singing and playing these songs, especially since we’re a band that improvises and likes to go out into uncharted territories. When that happens, I get revved up. We’re playing a high-energy jam and I’m getting my heartbeat up and flailing my arms and stuff and then I have to come back to the song and be centered and be able to sing in an even, calm tone. So that’s a challenge I’ve been working on.

Also like I said before, I’m trying to present myself in the best way. I’m starting to change parts of the drum kit so my face is more accessible to the audience. On bigger stages, I’m trying to move forward a little bit and be as visible as possible, because I want to do these songs justice. I feel I did that on the album, but I want to do that live as well and convey the feelings and the right emotions that come with the songs. But as you said, it definitely has its challenges.


*Photo: Sam Wisenberg