“You are beautiful because your eyes are different sizes and your lisp gets in between your tongue and teeth every time you try to say “something.” You are beautiful because the scar under your chin looks like a spider and because you have a massive fear of heights. You are beautiful because there never has been, nor will there every be anyone else on this Earth like you. Because your flaws are like fingerprints and should be embraced just like the free will that resides inside. You are not beautiful because of the symmetry in the little squares on your telephone, you are beautiful because “you” are the only “you” this place will ever know.” – John C. O’Callaghan V.
My name is John O’Callaghan and I am moral supporter and attempted empower-or of weirdness the individuals that are a part of EID. I’d like to think of this as more of a creative project than as a band.
Eagles In Drag seemed like a project that appeared out of the blue, but you guys actually formed back in 2012. Why did you guys decide now was the right time to release your debut EP?
I really wanted to wait for a time when 8123 had a clear plate and no other artists were really pushing any new material. It seemed like the right to release it and we did so without much (if any at all) marketing to reiterate the idea that this project was simply an outlet for expression and not something to get hung up on.
How did the name Eagles In Drag come about?
I remember hearing it while watching some Willem Dafoe movie. He called some front lawn flamingos by that name and I thought it was sort of clever.
This project has a completely different sound than that of previous projects that you guys have worked on (This Century, The Maine, A Rocket To The Moon). When writing the EP, did you guys know what kind of sound you wanted to go for or was it just something you played around with to try and create something that was unexpected?
I definitely brought a vibe to the table while writing and that laid the basis for the tunes. We all pulled from our subconscious inspiration and created what you hear now. The writing and recording all happened so fast that we didn’t have time to think too hard about what we were doing. In retrospect, if we had spent more time I’m sure things would have come out differently but that’s the beauty of making music.
I’m personally a huge fan of the EP (which our site rated a 4.5/5), One Four Six being a favorite track of mine. Which song is your favorite and why?
Thank you! Hard to really pick just one because it all came about so quickly, but I suppose if there were a gun to my head I’d say the first tune Pretty Girl Monster. That track feels like one that went from vision to reality in the most seamless fashion, not much changed from the writing to recording with that one.
Can we expect a giant collaborative tour of This Century, The Maine, and Eagles in Drag sometime in the near future? For instance, Max Bemis recently went on tour under his own name, but also performed as Perma (a project with him and his wife), Eisley (his wife’s project), etc.
It’s not in the cards. I’m sure if demand were to grow to a point we couldn’t ignore then something like that could happen, but for now we’re all still too involved with our respective groups. It would be a blast though.
Thank you for your time! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for your time! It’s great to be alive. The Sun is shining where I am, and that is nice.Talk soon.-John
Side projects are a touchy subject for some.
On one hand, fans sometimes see a member from a band venturing off into some other direction, causing them to worry about the future of the initial group.
Then, at the other end of the spectrum, a side project can be a blessing – an artist’s chance to momentarily reinvent their sound, to blow off some steam in a new arena, to reignite their creativity and bring a new life back to the main project (which is why I’m constantly thankful for The Horrible Crowes, but that’s another story). Here, we have the latter.
As a whole, Eagles in Drag – which is built from The Maine’s John O’Callaghan and Jared Monaco, Eric Halvorsen (ex- A Rocket to the Moon) Trey Nickelsen, and Ryan Gose of This Century and Stop Dead, takes the members’ various musical backgrounds and styles and compresses them into a mix that’s heavier, darker, even psychedelic at times, and a good way’s away from anything we’ve heard from their main projects.
Within the first seconds of “Pretty Girl Monster,” which carries a vapor-like eeriness and a heavy bassline, it’s clear that, while these may be some familiar names, this will be anything but customary. Later, “One Four Six” thrashes its way in with an introduction that feels like it caught a flight from ‘90s Seattle, while the masterfully-scattered “Dog Days,” which is the baby of the EP just shy of the 3:30 mark, could find a home just about anywhere.
On the chanciest of the five tracks, the 5-minute “Buzz” perfectly captures what a side-project should be. With its unusual instrumentation and O’Callaghan’s vocals being pushed to their limits (and impressively delivering), the end result is something exceptional. By the end, the group musters any last traces of energy and madness and crams it into the six and a half-minute finale “Black Dolphin,” concluding with a four-minute instrumental outro filled with cackling voice samples, reverberating guitar feedback, thumping basslines, and plenty more.
As I had mentioned before, there’s a danger that comes along with trying something new. But, O’Callaghan has preemptively calmed all doubts and worries over this new endeavor, assuring that this was just the product of his “thirst for songwriting and passion for creating music. … The Maine is my true baby.“
So, we can breathe easy over that. And if this project is just “a few dates with a chick you know you’re never going to call again,” as he puts it, then let’s hope that this hypothetical metaphorical couple bumps into each other on the street again sometime in the future.
Release Date: March 25th, 2014
1. Pretty Girl Monster
2. Dog Days
4. One Four Six
5. Black Dolphin
Eagles in Drag are:
John O’Callaghan – Vocals, guitar
Trey Nickelsen – Guitar
Jared Monaco – Guitar
Eric Halvorsen – Bass
Ryan Gose – Drums
Written by Eric Riley
Constructed by lead singer of The Maine, John O’Callaghan, Eagles In Drag formed in 2012 with bandmate Jared Monaco. The group also includes Trey Nickelsen, Ryan Gose (This Century, Stop Dead), and Eric Halvorsen (ex-A Rocket To The Moon).
You can pick up the EP on iTunes by clicking here! Below you’ll find the album art and track listing.
1. Pretty Girl Monster
2. Dog Days
4. One Four Six
5. Black Dolphin
I had the pleasure of sitting down for an interview with a couple of guys from The Maine back in October, and I asked them about how they felt about the outcome of Forever Halloween. I then asked about if they had any songs leftover that they didn’t get the chance to work with, bringing up the idea of releasing another b-sides EP or acoustic songs.
So, I basically predicted the future.
On Imaginary Numbers, the band continues their trend of growing maturity and slows themselves down, showing what they can do by stripping their songs down to bare bones. Opener “Raining in Paris” is gentle and soft, supported by an arrangement of guitar and quiet organ, followed by “Room With No Windows,” which backs the band’s usual cleverness and wit with swirling background vocals and plucky acoustics.
The faintly-sung “Visions” grows with time, peaking near the end with a strong harmonica part before quietly transitioning into “Lonely Sad,” a near-seven-minute conclusion that almost collapses beneath the weight of itself. The loop of the piano and guitar throughout is both eerie and tranquilizing. While they would seem lazy or out of place in faster or plugged-in tracks, O’Callaghan’s flattened vocals fit perfectly with the feel of the song.
Midpoint “Perfectly Out of Key” is the highlight of Imaginary Numbers; a beautiful piano ballad, carried by a delicate falsetto and personal, harsh lyrics.
At this point in their career, The Maine are starting to pick up a lot of speed. Over the span of their past few releases, they’ve strongly come into their element and are becoming one of the better bands within their genre. Imaginary Numbers is a step out of the group’s comfort zone, but with the performances here, you wouldn’t guess that this isn’t their usual song and dance.
Release Date: December 12th, 2013
1. “Raining in Paris”
2. “Room With No Windows”
3. “Perfectly Out of Key”
5. “Lovely Sad”
The Maine are:
John O’Callaghan – Vocals, guitar, piano
Kennedy Brock – Guitar, vocals
Jared Monaco – Guitar
Patrick Kirch – Drums
Garrett Nickelsen – Bass
Check out our interview with Garrett and Pat of The Maine.
NEW: John(@johnmaine)’s first Q & A of 2011 – The Maine(@themaine)