This evening, the Sound House sees the return of one of Dublin’s most successful electronic artists, after more than five years away from the stage.
Electronic duo Eden, who have toured across Europe, been signed to such record giants as Universal, and shared the stage with Westlife, Boyzone, and many others.
The pair are celebrating the launch of their third studio album today, and will be performing live at The Wiley Fox as part of the launch party.
Babylon Radio spoke with Eden’s Ian Henderson in an exclusive interview, and discussed the thrills, spills, and surrealism of their impressive career.
So the pair of you have been quiet for a few years now, did you feel the benefit of some time off?
Absolutely, we needed a break following our second album, Electric, about six years ago, we were just killing each other! We’ve been together for nearly 20 years, and we’ve been through the mill quite a lot. We’ve been signed to some of the biggest labels in the world and watched it go pear-shaped. labels shut down again after we entered the charts in Germany, and it just seemed to be one thing after another. And it just kind of accumulated, we were touring all the time after the second album, and we weren’t enjoying it any more.
You’re currently based in Germany, is that right?
Yeah, we live in Hamburg. It’s a beautiful city, great quality of life, everything about it is just brilliant. We’re touring over there again next year with Boytronic, a big German electronic band.
So how’s your Deutsch?!
Erm… Scheisse! We work in a bit studio which is very international, everyone either speaks fluent English or are native English speakers.
You started Eden together back in 1998. In what ways would you say electronic music has changed in the time you’ve been active?
Our sound is very Eighties, and Eighties music never went away, it was always there, just not as prominent for a while. In recent times, there’s been bands like Years and Years, Blossoms, numerous bands which sounds fresh to younger listeners, but it’s just Eighties! Nothing against them, it’s great music, but I always think, ‘Ah, give me a break! That was made before you were born; before I was born, even!’
Has your sound changed much since you first started?
Yeah, I think so. Even in between albums; for our first album with Universal, we had a full rock band with us. Guitars, bass players, drums, the whole lot. But the label folded just before release, so we had an album that was a bit of a mish-mash of organic sounds and more electronic sounding stuff, and you can kind of hear it was a bit disjointed, which was just down to the unfortunate circumstances. The second album was a big, neon tribute to the Eighties. And that was exactly what we wanted to do in the first place!
And what about the recording process? Has technology affected electronic music?
It has changed a lot. The first few recordings we made were on tape, like, analogue tape! We had three rooms full of synths, cables running in and out of devices all over the place. And then we went through the whole process of putting it all onto CDs and all that. Now we just record the whole lot digitally, start to finish. It’s such a transition, in such a relatively short space of time.
So what kind of music are you listening to for inspiration these days? Are you still an ardent Eighties fan?
I don’t harp on about my love of the eighties or anything; I wouldn’t put on an eighties compilation or anything. Mark, the other member of the band, he loves singers, but he also loves today’s chart music. He’s a big fan of Little Mix, for reasons I can’t understand. I’d be 100% in the other direction, I listen to a lot of jazz and blues; my favourite artist of the last few years is Gregory Porter. But your tastes change over the years, for sure.
That’s a big difference! Can you give us some insight into the dynamic between the two of you?
As I said, we don’t really have compatible tastes in music, like we did when we were starting off. We’re very different personalities as well, but where we come together best is when we write our songs. No matter which producer we work with, what always comes through as a constant is our songwriting. So we’re much more comfortable in our songwriting than we are on stage. I am, at least. Mark is a great performer; he’s as comfortable on stage as he is recording.
You guys have certainly seen some sights in your time in the music business. What’s your strangest memoir moment?
Supporting Boyzone was probably the weirdest experience of our lives, to be honest! It had its good side and its bad side, the good side being that we performed on some huge stages, in front of some really big crowds. The bad side was that we shouldn’t have been there! It was a very strange environment, we were sandwiched between boybands, you know? The bill was Boyzone, and then there was us, and then Westlife and then three other boybands, who were all coming out and ripping their shirts off. And then me and mark would come out with a wall of keyboards. Very strange!
And your favourite moment?
I suppose the best experience was playing Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, about eight years ago. Ourselves and Jimmy Somerville were headlining the event, in front of 100,000 people. We knew we were playing the event as part of our Germany tour, but we hadn’t really expected anything that scale. We just sort of walked out onto the stage and there was this huge crowd, MTV was there, it was a all a bit mind-blowing!
So what can the audience expect from you in the Sound House tonight?
We’ll be playing stuff from all three albums, and keeping it fun, fast, punchy, and to the point. Get out there and see what happens!
Eden will be taking the stage at at the Sound House in The Wiley Fox, on the aptly named Eden Quay, with doors opening at 7:30pm
Their third album, Outbound To Wonderland, comes out today, and is available on the official Eden website and on their Bandcamp page.