In Raleigh, North Carolina, there’s a three-piece band resonating kick-ass alternative rock and pop-punk vibes. This trio, known by the name of Eyes Eat Suns, deliver a strong influence from bands such as Paramore and Hey Monday and knowing this makes it hard to not feel nostalgic when coming across music reminding you of your formative years. With the release of their recent music video to support their infectious single, “Priceless Faces”, we had the opportunity to speak with leading frontwoman Ayisa Adderley of Eyes Eat Suns. She shares with us the story of how the band initially formed, the challenges of tour life and the meaning behind their latest EP release Alive.
How did the band originally form?
Before the band, we just kind of did music on our own. What really sparked the idea of teaming up and creating a band was our first experience at Warped [Tour]. We saw the bands that were there and it was just a bunch of kids that were our age, on stage, doing what we enjoyed doing. We were like, “Well, if these kids are just like us, what’s the difference between us and them? We can totally attempt to do that. We could be just as good as they are if we work hard at it.” And then we just decided to start a band and from there it just took off.
I think it’s really cool that people have been giving positive feedback on your Facebook on “Priceless Faces” so it shows how loyal your fans are to the band’s music. That must be really rewarding to see your hard work paying off.
It’s pretty humbling. We sat on the video for a while too so it’s refreshing to see everyone’s reactions to the video. We’ve been watching [it] over and over before we released it. It’s scary when you think something is good and you sit on it for so long that you start to go, “Well, is this even worth putting out? Are people going to take this okay?” When people finally see it and go, “It’s so awesome, good job guys.” It’s very humbling.
You released your second EP this year titled Alive. Compared to your first EP POW!, what was the creative process like for this one?
I think it was very different. The first one was very rushed. It was a very immature kind of release. We didn’t really put too much thought process into aesthetic and what it is that we wanted to say; we just wanted to get music out there. With this one, I really wanted it to have a message. I liked naming it after the first track because that first song pretty much tied up the stories for the EP.
Why did you name the EP Alive? Does it represent something for the band?
I would say more personal. Being in a band is pretty stressful. Writing music and being your honest self is really stressful, and a lot of times when you’re doing it yourself and you don’t have a label to back you up or extensive management team to tell you if you’re doing something wrong or right, it’s very draining. A lot of times you question what your purpose is. Am I doing the right things? Am I making the right choices? Stress starts to pile up and you get all of this anxiety, and then you’re like, “Crap, where is my life going? Am I really living life to its fullest extent?” I was kind of getting myself this motivation like, stay alive, be alive, be present, be honest and that is everything in this EP.
You also worked with producer James Paul Wisner who has worked with bands such as Underoath, Hands Like Houses and Paramore. What did he bring to the table for this EP?
It was cool because I felt like we got a different insight into recording. We’ve recorded with two sound engineers and producers before, but they were never as involved with the process. It was the first two opportunities we had to record with other people and it was very rushed. They were like, “Alright, go in. Do your thing and get it done.” With James, he always fought for you to get the best version of what it is you were trying to do. Like if I’m saying the line the first time, he would say, “I think you can do better.” He would push for me to just keep doing it over and over ’til the best version of the lyric was sung. There’s no better way for me to say that [laughs]. He inspired us for our sound to be shaped the way it is which was cool.
“I’ve accepted the lifestyle but I reflect on it still.”
What are your main influences for the band? Would you say you have many of them or do you have any specific bands you idolise?
There is no specific band – it’s a huge variety. I’m constantly changing my favourite song day-to-day. Right now, I’m listening to Bad Suns. Their new album is so good and I’m like stuck on one song and I know it’ll influence the next song I write. Nothing is particular. I listen to all music. I listen to rock music and hip-hop – everything. I try to get inspiration from the best parts of those genres; the best parts of those songs.
Your band has made an impressive mark considering how you’ve played festivals like Vans Warped Tour and Weenie Roast. How have those experiences shaped the band?
It definitely pushes us forward. It inspires us to keep working hard. “Priceless Faces” was actually written because of our experience at Weenie Roast. Just being in front of a new crowd of people, and no-one there knew who we were. Maybe a couple of people knew, but the environment and the vibes that we received inspired us to keep moving forward.
I read on the band’s Tumblr page that although you’re doing something you love, you’ve had a hard time being away from home and getting used to the lifestyle. Despite those challenges, what have been the most rewarding things of being a musician for you?
I do kind of feel it sometimes, just because friends are asking me, “Hey, let’s go meet up, let’s go hang out.” I want to plan it ahead of time but sometimes planning just doesn’t happen because something will come up out of nowhere. You have things that you have to do beforehand and it’s hard to determine whether or not you’re going to have time to meet up with this person because you have to do something for your band or you’re spending too much time at another location that’s work. I just hate to be seen as flaky to my friends; that’s the worst part. Telling someone I can do something for them, and then taking it back is not my intention. I’ve accepted the lifestyle but I reflect on it still.
I really love it when we make a new fan or they’ve been a fan for a while, and they come and treat me like I’m just their friend. I befriended a girl that I had met at our very first music festival and she just started her first year of college and she came to me for advice on stuff like, “What do I do on my first day of school?” How do I get through my first week?” I thought that was really cool. It felt like I was talking to a little sister, trying to help her figure out what she should do and I was like, “Oh man, I wish this was the advice I had gotten when I was going to my first day of classes.” Just stuff like that.
How do you balance your day job and working as a musician as well?
Luckily, I don’t have a traditional job right now. Before I did work at a scrub store and that was really hard trying to tell them, “Hey, I’m going to be missing a month at a time.” And they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know if we can let you do that.” I babysit two kids right now and luckily both their parents are very lenient about me leaving and coming back. Whenever I leave, I always have a job when I come home. That’s very, very humbling because otherwise, I’d have absolutely nothing to do besides binge-watch on Netflix.
What’s next for Eyes Eat Suns?
For the rest of this year, we’re just going to be playing a couple of shows in the area. We are working on writing stuff. I don’t know when we’ll get those in the studio but we are writing, demoing and just shaping our sound into something else.
Alive is available now. Be sure to follow Eyes Eat Suns on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/EyesEatSuns