In Conversation With: Eleanor K


Juno Harley Davies sat down with Eleanor K before the last Crystal Fighters gig of their tour at O2 Brixton and talked about how she came to be in the Crystal Fighters, what’s to come with her solo project and life in general.

Obviously the sound of Eleanor K is very different to that of Crystal Fighters. What do you want your solo music to represent?

I’m drawn towards a darker side and a sadder side. I’ve actually got some more lighter stuff coming out and I produce my stuff as well and so I’m doing it out of pure love. I’ve studied a lot of music production and just got really passionate about that, especially in the last five years but I’ve been doing production since I was seventeen. I love the weirder stuff with a touch of commercial, and the music I’m going to be putting out and continuing to put out is sort of my story and my personality I guess, in a weird kind of a journey. But yeah, it does actually progress from the depressing stuff and does get a little bit lighter. 

I was going to ask as well - what’s to come with your music?

I mean, I love the lo-fi Intensity, similar to ‘Star Of Love’ in a way but not the 2010/2011 version, you know, just energy. I’m all about energy and creating feeling and evoking emotions in human beings because for me I find music so fucking therapeutic in a really really weird way. Music is such an amazing thing. It can just transfer your entire being, like I don’t know what it does, I’m so interested in how your brain processes these different frequencies - it’s so amazing isn’t it! I want to create that for other people and be able to capture every kind of emotion - both the darker stuff and happier stuff and the more enlightening stuff.

It’s a really amazing contrast between the stuff you’ve just put out because it has the same energy and emotion but it’s in a very different way to the Crystal Fighters way of things.

Yeah and that’s what I want to create and I think the rest of the songs are kind of similar in terms of... well they’re not similar but it’s just all about energy isn’t it? And it goes on a journey, so now we’re in a consumer digital age and you know where the music industry has kind of been going. I’m just trying to keep to the element of a story. 

How did you come to be involved with Crystal Fighters because the group is so electric, but you guys work so well on stage and soundwise?

I met them nine years ago now. I went to their warehouse. I didn’t know them before hand, It was just Graham, Gilbert and Sebastian and so I went they were like, “Do you want to come and do Leeds Festival with us tomorrow?” I said “Yeah, sure.” So, I got in my little car and listened to the record and learnt it on the way there and then did Leeds, and have never stopped since. It was kind of unspoken from there. I still haven’t had the moment of “You’re in the band”, but I’m getting the vibe that maybe it’s gone well, haha!

At first it was just the five or six of us on stage. I was the only girl for quite a few years as well, but now we’ve got the two girls on stage. But it’s always evolving and changing. It’s interesting in that the albums as-well take quite a different turn with Crystal Fighters, with the energy and the different styles. It’s been such an interesting journey. It’s been really crazy being with a super heavy touring band as I’ve spent the last nine years not in real life I think. Like when I took the year in LA I discovered I was way below the average adult level of knowing shit, you know? My peers were smashing it at being a grown up and I was not.

But smashing it at the music!

Yeah, I’m grabbing on to that like - Yes, I can’t cook to sustain myself or others, but I can sing a good song! 

Where has the passion for music come from for you?

So, I had a really eccentric musical family all from a classical background. On one side my grandpa was a violin teacher, so he started teaching me violin when I was three and then I learnt piano when I was five and started writing some songs when I was six. And then it was just very chiché. I came out of the womb loving music.

I’ve just always loved instruments, music and always been around it, so when I was ten it was the classic thing of I just knew I wanted to be an artist, and so that was the only journey for me ever. I feel very grateful and very blessed that this six year old who was like, “This is what I’m going to be!” has managed to pull through. It makes me emotional!

How do you guys bring the same positive energy to every single show? Because you tour so much it must be draining? 

I have stopped drinking for the last year and that’s been a whole new eye opening experience. Doing shows not trashed. It’s always been kind of more exhausting because I’m present and aware of everything and observing my own emotions. Adrenaline definitely keeps you going because you’ll be up all the time. Like, we got back from Brussels the day before yesterday and I was all very happy, and then we had a day off and I just hit a slump out of nowhere. It’s like a crash. It’s essentially like a drug, it’s kind of strange but that’s what it feels like and it is exhausting; it’s amazing but it is exhausting.

Yeah because it’s like the most positive spiritual experience. I’ve never been to another gig like Crystal Fighters. They’re so much more than just a gig…

Yeah, it is strange. I do have to take a minute to get myself into the frame of mind. I do try to live life positively; peace and love and positivity. Just loving everyone I think - that’s the way you can kind of sustain life. I’ve tried not being as jolly and it doesn’t work with me. I guess the passion everyone has for this is undying. It sounds really cliche, but getting to sing on a stage with people that actually care? It’s just amazing.

Do you have a favourite song to perform or place you’ve performed? Because there’s been some amazing places like some caves in Northern Spain.

That was very interesting for sure. Caves aren’t really made for raves though are they, despite the rhyme! I mean, I love homecoming shows. They’re a bit more nerve wrecking you know, because it’s friends and family. It’s terrifying but I do enjoy it and after it’s the best!

I loved playing The O2 Arena supporting Two Door Cinema Club. I remember that one quite vividly because it was just so massive. And coming out to that crowd, I can’t really compare it to any other feeling. It was like coming up on MDMA I guess, but better haha!

We supported Snoop Dog once. I remember that show quite well too, as that was around 20,000 people and was fucking insane. That was in Poland. And we actually just played a show two weeks ago in Madrid where I had a little cry on stage. I’m very emotional at the moment, I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just quite reflective I guess. And then my favourite place, America. I love it so much that I moved there.

I don’t know really. It all kind of depends on the crowd, and the crowd kind of makes the city I think. 

Check out Eleanor K’s new single ‘Anything You Want’ out now and Crystal Fighters Wave Rave on July 25th at the Basque Country.