Eli Young Band’s long-awaited album ‘Fingerprints’ is here and we can’t stop listening! Mike Eli, the lead singer discusses the album EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife.com.
You know their classics — “Crazy Girl” and “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” — but now Eli Young Band is back with their highly-anticipated, homegrown album Fingerprints, released on June 16. Whether you need some easy listening or top-down jams, Fingerprints offers it all from the catchy single “Saltwater Gospel” to the thought-provoking and heart-wrenching “God Love the Rain.” The band’s namesake and lead singer Mike Eli spoke with HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY about the group’s sound and new album, answering 5 Key Questions!
1. This is your first full album since 10,000 Towns in 2013. What have you all been up to in the last few years and what made you decide to release “Saltwater Gospel” first?
Mike Eli: We finished this record a little less than a year ago. With the release of “Saltwater Gospel” and it being the first get-to-know-you for the fans from the record, we felt like it was a really good introduction to the album because it had a little bit of everything that’s on this record. The song still felt very organic but had a lot of movement. Obviously, we had never done a beach tune before. Always wanted to, but we wanted to make sure that it was the right one. If we were going to do it, we wanted the first one to be really great, and “Saltwater Gospel” was a lot more than just your beer-drinking beach tune. We worked hard on this record. We really wanted to make sure that this album was purely Eli Young Band and had that EYB sound that we’ve gotten good at. Sometimes we tend to want to experiment and push boundaries and these things, and we’ve done that a lot, but I think this record, the focus was on making sure that we made an album that was everything that our fans want out of us and everything that we expect out of ourselves. It’s organic. It doesn’t feel over-produced. It feels like that glorified garage band, Eli Young Band sound.
2. Your album title is Fingerprints and you also have a pretty upbeat song on the album titled “Fingerprints,” how did you decide to make that your album name?
Mike Eli: The song is one take on the Fingerprints idea, and the album title’s kind of another. As far as the album, one of the big reasons we named it Fingerprints was because the we’ve been at this for a long time. Ups and downs, highs and lows, we’ve been very lucky, and we’ve had a lot of really great people that have been around us to help us make this happen, whether it’s folks in the media that have supported us for so long, or whether it’s our publicist, whether it’s our managers, our booking agents. These folks have been there for us through all that and helped us take this to where it is. I think that this was a way of saying that we understand that we couldn’t have done this without those folks. While it’s been the four of us and we’ve worked hard, there have been a lot of people out there that have worked hard for us. Then the whole idea of us four and being this family.
3. What do you want fans to take home from Fingerprints? Any message you want to get across?
Mike Eli: I want them to feel like they got 100% Eli Young Band. I think that the fans, when we were experimenting and doing some fun different things, that was fun for us, but the fans, they let us know. They wanted another record that was the sounds and the kind of songs that were the old-school Eli Young Band feel. That’s what we went into the studio to record. When we sat down to write these songs, it was about writing with that passion that made those older Eli Young Band records special. We want the fans to know that we heard them, and we feel like we are delivering that album for them.
4. What are your favorites on this record? Any you hope that the fans will connect to and love?
Mike Eli: I hope they’ll love the entire record, but my favorites, and I think that if I was going to say, “Hey, listen to these first,” I would say, obviously “Skin & Bones, “Old Songs,” “God Love the Rain,” and Days I Feel Alone.” But then again, then there’s some other songs like “Fingerprints” and “Never Again” that are super fun to play live. They’ve got this energy which makes them special, too. It’s really hard to pick a favorite on this record, but I would say first listen to “Skin & Bones”, “God Love the Rain,” “Old Songs,” and “Days I Feel Alone,” because they’re very personal.
5. You wrote “Skin and Bones” as a love letter to your wife. What did she think of it and how did you find those words and inspiration?
Mike Eli: I think that sometimes we all want to write this perfect love letter that explains how you feel. My wife and I have been together for quite some time now, and you get to a certain point where your lives are so woven together that you try to figure out where one begins, one ends, one begins again. It all becomes intertwined, and that was kind of where we got with that song. I think that when you can write the perfect love letter, it’s a pretty good day. She loved it. My wife’s very honest. She will say when she’s not crazy about something, because I want her to be honest. I don’t want to make music that. If she doesn’t like it, there might be something to that, especially if it’s a love letter to her.
HollywoodLifers, you can get Eli Young Band’s new album Fingerprints TODAY on iTunes!