HARDCORE HOT BOY EU1OGY RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM ‘DAGGERS’
EU1OGY’s debut album DAGGERS is a brutal masterpiece, combining elements of hardcore, noise, and trap music into a sound that is uniquely its own. Special guest correspondent Johnny Siera of electro-punk pioneers The Death Set spoke to EU1OGY about the release and more.
Photos by Caron Stewart unless otherwise noted
William Burroughs hypothesized that his “cut up” technique of taking fully finished linear text and rearranging the words to create new works may be effective as a form of divination saying, ”When you cut into the present, the future leaks out.”
This image is painted in my mind when I’m listening to EU1OGY’s new debut album DAGGERS. It’s more than the combination of its parts, its influences, or the city it was born in. The symbiosis is mutualistic. A beautiful yet jagged lane has been dug out and invites you to jump in the mud. And I’m hooked. I'm hooked on the experimentation, I’m hooked on the vulnerability, I’m hooked on the energy.
I spoke to EU1OGY and asked a few questions about the making of both DAGGERS and the man himself.
CELL VISION: Hard question to start with, but what’s your one sentence logline for the record? What is DAGGERS to you?
EU1OGY: DAGGERS is the ups and downs of a real life HOT BOY. Whatever you think it is… it's not.
CELL VISION: I feel like it’s easy to describe new music as a combination of existing styles. The go-to I've heard people say about EU1OGY is hardcore mixed with trap, etc., but I really feel like you’re in a new lane here. Can you describe to me your recording process? When you sit down to record, are you planning on incorporating styles?
EU1OGY: My recording process normally consists of doing instrumental tracks, guitar, samples, etc., and then adding vocals. I run my vocals through a guitar pedal when I play live and when I record.
I don't really plan to incorporate styles, I just have a really vast background in metal, hardcore, punk scenes, and so those sounds influence my music as EU1OGY. I love how that type of music feels super heavy and loud, and I also love how trap and rap is catchy and cocky, so to me, it is like the perfect storm for EU1OGY's sound.
"Trap and hip hop [are] really flow-based, and I play with that a lot in my lyrics, and my background as a frontman for many different hardcore bands brings that gutteral scream and emotion to my lyrics as well."
CELL VISION: Are you inspired by other music or more so by life circumstances? What’s going on in your head when you sit down to write, and what comes first: electronics, guitar, lyrics?
EU1OGY: I would say I'm definitely inspired by both life experiences and other music. Life experiences certainly shape my lyrics, but my lyrics are also informed by the types of music I'm mixing together. Trap and hip hop [are] really flow-based, and I play with that a lot in my lyrics, and my background as a frontman for many different hardcore bands brings that gutteral scream and emotion to my lyrics as well. When you listen to my music, I hope that people can pick up on the crazy diverse background of influences it has sonically.
Lyrics normally come first. I like to play around with my lyrics to different beats and riffs to see how they go together. Sometimes, playing live, I will even switch lyrics and music around to have some fun with it. Guitar and/or electronics are normally the base of the song, but sometimes I write music to my lyrics.
CELL VISION: It feels to me like a Croydon UK dubstep synth line mugged in a bad Baltimore neighborhood outside a DIY noise show, shit-talked on by despondant hardcore kids who deep down know it's the future, then remixed and played at a violent club night at 3:54 a.m. The manager of the club is upset because he knows a fight is about to start when the lights turn on. Am I way off?
EU1OGY: You are spot on. I think I've experienced this exact night before, except not getting mugged.
"Sometimes when I'm playing a show, I can tell people don't know what to expect, especially if they've never seen me live. But by song two, people are normally moshing or going hard and really feeling it. I firmly believe that's because of the energy/show I put on, plus the fact that I don't sound like anything else."
CELL VISION: You’ve described the project as “post violent.” To me, that feels like the first calm moment after a fist fight. How is the energy you want to convey different from, say, a traditional hardcore show?
EU1OGY: I feel like there is more vulnerability in my music than your typical hardcore show/act. However, I try to give my performance as much energy as it would be seeing a band with 4-5 people on stage... I come through with that energy. Sometimes when I'm playing a show, I can tell people don't know what to expect, especially if they've never seen me live. But by song two, people are normally moshing or going hard and really feeling it. I firmly believe that's because of the energy/show I put on, plus the fact that I don't sound like anything else. Being a black man, it can be hard to be vulnerable, but EU1OGY has given me the opportunity to push through those barriers.
"Baltimore's scene is controlled by a few promoters and a handful of venues and lots of gatekeeping. That being said, the people in the scene are super passionate, and I feel like in a way it is more authentic than a scene like NYC. People here do it just for the love of it, and sometimes it doesn't seem that way in the NYC scene."
CELL VISION: You're from Bmore. The first day I arrived in Baltimore, I was moving into the downtown artist warehouses and walked up North Ave to buy groceries. On my way back, my bag broke, and my groceries—including an extra large bottle of soy sauce—-shattered all over the pavement. A local who was casually leaning on a street pole witnessed this all happen. He took a breath and nonchalantly walked over to me. I was expecting him to help, but instead he looked at me directly in the eye and said, “Pick your shit up, bitch.”
How is Baltimore these days? Shaky beginnings aside, I do love Bodymore, The City That Reads. Living there was truly inspiring. That mix of an art-school-near-cheap-warehouses seems to be a good recipe. Tell us how the Baltimore scene differs from somewhere like NYC.
EU1OGY: Baltimore has a new slogan these days, "The Greatest City in America," which is almost as funny as "The City that Reads." I grew up in Baltimore from the time I was 10, so I definitely feel a connection here. It feels like home, and I hear a lot of people say that even when they didn't grow up here. It has that vibe. I've actually lived in NYC as well, so I have a pretty good perspective of both scenes.
I feel like the Baltimore scene is a lot smaller than NYC, first and foremost, so the audience isn't as big, nor is the scene itself. Baltimore's scene is controlled by a few promoters and a handful of venues and lots of gatekeeping. That being said, the people in the scene are super passionate, and I feel like in a way it is more authentic than a scene like NYC. People here do it just for the love of it, and sometimes it doesn't seem that way in the NYC scene. However, there are lots of opportunities in NYC where you don't really need a promoter or a venue for exposure like you do here in Baltimore. I honestly don't really think the two scenes can be compared though because there is just so much more going on in NYC. In Baltimore, it's such a tiny fraction of what goes on in NYC; they are definitely in different leagues.
CELL VISION: I'm stoked Cell Vision’s Prince Terrence and Mattie Safer are supporting you on this release. What’s next? Tours, videos? We can expect this on wax, right?
EU1OGY: YES. Mattie and Prince are wonderful, and I'm so glad to be on the Cell Vision team. I've looked up to them for a while, so it was a no-brainer for me to sign on when it happened. I knew they wanted the best for me.
I'm going [to] tour when it's safe to. It's gonna pop off when I can get out and play shows. We are working on a couple more videos for songs off of DAGGERS, and you can preorder vinyls right now.
I'm currently working on an EP and ideas for my next album but also enjoying that DAGGERS is out—been a long time coming!
CELL VISION: Lake Trout, Chicken Box, Steamed Blue Crabs, Natty Boh, or Old Bay?
EU1OGY: Chicken Box with Old Bay on my fries all day. And a half and half.
If I can get rid of one, it would be the Boh...
"I hope people take it in with fresh ears and, when they finish, want to listen to the whole thing again because they haven't fully figured it out the first time."
CELL VISION: Is there anything you want to add here that nobody has asked or understood about the project yet?
EU1OGY: DAGGERS is about breaking boundaries, it's about having an idea and seeing it through. "EU1OGY switched up the flow"... Influenced by music, art, and life... I hope people take it in with fresh ears and, when they finish, want to listen to the whole thing again because they haven't fully figured it out the first time.
EU1OGY’s debut album DAGGERS is out now. You can stream the album, pre-order the vinyl LP, and connect with EU1OGY on Instagram on via the links below.