Interview with East of Eden
Nikki Keating | On 18, Dec 2013
In a small cafÃ© I met with East of Eden soloist, Sean Fitzgerald. Oblivious to us, outside it was chaos, a bustling city filled with noise and heat.
Like the eye of the storm sat Sean: calm, smiling and collected in the mess of trucks, buses, people and construction. I didnâ€™t know it then, but I was in for one of the most genuine conversations Iâ€™ve had in a long time.
Born and bred in England, Sean came to Australia to â€˜live the Australian dreamâ€™.
East of Eden began in England as a group of mates all getting together to drink and jam. While never really managing to do a gig, the band continued to drink and record in hearty doses.
From these humble beginnings, a music degree under his belt and his sights set on beaches, Sean moved to Brisbane with his girlfriend.
Continuing on the bandâ€™s name, Sean began to write and record his own music.
With most of his music on Soundcloud, East of Eden has a sound similar to the likes of Jack Johnson, Alex Loyd and Passenger. Honest pieces that make you think of blue skies, shady palms and lazy Sundays. Itâ€™s clear that Seanâ€™s music is a part of him.
Songs such as Bones to Roam, Forgotten and Hold On are reflective and filled with compassion. Acoustic, soulful pieces with open lyrics.
When I asked what his influences were, Sean told me it was Brisbane.
â€œEveryone here is really nice, and Iâ€™ve met a lot of friends through music. Really, itâ€™s these open mic nights. Theyâ€™re just filled with positive people. Back home there is a lot more competitivenessâ€¦ the people here really care about their music.
Iâ€™m never not going to go to these open mic nights. Itâ€™s the people who run these gigs and the venues that give us the chance to actually get our music out there and without them weâ€™d still be playing in our rooms.
Iâ€™m so grateful for the way the people here have been with me as a musician. I just rocked up, sat down and played my music and they were nice to me. They made me want to do it again and again and because of that Iâ€™ll keep learning new things.â€
After a shaky start at live gigging, East of Eden is a name that now frequents venues such as the Crown, Oâ€™Malleyâ€™s and Grillâ€™d. When I asked Sean about gigging, his answer was surprising.
â€œI think in music, itâ€™s really easy to become complacent. You think â€˜I can do this, now itâ€™s doneâ€™ and you never go back to it.
At every gig, if people do come up and say â€˜well playedâ€™, Iâ€™d love to say â€˜well, what could I have done better?â€™ or â€˜what was missing that would had really made it for you?â€™â€
â€œWhen I see new musicians about to play and theyâ€™re shitting their pants, I just say â€˜go get up there and give it everything youâ€™ve got because youâ€™ve got nothing to loseâ€™. Theyâ€™re always amazingâ€¦the credit is about getting up on stage, not how technically good they are. Thatâ€™s something Iâ€™ve really had to start teaching myself to do.â€
For those looking for new music that will make them smile, take a peek at Seanâ€™s Soundcloud. Itâ€™s sure to put you in a better place.