B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Egan: Now that you mention it, oxen seem appropriate. It could be that while on tour you do so much loading your gear in and out of venues and hotels that you come to feel a bit more ox than human!
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Egan: I suppose it’s because it’s all I’ve ever known. I started learning music when I was 6 years old and have been learning ever since! I hardly have any memories before music came into my life. Playing and making music helps me make sense of my place in the world.
B&L: Let’s talk about your latest record, “Early Bright”? What were your goals for this particular record?
Egan: I’m not sure I had a clearly defined goal at the outset of making the album. I had a lot of ideas I was interested in pursuing and with Solas taking a break I gifted with some time to dive into them. As I got more into the writing and making of the it I decided I was fine with following the process as opposed to directing it.
B&L: Is songwriting an easy or arduous process for you? Are you an “in the moment” kind of writer, or do you have to actively schedule “office hours” to get words on paper?
Egan: I’ve tried to be the disciplined writer but I’ve learned that isn’t my natural state! Of course there have been times when that was what was required and I can be that person but my natural inclination is more of being “in the moment.” Not always helpful when deadlines are involved!
B&L: Where do you tend to pull inspiration from?
Egan: Experiences and everything that’s around me. I don’t think I necessarily react to the immediate but rather I tend to collect and store and then process them.
B&L: What’s the making of a great show?
Egan: I think it’s all about connecting to an audience. There’s a flow of energy between us on stage and the listener. But we feed of the energy that comes back to us. The more energy we get back the more we give in return. It’s an amazing dynamic.
B&L: You’re well known for your chair in Solas, but, you’ve been “going it alone” (with friends) for a couple of years now as the “Seamus Egan Project.” How’s the project going? Is there a sense of vulnerability without your Solas mates around? Or is it a breath of fresh air that you’ve been longing for?
Egan: It’s both, really. In lots of ways it’s like starting all over. The safety net of being with something that you part of for such a long time can’t be overstated. There’s a confidence in that that you’re not necessarily aware of at the time but when you step outside of that then you realize! But it’s also exciting to be outside of it and experiencing that vulnerability. I think it’s healthy. It’s going great. I’m feeling creative and really enjoying making music with new people.
B&L: What’s the importance of preserving the traditions of Celtic music? What do you appreciate about your role of presenting and educating audiences around the world of this very culture?
Egan: I feel fortunate to be part of such a strong and enduring tradition. I’m a small part of an extraordinarily long legacy. I’m happy if something I’ve done has brought this music to others.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Word Barn on March 1st?
Egan: Well, we’ll be playing a bunch of music from the new album. It’s been a fun translating it from the studio to the stage. We’ll also being going back to older material that I’ve written for earlier solo projects. And some reworking of music I wrote for Solas down through the years. It’s a nice balance of new and old, I think.
B&L: Is it weird to set foot onto stage and play to a room full of (mostly) strangers? Or do you bask in the opportunity to make new friends/fans?
Egan: It’s always great to meet and hopefully make new fans! I think that’s part of the drug we’re always chasing!
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Egan: Wow, this is a tough one. I don’t know that I can give you any examples. The truth is I’ll hear something and be blown away by a particular turn of phrase or chord choice and realize that I would never have thought of that. It makes me think about how that came to be, the process of how it was made. Was it divine inspiration or was it labored over? How many iterations did it go through to arrive at that place. I take lots of inspiration going down that rabbit hole. I know that’s not really an answer to you question but it’s all I’ve got!
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be?
Egan: Eggs. I always feel better when I know there’s a dozen eggs close at hand. I love eggs.
Seamus Egan makes his debut appearance at the Word Barn on Sunday, March 1st in support of his latest recorded effort “Early Bright.” Tickets are available here.