Early Eyes: Virtual Session

Get a peek into the world of singer/songwriter Jake Berglove of Early Eyes as he joins The Current’s Jade for a virtual session. (MPR)

Get a peek into the world of singer/songwriter Jake Berglove of Early Eyes as he joins The Current's Jade for a virtual session.
The two chat about Berglove's aspirations for the future of Early Eyes, where he'd like to perform post-pandemic and the excitement of signing to a label.

As for the creation of music during the pandemic, Berglove says it's got a different feel- "a little more darker... a little more nuanced.. A little more soft spoken."

The session dives into a visually stunning music video featuring Berglove's beloved sidekick, Hazelnut, as they explore a Minnesota forest.

Interview Transcript

JADE: Hey it's Jade welcoming you to another Virtual Session from The Current and today we're going to be chatting with and enjoying some music from Early Eyes and we've got Jake from the band on hand to say hello.


Hi, how are you? How are you doing?

I am doing well under the circumstances which I feel like is, uh, the the best way to answer that.

I know I have this feeling that everyone's answering that question a lot more honestly these days because it it's sort of uncomfortable to be like, "I'm fantastic!"

Yeah I just don't feel...even if you are having the...

Yeah, are are we really? And I want to say I've been watching these music videos that you guys have been releasing on YouTube, there's been a couple of new singles that have been rolling out. "Drawing Myself" that one came out August 11th and I just saw this week, the "Wander" video that you guys put out. A nice sort of spring-summer riding-your-bicycle sort of song I love that. So I'm wondering is there going to be a full record coming out or is it just going to be singles this year?

I think for the remainder of 2020 we're probably gonna just stick with like singles and maybe maybe we'll compile them on like a short thing coming up that's kind of in the works at the moment. So we'll see what's what's new with that, but moving forward we are really trying to work towards making something like a little more long-form and releasing something kind of as a cohesive unit.

Do you do you still believe in the idea of an album like a cohesive storytelling, or do you feel like we don't even need that anymore now it's kind of like you can just release these singles in the moment?

I think as a listener I definitely love to listen to albums for the most part. I definitely value, as you said, the long form narrative, but I also think that the rules as to how everyone gets to release music now are just disappearing every day so like I think however people want to release their music is fine with me as long as it's getting out there.

I want to pause and say congratulations again because getting signed to a label is a huge deal. That's a big thing. That's huge. So you guys are now on Epitaph. Do you remember where you were when you got the news? Do you do you remember what you were doing?

Yes. We we had just finished a rehearsal and our manager called us, well, texted us. And we had known that he was talking to Epitaph at that moment but, the way it was described to us is kind of like a, hey, sometimes they just reach out to bands and they're just maybe trying to establish a connection. We don't know if anything's like legit yet and so on and so forth. Then we got the call and he was like, "Yeah, they want to do it." And we were all sitting in our bass player, Desmond, we were sitting in his room and like, I don't know, it really was one of those moments where like something you think about when you're 14 in your parents basement comes to fruition in the real world and we were like puppies or something we couldn't like, we had to get it out of our bodies, we were like running around.

Who who was the first person you called to to share the news?

My mom, easy. Yes.

She would have been mad if you didn't.

She would have, exactly.

Well and kind of on the flip side of that, you know, you get signed, there's this big tour plotted out, you're making new music and then boom! Pandemic. And everything kind of stalls out. Can you kind of share that, you know, what was the experience- how did you guys
shift gears? Where are you now in all that?

Yeah it definitely...I think we all do feel a little bit cheated, as does everyone. Seeing what has unfolded over the last six months, it was at first I felt really like, "Dang my life sucks so much." And then within like a week of kind of thinking it over I realized that this is something that we all are doing together and from then on it got a little bit easier to kind of be a band over the internet rather than a band that you can go see live. I think we, like most people, are still kind of just floundering figuring out how to do it super effectively effectively. But I still like doing it. Still having fun.

Yeah, that is such a change from the live show on stage to trying to interact with your fans, and on such an intimate level, I mean you're literally, we are seeing into your home right now and usually there's kind of- yeah that's a beautiful painting in the background as well! I should say there is a sense of, you know, bringing people. Bringing people in and, do you feel like that's worked to your benefit in some ways as a band to to get this closer relationship to your fans?

Definitely. Things were moving really really quickly when we announced that we were signed. We announced that we're going on a national tour. We were going to be gone from home for a couple months and it was all coming at us super super quickly and hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and looking back upon it, it was a little bit nice to be able to kind of just like take a step back and re-evaluate. Like what do we want to do as a band? What kind of music do we really want to make? What kind of things do we want to say? That whole process was very cathartic and we got a lot more opportunities to reach out directly with people who listen to Early Eyes. We were talking over the internet, we were doing those various sorts of live streams and it was-- it felt a lot more conversational rather than like, band - big wall - listener, and that's something that I overall am thankful for.

Yeah it's been really lovely. I think in some ways and how, how wonderful to be able to take the time and be really thoughtful about things, because a lot of times when you do get signed to a label it does feel like you're kind of getting pushed through at a certain pace that maybe isn't your pace. So yeah, it's good to be able to take that. I saw this delightful tweet, and I don't know who in the band posted this on Twitter, but it said, "Imagine this: Two years from now the world has revolted, your skin is clear, you sleep eight hours a night, you find love, you walk on to the stage at your first show since the pit since the pandemic, begins you look out in wonder into the crowd and it's just sharks. Oh my god it's sharks." And I- I thought that was hilarious but I also know that's probably not the dream situation, so whenever this pandemic is done- you get to go out and you can be on a stage anywhere, where is that stage?

I think my favorite shows- the kind where we "cut our teeth" if you will, is playing in people's basements. I think being able to play in someone's basement at a house would be a really special feeling again but on top of that, eventually, big big big picture I would love to play in Europe. That would blow my mind.

Heck yes! Let's get Early Eyes to Europe.

That would be so rad.

Have you been writing at all during the pandemic? Have you been taking any time?

We took probably like, not an intentional hiatus by any means, but we took probably three or four months at the beginning of the pandemic off from like really actively pursuing writing just because it was still at a moment where the world was like figuring out how to... how everything was going to go and how to cope with the pandemic, etc. so we kind of just like, put our time elsewhere for a period. Then after everything else started to spin back up again, I mean, I shouldn't say it like that because it's not over. But as soon as people started to learn how to how to cope with everything that was going on we started writing again, and we have been writing ever since. Still pushing them out.

Do you feel like you're writing more or writing less or maybe writing in a different style these days?

I think we are definitely writing in a different style. I think it would be hard. It's been a huge cultural reset for a lot of people and I think our music, even music that's still about to come out, is very much post- or very much pre-pandemic if you catch my drift. There's a lot more optimism and a lot more general positivity, some may say naivete, in the music that we were putting out. Then kind of all of our realities had been shattered in recent months so the music we're making now looks a lot different. I still think it is at its core of like, very much Early Eyes music if you will. But it is a little darker, a little more nuanced. A little more soft spoken. Still very excited about it.

Yeah I think it's hard to avoid looking around the world and trying to, as an artist, reflect what you're seeing around you. I think it would be hard to to not have a little bit of a darker vision going on. I do want to get to some of this music 'cause I know people always want to listen to the music so before we get into the video that you guys made for us, can you tell us about the making of this video? It looks fairly fun. It looks like you guys were having a nice time doing this, so give us a little story about what we're about to watch.

Yeah, so we recorded everything in two separate settings. I went with a friend on a hike and sang all of the parts to the best of my abilities in the middle of the woods with my dog who is right here, Nut. She doesn't want to say hi.

[To Nut] Do you want to come here? No?

Okay maybe we'll just turn that we'll turn the laptop. There she is! [laughs] But I went with my dog out in the woods and sang the parts to the best of my ability and then we all went home and recorded everything as a band, all instrumental with no vocals and tried our best to piece them together.

Yeah, well let's enjoy that and like I said there are some songs that you can enjoy right now you can pick them up at the Early Eyes Bandcamp or check them out on YouTube and uh Jake thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you so much for having me it's been a pleasure.

Songs Played

11:59 Marigolds
16:07 Coffee
19:13 Drawing Myself
Songs 1 and 2 are singles released in 2020 on Epitaph Records, and song 3 is a single from 2018.


Host - Jade
Producer - Jesse Wiza
Technical Director - Eric Romani
Transcript/Introduction - Myah Christenson

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