Interview: Saving Tonight with Eagle-Eye Cherry

Eagle-Eye Cherry is a man of many trades, having dabbled in acting, and recently emerging back onto the music scene after years of anonymity. His single, Save Tonight, became an instant hit back in 1997, and now he’s back, to bring us more.

We caught up with the Swedish singer-songwiter, to chat all about the latest album, the new tour, and to look back over his eclectic career in the industry.

You come from quite a musical background, but how did you first get into music when you were younger?

It wasn’t much of a choice, really. The instruments were there, my father [jazz musician, Don Cherry] was there and he thought drums was the place to start – without rhythm you can’t play music.

So, he put me behind the drum set and I actually knocked out my first tooth on the drums, because I had a full grownup sized drum set and I missed a cymbal and knocked out my tooth. Music can be painful.

But music was always around and I wanted to be a drummer. Then I started feeling that maybe I didn’t want to be a musician and I got into acting a bit, but in the end, music took over and I realised there’s nothing else for me.

It’s been over 20 years since Save Tonight came out – what was it like for you when it started to take off ?

It was like ‘buckle up, we’re going for a ride’. I knew through my sister [singer-songwriter, Neneh Cherry] what was going on once it started. I did all the work and I’m thankful I was a little bit older when I broke through: because I knew exactly how big this was.

Once I started, I did all the work and promo and trips and tours and let everything else go. I went for the ride and was amazed that it took us as far as it did. You just take it one step at a time.

You’re on tour at the moment. How is it being back on the road?

It’s like a day hasn’t gone by. I’m so at home on the road and on stage. It’s fun now, having quite a few albums in my back pocket and mixing it up because when we were out with my first album, everything got so big so quickly and it was a bit daunting to go out and only have 11 songs. Now, it’s great because you can really build a beautiful setlist with all the songs and the crowd really enjoy it.

What are you looking forward to most about coming back to Scotland?

Number one is just getting up on stage. It’s a lot of fun because I’m always curious to see who’s there. Before, it was quite straightforward, but now there’s such a mix of people, because you have those who came to concerts back in the day and have followed my music and they’re not 18 anymore. Then there are others who have discovered my music over the years, so that’s always fun.

And I’m a big whisky drinker, so obviously I’m going to be doing a little tasting, too.

For anyone who hasn’t heard the new album, Streets of You, yet, how would you describe it to them?

It’s rock, pop with a little bit of blues sprinkled on top. It’s guitars, drums, bass and keyboards and my stories on top of that.

What would you say has been the highlight of your career?

That’s so hard. When you ask me that, my brain just flashes to all these different moments, it’s such an amazing ride.

I would say probably when I released Save Tonight in Sweden: I knew which radio station it was going to be played on, and at what time. I went to that station, done the ID thing, ‘I’m Eagle-Eye Cherry, here’s my new single’, and then I ran home. My friend came over and we ran to the radio, because I didn’t know, this might be the only time I hear myself on the radio. That was the beginning of the whole journey – that was quite a moment.

Eagle-Eye Cherry will be playing The Garage in Glasgow on 2 June. To buy tickets, click here.

**Cover image credit to Eagle-Eye Cherry on Facebook**

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