Eoin Harrington: An Interview

April 19. 2005 | By Jason Jurgens

Maybe it’s his guy next apartment charm, devious charisma or the way he effortlessly swaps guitar for piano like a 70s swinger. Something about Eoin Harrington makes you want to have a good time; that at any moment you’ll either pound a beer or find a mate. Oh, did I mention that he’s Irish?

Forget the accent, the lad from Ireland is more than rolled r’s and U2. (What is it about accents that attracts people…particulary women?) Eoin’s music has sprinkled some fun on the SF music scene, because he wears his sincerity and talent on his sleeve (it’s not hidden behind a rockstar front). From piano ballads to foot tapping guitar jams, the pot of gold is Eoin Harrington.

Owl: How many times out of ten do people pronounce your name right?

Eoin: 1 of 10 when someone says it…0 of 10 when someone says it based off the spelling.

Where does the accent go when you sing?

When you grow up (even in Ireland) singin along to songs mostly by American artists or punters like Van the man soundin like he came straight out of the States, it kinda rubs off on ya. I’ve thought about puttin my own accent in there more, but what happens, is I get addicted to the way certain words and vowel sounds come out in the American twang. It’s hard to leave it.

What are 5 CDs you can’t live without?

Led Zepplin: Led Zepplin
RHCP: Blood Sugar Sex Magic
Pearl Jam: Ten
Beatles: Abbey Road
Van Morrison: Moondance

What is your favorite Bay Area venue?

The Great American Music Hall…I love the ambiance and the vintage feel.

How would you describe your music?

Rockin’ alternative soul, I guess.

Piano vs. guitar, which do you, feel more comfortable playing?

Piano for some, guitar for others. It depends on the tune.

Is there a difference in the way you approach each instrument?

More of my rhythm comes out in the guitar songs, because you can beat the shit out of it. I sometimes find strange cords on the guitar. Mixed with interesting vocals, it can give the song a cool feel.

What is your greatest rock memory?

Playing with Pearl Jam’s drummer (from the Ten era, which I listened to religiously by the way). I was doing an open mic in a small dive bar. Everyone in the place is just doing his or her own thing and this one guy comes up to the stage and sits right in front. Stops me after the first set and tells me he loves my stuff and asked if he could sit in. Flattered, I thanked him and said sure. I’m always game for a laugh. Before we play I find out who he is. I of course can’t believe that this guy actually wants to play with me. I told him that I listened to the album “Ten” A-side to B-side and back again for months and that ‘Black’ was one of my all-time favorite songs. I asked him if he would play it with me and he said yeah. I went to the toilets with my guitar, learned the song, came out, he jumped on the drum set and then proceeded to play the tune exactly as I remembered it, with all the fills and licks, etc. We nailed it. I coulda died happy. He sat in with us for our last 4 songs and played some amazing shit over my stuff, I was in heaven. Loved it. He’s still not as good as our Matty Boy…ehh Matty.

Who would you love to share the stage with (dead or alive)?

I’d love to have Paul McCartney play bass for me. He’s a bloody genius. I’d love to hear what he’d throw over my shit. I won’t count my chickens though.

What can we expect from Eoin in 05?

I’m ready to do my first album. I’m happy with what I’ve achieved, based on live shows but I’m ready to take it to the next level.

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