Bursting back on the scene this year with their highly anticipated seventh studio album, much loved indie rock trio EVEN have announced their Satin Returns album tour, playing Jive this Friday night.
Packed full of eleven indie rock gems Satin Returns was recorded over many sessions in many studios over a handful of years and continues the band’s tradition of making impossibly catchy psychedelic pop. Setting the tone for their new record is the first single from the Album is The Opener, a song that celebrates Even’s re-emergence. The band have officially released the companion video, which was filmed at the album launch and features live footage of their first ever performance of the song. Ash Naylor speaks to Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the album.
Congratulations on Satin Returns, which is a ripper. You have to be happy with how that one turned out?
Thank you, it has been a while but I think we are happy with the result without being to up ourselves about it.
Do you feel that sense of relief knowing that it is done given how long it took to get there?
Yeah, it is a relief and is nice to clear the head when you’ve finished. Sometimes, these things just take time but it is great that it’s done.
Is it hard to stay focused for so long to finish the album?
Sometimes it is, I’m a pretty stubborn person and very patient so thankfully those two traits come together to help finish the project. It is one of those things where you come so far, imagine when you build a house when you haven’t built one before so you take as long as it takes.
Do you put more pressure on yourself and have greater expectations in terms of what is a good song which contributes to how long the process actually takes?
All those things come in to it and as you get older you get more particular about what you like. Having said that sometimes you let go of certain things. This time I let go of the mixing process and I only come in for the last ten percent of the process so I’m not sitting in for the entire mixing process. I’ve learnt it is best to let go in the mixing stage.
Did the band approach making this album any differently than before?
We’re a self managed band so any pressure or expectation is self imposed. I made a conscious decision to keep the sound simple and not to overdub any outside instruments. I wanted to make sure it was just the three of us so all the noises are made by the band trying to revert back to those first couple of EP’s and first album.
Does anything in particular influence that or does the Even sound evolve that way?
We are spoilt in the modern age of technology, we recorded the basic tracks to tape so a lot of them are full performances and not cut and paste jobs like some of the other songs might have been. We try to use technology to our advantage, we want to sound like a traditional rock slash pop band. Everything was deliberate but it is funny how as time passes on that what might sound dated or retro sounds fresh to me. The thing with technology in music is a lot of it has become dense and full of information, a lot of data so I wanted to make something that had a lot more air in it. It was a conscious decision to not fill all the gaps with noisy guitars and like I said before and move back more towards those first two EP’s.
There are some absolute gems tucked away in the back of the album and one of note for me is Return To Stardust. Did you always plan on it going for nearly ten minutes or did it grew its own legs and took on a life of its own?
Thank you, that’s one of my favourite songs. That’s a really good question because the song was a lot shorter when we recorded it. Wally said to me and I bless the day he said the it should be longer. I never need any convincing for a guitar solo so we extended the track. The version you hear on the record, we used a bit of technology to make the song a bit longer so we added a section at the end. it is one of those things, for me that is the focal point and all the songs lead to that one stylistically and systematically. I’m really glad you mentioned it because that was a good day in the studio.
Will Satin Returns be played in full on this tour?
Pretty much, it will be as many songs as we can learn as Matt lives in Alice Springs these days so he’ll come down a week before the Adelaide show and we’ll get them up to scratch. I love playing Jive and it has been a while since we’ve played there, it’s a pretty special room.
Will Even play for four or five hours?
What’s the curfew?? I’ll work out the curfew and go backwards from there.
What is next for Even? Maybe a Ash Naylor solo album?
I haven’t thought about a solo album as all my energy and focus is on Even. What we’ll do is try and make ourselves busy in the first part of next year and we trying to get ourselves back over to Europe. That will be the focus I think and I don’t anticipate completing a new album in the time. I have been accumulating a lot of ideas but nothing fully thrashed out yet. Once we get this tour behind us we’ll see what happens but I’d like to make another album maybe something more basic and primitive than the one we just put out.
Interview by Rob Lyon
Catch Even with Sons Of Zoko and DJ Rhys Trafalgar at Jive on Friday September 28. Tickets from Moshtix.