Face to face with Jake Evans

Jake Evans

Bursting with energy, the music created by Jake Evans is hard to pass by without being drawn to it. His latest single ‘This Is Life’ is a vivacious and explosive affair with this special spark that makes the song very appealing. Jake chats to Rock Britain about the single and other things music-wise.

– Your single ‘This Is Life’ is out. What introduction would you give to the track to get Rock Britain’s readers acquainted with it?

– I’d say This Is Life is an honest, anthemic kind of song, with guitars, vocals and drums at it’s very heart, with a euphoric bit of synth programming too to lift things a little. The Lyrics are about a struggle of some kind (make of that what you will), but that struggle being necessary to appreciate those things that come through all of that.

– How does ‘This Is Life’ progress from your previous release ‘Easy On My Soul’?

– I think Easy On My Soul is kind of a set-closer, maybe a ‘Thank you, and goodnight’ kind of track, where as this is maybe a set- opener. It’s kind of a statement of intent perhaps, in terms of the feel for the album.

– Your debut full-length album ‘Day One’ is ready. When are you planning to release the record? What can your listeners expect from it?

– Yes the album is done. I’m planning on releasing one more single prior to the album, to get us out there a little more first and get some more live dates under our belt as a live band. Current plans are to release around November this year, with a single and tour before that. I think people can expect a more varied mix of what they’ve heard already. If ‘Easy’ is and end, and ‘This Is Life’ a start, the rest is the journey in between. there’s elements of Mowtown in there, there’s string samples from old records, some Gospel vocals too. It’s got flavours of plenty of records that I love but it sounds like me. There’s also some appearances from Bernard, Tom and Phil from New Order, as well as Doves’ Jimi Goodwin.

– How long did it take you to complete the record and generally how did the process of working at it go?

– I pretty much started making the record properly once Bad Lieutenant took a break and they became New Order again, so it took just under two years all told. The process was really a case of revisiting some old demos, writing some new ones, scrapping some, keeping some, then just seeing what seemed to lie together well as a body of work. There’s a couple of songs on there that I co-wrote with my brother too which I really enjoyed. It was recorded in various different spaces whilst I built my little place. I recorded at my house, in various mill spaces, in a flat in NY, at Revolution Studios with Andy Mac, then finally finished recording and mixing it at my own place- The Big Red. Bar a few bits I engineered and mixed it all myself, so it like quite an accomplishment to finish it. I feel as though I’ve turned another corner now.

– While playing your solo live shows, what are the most important aspects of a live performance for you?

– I think really it’s just about making sure I’m/we’re doing the songs justice and that people are being given a good show? It’s funny, sometimes, thinking about it too much can be counter productive. If you’re feeling it, generally everyone else will too.

– You’re in charge of the guitar and songwriting with Bad Lieutenant. What kind of experience it is to be in this band? How do you enjoy switching from being in a band to going solo and back?

– Well, it was a very collaborative affair in Bad Lieutenant, which was great. This record, although collaborative to some degree feels much more my own. I’ve just felt that making this album with the people that have been involved, has given me more opportunity to be who I want to be. It just feels like it’s all happened at the right time.

– How did you get into music at all? Do you remember the moment when you realised you wanted to be a musician?

– It’s funny, without sounding too pretentious, I think it kind of chose me. Once you’re bitten by it, you’ll just do anything you can to be near and around it. It was through my teens that I started to think it may be possible to make a living from it, and that¬†that was what I was going to do. I started playing guitar when I was 5, and it’s always been something I was really keen on

– Who are your music heroes and how have they influenced you as a musician?

– Wow, so many. I guess through my formative years that would have been most of the great 60’s artists and bands, most of which I heard through my Mum and Dad’s record collection. People like Hendrix, Dylan, The Velvets,The Stones, The Kinks, The Who etc.

How have they influenced me? Well, I guess they were the ones that took popular music to the next level aren’t they? They re wrote the rule book both sonically and in terms of what a song’s subject matter had to be about. They embodied freedom and a willingness to explore everything. You can’t help but be fascinated and inspired by that.

– How have you evolved as a musician since you started making music?

– I’ve learned a lot over the years I think, especially about production elements. I think having an understanding of recording processes is pretty important today more than ever, so I think that’s where I’ve learned the most. Apart from the natural improvements you make as a writer/player through doing it all the more, of course. Sometimes evolving can be knowing how to distill things and put them more simply, too.

That’s something I feel as though I’m getting better at.

– What ideally do you aim at achieving in music?

– To make music I believe in, and for that music to connect with as many people as possible.

Find Jake Evans on Facebook

Photo by Alex Wright



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