Eve to Adam Showcasing Two Songs From Forthcoming Album on Fall Tour
Eve to Adam continue to enjoy a successful run on their ‘Banquet for a Starving Dog’ album, but are already ahead of the game on their follow-up release. During their stop in Los Angeles as part of a triple-bill with Halestorm and In This Moment, the band revealed that they’ve already worked out half of their next record with producer Elvis Baskette and plan to return to the studio after their current run concludes to finish up the disc.
Loudwire caught up with the band to discuss their breakout after years of struggle, their current recording sessions, and the addition of Dope guitarist Virus to their live lineup.
‘Banquet for a Starving Dog’ is now over a year into its cycle and still going strong. In many ways, this has to be a breakout record for you guys, right?
Taki Sassaris: In a lot of ways, yes, it’s helped to introduce us to a lot of people that weren’t familiar with our music, with our style, and I think it’s a pretty solid foundation record for us, you know. It’s allowed us to get back with radio and get a larger fanbase, coast-to-coast and internationally, and it’s definitely got a lot of peoples’ interest piqued and they’re watching to see what we’re gonna do in the new year with the new material, so I think we’re one of the bands that’s on the radar that a lot of people have high expectations for. It’s a good place to be, but it’s a little bit of pressure because you know that you’ve got to deliver, but I think we do our best work when our back’s against the wall and I think that it’s pretty well evidenced by this new material that we’re laying down that I think we’re going to turn a lot of peoples’ heads with this new music.
You’ve been touring for such a long time on this record, but Alex, if you could, what’s you’re favorite songs of this record that you love as much now as you did when you started supporting this record over a year ago.
Alex Sassaris: I’m torn. ‘Run Your Mouth’ and ‘Reach,’ the two singles that were from that record, they obviously represent a certain sonic quality of Eve to Adam, but the message of ‘Reach’ and the tempo kind of inspires me every night, and I think off the ‘Banquet’ album that is pretty much my favorite song to play live. It’s in the set tonight and it always gets a reaction and the dedication that we give before we play the song to armed service personnel and people that keep us going and safe, it kind of means a lot, so I would say ‘Reach’ definitely.
Guarav, same question, something in the live set that’s really standing out to you…
Guarav Bali: Well, for me, and for all of us I think we’re really enjoying trying out the new material we did. We’re playing actually two songs these days live. One of them is an amazing song called ‘Straightjacket Supermodel’ that was co-written by Eric Bass of Shinedown. After the last Creed tour we flew down to his studio in two days and recorded it with Elvis [Baskette] and it turned out amazing. The other one is a very different song for us. It’s called ‘Bender.’ It real fast, quick tempo, and Taki does some Lemmy-like vocals and it’s a real fast tune that picks up the set a lot.
The process of this has been different for us because for the first time we actually weren’t home for a long time writing. We actually wrote some stuff on the road for the last Creed run and then we got back, demoed it really quickly and got down to Orlando with Elvis and sort of finished it as we were recording it, which was really different for us. We actually wrote a song with him with different parts that turned out amazing. We actually just got the final mixes today of that song. So for me, it’s actually the two new ones that are very exciting, and it makes the older stuff more exciting too.
Luis, how are you liking the pace so far? Obviously going out on the road with the band now for a bit, but immediately going into the studio at the first break is not something that’s common. Do you prefer that?
Luis Espaillat: I think this is exactly what I want. A break in between is nice, and I’ve had those opportunities before, but this pace seems to keep the creativity going and the energy up because we’re coming from a situation where we’re creating from the ground up and then going straight to live where we’ve got the energy we’ve got from the new songs and be able to present it to the audience, so right now, it’s working really well. Right now, we’ve been out away from home for almost a month since we started the recording process and now we’ve started this tour with Halestorm and In This Moment and it hasn’t felt this long at all, just because we were busy, and when we’re out here I’d rather be busy and not stagnating and just sitting around, so I like this pace a lot, yes.
Elvis Baskette is known for having a pretty cool studio. Can you talk about what it was like working with him?
TS: He’s going to be located now out of Orlando and he’s got great gear. He’s got an amazing board. We were recording on a 75 Nieve. It was like The Who recorded on it and it’s one of nine in the world. He’s got amazing outboard stuff and compressors and he just, he’s a detail oriented individual and he’s very creative and he’s a lot of fun to work with and he loves creating rock and roll, high energy stuff, and it was just a lot of fun. And when things are fun in the studio it goes by really quick and you come up with really great stuff and everybody’s having a good time and it doesn’t seem like work. So I think anytime you’re in a studio and it doesn’t feel like work, you’re in a good spot. So I’m really excited to finish this album with him in January, and I can’t wait for some of our fans to hear this cause I think it’s going to be the shot in the arm that they’ve all been waiting for. Everybody really loved ‘Banquet,’ but I think a lot of the anthems on this are just going to have an energy that the audience is going to take to live and tear the place apart, so I’m looking forward to a lot of pandemonium.
I think it’s kind of cool this way, that you’ve recorded some stuff, but then get to go out on the road for a bit before you go back in. Does that kind of rejuvenate you and both the live and recording processes?
AS: We’ve never had an opportunity to do it like that and working with a guy like Elvis and knowing we’re gonna go back to him with this great live experience in between, I mean, this will be 150 live shows for us after this run is done, and that’s a good amount of touring for our band and I think we’ll be able to infuse that into the final five or six songs, or whatever it’s going to be. I was happy that the chips fell like this this time.
And Creed were the guys that tipped you off to Elvis?
TS: Yeah, it was Mark Tremonti and Eric Friedmann. We were blown away by the Tremonti album and on that last Creed run we lived with that album a lot. We liked the production on it and thought it was fantastic so we were like, ‘Mark?! What can we do here?’ and Elvis was in the midst of making the Falling in Reverse record so he was kind of hard to get a hold of initially, but once we got in touch, Mark’s recommendation and vote of confidence really made a difference. He wasn’t really looking to do another project, but because Mark had spoken so highly of us, he took on the project, and he was really glad he did, because we had a great time and came down with some really great material and it gives him the opportunity to take a brand new, up-and-coming band and put his stamp on it and showcase why he is who he is. So it’s a really perfect union for a group that is as hungry as we are, colliding with a producer who is ready to remind the world why he sold 25 million records. I think when you get that kind of synergy, really incredible things happen. I think if the energy and experience we had with him in the studio as contagious as it was, as uplifting and enthusiastic as it was, if the audience catches wind of that, I think it’s going to spread like wildfire. I think in 2013, you better look out cause this group is about to turn things on its ear.
You mentioned Tremonti and the guys from Creed. It’s got to be a better experience being out on the road with guys you like. So often starting off, you may not know the bands you’re playing with. Guarav can you talk about getting to check them out nightly and the camaraderie there?
GB: It’s amazing, because I think the biggest thing is it’s a learning experience to see how they do it, and you pick up tips here and there about various things, whether it be performance, sound, pacing of a set, cause I mean Creed played for a long time, and when I say long time, I mean they played a long set, and they played 15 or 17 songs that every time you hear them, you’re like, ‘I know every one of these songs.’ And that’s hard to do for a band that has a catalog like that. So it was a great learning experience to be out with them. Just the fact that they’re amazing guys just made it that much better.
And I saw on the website, that Virus has joined you guys? How did that come about?
GB: Well the boys here have been talking for several years about having a second guitar player, and I was never really comfortable with it for various reasons, but the theme of these new songs and our upcoming year is expanding our horizons and we’re writing with new people, which we’ve never done, and we’ve got a new producer, and so we decided to expand the sound live as well. I do a lot of different guitar parts on record which you can’t obviously play live without having eight arms, so I’m limited to choosing what I play live. So this allowed me to play some of those parts on the records that I’ve never had to play live and Virus got recommended to us, I talked to him on the phone, I was comfortable with him and he came to Queens and hung out with us and it was like we’d known him all our lives. That’s the most important thing because everyone has to remember that the show is however long it is per day, whether it be 30 minutes, an hour, two hours, but the other remaining time you just have to live with someone in a confined space so that’s important too. And he’s very easy to get along with, a great player, professional, and he was the one I felt comfortable saying, ‘Hey, what about him? I think he would be cool.’
Virus no longer makes you the new guy, but you’re still fairly new. Luis how has it been playing with these guys?
Luis Espaillat: It’s been great. I’m the next newest guy. I’ve been with the band since July. I met these guys when I was playing with Tantric last year and they were on the bill as well, and when they invited me, I love their material from the get go already, and at that point they were already playing ‘Run Your Mouth’ and ‘Reach’ which are two of my favorites from ‘Banquet.’ I mean they’re great. Not only do they really care about what they do more than anybody else I know, they’ve been at it for many years. And there’s many people that I know that some of the stuff these guys have gone through, they would have quit, so I really appreciate the tenacity these guys have and the dedication, which is always something I wanted to align myself with because I take my craft very seriously and what I do very seriously, and these guys have put in a ton of time and I appreciate them first and foremost. They’re great people, and they’re great players so there’s not much more I could ask for.
As far as Virus coming into it, it’s been great as well. Virus has been around and has that experience with Dope, and him bringing his experience to this whole mess if you want to call it that has been fantastic, so it’s been really great.
The reason we’re here tonight is the show with Halestorm and In This Moment. If you want to share what it’s like and your relationship with the two other acts on this bill so far.
TS: I think it’s great to see these bands reaping such success from so much hard work that they’ve put in because it gives us hope. Being the opening slot on this tour while we’re seeing these two bands break out now [is great]. They both have Top 10 rock singles and Halestorm has multiple. I think In This Moment is going to be enormous. They have a very wide, appealing sound. They’re modern and I think ahead of the curve, and the curve is going to catch up with them in 2013. They’re gonna blow up huge. And Halestorm are amazing instrumentalists. Lzzy and Arejay are a lethal combination duo, and great showmanship. She’s got an amazing voice and songwriting. You know, it’s great to see strong good bands do well, instead of what we’ve had for quite some time — you know, the one hit wonders or bands that got by on a gimmick. You know, these bands are the real deal and they’ve earned where they are. It certainly reaffirms that hard work pays off and sticking to your guns certainly does. It’s inspiring to us and we’re happy to be here and thank them for being gracious hosts.
Obviously Halestorm has the sibling thing going on and here we’ve got Taki and Alex. What was it like growing up brothers and deciding who was going to do what?
AS: Well, we were pretty bad at sports, so we figured out alternative measures. [laughing]
TS: Speak for yourself.
AS: Uh, well, he was a high school hero I guess, but I don’t remember those years apparently. [laughs] Okay I was terrible at sports, so we picked music watching Guns N’ Roses on MTV kind of blowing minds when ‘Appetite’ came out we just kind of looked at each other and thought it would be fun to not have to grow up and do music and it really bit us hard at very young ages and it just gave us a bond and something to work toward together and I wouldn’t want to play music if it wasn’t for Taki on the stage. I seriously think that’s where I belong and that’s how I envision it playing out.
TS: We could’ve never gotten through this river of s— without each other by the way. I can’t stress enough to you how duplicitous this business is and it’s so difficult to try to become an artist and put your heart and soul into your work and really achieve things from inside of you and watch them blossom and create art because especially in today’s day and age or whatever, people are so callous and it starts with the industry. They don’t have time for anything and nobody wants to develop anybody. There’s no patience. It’s really an anti-art culture, the business itself, and you have to fight through all of that to get to why you got into this in the first place. You have to protect the embryonic dream with everything that you are, while trying to navigate and maintain relationships with people that you may not necessarily like and are quite, in fact, the enemy, to your central motivation. So it’s a very complex relationship, and if I didn’t have him to stabilize me and crosscheck things with I probably wouldn’t be here right now … I really feel like it’s a new beginning. We’re close a chapter and beginning a new era and the stakes are getting higher and the pressure’s getting more, so I’m really glad that I have two more brothers. So it’s like what John Lennon said about Elvis. It’s unfortunate that he was by himself to go through all that madness, and at least they had each other as the Beatles, and I kind of feel like that’s what the great part of being in a band is — that you don’t have to go through all this s— by yourself.
Looking ahead, what’s on the horizon?
TS: ‘Straightjacket Supermodel’ is likely going to be the lead-off single. We don’t have a release date as of yet, but we’re probably looking at middle of spring, late March or early April for a release, right into a spring tour and summer tour.
What else can you tell us about ‘Straightjacket Supermodel’? Where did it come from?
TS: Well we wrote this song with Eric Bass and when we listened to the track and everything, he kind of asked me where I wanted to lyrically go with this and he kind of asked me what concept I had for the song and the song, it had this really kind of eerie, kind of crime scene thing, and I know [Guarav] really loves ‘CSI’ and stuff, and ‘Dexter’ and there was a bit of a serial killer vibe to this thing, and the way it sets up, it’s kind of methodical and the lyric lays out this plan and ideology of this egocentric character that is hell bent on creating this act that will reap him immediate fame and media glory, and it’s very reflective of what it is today to be in this society because every situation seems to be a juggernaut with the media cycle. You can go from zero to villain in three seconds, and it seems like everybody has their own little chaotic psychotic world going on with their Twitter and Facebook and everybody is pretty much the center of their own universe now, so it’s getting a little crazy, so that’s the ‘Straightjacket’ part, and ‘Supermodel’ is just being looked upon as being beautiful and perfect and that quest for an obsession for physical perfection and to be looked upon in that limelight as the ultimate badass.
So it has a lot to do with what we’re trying to do also, so it’s not like we’re talking about someone else. It’s definitely autobiographical, but I think that’s why it connects really well. We’ve been playing it four shows in and the song’s gotten a really great reaction. We have high hopes for the tune and really enjoy playing it, which is the best part.
Have you guys done the Thanksgiving on the road?
AS: Applebee’s baby! [Laugh] We’ll be somewhere in Portland on this run, but you know, we’re with our family already — our extended family anyway. It would be nice for Luis to be with his family in Nashville, but, you know, we’ll be together.
TS: It’s part of the sacrifice of doing this.