Heard The Last Summer Of Love yet? You really should. The debut album from Eveson on V, it’s a refreshing exploration of deep, soul-laced drama with spatterings of D&B, breakbeat and psychedelic electronica throughout.
There is nothing else out there like it. But you get the impression Eveson wouldn’t have it any other way: right now he’s doing things by his own rules. Just as much of an artist as he is a producer, Eveson explains he’s not following anyone else’s template but his own. Even down to the creation of his physical album.
Read on for one of the most interesting, honest interviews we’ve featured for a while. Then bag yourself a free track!
Where you at?
“I’m in the distributors packing up the last load of albums. It’s hard work! Everything’s been done by hand. Each sleeve is a handmade a two coloured print. There’s a removable piece of artwork, too. There’s been so many logistics involved. I’ve had to insert all the artwork, hand number each sticker, pack them. Everything!”
A proper labour of love! Can such an operation be profitable?
“Well it’s my first album so it has to be the most special project possible. I’m an artist as much as I am a producer and recently I’ve wanted to bring my lives as a graphic designer and a music producer together. It’s been a really interesting experiment. It has been very labour intensive but I’ve done some really limited box sets that include t-shirts. They go in a hand painted pizza box which I’ve sprayed. They’ve gone for £35 a piece. And they went out in eight hours. I’m experimenting right now, figuring out way to recoup my time. Limited edition, collectable pieces seem to be in demand at the moment. And it’s amazing that people are really keen to get their hands on them!”
Is it the fact that the internet has led to a desire of genuine artifacts or the fact that you’ve spent years developing a following that’s helped that?
“It’s a combination of both, I think. Music is so disposable; if you’re not doing something genuinely unique and original then it’s hard to convince people to part with their money. The internet has helped massively though as I’ve sent these things to people all over the world. America, Australia and everything… When you add postage it’s like $90. That’s mad that people want to pay that for my work! My art is part of my music and I’m lucky the following I’ve developed over the years are also very supportive of my art. I’d love to spread into the art world more. It’s something I’ve not explored before…”
“I’ve not really tried to penetrate it yet. I’ve been happy to sit back and let it happen naturally. All my favourite illustrators and artists are in their late 30s/mid 40s. It think it takes longer for artists to find their voice than it does with music. I’ve only been happy with my art in the last year or so. Some of the stuff I was making years ago I wouldn’t have been happy to represent me now. I was doing a lot of vectory, graphic stuff but now everything is hand drawn. Now I’m happy with my output I’m keen to push it forward. You have to be doing something unique. You have to have your style. It’s not enough to be half decent. That might work in the music world; if a certain style gets trendy you can get away with that because people need tunes to mix. This isn’t the case with art.”
True! Wouldn’t you say your sonic art has found a voice with this album?
“Yes. The last few years I’ve definitely defined my sound more. When I started I was dedicated to drum & bass, I was buying the records every week, I breathed the stuff. So it was natural for me to make it. I was tapped into it, it was very tribal. But these days I’m listening to a lot of other music, older music, like folk, blues, prog rock and psychedelic rock. I wanted to capture some of that in my music. D&B was me writing to someone else’s template. I was following rules that had been written in the past. Now this is me, pouring my own influences into my own template. My own rules. We don’t know whether the heads will love it or not. There are D&B tunes on there but there’s more to it than that. I think the idea of an album allows that too; when you’re writing 12s, you’re making tunes for people to mix. If they’re not mixable, they’re not worth releasing. But an album allows a lot more freedom.”
Are you nervous about the reaction to it?
“I’m not a nervous person! I take things in my stride and if it doesn’t do well then I’ll try something else. I thought about releasing it under a different name and having the safety of an anonymity but that didn’t feel right. It’s weird; people have expectations. You become a brand the minute you start releasing music. I’ve been tagged with the liquid thing for years.”
I think that’s sad…
“Definitely. Some people can break from one thing to another but it’s rare. Every artist should have a body of work that makes sense to each other. So if you’re a band who make folk and death metal then different names would make sense. But the stuff I’m doing now and the stuff I was doing before is relevant to each other. It’s progression. I’ve experienced it the other way too… I love the balls out ravey stuff and darkside and I always try to include it in my sets. Like Dom & Roland’s Imagination, which is one of my favourite darkside records, but I’ve dropped it and people would look at me blankly and stop dancing! I find that mystifying! My ideal DJ set would go from hip-hop to house and garage to build up to D&B. The club scene gets fanatic about certain sounds, it’s a youth thing and that’s when you like what you like and you don’t want to hear anything else. That’s how it is…”
Well I was going to ask how your experimentalism as a producer has affected your Djing….
“It’s been weird. I’m in the middle of a line-up of other D&B DJs so it’s hard to change the tempo. Plus I’m not known for anything else other than D&B. So it’s been tricky. I’ve been experimenting dropping different things to different reactions… Some people love it. Other people look grumpy! I’ve opted for older, vinyl sets where the tempo is naturally a little lower anyway. That helps me join the dots. It’s interesting to see what happens after the album’s out… I still love drum & bass and will always drop it. You don’t get the energy in any other form of music. I’ll never lose that buzz. I hope you can hear the D&B influence in my lower tempo stuff too…”
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