Hello, I’m Stephen from Stephen EvEns. This is my thing. My fault. So I’ll answer the questions.
Hi Stephen! We‘re huge fans of your debut album Bonjour Poulet and are eagerly awaiting your new release, what’s the news?
We were supposed to be releasing our new long playing record “Employee Of The Month” before this tour, but sadly it’s not quite ready. I could bore you with details why but it’s all too tedious to waste words on. We’ve had a lot of things blow up…actually blow up, brown smoke with accompanying smells and everything. We’ve had things come back from far away places scratched or snapped that shouldn’t have been. That kind of thing has been making a relatively short process drag on and on and on. However, it will be worth it. I promise. I’m very proud of what’s been made. We’ve got some good people behind us to help it on its way. Onomatopoeia once again are putting it out with the usual love and encouragement and now there is a mysterious Svengali type who has come on to the scene. They’ll be pulling on a few strings and levers behind the scenes. Quite exciting. They have a deep and commanding voice and I can imagine them shouting at someone to “get their bloody act together”. Hopefully not me. So in short, we have to wait a bit longer. But it’ll have arrived before you know it and there will be another one to follow soon after. In fact the 3rd album is pretty much just in need of mixing.
To keep you going until the new release, here’s a live session version of ‘Dustbin Man’ from ‘Employee of the Month’:
So, if you’re Stephen EvEns, who’s in The Stephen EvEns Band?
The band line up is the same as it’s been for a while. I’ve got Jen and Jon on guitar and keyboards respectively (also in Hurtling). They are my two oldest and closest friends and I can’t begin to describe the magic they have. I’ve made no secret that I think Jen is the best guitarist in the world and I know a few genius in that department. I can’t imagine life without them. That leaves the adorable rhythm section of Bobby Leith (of Cardiacs) on drums and new boy Jimi Scandal on bass. I say new boy, he’s been in it about 2 years. Mind you I think these gigs are pretty much the only proper band shows we’ve done this year. So in a way he’s only been in the band a fortnight. There’s my lovely band. I’m very lucky.
Convert us to your most recent musical discovery!
My most recent discovery would have to be Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something. Their debut album is just about to be released and it’s been preceded by the track Helen is a Reptile which is a pretty good starting point for you. It had a great video and the song has a guitar tone that sounds like Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers trying to communicate with aliens.
Where do you go to discover new music?
I don’t listen to or follow anything in particular. If something comes on the radio or a band gets recommended and I get it then I, well get it. I have two mates with awesome shops, Vinylstore Jnr in Canterbury and Diverse in Newport so I try and buy from them. There’s still so many gaping holes in my musical education that I still go out and take a chance buying records. I live in a weird little village that’s a cultural desert. One of its few saving graces is the monthly record fair. We always spend a few quid there and there’s a jazz man who’s been helping educate my ears and a dealer who’s always got some Fall, Stereolab or Klark Kent or other indie nonsense that I desire.
Which artists would you describe as underappreciated geniuses?
This changes every day but currently I think Cate LeBon and Aldous Harding are my current faves. Cate LeBon’s Wonderful I heard on the radio one afternoon and the album became one of those LPs that never left the turntable. She’s also produced the latest Deerhunter record and the way it sounds I’d not be surprised if she’d written a fair chunk of it. Aldous’s “Fixture Picture” is definitely one of those songs so wish I’d written or was capable of writing. A perfect song.
Which live band would you cross hell or high water to see?
I’d love to have seen Captain Beefheart at any point in his career. What I wouldn’t give to see Cardiacs one more time…
What other art and culture has been making an impact on you recently?
I’m a bit basic really. At the moment, anyway. It’s mainly colours in the great outdoors for me. Especially in the woods when I’m walking the hound. Everything’s about to change colour. It’s like a soap opera for idiots.
What do you listen to on the tour bus?
It’s radio 3 or 4 on the bus, I’m afraid. Or a podcast of some description. But here, have a playlist on me.
10 songs I wish I’d written:
- Memory by KJ Adams
- Pink Dust by Magoo
- California by Low
- Walking With Thee by Clinic
- Helicopter by Deerhunter
- Fixture Picture by Aldous Harding
- Mushroom by Can
- Hospital Ship by The Flaming Lips
- Crab Day by Cate LeBon
- Sing For Your Supper by Cathy Davey
I could say I’ll get around to putting these in an actual playlist but I’d be a liar. I’ll never get it together.
Stephen EvEns plays at Cafe Totem on Thurs 7th November 19 alongside Hurtling and VSTRS-3.
Event details here.