Interview: Taki Sassaris, Eve To Adam

Taki, thank you for taking time to speak to us. We really appreciate your time. “

No problem whatsoever, Ritchie… Thanks for the request.”

Firstly thank you for the single and video for “Lucky”. It popped out of the blue, and really cheered me up. Regarding the video, let’s ask the really serious question first… how many shots did you do during the making of that video?

“HAHA, quite a few that’s for sure. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year that has thankfully taken a positive upswing, so that video was quite a celebration for us on many levels. However, I wouldn’t leave a large bottle of bourbon or rye unsupervised with Eve To Adam, that’s for sure!”

I’ll bear that in mind! Now, the song “Lucky” is meant to be about touring, but to me it looks like far too much fun to be real. I know it is not all good times, but can you try and portray your favourite and your least liked thing about touring?

“Well, the video was a tribute to the good times on the road.. the great shows, the interesting characters you meet along the way, and the experiences you take with you that change your life. My favorite thing is taking the show a bit further than the night before. Hitting it a little harder than you thought you could. That’s fun. That’s a challenge, and you get to share those victories with your bandmates. That is a one of a kind exchange. My least favorite would have to be the lack of privacy. When you are on tour for months at a time, you don’t get to have a lot of personal space. You are sharing living quarters with so many people. That gets a little frustrating, for sure, when you are trying to talk with your wife or significant other. That being said, everything worth the fight has it’s sacrifices. Playing music for an audience that appreciates what you do is a gift, and I treasure it.”

Still on the subject of touring, it is a kind of sore point for me, as I am a long-time fan and live in Glasgow, so the closest I can get to you guys is YouTube. Are you going to sort this out right now (Haha), and possibly tour the UK and Europe? We will kick American audiences butts right out of the park!

“Well, very sorry for that. We had an opportunity to come over in the summer of 2014 with  SOIL, and unfortunately our management at the time didn’t want to invest in taking the band overseas to Europe and the UK. With this new album, and our current management, it is something that has been discussed, and I can say to you that we are absolutely bringing Eve To Adam  to the UK and Europe in 2017. It will happen. It’s certainly time. We can’t wait to turn up the volume on these great audiences you speak of. I know it will be an unforgettable trip for us and them.”

Moving on to the album, ‘Redemption’, what was it like working with Michael Baskette? Was this album recorded any differently than your previous releases?

“This is the second time we had the opportunity to work with him. He is an unbelievable talent to be in the studio with. He is a genius from every angle. Writing, recording, mixing, guitar sounds etc…We are truly blessed to be on a short list of people he calls friends. I wouldn’t want to record with anyone else. Elvis is essentially a member of this band. Making the new album with him was the single greatest recording experience of my career. He was very gracious and patient with Lawrence, Markus and Matt- allowing them to find their comfort zones and connect with the new ideas he would suggest. Above all, he is an amazing human being, and I am glad to know him in this life.”

“Lucky” is an excellent track, but is it indicative of the album as a whole? The thing I love about Eve To Adam albums is they are diverse, yet hold your signature sound… can we expect any surprises?

“Lucky” is indicative of the fact that this is the heaviest sounding album we have ever done. As far as content goes, you can expect a very diverse album with a heavier and more intense sound. That being said, it is still very much an Eve To Adam album in every way.”

This year heralds 15 years of Eve To Adam, and although I wasn’t there right at the start of your journey (I came on board with “Queens To Eden”), I have loved watching and listening to the metamorphosis of the band. Each album has been different, and has had a feel of progression with each one. Was this planned, or did you just grow?

“Our journey has been organic in every way. The growth you hear in the band’s sound is a natural one.”

Since we are looking back, I would be really interested in hearing what you think of each album release, and where you felt you were as a band when you recorded them.

“Auburn Slip’ and ‘Antidote’ were the discovery phase, for sure… The band was very young, and we were very green as well. As they aptly said in the movie ‘Point Break’, young, dumb, and full of cum. ‘Queens To Eden’ was a breakthrough in band attitude and connection. Also, the writing took a step up. A lot of our prime years and stories of living in NYC, in a pre 9/11 world, were captured on that album. Our first real radio exposure and national touring came as a result of that album. It has a very special place in my heart, and memory as well. We experienced some success, and shortly after, some real gut-wrenching defeat on the business end, with the label going under due to the financial collapse of 2008. 2009 was a total rebuild year. ‘Banquet For A Starving Dog’ was a very personal collection of songs that were very honest, and captured very much in that way. Very raw. A true success, if you factor in the negative influence of people that were paying for it, that we had to overcome to deliver it with producer Paul Lani, our second album with him; ‘Queens To Eden’, your favorite, being the first. ‘Locked & Loaded’ was the pinnacle performance of a band that had been pushed to break new ground and explore new sonic territories. A very fun album to create, despite the unreal pressure from the label, where the writing once again evolved, because of the talented people we were able to work with that openly emabraced new ideas and approaches… the Killer B’s, as I like to say- Elvis Baskette, Dave Bassett and Eric Bass of Shinedown. It was on this album that our friendship and connection with Elvis Baskette began. The new album, ‘Redemption’ is our second with Elvis Baskette, and our first without original guitarist Gaurav Bali. This album speaks to the maturity and realization of manhood that cements itself after going through, not only the toughest phase of our career, but for me on a personal note, the most difficult part of my life. I underwent a lot of highs and lows in rebuilding the band and keeping things going on every level possible. The material on this album is the culmination of reaching a level of self reflection and truth that you strive for as an artist and  writer. The ugly with the beautiful. The victory and the loss. The altitude you reach that you never want to end. It’s bold and aggressive, yet refined and aware. Very proud of this new album and the amazingly talented guys I collaborated with. This band became a family in writing and recording the songs of ‘Redemption’. I am very happy with this line up, and the way that we feed off each other. It’s a more physical sound. I love playing in this band more than ever, and I think the future for Eve To Adam is very bright because of this chemistry.”

As much as I enjoy your heavier tracks, it seems to be on your slower numbers I have personal association. For instance, I adore the song “Shut Out The World”, it reflects a time in my life which unfortunately relates to an ex girlfriend, but this is one of my favourite things about music, that very few other things in life can do… As a band, how does it feel when you know something that came from your head via your heart can reach out and touch people?

“It is the greatest feeling to know that something you created finds a true home in the hearts of your fans. That is the pay off for all the hard work that goes into creating these art pieces.”

Another instance of this is the song “151” (The acoustic version is just sublime…cough, cough… an acoustic album would be brilliant), and although it isn’t the song meaning, I associate it with going to a gig. Leaving the 9-5 behind, getting dressed down, and joining friends for drinks and laughs, and getting my ass kicked by a live band. How do you feel about people stealing your song’s meanings, and linking them to their own lives?

“Again, becoming part of the fabric of someone’s life is the ultimate compliment as an artist!”

“151” is also a middle finger up to the ‘PC crowd’, and goes against the whole social media “love me at any cost” society. Do you use song writing and music to vent your hate, and if so, what subjects are you ranting about on the new album?

“Songwriting has always been a release for me, as a performer and artist… the new album deals with some issues regarding self evolution and survival.”

Okay, we like to finish up on a left of centre question, so, going on the biblical name theme, and with your possible hate/rants for all the people who have put you down over the years in the music industry, what plague would you wish upon them, and why?

“Honestly… as a practicing Greek Orthodox Christian, I adhere to the power of forgiveness. I have been set free because of that. My enemies will have to answer for their sins in the next life, and that is plenty fine for me.”

Well, that’s a different answer to what I was expecting, but an excellent one. Thank you again for your time, and I wish you every success with ‘Redemption’. I look forward to hearing it… and that UK tour (I hope these hints are dropping!)

Interview: Ritchie Birnie


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