Eve To Adam are a hard working, hard rocking band from New York City and they are currently out on the road with 10 Years supporting their brand new album “Locked and Loaded”. It is the band’s latest album and fourth overall but the urgency and immediacy of the music feels almost like a fresh rebirth or a stunning re-debut of sorts. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with frontman Taki Sassaris about the album, their current tour, their big apple background and more, read on…..
LRI: Thanks for talking with us Taki. For those people who have heard of Eve To Adam but are not real familiar with the band’s background, how far back do your roots go as a band?
Taki: No problem, John – thank you. The roots of EVE TO ADAM actually go back pretty far – it was formed my me and my younger brother, Alex. We grew up idolizing bands like Guns N Roses and Alice In Chains as kids….When we were in our teens we decided that this is what we wanted to do with the rest our lives and we haven’t looked back since…We eventually moved to NYC and found our guitar player, Gaurav Bali, and the three of us have been the core of the band ever since. Our current album, “Locked & Loaded” is our fourth full length album.
LRI: You are from the New York area which definitely has a unique personality all its own. How much of the spirit or attitude of the city has made it into the material that you write?
Taki: A lot of it does. Alex and I moved up to NYC to really find ourselves and become men. Since the day we arrived, all the experiences we’ve lived have turned into the songs we’ve been writing for years. I think there’s an a honesty in our music that really comes across. Rock fans usually know right away if what they’re hearing is BS, but with us they know it’s real. In fact, if you listen to “Bender” off our new album you’ll get a pretty good idea of what it’s like when we hit NYC on a Friday night!
LRI: NYC is synonymous with rock history and bands like KISS and The Ramones. For those of us on the outside looking in, what is the music scene like these days in the city and how hard is it for a band to stand out?
Taki: It’s actually extremely difficult. Unfortunately, we’ve lost our modern rock radio stations and many of the clubs we’ve played thru the years, places like CBGB’s, have closed. It seems that in big cities like NY or LA trends in musical taste shift very drastically every few years,, and right now the interest seems to be leaning more towards hip hop and pop. I’m still optimistic though – rock fans fans are very hardcore and I think it’ll eventually make a comeback.
LRI: You have a sound that straddles the line between new school style and old school attitude Is that a direct result of the band’s influences and are you equally moved by both classic and current rock?
Taki: We grew up in an interesting time, John: the end of 80’s metal and the beginning of “Grunge”. I think it helped shape our sound in the sense of combining the great showmanship of the 80’s with the honesty of the 90’s. We also love the classic bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, so we try to sneak in some classic old school influences as well whenever possible. We always strive to make the ETA sound a melting pot of all these influences because all these bands have stood the test of time.
LRI: Your brother Alex is your drummer which has got to add a whole other dynamic that a lot of bands don’t experience. What are some of the pluses and minuses of working with a sibling?
Taki: Overall it’s great, but of course it has it’s moments. The plus is that you know that your brother always has your back because there’s a bond like no other. The minus is that when you disagree, you feel comfortable enough to say something to each other that may end up with one guy’s fist meeting another guy’s face! But just like when we were kids, you have the fight and then laugh about it ten minutes later. I can’t imagine being in a band without Alex.
LRI: The album “Locked and Loaded” is very solid and I’ve listened to it beginning to end a few times cranked in my car. It doesn’t sound over produced but at the same time it does sound HUGE. How easy was it for you and your production team to get the tones you wanted?
Taki: Thanks, John. The tones on this album are a direct result of a few things: great sounding instruments, emotional performances and working with some amazingly talented people. Elvis Baskette, Eric Bass and Dave Bassett have great ears as far getting tones that fit the music…so honestly, it wasn’t that hard for them because getting great tones is what they do all the time. We also had Ross Hogarth record the bass and drums for “Shut Out the world”, “Let’s Burn” and “Immortal”. People of that caliber don’t settle, and it’s obvious. Elvis mixed every song except “What Would You Kill?”, which was mixed by Robert Venable. As you can hear, they both absolutely killed it!
LRI: I love the tracks “Fortune Teller” and “Bender”? Without giving too much away can you explain how those tracks came together or what inspired them?
Taki: It’s really cool that you mentioned these songs because they were actually the first ones we wrote and demoed for this record. Musically we wanted to write some more guitar riff based songs that would be fun to play live and those got the ball rolling. “Fortune Teller” is about a universal topic: fear of the unknown. As I mentioned earlier, “Bender” is about those fun, crazy late nights with friends that you never want to end. We worked on both of these with Elvis and we love how they turned out…and they ARE a blast to perform live!
LRI: “What Would You Kill” and “Straightjacket Supermodel” have an altogether different feel than say “Lets Burn” or “Shut Out The World” but they all have a certain amount of personal catharsis or soulfulness to the lyrics. Is it easier to write about happiness or easier to write from a pissed off point of view?
Taki: I think traditionally most writers would agree that it’s easier to come up with powerful words from a darker place, but it really depends on the topic. Most of the songs we’ve written could be considered serious or even negative, but I’ve always tried to have a positive and hopeful aspect to the lyrics also. As far as the songs you specifically mentioned, the lyrics were written with Eric Bass and Dave Bassett respectively, so it was interesting to see how their personal experiences and point of view inspired me to push myself into new territory. One of the things we’re most proud of on this album is the musical and lyrical variety.
LRI: Your cover art for the album is very attention grabbing and the packaging is top notch all the way around. Do you guys enjoy the business and merch end of being in Eve To Adam??
Taki: Well, I don’t think any artist truly enjoys being involved in the business side – that’s why we’re artists! Obviously none of us got into playing rock and roll so that we could crunch numbers, but sometimes you have to put on that hat. Merch is actually way more fun because there’s a creative aspect to it. We generally leave the business side to our managers and lawyer!
LRI: You are coming thru the Midwest here on tour and are probably looking to do a ton of touring in 2014. Are you guys prepared for the good and bad that comes with life on the road which is usually a lot less glamorous than it appears to most fans?
Taki: We’ve been doing this for a while and you really have to love it all. You’re right, John…most people have no clue what is takes to do this as far as finances, hard work and personal sacrifice. I’m not complaining; obviously we’re extremely lucky to get to do to do what we love, but it’s definitely not all fun all the time and there’s a lot of hard work involved. The bottom line is that we love to perform our music people and that’s really all the matters at the end of the day.