LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
Duncan Evans: Initially this was a completely solo project which began as around 2012 when I started writing acoustic songs which did not fit for any of the bands I was in at the time. I also had a desire to create a record of which I would be the sole architect / songwriter. I released an acoustic guitar-based album called Lodestone in 2013 on Prophecy Productions. Following that I had the desire embellish my next set of songs a little more so I put a full band together for 2018’s Prayers for an Absentee.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
Duncan Evans: I miss live shows (playing them and attending them) but I’ve also kept creating during the pandemic. I started another project called Moonlow, and I’ve been working on a split / collaboration album with an artist called Wilderness Hymnal, amongst other things.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
Duncan Evans: As well as recording and mixing new songs for the upcoming album with Wilderness Hymnal (to be released in 2021), I have also been writing new songs for my next album with the band. Additionally, I’ve been doing some livestream shows which have been very well received, and I managed to play one socially distanced concert at a venue with an audience before we went back into lockdown restrictions in the UK.
LOMM: Modern sounds are my thing J How about you? What does your genre means to you, why did you choose this genre?
Duncan Evans: I don’t like to be too closely confined or restricted by genre. I call my music “dark folk / post-punk melancholy music” and this captures everything I do, for now at least! I write songs in the vein of my favourite singer-songwriters, but I like the flexibility of working with a band who can move between tender and abrasive sounds. Sometimes the songs need a bit of noise and sometimes they need a more pure and simple accompaniment.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and
thematic elements evolve?
Duncan Evans: I had been writing some songs which took a more “traditional” approach, and playing more acoustic guitar. These compositions weren’t going to fit with the rock and metal bands I was playing in at the time, so I started my solo project. Theme-wise, I initially took a storyteller approach and wrote songs which were very folk-influenced. The sound has evolved to be darker and more rock-inclined, and the lyrical themes are now often a bit more personal or abstract.
LOMM: Are you happy
with your product? I mean, what aspects of it do you think you guys
nailed, and what parts do you think you could improve
Duncan Evans: I am very happy with my latest album, Prayers for an Absentee. I am very proud of the production (which I handled myself) and the sounds of the band. When I listen back to my first album, Lodestone, I hear an artist still finding his feet as a songwriter. Some of the songs still stand up but some were trying to go down routes which turned out to be dead ends. I’m sure most artists look back at their earlier work and find flaws in it!
LOMM: How has the overall reception
Duncan Evans:The reception has been great amongst people who have heard the music. The challenge is to be noticed in the first place amongst the multitude of voices screaming for attention. I’ve had some very good reviews.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
Duncan Evans:I have performed live many, many times. I’ve done a couple of small tours of the UK and Europle, and I’ve supported bands including Dornenreich and Empyrium in London and Berlin respectively. I also played Roadburn Fesitval a few years ago. Yes, it’s tough not being able to play live at the moment, but we’ve all just got to stay safe and look to a future when we can perform again. We also need to do what we can to protect the venues (especially small ones) that are under threat of closure currently.
LOMM: What do you see
for your future? How is it looking?
Duncan Evans: I am very much looking forward to releasing the upcoming split / collaboration album. I also can’t wait to get back to rehearsing new material with the band once we’re out of lockdown, and to eventually playing full band live shows and recording the next album.
LOMM: Could you tell us about the
lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas
come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the
Duncan Evans: I write all the lyrics. I write them separately to the music and I start from the lyrics when I come to put the songs together. Often the words stem from a feeling. I often greatly exaggerate everyday events that I experience so as to blow up into mythical proportions. Sometimes I am speaking through the voice of a character and at other times the words are more genuinely personal to me. Either way, the aim is communicate something emotionally authentic which can translate to others.
LOMM: Which is more exciting? Being on
the road or studio?
Duncan Evans: I love both, but nothing beats playing live. I would like to be doing it much more often than I am!
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
Duncan Evans: I write everything entirely myself, but some aspects of arrangement are left to the band for the songs they play on.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
Duncan Evans: A few that spring to mind are: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Wovenhand, Gillian Welch, Swans, Low.
LOMM: What’s more important to you?
Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
Duncan Evans: If I wanted to tailor my music to what mass audiences wanted to hear I would be playing very different music! I write and create music for me. Of course I want other people to connect with it and to offer it their recognition, but most important is satisfying myself artistically.
LOMM: When you look
back your music career, what do you consider to be your greatest
Duncan Evans: I don’t know if I have any great accomplishments, but in various bands I’ve toured Europe, played to audiences of thousands at festivals and recorded and produced several albums which have been released internationally. I like to think that I’ve kept my artistic integrity throughout!
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
Duncan Evans: Please follow Duncan Evans on social media – @duncanevansmusic (Insta / FB) @DEvansMusic (Twitter). Look out for new music in 2021. Thanks for allowing me to answer the questions!
LOMM: Thanks for taking the time Duncan!