Spending most of his musical career touring here, there and everywhere as a minor indie celebrity, Stephen EvEns (SE) has quite some stories to tell. Shunning the tour bus lifestyle for recording narratives, EvEns is about to release his second album Employee of the Month. We spoke with EvEns about this new album, his current single ‘Dustbin Man’, and what he does in his spare time.
OSR: What can you tell us about ‘Dustbin Man’?
SE: It’s an honest observation of how the world works. Irony upon ironies that should be realised just as society is falling apart. Despite seeing everyone’s true colours, it seems like society is still willing to bend over and see what more our overlords have got in store for us.
OSR: What was the writing and recording process of ‘Dustbin Man’?
SE: I bought a looper pedal, I turned on my octave and fuzz pedals, I sang along and all the words fell out. We pressed play and record on a tape recorder. The tape recorder broke down and somebody fixed it two years later. Nick Bourne stuck it out on his Onomatopoeia Record label and here I am talking to you. Brilliant, eh?
OSR: Why should people listen to your music?
SE: Why shouldn’t they listen to my music? It’s pop music, everyone likes pop music.
I spend a lot of time working out the journey from the first bass drum note to the final dying feedback of a guitar or the halting thump of the organ. I’ve got no agenda. I neither band out a bunch of hackneyed chords call it a song and proclaim that my farts don’t stink or waste my time trying to come up with what I think fits in with the A&R person’s wet dream.
OSR: What can you tell us about the ‘Dustbin Man’ official video?
SE: It’s a cartoon. Everyone likes cartoons.
OSR: What was the most challenging part of making the video?
SE: Standing there and filming it to a green-screen and then looking at my lumpy old pasty of a face singing it back to me. I did nothing. Ashley Jones and his kids made it. I just asked politely and they got drawing.
OSR: What is your greatest musical accomplisment to date?
SE: Grade 8 Viola.
OSR: If you had to live with a celebrity for the rest of your life who would it be and why?
SE: Fortunately, I am already married to a celebrity – Caroline, the singer from Hot Sauce Pony. I live with her because she is sexy, funny and has a heart so big and full of love we have to keep some of it in the garden and the shed out back. When she agreed to be with me, I spied at least three faces of fellow suitors who I knew would never forgive me. I don’t only have to live with that, I can live with it.
OSR: What do you do in your spare time?
SE: I don’t have any spare time. I thought I might get some time off in lockdown, but no. Not a sausage. When you make music like I do, nobody pays you. Even if you’ve got a kajillion plays on Spotify, it’s not paying the rent. So you have to work hard if you want to survive and be dedicated to your art at the same time. Next time you are at a show, remember to buy a bit of merch or a record. It’s not even money being made there, it’s survival cash. It goes straight back onto the ‘art fund’.
OSR: What are your plans for the future?
SE: I am mixing the follow-up to Employee of the Month which is coming out in the next month at Brixton Hill Studios. The studio is currently closed, but I have a set of keys and I let myself in and fire up the tape machine. We’ve also got a five-song session we did in France just before lockdown; that might appear before too long.
Other than that, staying in doors. What are you up to?
OSR: Do you have a message for our readers?
SE: Nice to meet you. Stay safe and consider your life choices wisely.