An Interview With The Australian Singer-Songwriter, EVAN KLAR!
Posted On 08 Feb 2018
Evan Klar is an Aussie based solo, cinematic singer-songwriter. He recently released his debut new album, Deepest Creatures.
Click here to listen: https://soundcloud.com/evanklar/sets/deepest-creatures
The first single, “Sleep” showcases Klar’s skill with soundscapes which opens with rainfall, breathing and an atmospheric groove. Not only is this the track that introduces the world to Evan and his approach, but it’s also the opener on the album, and for a reason. “Sleep really is a track that sets the scene,” he says “I’m not a particularly serious person, so I sort of treated this, lyrically especially, as a nursery rhyme. It’s like my beginning, the start of growing up, an opening, someone waking inside a dream.” Hence, “Sleep” is mysterious, warm and likeable in its composition.
Exactly like a journey, this collection is composed with a beginning, middle and an end and with an overall tone of optimism, curiosity and motivation at the heart – a reflection of the artist himself.
Learn more about Evan Klar in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood? What is a song you are loving these days?
I’m actually lying in silence on a hospital bed high on fentanyl, nearing the end of a fairly painful ride, but its all good. I was at a gig last week and a pint glass broke in my hand, severing my tendons, which meant surgery. In the operating theatre, they asked me what music I wanted to go under to, I asked for Massive attacks Mezzanine album; it hit the spot so lets go with that as my mood switcher?
I’m loving a tune called Sensory Memory by Jen Cloher at the moment.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Was there a time where you thought of doing something completely different?
I had daydreams of being an artist as many kids do but I think those faded as I hit my late teens. I spent my childhood playing the guitar & piano but never thought making music would appear in my 20’s. I remember sneaking onto my big brothers drum kit when he was out, I was a hyper 6 year old who needed to hit something, that’s probably my earliest memory. I’ve always had thoughts about doing other things with my time and I think that’s important in keeping a healthy relationship to
making music. You can’t let it flood your life, you’ll loose your marbles basically.
Overall, how do you think 2017 has been for you and music career? What are you most excited about for in 2018? any New Year’s Resolutions?
With much to write home about, 2017 was a wicked fun time. I’ve been surrounded by the coolest people I’ve met and I feel mad lucky to have the support I do. To finally release my record was a heavy bag of emotions. This year I’d like to focus on my writing, I haven’t written a lot of music yet so I’m curious to see where it will take me. Touring my album is something that I am deeply excited about too.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown and current home has affected you and your music today?
I’m now living in Melbourne but I grew up in Singapore, the sweaty green island with the best food, it turned me into an optimistic kaya cake. I’m often referencing memories and places of my childhood in my music. I think where I live and the places I have been to will always be a theme in what I write.
Much like you, I grew up in South-East Asia so I am curious to know how living in Singapore has affected not only your sound but also how you handle and approach the music industry as a whole?
I’ve never had a connection with the music industry in Singapore but growing up I was definitely exposed to music unique to the area. Javanese Gamelan for example, has its own tuning systems and such cool instruments. It’s hard for me to pin point in my own work but I do feel that being exposed to art from different cultures can have a strong affect on how you see and make things.
Let’s talk about your debut album, “Deepest Creatures.” What was it like releasing it? Did anything surprise you about the overall process? Were there any unexpected challenges?
It felt so good to let go of those songs. I thought the hard part was finishing the record but its actually the itchy wait between mastering and getting the record released, that was the real tease. I now know that once I finish my next record, I’m not going to stop making. I have a feeling that’ll be the best way to calm the itch.
Can you elaborate on the making of your album’s lead single “Sleep”? How did this song go from just being an idea in your head to a full-blown song?
I had a collection of rain forest sounds that I recorded in Malaysia which I wanted to use to set the scene for the album. Its a weirdly simple track with a one word chorus but I imagined the idea as an opening to a picture book with hints of a lullaby? In many ways I’ve actually never really thought of Sleep as a song but more of an introduction to a possible story.
How do you think you have continued to grow as an artist year after year? What has remained the same?
My feet haven’t changed, they’re still huge and ugly. Besides those I’d like to think my ability to write music is getting better. Recently I’ve been more motivated than ever to spend my time in the studio and I hope that’s because I’m getting better at it. I love working with others which is new to me.
Where can people see you play live next?
My next gig is at home in Melbourne on the 24th of Feb at The Toff In Town, YeeeW!
What has a been favorite show of yours in the past? What do you think makes for an ideal performance for you?
Every show has felt different but I’ll take Big Sound Festival last year in Brisbane as my favourite. I was trying new ideas with a new band, two incredible string players included. We hadn’t had a chance to rehearse together so It was on the spot which made for a scary but super fun one, we got lucky.
What do you think of social media today and the importance of it for artists now? Do you find that it’s hard to keep up with it all?
The efficiency of sharing is incredible but those hourly kicks I’m craving are definitely a bit sketchy. For whatever reason It doesn’t feel good calling social media important but I guess its become somewhat compulsory? The energy people put into it blows my mind, I’m hoping to find an approach that doesn’t kill me. I stare at my screens a lot.. I reckon put them down and run for your lives kids.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being a musician gives you the most joy in life today? How do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Even when only a few people are listening to what you write, Its so important to keep making. I’ll remind myself that at the very least people use music as a way of switching off, a distraction to their everyday lives. I actually find it hard to do that, maybe because I’m a little overloaded from writing most days but I get huge joy knowing someones going to listen.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely still love to work with in the future?
I’ll nerd out spending alot of time following people behind the artists. I’ll find a mix engineer who has worked on something I like and listen through other projects they’ve worked on, I always get excited by how things are mixed. I am however going through a wonderful Phil Collins phase at the moment, dad would be proud. Here’s some artists I’ve been listening to over the past few weeks- Peter Gabriel, (early) Beach House, Massive Attack, Wolf Alice, Fleet Foxes, Unknown Mortal Orchesstra, BadBadNotGood. Go listen to Nils frahm’s new record, its inspiring the socks off me.
What do you hope your fans take away from your music? Do you think there is a greater music in your songs?
Knowing that people are listening fills me right up, I really don’t feel a pull to go looking beyond that. I record my ideas and hope people are able to take their own little something from what I’ve made. I guess I’d hope that that something is completely different to how I hear or understand what I’ve made, always cool when that happens.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about becoming a musician one day?
Write your own path and be up for making big changes. Work with others at least as much as you would alone. Taking long breaks can be as beneficial for your playing and writing as staying in it.
Would you like to share anything else about yourself or your music with our readers?
Thanks for having me lovely people! I’ll be sharing lots more music this year. Stay kind!