Interview: Sam Evian to play The Hangar on the Hudson in Troy on Nov 20th

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Sam Evian has been known to impose creative limitations on his process in the recording studio. In a world of convenience and incredible technology, it is easy to get complacent which could run the risk of one’s music becoming too stale. Evian’s new record, Time to Melt (released October 29th) is anything but. 

The multi-instrumentalist, producer, and songwriter will be playing at The Hangar on the Hudson in Troy on November 20th. 

Evian made his debut in 2016 with Premium.

Time to Melt does not deviate too much from what he’s done in the past; his music is largely driven by guitar and piano compositions and is in the vein of psychedelic indie rock and pop.

Compared to his 2018 record, You, Forever, Time to Melt is more pristinely pressed and well-tailored to make you want to groove. While one of Evian’s strengths lies in musical arrangement and putting all the instruments together from the time of its conception – so much that his demos are of great quality – the songs themselves are not pretentious and self-involved. It is apparent that Evian is first and foremost a producer. 

“I’m a studio guy, it’s my bread and butter,” Evian told me. I pay the bills by producing other records for artists. I love to be in the studio at home, writing music.”

I asked Evian what the last year’s been like for him and how his return to the road has treated him. “I also love the catharsis of a live show. I wouldn’t say I depend on the live situation in an artistic kind of way.”

“After the last year and a half, I’m amazed I’m able to step back into putting out a record, that people are buying the record. People have been really supportive, so I’m feeling thankful – feeling good about it.”

While Evian has mostly used analog technology such as 8-track tape machines in the past (2018’s You, Forever), he decided to revisit the digital landscape on this new one. 

“I treat the digital workspace differently than some people,” Evian began. “It’s easier to get lost in the infinite.” His experience using analog technology has allowed Evian to approach the digital workstation with more diligence, precision, and intention.

This careful approach to using digital technology is a kind of creative limitation in its way. It is not a hindrance, but instead, Evian won’t take advantage and as a consequence get lost in the world of endless possibilities of software programs such as Pro Tools. 

“The beauty of digital is you can basically do whatever you want. So you just kind of have to set expectations.” While Evian utilized a digital workstation this time round, Time to Melt was created in a mixed-media setting. “In the end, I’m not precious about whatever technology goes into capturing the song but what I am precious about is how you use that technology.”

Evian continued: “I think you can use digital audio in a very creative way and once you go from working on tape and if you take that mindset into the digital world, you can reap the benefits. There’s a pace to the analog workflow, it’s wider, it’s slower, you have to wait for things to rewind. The temptation in the digital world is to do the opposite; I have to be fast.”

What can people expect from November 20th’s show? 

“I’m playing songs on the previous records and the entirety of the new record. I think this is the best band I’ve ever put together and it’s the most musicians I’ve ever had on stage performing my music. There’s six of us up there. When I put a band together, I make sure I’m the weakest link. Everyone is just amazing at what they do. 

Sam Evian will be performing at The Hangar on the Hudson in Troy this Saturday, November 20th. You can find more information on his website, here.

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