Friday, April 25, 2008

Broken Hearts and Fading Dreams...It's Not So Easy As It Seems


I've spent a lot of time posting about artists who are immensely talented but for whatever reason never really saw the success that they deserve. Evan is one of these artists. His two albums are probably the most amazing albums I've ever owned. It's dissapointing that he never really had the success that he should have. His music is so unlike anything else around it's the kind of music that should be celebrated for breaking away from the same old typical sound that every other artist copies over and over.

The introduction on his website reads:
"Do you like your music tasteless and restrained? If so, don't read on... because Evan is the very opposite."

"Less is more? I don't agree. More is more" Evan suggests with a smile. And that is exactly what you get when you listen to his songs. His passionate songs, romantic lyrics and rythym make songs like Queens "Behemian Rhapsody" seem pale in comparison.

In 2003 Evan sent out a demo of his songs to record labels across Sweden. By chance someone had left his cd in the player and it was discovered by the head of music and programing at RIX FM. This lead to his being signed to 'Stockholm Records' and his debut single was released in July 2003. Besides a few small guitar parts, every intrument on his debut album was performed by Evan himself. Besides writing, singing, mising and recording his own music, he's also produced remixes for artists like BWO, Alcazar and Agneta Faltskog of ABBA.

In 2006 Evan made his debut in Melodifestivalen with his song 'Under Your Spell' which would become the first single from his second album. Although he didn't make it out of his semi-final, the esposure created a new fan base and kick started the promotion for his second album.

In 2007 Evan decided to focus on writing and producing for other acts and that decision led to his return to Melodifestivalen this year when his song 'When You Need Me' was chosen to compete in this years competition.

The first time I heard Therese Andersson sing 'When You Need Me' I immediately thought that it sounded like the kind of song Evan would sing. So I wasn't surprised to hear that he did in fact write the song. The song is typical of his style; grand and pompous music, filled with tragedy and romance that has really become his calling card. With his music the lines between genres are blurred and you get a musical experience that no other artist has the guts to release.

Earlier this month I had the chance to interview Evan and ask about his experience in Melodifestivalen this year:

Listening to your albums and other songs you've written and remixed, you have a very unique sound and style that comes across in the songs you write. How would you describe your sound? What is your inspiration?

"I want my music to be timeless and maybe a bit dramatic with a touch of both fairytale and reality. I guess my inspiration comes from everything that touches me in real life and I try to have my 'own' sound."

Your song 'When You Need Me' was selected to take part in Melodifestivalen this year and was sung beautifully by the amazing Therese Andersson. What was it like working with her? What did you think of her performance?

"I think her performance was great but even better in Kiruna than in Linkoping. She was really easy to work with both in the studio and 'live' and I hope we get to work together on more songs in the future."

You have participated in Melodifestivalen in the past with "Under Your Spell," did you feel less pressure this year since you didn't have to perform the song yourself? Do you prefer to be on stage or behind the scenes working with other artists?

Of coarse there was less not being an artist this time, no pressure at all actually because I felt that Thérèse was such a great artist, I was so relaxed, knowing she would make a great performance.
Even though it would have been better in an economical point of view to be an artist in the show, it felt really good to "only" be a writer and producer this time.

If you could write a song for any artist, who would you like to write for?

I have recently "discovered" the band Within Temptation from the Netherlands and I think they are playing the kind of music I am pretty interested in. A mixture of metal and symphonic stuff. I used to be a pretty soft music guy but now I feel I have found a harder side of myself that i want to discover more.

Melodifestivalen is obviously a great opportunity for a lot of exposure in Sweden. You've entered the competition twice now. Would you consider submitting songs in the future?

Yes, of course.

Next month Eurovision will take place and a lot of countries have resorted to sending songs that can best be described as a joke i.e. Dustin The Turkey from Ireland. Do you think the Eurovision Song Contest is still relevant in 2008? Are the right songs winning or has it become too political?

Let´s say I prefer to have Italy in the show rather than Turkey and "friends", but I find it pretty amusing hearing very different kind of music but i don´t think the quality always is top of the line, unfortunately. Maybe it will be a good final this time with two semifinals.

In only 5 years you've had a successful career singing, writing, producing and remixing. What would you like to achieve that you haven't yet?

My initial goal in my music career was to sell 5 million albums... so I guess I still have a long way to travel...Joke aside, I will work really hard to reach out with my music outside sweden for the next years to come.

Your albums continue to be two of my favorite albums of all time. What is your favorite song from the albums?

My favorite song if I had to pick only one is "Afterglow" which has a moment of magic. There are other songs that mean a lot to me but maybe are not among the "best" song.Like "Everything I´d ever do", "The way we used to make love" and "Farewell" which are among the first songs I wrote where I started to think that my music was maybe qualified for being on a record...of course a lot of people don´t agree with me on that point... ;-)

Finally, did you vote for Sanna or Charlotte?!

I vote for Charlotte.

A massive thank you to Evan for taking the time to answer my questions.
You can purchase both of Evan's albums Here.

Evan - Farewell
You MUST listen to this song entirely. It's simply amazing... it's like 3 songs in one and really explodes at the end!

Evan - Dance With Me

Evan - Turn The Lights Down Low

Therese Andersson - When You Need Me (SoundFactory Club Mix)


John said...

Great interview.

I'd love for Evan to do a whole album with Therese. It's a shame 'When You Need Me' hasn't been a particularly big hit in Sweden, as it was my second favourite song in the whole contest this year (Behind Perrelli). I was at Globen and I'd have loved to see her there.

Hope he at least does another MF entry for her. Maybe they could even duet next year?

Troy said...

Thanks John... my first interview ever!

You were at the Globen too eh? Perhaps we passed by each other at some point :)

I LOVE the idea of a duet... Evan and Therese!

John said...

Yup. I'm from England but I went over with some friends. Did you get into Club Lino actually? It was amazing. Dancing to Hero, Love In Stereo and Hur Svårt Kan Det Va about six times each (at least!) in a packed out club was one of the most surreal but amazing experiences ever!

You interview really well! Are you considering going into journalism as a career? Your writing is great, I always enjoy browsing this blog.

Poster Girl said...

Evan! An interview with Evan! Fantastic!

Love him--I really can't wait until he releases some more music of his own. Great interview, Troy!

As a side note, I've noticed recently (well, the past few months), you've been giving us some longer posts, more analysis and background--I've been loving that! Not to say I want you spending all your free time writing things up for us, but I really enjoy the longer posts when you have the time :)

Paul said...

can i just echo what PPG said about your posts. Just stunning. And interviewing Evan! Marvelous. Is he as sexy in person? He seems like he was built for dark corners of a gay nightclub!

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chin_camael said...

I love Therese Andersson "When you need me" Soundfactory club mix.

I can't find anywhere on the web, anybody has the link?? The link posted is invalid.