“This album and it’s purpose touches on the hardships artists and people of diverse city face not only in the San Francisco Bay area but around the world. The struggle is real and we need the arts to bring us back together”….from the artist
Evan and the Live Oaks has recently released a new EP entitled “Hyde Street”. Their soul/ America sound rings throughout the San Francisco Bay area, as well as throughout the West Coast. Evan is the drummer/vocalist, and the rest of the band includes; John Dering on bass, Billy Pillsbury, on drums, Russel Bourne on lead guitar, and Jordan. Feinstein playing keys.
I spoke with Evan and along with his prolific songwriting and lyrics he also had some of the best answers to my questions that I have come across….
Do you write the music for the band?
Yeah, I do. I also sing and play the drums.
That’s kind of different and rare.
Yeah, there’s not many of us.
When you create a song what is it that inspires you?
Well, we live under a big change in the Bay Area lately. Things have been getting really expensive, and a lot of the artists have been getting pushed out of the city. We’re getting pushed farther and farther away. We can hardly afford to live here anymore. So a lot of the songs kind of stem from the tribulations of living in a financial driven environment. Referring to the three songs on the EP, they all kind of have their own meaning going on. Each song kind of has its own topic. A lot of them have been written during that kind of climate around here.
So for example, “Maybe Later”, tell me about that one?
That song is about kind of like wanting to get out of the city life, because nothing is really working out. Whenever I introduce that song when I play it live I say,, ” this song is about getting out of the city”. That song has a lot to do with not wanting to deal even dating people in a city climate. It can be really difficult because there’s so many options, or something like that. So it’s like having doubt in that situation, and also just wanting to get out of the city.
And the song, “Home”.
“Home” is a song that I wrote the first night I moved into a new place. That song is kind of a song of celebration. Getting out of my parents house. I was stuck there, lost a job, and was stuck at my parents house for a few months. Then I finally got a new spot. Basically that’s what that song is about.
And “On the Other-Side”..
“On the Other Side” is tune where I imagined a story about someone on the other side of the world. Someone in an opposite culture of what we live in that has lost their child to violence. The child becomes a rebel warrior that’s fighting on his own regard for whatever reason, but has lost the war.
That’s a little sad..
Yeah, I introduce the sad song as ” this song is about a sad mama”..
Do you guys play live a lot?
Yeah we do. That’s what we excel in the most I think. We really feed off our crowd and feed off our fans. I think that’s what comes out. I mean there is a lot of magic that comes out of the EP in the studio as well. We play all the time live. We have a gig coming up on March 29 at The New Parish in San Francisco. That’s a big one for us, we are opening for Whisker Man.
I don’t like to label things however if you had to label your Music what genre would you give yourself?
I’ve been saying Americana/soul. What do you think?
It’s a conglomeration of a bunch of genres which are just the natural influences that we’ve had. There is even like some hip-hop influences in it.
How long have you been playing the drums and singing?
It’s been maybe 15 years since I got a drum set. I was in choir from 1st to 8th grade. I was a choirboy. Then my choir teacher recommended to my parents that they get me a drum set. It’s probably because I couldn’t stop tapping on everything in class. She was probably just sick of it. Actually whenever she pulled out the percussion instruments in class I gravitated towards them. Maybe because I just had to be loud or something. We eventually discovered I had a natural talent for percussion drums and she recommended to my parents to get me a drum set. So I was in choir from 1st to 8th grade and we did a San Francisco Giants game, and we did some competitions and stuff like that. I think that’s where I got my love for singing and then the singing and percussion coincided. Sometimes I will play guitar. We’ve been building a show so sometimes I kind of switch around and do everything, where I sing and play guitar and then I get on the drum. So really it’s an eclectic rock ‘n’ roll show.
Where do you hope to be in five years?
Being able to pay my rent with music. That would be nice.
If you could say anything to your fans and followers what would you want to say?
The first thing that comes to mind is with their support we can achieve great things together.
Is there anything that you wish to say that I didn’t cover?
We are in this for a good reason. We are all trying to save the world, that’s so cheesy but we are good people just trying to bring music to people to get them through these rough times. We all just have to come together and turn off for a bit when the music happens. So we need all that right now. We need it now more than ever. So that’s why we are here struggling and doing our thing.