With their debut EP Island still fresh from the pressers, Sydney four-piece Evan & The Brave have announced a run of headlining shows in support. Hitting the road soon, vocalist Daniel Mifsud took the time to answer a few questions from Music Feeds about what went into the making of the EP, how it feels to have the offering out in the international market and how recent road-testing of the new material has gone down.
Music Feeds: Hey Daniel thanks for taking the time to chat with us today. You released your debut EP Island late September. Can you tell us a bit about the release? How long from the first moment you put pen to paper did it take to complete?
Daniel Mifsud: The whole EP took around five months from the first demo to the final round of mixing. It always takes so much longer than you first expect!
MF: You worked with Tony Buchen (Andy Bull, Washington, The Preatures) on the EP. What ideas did he bring to the table?
DM: Tony is a good friend and spending time with him making tunes is such a bloody pleasure and privilege for us. The thing I love about him is that he’s not just a brilliant engineer, but also an exceptional musician, so he’s listening on so many different levels as a producer. Also, the whole Island process began with he and I demoing Stay This Way and Rescuer. He was instrumental in the creation this EP.
MF: Tell us about the climate amongst the band now that the debut offering is safely in the hands of fans?
DM: I guess we’re just so excited that people finally get to hear it now – we’re proud of what we’ve achieved with Island sonically, and we just hope people enjoy all the sounds we’ve created.
MF: Island has had a couple of weeks to find its footing. How do you feel it has resonated with your fan base?
DM: Most bands that release stuff on the internet probably feel this way, but it really messes with your head when people from all around the world are buying and listening to your music. Literally guys and girls from UK, US, Germany, The Netherlands, Mexico and Canada have written nice things to us and that’s so exciting to us.
MF: You also had a recent addition to the Evan & The Brave family in the form of Ross James. How did having a new member influence the final outcome of the EP?
DM: Ross had a crazy initiation with us – we were about to go on tour with The Falls last year and one of our guitarists had to pull out with less than a week to go – Ross had heard our tune Lil Monster and liked it, so he joined. He learned everything within that week and has been with us ever since. He makes incredible, atmospheric sounds, and writing with him for the Island EP helped us move beyond the indie-folky sounds we originally liked writing.
MF: You have a bunch of headlining shows in the near future. I’d imagine you guys will be rehearsing damn hard right now. Have the tracks had time to find their feet in a live setting?
DM: It’s hard getting all of the sounds from the record into the live show, but after a couple months of rehearsals and little practice shows, we’re really close – that’s the most exciting thing though, being able to show everyone how expansive all the sounds are in a show.
MF: Which of the EP tracks is your favourite to perform? Tell us why.
DM: As hard as that is, Stay This Way, is my favourite – I like the desperate lyric, and how the opening angular melody flattens out over some really nice harmonic changes. There was a point when I was laying down the chorus vocals where I forgot to sing because I got lost in all the guys’ beautifully swirling instrumental parts – I almost felt like I was ruining it by singing the chorus.
MF: What did you learn as a band and as musicians from the recording process that you think you’ll keep close for your next release?
DM: I guess we’ve learnt to trust each other’s musical intuition even more – that’s a big thing for me especially as I’m such a control freak sometimes. Writing tunes that allow all of us to express our ideas into some kind of sieve that filters and meshes them really excites us.
MF: What’s on the cards for the team once the upcoming run of dates wraps up?
DM: We’ve already started writing new tunes – if we can squeeze them into our tour show, we will, but if not, we’ll keep working at them and have brand new recordings in the first half of 2014. It feels like an exciting time for us.
Evan & The Brave Australian Tour Dates
Thursday, 17th October
Small Ballroom, Newcastle
Friday, 18th October
Grand Junction, Maitland
Saturday, 19th October
Brighton Up, Sydney
Thursday, 31st October
Café Le Monde, Noosa
Friday, 1st November
The Hideaway, Brisbane
Saturday, 2nd November 2013
Spotted Cow, Toowoomba
Thursday, 7th November 2013
Alternative Bookshop, Canberra
Friday, 8th November 2013
Ed Castle, Adelaide
Saturday, 9th November 2013
Rochester Castle, Melbourne