London five-piece Evans the Death are best known for writing their jangly pop songs, combining the best of the current lo-fi scene sweeping America, with the literalness of British lyrics. Drawing influences from all across the board, most notably Pavement and Morrissey. Earlier this week I sat down for a chat with all five members of the band, including a very quiet Olly Moss, to talk all things music, recording their album and their hatred for Guy Lowman.
First of all, could you tell us a little bit about how the current Evans the Death line up came about?
Dan Moss: We’ve been best buds for many years and it just seemed rational.
Rob Mitson: We have Moss brothers and we all went to the same school.
Dan: And then Rob and I met Katherine at a school gig.
Rob: It sounds very complex but it’s really simple.
The name Evans the Death comes from the radio play Under Milk Wood, how did you manage to get to that?
Dan: We hate the name, it has nothing to do with anything, none of us are Welsh, none of us are undertakers or anything.
Rob: the plays good
Matt Gills: And it’s too late in the game now to change it.
Rob: Everyone we meet says we really like your band but hate the name.
Matt: When they released the compilation the other day, I phone at my dad to tell him and he said “oh God, well it’s too late to change your name now then” and that’s the general consensus.
Dan: We want to put it out there; we don’t endorse our own name.
Oh dear, moving on, you’ve cited bands like The Smiths, My Bloody Valentines and Orange Juice listed as influences, is there anyone you feel has particularly influenced the band as a whole or yourselves as musicians?
Rob: As a collective I would say Girls Aloud
Kathrine Whitaker: I genuinely do like Cheryl Cole.
Dan: There isn’t really one band we really agree on except The Beatles
Rob: And maybe Natural Milk Hotel.
Dan: I really like The Fall, whenever I do something I think would Mark E Smith do it?
Olly Moss: I really like Pavement, they take nothing seriously and if you take nothing seriously then nothings matters.
Rob: I do really like My Bloody Valentines and an American band called Beach House, as well as Cocteau Twins.
Dan: Os Mutantes are like my favourite band right now, they are like this Brazilian Tropicália band and it’s the weirdest music I’ve ever heard.
Matt: I think I’m most into theme music, the theme tune to Titch for example, it had a beautiful piano piece.
Dan: That theme has reduced me to tears.
Katherine: I like everyone, I’ll listen to everything except Taylor Momsen and her band The Pretty Reckless, they can fuck off.
Previously you’ve supported the likes of Johnny Foreigner and Let’s Wrestle, are there any past or present bands that you would really like to support?
Dan: Pavement, we really wanted to support Pavement at Brixton.
Matt: Just anyone we like.
Katherine: In terms of bands that are quite similar I personally really like Arctic Monkeys.
Matt: I don’t like monkey’s full stop, even when they are at the zoo but when they are arctic that’s just plain silly.
Is there a festival you would really like to play?
Dan: Indietracks, that would be really cool, it’s in like Derbyshire and they have an old steam train. Truck festival would also be really cool, just the smaller ones really, the friendly ones.
Katherine: Apparently Latitude is very good.
Rob: I liked Latitude, so I’d like to play latitude actually.
Matt: I fancy doing a northern tour, a tour of the north of the country.
Back in September you got to play the Indiepop Weekender in Nottingham, how was that?
Dan: It was the best gig ever, the room was really small, there were about 40 people but it was packed and it felt like for the first time people cared.
Was that your first time playing outside London then?
Dan: Nope, we played in Chelmsford before.
Rob: And Ipswich.
Dan: Ipswich back in the day, when it was just me, Katherine and matt and we weren’t taking it very seriously.
Matt: It’s always just been fun.
Katherine: Because before we weren’t sure if it was a serious thing or not but then we actually thought we really wanted to do this.
Rob: I don’t think we started taking it seriously till other people took us seriously.
Dan: It’s just so fun, it’s just getting to the stage where it might be a viable thing to do, well we’re just finishing our A levels.
Rob: it’s like our dream; it would be a dream career not having to get a job.
Okay that’s cool, the release of Catch Your Cold on the CloudBerry Records compilation ‘Do you think it will snow tonight?’ must be quite exciting? Can you tell us how that came about?
Dan: Yeah we got really excited; we got the package the other day. They just kind of got in touch, sent us a message, no big deal.
Ah nice, just released a record in America, that’s fine, anyway, you started recording your album, how is that going?
Dan: We’re recording it with Rory Attwell who used to be in Test Icicles, he’s produced loads of people like Veronica Falls, he’s a really cool guy.
Rob: A really nice guy
Matt: He’s been awfully kind as well
Dan: It’s like a work in progress, we started recording songs about 2 months ago and have half of it recorded, the beauty of it is we’re under no pressure from a label.
So how are you funding it?
Rob: The benevolence of friendship
Dan: If we ever get the means from label we will pay him back
Matt: it’s like an investment for him.
Rob: Yeah he’s a good friend to us.
Wow that’s cool; while you’re here could you recommend the readers any music you guys are listening too?
Matt: I really like Best Coast.
Katherine: Hot Pants Romance.
Rob: Why Whiskey Why and Dead Slow.
Dan: Yeah Dead Slow and Heller Better Dancer.
Cool, so what have been the highs and Lows of being in Evans the Death?
Matt: We went through the best part of a year just doing gigs to piss people off; it just happened that nobody at these gigs enjoyed their time with Evens the Death.
Katherine: We played a gig at Catch in Shoreditch on a Monday night, and the promoter asked us if we were bringing anyone and we were kind of like not really, so we ended up playing to an empty room and then he shouted at us.
Dan: It was the guy who’s the head of Fierce Panda Records, Guy Lowman, Guy Lowman can lick my rim.
Rob: We’re not friends.
And before you go any final words?
Rob: Don’t eat yellow snow, they’re my final words.
Dan: Buy our records, come to our gigs, give us money and stop having a go at the X Factor!
Katherine: I’m bored of people pretending they don’t like things like the X Factor.
Matt: They do need to work on the theme song, for a music show that theme song is appalling.
Finally the band have been very kind to allow us to share their song ‘Sleeping Song’ via the blog, this synth lead number is a great tune and well worth checking out. Thanks to Evans the Death and Lewis at Loudhailer Press for this interview.
Evans the Death are:
Olly Moss- Bass
Dan Moss – Guitar
Katherine Whitaker – Vocals
Rob Mitson – Drums
Matt Gill – Guitar
MP3: Sleeping Song