Q & A With Duncan Evans

Q & A With Duncan Evans

Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows, or announcements?

DE: Hi. We’re trying to get to the stage where we can rehearse again as a full band during the lockdown. I think that time will come pretty soon. I’ve got a split/collaboration album coming soonish with Wilderness Hymnal. It’s going to be quite special I think. I’ve really enjoyed exploring new sounds and previously untapped feelings on this one. We’re at the mix stage and we’re just making arrangements for a very cool artist to do the cover. There will be full band live shows and other announcements soon. I’m also collaborating with a lot of people including Jay from Crowhurst, with whom I’m working on an acoustic covers album which we hope might sound something vaguely in the vein of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska record.

How long has the band been together?

DE: I did my first solo album back in 2013. I then put the full band together in 2016 and release Prayers for an Absentee on Prophecy Productions at the end of 2018.

What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?

DE: I always wanted to play guitar in a band. There was no conscious rhyme or reason; it just seemed like something I should do. This life has been incredibly nourishing to me over the years of playing with various bands, producing numerous albums and touring around different countries..

What is your music background?

DE: I have been in many bands. The most notable aside from my solo “band” is UK black metal group A Forest of Stars, with whom I played for a few years and worked on two albums. I am interested in a very wide variety of music including punk black metal, 60s folk-rock, blues and jazz. Anything that feels real to me is worth listening to.

What image do you think your music conveys?

DE: That is up to the lister I think. I hope people feel something rather than necessarily imagine a certain image.

What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)

DE: Get the split released, record, and release “proper” album number three with the full band, tour the UK, Europe, and the USA. Let’s see what happens.

What are your long-term career goals?

DE: To continue enjoying writing songs, creating art, and performing to people who appreciate it. It’s what I live and it’s what I do, regardless of which magazine covers I may or be not be on or which festivals I may or may not be headlining.

Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?

DE: I really do have a great love for both experiences. There is nothing quite like the intense “flow” state achieved when you’re in the moment performing. Communion and shared experience with an audience of any size is a wonderful thing.

What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

DE: Life. Death. Love. Hate. Confusion. Assuredness. Fatalism. Anti-fatalism. The usual stuff of art, I guess.

Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? 

DE: Well, I remember one short tour with a previous band where every show went wrong for different reasons. One got abruptly canceled because a member of a support band decided to shove his guitar through the venue ceiling (several times, while the plaster kept crumbling down) and another one couldn’t happen because the venue had inexplicably and unbeknownst to the promoter been converted into a noodle bar overnight. We did a house show instead and I played acoustic, which was actually the inspiration for me starting a solo career.

What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?

DE: I’ve been asked to autograph all manner of items and various body parts (all attached to living humans, so far).

Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?

DE: Yes. It’s hard for people to understand the realities of these things when they don’t inhabit the same worlds, but they’ve always encouraged me.

What are your favorite tracks to play live?

DE: I like the intensity of “Us and Them and You and Me” and the catharsis of “Borderlands Prayer”.

Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?

DE: When I was very young it was groups my parents played me such as Dire Straits or Cream. I’ve had so many “favorite” bands over the years and I don’t really think it matters anymore. But I must mention Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, who have been an unending source of inspiration to me for many years.

If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?

DE: Maybe Jost T Pearson and Liar, Flower. PJ Harvey can headline a couple of the dates,
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
DE: To keep on creating and to get up most days feeling positive about being an artist.

If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?

DE: Writer. It’s what I do anyway really.

What type of equipment do you use for live shows?

DE: I have custom made electric guitars (Fender Stratocaster-style), Fender amps, a pedalboard with various things on there, a Martin acoustic guitar, my voice, and black flared trousers.

What do you think of the current music scene?

DE: There is a lot of fantastic stuff going on around the world. Music is more accessible than ever and it’s easier than ever to collaborate with other people regardless of location. We just need to keep working on how to pay artists a bit more fairly for what they do. A lot of people wouldn’t expect still have to have day jobs.

For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?

DE: I got my black belt in Judo aged about 10.

If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?

DE: Dark folk / post-punk melancholy music.

Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?

DE: Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Buy my merch, vinyl, and CDs if you like music. Or you can listen on the usual digital platforms.
Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
DE: I have enjoyed it. Thank you!