Everin got together in 2002, meeting in the corner of a dingy pub. Fast forward 15 years, and the band – Alex and Chris Wirth, Dave Bloor and Matt Elliott – have come a long way. For years, the band played all over the country, building a loyal fanbase at a string of prestigious London venues and winning some high profile battles of the bands to boot; their live reputation was even enough to earn them a slot at the 10,000+ capacity Sheffield Arena.
Recent years have seen the band take time away from the stage, but now they’re back with a great new album ‘Morning Will Make Monsters Of Us All’ (which we’ll be reviewing, watch this space) and a run of successful gigs under their belt. Support slots with rock royalty the Quireboys and up & coming Kansas blues rockers Moreland & Arbuckle have helped bolster their fanbase and reaffirm them as mainstays of the Sheffield rock scene.
So that’s the background, I wanted to know more about that’s happening with the band. I asked the questions, Alex (vocals) and Chris (bass) supplied the answers.
What prompted the band to get back to playing together after your break away from playing?
Alex: It was never our plan to stay away for as long as we did! We decided to take a break from the stage to get some new material together and just got kinda sidetracked! That new material eventually turned into ‘Morning Will Make Monsters Of Us All’, and by the time we’d finished the album we were all just desperate to get back out there and play it live.
What was the reaction to your getting back together, was this something that your fans had been asking you to do?
Alex: We’ve been blown away to be honest. We knew there was interest in us playing live again and releasing new material, but the reaction since the release of Morning Will Make Monsters Of Us All has just been something else. We’ve been lucky enough to play some great gigs since the album came out and we’ve made loads of new friends in the process!
What’s changed from how it was ‘back in the day’?
Alex: We’ve been talking about this a lot recently. The biggest thing is probably the massive influence of social media this time around! When we first started playing shows in London around 2005, we did some stuff through Myspace, but things like Facebook and Twitter just weren’t there as tools for bands. So there was a lot of legwork involved – phone calls to promoters, making posters, posting out tickets… then at the end of a gig we’d try to sign people up to a mailing list or sell them a t-shirt and hope they’d look out for us next time. Now we can put so much of ourselves online, and it’s been amazing to see the reaction to that.
Have you changed musically now that you’re back together, have new influences been bought into your sound?
Alex: I’m not sure I could name any new influences necessarily, but we’ve all grown up a lot, and I think that comes across in how we write and the noise we make. Listening back to some of the older stuff now, there’s a clear progression… I think our sound is a lot fuller than it was for a start – when we go from quiet to loud, it makes you sit up and listen! That said, there are plenty of the older songs that we still love playing.
Actually while I’m on influences, what are the key influences on your sound?
Chris: Too many to mention! I suppose the bulk of our influences come from all things rock ‘n’ roll, as you can probably tell, but we have a pretty wide spectrum of tastes between the four of us. I like to think that it all seeps in there somewhere and helps the songs have a bit of variety.
What’s the reaction to the new material?
Chris: We’ve been really chuffed with it. From the first time we played tracks like ‘Air & Sound’, and ‘Killing Me’, we’ve had people coming up to us and telling us they’re their new favourites. We still slot a few of the old stalwarts in the set as well though.
Are you getting new audiences as well as people who came to see you before your break?
Chris: It’s been a bit of both, which is perfect for us. It means a huge amount to have people coming back time after time, but we’ve also been lucky enough to land some gigs with acts on European tours like The Quireboys, and then in slightly different styles like blues rockers Moreland & Arbuckle. That helps us reach a wider audience, and the feedback from that has been brilliant.
Now on to your album, what was the recording process? It sounds like a band recorded playing, it has that organic sound which is missing from a lot of rock today, was this something you were really going for?
Alex: Thanks! That’s definitely something we were aiming for, yeah. It’s been a DIY effort throughout. The bulk of the recording took place in a cottage in the Pennines – we just locked ourselves in there over a weekend and laid down as many tracks as we could. After that there was a long period of mixing to get everything as close to the stage sound as possible – we’re lucky that Matt (drummer) knows his way around mixing software. We wanted the album to sound polished, but to capture the excitement and intimacy of a live show. Hopefully we got there!
What’s the writing process for your songs? Do you all write together or does one person bring an idea to the rest of the band?
Chris: We’ve come up with things in a number of ways. Our most common formula is that Alex will bring the foundations of a song to the rest of us, we’ll each then come up with our own parts, and we’ll work out the structure, rises and falls, as we jam it out together as a band.
Some the tracks on the album sound really personal, is this reflecting stuff going on in your lives?
Alex: Haha no comment! No that’s great – thanks. That’s what we’re going for. There’s a real mix in there to be honest… a lot of the songs grow out of something real and become something different, then some stick very close to reality. And others are complete fabrication! I’ll leave you to decide which is which..!
Upcoming plans – new recorded tracks, touring
Alex: We’re coming hot off a run of great gigs at the minute, and loving it. We’re playing again on 4th March at the RS Bar in Sheffield, and after that we’ve got some studio time booked in to start work on the follow up to ‘Morning Will Make Monsters Of Us All’! We definitely won’t be staying away from the stage so long this time though – we’re having way too much fun!