Eve To Adam Talk "Banquet for a Starving Dog"
Mon, 02 Jan 2012 09:51:53
On their latest album Banquet for a Starving Dog, Eve To Adam channel the reckless swagger of Guns N' Roses with a vocal bravado a la Pearl Jam.
The album is a 21st century call-to-arms for rock 'n' roll that nods to the genre's genesis while laying a foundation for the future. Tunes like "Run Your Mouth" tout infectious arena-ready hooks as well as gargantuan riffs that could shake the Sunset Strip all the way to the band's native New York. This is a feast that music fans must not miss…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief and Dolor author Rick Florino, Eve To Adam singer Taki Sassaris discusses Banquet for a Starving Dog and so much more.
What's your take on Banquet for a Starving Dog as a whole?
Well, we started off with a group of songs that became the foundation for the album. We'd written them between the end of the Queens to Eden album cycle and trying to get a new deal. That was a two-year period between 2008 and 2010. We tested the tunes live, and we knew audiences reacted. These included "My Vanity", "In a Hurry", and "Fault Line". We recorded those to get them off the docket, in a sense. From there, we did quite a bit of writing. We wanted to write pieces that were of the caliber of those initial songs. At the same time, we tried new things as well. We aimed for different flavors on Banquet. We wanted this album to be as diverse as anything we've recorded and have as many vibes as possible. I'd say Banquet is that statement. It's a continuation of our previous work with personal growth reflected in the songwriting.
Is it important for you to tell stories through the songs?
That's how I approach it. I close my eyes in rehearsals or songwriting sessions and I try to find where the music places me. I also look for the imagery associated with the sounds. It's inherent in the way I approach songwriting. There's always a cinematic theme to the backdrop of our music. It translates to people as they interpret the music. I'm not telling anyone what the song is necessarily about, but it certainly puts them in the realm of the initial idea of what we were trying to communicate there emotionally.
What's the story behind "Glasses High"?
That song wrote itself. It's about taking a moment to soak it all up, enjoy the people around you and realize how lucky you are in life to have those around you who care. It's a celebration of life. I didn't know it was going to make the record because it was written so close to when we finished. When I played it on acoustic guitar, everyone was like, "That's got to go on there". It ended up being a nice bookend to the album, leaving people in a more positive light and looking towards the future with an open mind.
Where did "Reach" come from?
It's an inspirational anthem. It's pretty autobiographical. We'd been doing this for over ten years. It's such a tough climate to be an artist. That same reflected where the band was and being given another opportunity. With 22 seconds on the clock, you've got to score a touchdown. You're given one more chance. Will you go that extra mile to make that happen? Do you have enough left in the tank, so to speak? "Reach" came from that true perspective. The band's back was up against the wall, and we were given one chance. We tried to make the best album we could and capture how we were feeling. "Reach" is that song. If you were given one more opportunity, what would you do with it? It's an underdog song about fighting for your dreams and keeping that flame alive to realize them.
Which artists shaped you?
I started off loving Guns N' Roses and Axl Rose. I was about eleven-years-old the first time I saw the videos for "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child O' Mine". Appetite for Destruction really left a hard imprint on me. Every night on stage, I try to bring a little bit of that spirit to light. When Pearl Jam broke, I became enamored by the energy and presence of Eddie Vedder. I'd have to say even in my darkest days, Eddie is the guy I gravitate back towards to get centered. What would Eddie do? How would he approach this? I love his solo record. It's pretty amazing. He's done it right. Every time Pearl Jam puts an album out, it's a spiritual well for me. For me, Eddie is the shaman.
If you were to compare Banquet for a Starving Dog to a movie or a combination of movies what would you compare it to?
That's a good question! The first movie that came into my head was Donnie Brasco. I was thinking about how "Run Your Mouth" starts out, and the video has the whole mafia theme. It's connecting that. The character Johnny Depp plays, Joe Pistone, is an unassuming guy initially. At the end, he brings at all down though. This album sneaks up on you and gets in your head. It's a silent killer. That's the way we approach it. You break an album by having enough material on there to go the distance.
Have you heard Eve To Adam yet?