Interview with Taki Sassaris, vocalist for EVE TO ADAM
Interview by Mark Dean
Anthemic New York hard rockers Eve To Adam are fresh out of the studio with a brand new stack of tracks produced by mega producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette (Slash, Tremonti, Trivium) offering their latest song “LUCKY”.
Mark Dean chatted with EVE TO ADAM vocalist, Taki Sassaris, about the long and often challenging journey to Redemption, the band’s upcoming release in September 2016.
First of all, I had a very interesting read regarding the band’s back story. With all the problems and disappointments, how is it that Eve To Adam are still operating as a fully functioning band?
Yeah, well I guess a lot of perseverance, I would say. It’s a lot of passion and commitment to it, really. We still enjoy what we do and people out there do as well, so I guess it takes two to do that. So I’m grateful for that, but it’s all about drive, right?
I’m sure there must have been many times when you felt disillusioned or felt like walking away?
Yeah, well I mean, I don’t really blame anything but the business itself. It’s more of the problem than anything. If it weren’t for the fans that really enjoy what we do I think that would be … We would’ve called it a day a while ago. Because we do still enjoy doing it, that’s why we’re still in the game.
What actually happened with 3 For 5 Entertainment? What was the story with that?
More so than just saying it was a slave contract, it was really what it was, there was just really no chance of us ever making any money with them. It was spending money at a rate that we could never get out of the hole. As far as the management side of it was, they didn’t really listen to us at all. We had no say in the decisions that affected our career, and we just felt that we couldn’t continue that way. There was really no hope for us, in that sense. That relationship became very rapidly toxic. They had no respect for any of our views and how we wanted to be represented.
Your single, “Immortal,” was huge. Why do you think that didn’t actually prove to be a stepping stone for the band’s success?
Well, that’s the song that’s kind of kept us alive here in the last couple of years, so I’m grateful for that, and it means a lot to a lot of fans out there, which is awesome. But shortly thereafter, it was our decision that the only way we could’ve continued was to continue with the company we were with… So we decided to take that, take what we had accomplished with that album cycle, and go at it on our own.
Having periods of adversity, do you think that strengthened the bond with your brother? That you’re going through it together?
Absolutely. Absolutely. I think it’s fortified us in a way that I think most people couldn’t possibly understand unless you’ve been through it. I can tell you for a fact that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’ve lived it and it’s the truth.
And what about the band itself? Do you think it was necessary to have a lineup change?
Well, it wasn’t really our choice. A lot of the guys quit because of the deal, it fell apart, and the members didn’t want to tour anymore. This business has changed in a sense where you don’t really make very much money out of the actual music any more, to sustain yourself. You’re constantly on the road to make a living. So if you’re not into doing that anymore, then obviously you have to make a change. He decided to make that change, he did give us quite a few years, we had a good run with him, and I wish him nothing but the best but it was a personal decision for him and I respect it. I mean everybody comes to a crossroads. A lot of musicians are doing the same thing; it’s happening every day. There’s quite a few … You read about bands every day that are deciding to make a change, deciding to hang it up because unless you’re constantly touring, it’s very difficult to just make a living, much less succeed financially.
Aside from yourself and Alex then who is in the band at the moment? Can you tell me a little bit about how you met up, how you hooked up with those new guys?
Yeah, of course. First off I wanted to start off… I wanted to begin with guys that wanted to be in the band, that were fans of what we had already done and wanted to continue and be part of it. When word got out that I was looking for new members – I didn’t exactly put an ad out, or what not, it was just kind of through social media, through mutual friends that were in the business – it was somewhat of an intense process of going through people that had the right personality and the right motivations to want to be in the group.
Markus Wells came from Michigan, in February of 2015 and so did Lawrence. Lawrence Coleman joined the band from Reno, Nevada. Then I found Matthew Spaker from upstate New York, he’s from Rochester, New York. And actually Lawrence and Matt were friends because they had toured together in previous bands a couple of years prior. So there was kind of already a chemistry there and I had a really good personality jelling with Markus. So there was a lot of mutual interest, a lot of mutual respect for different kinds of bands that we all really liked. House music.
I really got lucky, to be honest with you. They weren’t just people who were looking for a handout, they were there, they wanted to add to the sound and continue things. That’s what I was interested in, in building a bond and having something go just beyond the business arrangement, which is how a lot of bands are doing it now. I believe that having real chemistry between the members and having a real relationship in a sense, musically, builds kind of a family bond, and I think that that resonates with fans, fans of real music.
I see you’ve got some gigs lined up for August. Are these actually the first gigs that you guys have played live together?
No, sir. We did a tour last year, the 88 Mile an Hour tour. We did 25 shows last year, in the spring of last year. So this would be the second run we’ve done together.
Do you think then that with all this, and your career has been a stop-start, sort of an on-going process, do you feel that you’re actually rebuilding the brand as well as the band?
Yeah, well I think it’s an evolution. I think it continues. I think we’re lucky in the sense that the music that we have put out has endured over time, and people respect it and love it so that it holds. It’s not like they’re looking for the next thing because they don’t like the old thing we did, so I mean that’s a positive in our favor I think.
But yeah, I think a lot of it has had to do with the fact that we’ve had some pretty bad business people involved with us and there’s no shortage of that in the music business. It’s hard to find quality people. So yeah, it has been a little bit start-stop, but I think that you’ve got to endure and you’ve got to persevere, because large successes, a lot of times can be right around the corner.
One of my favorite actors, Mark Ruffalo, I read his biography and it was interesting. The man went on 5000 auditions before he got his first casted role, and now he’s an award-winning actor and opens major motion pictures so you know it really just depends on what you think your journey is. If you still have the fire to do it, and the youth and your spirit, I think anything’s possible. It really is all about you, as far as you making that decision and persevering on.
The album coming out in September, Redemption. I just want to ask, is Redemption a buildup of songs that you’ve done over the years, or is it all totally new, fresh?
All brand-new stuff. All brand-new material.
Any sort of clues? I’ve only obviously heard the single, “Lucky.” Any sort of clues on what we’re going to find on Redemption?
Sonically, it’s definitely a step forward from Locked and Loaded. It’s a bit heavier, it’s definitely different elements, modern elements in it as well. More industrial samples and electronica scattered throughout the album. The landscape that we’ve had to make was just a little bit richer than what we had before, and a little bigger than the previous record. It’s definitely an evolution of the previous sound, but certainly, content-wise it still sounds like Eve to Adam. Songs of personal nature.
Of course, you’ve got a familiar producer there with Michael “Elvis” Baskette.
Yeah, well it was a lot of fun making the record with Elvis. He’s a great talent. He almost becomes a member of the band, in a sense. Which is a lot of fun, in that sense. I have a lot of respect for him, he’s a good friend and I tell you, after all of the experiences I’ve had in the business over the years, I’m grateful for his stewardship and his friendship. He’s a rare one. He’s the real deal.
I see it’s scheduled for release in September. Is that a world-wide release or will it just be in specific markets?
No, this one will be a world-wide release with international touring to follow in 2017.
Going on for that tour, do you see yourself as going out as part of a package, or as you’re doing, a mixture of headlining shows, and some gigs with other bands?
I would hope we’d be out with a few other bands because honestly just being introduced to new places, a lot of people probably overseas don’t know our catalog so I think going over with a few bands, there’s a little bit better chance for us to make an impact.
Package tours seem to be very popular particularly in the UK at the moment. I think it comes down to what’s going to make more money, you know?
Absolutely, it makes sense.
I’m really looking forward to the album. Thank you very much for talking to me today.
I appreciate it so much. I hope you enjoy your summer and I hope we get a chance to see you when we invade the UK.
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