Evan Russell Saffer - 02.02.11

Interviewed by
Evan Russell Saffer - 02.02.11The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:

Evan Russell Saffer

1. How did you get your band name?
I was in a band for 9 years, we were signed and toured the country for 2 years straight. After the label crumbled and it was time to reinvent, the whole thing got a little stale for me. I had new songs that no one wanted to play and I felt like doing something different, so I decided to go solo. Therefore I go by my name. I do have an incredibly talented backing band on the road with me.

2. How did this band get started?
2 years ago I wrote about 30 songs. I demoed all of them, then played a bunch for my friends, family, perfect strangers and collaborators. I decided 8 of them were worthy to take it to the next level. I re-recorded them all and produced them all with my collaborator at the time, Wilson, and sent them out to various producers. I got the attention of David J Holman (No Doubt, Bush, Adema) and we made a deal to re-record yet again 3 of the tracks ("With You Alone," "Dream of Love's Last Dying Breath" and "Just One Day"). I flew out to Hollywood to work with him and the rest of the record I had mixed by D James Goodwin (The Sleeping, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, The Bravery) in Woodstock, NY. I worked with tons of musicians in sculpting the sounds of this album. As it came together, I started to piece together my touring band, which kills and with whom I really enjoying working.

3. What bands are you influenced by?
Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Queen, Meatloaf, Ozzy, The Dear Hunter, RATM, GNR, Alice In Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Rocky Horror Picture Show.

4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Smashing Pumpkins, because I like their dirty sonic vibe and musically it would be an awesome challenge to share the stage with such a great band. When you open for a well-known band, you've really got your work cut out for you. Yes, you'll play to a lot of people. However, the audience can be less open-minded because they really came to see the headliner. Therefore, you better be memorable and bring the A game.

5. If you were a furry, what animal would you be? Why that animal?
Probably some sort of wolf so I could sniff out truth in this life.

6. Why should people listen to your band?
Why not? We're in an age where everyone is spending their time on facebook reading about what kind of latte their friend is drinking. I think people need to remember the glory of art, to move your mind in different directions. My album, Neon Gas, like any other great piece of art, is like a new food, a new novel, a new movie - all with great entertainment potential and all there to tweak your mind in new directions. If I didn't think this album was worth your time I wouldn't have spent 2 years making it and putting it out there. You will love it.

7. If you were chosen to be in Guitar Hero/Rock Band, what song would you want in the game? How hard do you think it would be to five-star on expert?
I would choose the track "Chemical Marketplace" off of my album Neon Gas. It's funny because when we wrote the song, Guitar Hero had gotten to be really popular. So the track was written with that game in mind. It's sort of like the final level to win. Listen to the track on my website for 5 seconds and you'll understand. www.evanrussellsaffer.com

8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
Everyone that I thanked in the liner notes of the album....you can get hard copy through my site.

9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Hmmmm, hard to change what you don't quite understand. I suppose I'd like to meet the decision makers and really understand more about this industry.

10. Memorable tour experience?
All the beautiful and generous people, driving through a corn field on the top of a car, lighting leeching out across the entire sky somewhere in the midwest, New Orleans, Hollywood, southern Texas on the Mexican border, opening for Godsmack and countless others. Touring in itself is memorable and a drug for those that are meant to be there. That's why once you get a taste, you do everything in your power to stay on the road.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?
The ultimate resource for music news. I really appreciate how much news there is. Many music sites report on only a fraction of whats going on out there. There is so much talent and music in this world and I think we all want to know as much as we can about it. Keep up the great work!

12. What is your favorite song to play?
A track off my album Neon Gas called "Alienator." It has time signature changes and huge jam out sections. The live version is even more intense than the record - it's really fun to play.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
I used to think anywhere in Europe, especially Paris, France. However, recently with all the freezing weather in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I'd really like to hit some tropical island. Perhaps Barbados, St Lucia, Martinique or Tortola.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Elton John, Billy Joel, and Phil Collins. Those three were always playing on the stereo in my house as a young person. My adolescent years I would say more Def Leppard, Michael Jackson and INXS.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
I suppose I would like to be immortal because making music seems to take so long that I want to have enough time to get all my dreams out there. That would also allow me time to learn every language, travel the world and see the future, all things I dig.

16. Do you feel that your band has "made it"?
No. I've made it when money from music is less of a concern than where I want to record my next record. I'd like to have that freedom to work with any producer, anywhere I want. To take as long as I want and to really tour and create the live spectacle that I have in my head. I think you've made it when you have the means to do those things. That said, I think I've done a bang up job on my current record Neon Gas, with no financial backing from a record label and the live show will blow you away.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
Hmmm, not too much these days since I blog and tweet. haha. I suppose that I'm a food fanatic and love cooking. I also speak french fluently and would like to put out a French record at some point in the future. At least a single in French.

18. What's your favorite holiday?
Halloween for sure. I love fantasy, dressing up, and being wicked all at the same time. This past year I went to an awesome halloween loft party in Williamsburg, Brooklyn complete with ice luge, photo booth, and about 300 like-minded freaks. Brilliant!

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Rehearse, write, record music, cook, read, and be with my loved ones. I do enjoy people very much as well, which I believe is essential for an act serious about touring.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
The mystical kind.
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