A Q&A with Evereal
Symphonic hard rock from Vancouver, Canada…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
Steve: ‘Falling Down’ is the latest release. The cover paints a picture of destruction and buildings falling down but the meaning is a little deeper than that. I’ll let Alicja explain that one as she wrote the lyrics for the title track and appeared in the picture.
Alicja: It is about the turmoil inside of yourself, when we allow fear, shame, anger and self-loathing to eat us up from the inside out. You know, the usual, lol.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Steve: For me, it is the sheer amount of work that goes into it. It was recorded and produced in my studio and I wrote most of the music, strings and keys for it which took a lot of time. Most people do not realize the hundreds of hours it takes to put together songs and recordings to a finished product.
Alicja: Yes, making the time to complete a project like this is huge. To do a good job! I am finding that I want to do a series of vocals and listen to them for a while in the car and then make notes and go back in and re-record if I need to. Perfectionistic.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
Steve: That would be me… Of course, input from everyone is encouraged and Alicja and I spend a lot of time going over the vocal parts and arrangements. What I enjoy the most is where the idea starts and what it becomes as a finished product. It’s fun to listen back to the original ideas and see how far they developed. It gives a strange sense of satisfaction.
Alicja: When I listen to the song or take or vocal line, I instantly hear it in my head with a larger selection of instruments and beats and I have fun trying to dictate this to Stephen. He is then able to magically bring a beat to life or add an accent here where I am hearing it.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Nelson: If you really listen to the music, there are a lot of mood changes. Steve’s compositions meld heavy hard rock with a lot of symphonic elements, like piano and strings and choral elements. Each song really does take you on a journey, with some interesting twists and turns.
Alicja: I find myself listening to the layers. Each time I hear a song I notice something else. The songs are rich with layers and, like Nelson mentioned, the flow and dynamics have a lot of interest.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Nelson: Steve writes most of the music. A couple of the songs Alicja wrote, and Steve just punched up the music to make it heavier. Once he has the basics of a song – intro, verse, chorus – he’ll give it to us to listen for feedback. Sometimes it’s just a fragment – maybe one minute long – sometimes it’s almost a full song, but without vocals. I sometimes contribute to the lyrics, but Alicja does most of the lyric writing, since she’s the singer and is the one that comes up with the vocal melody. They work back and forth together. Alicja will record her own vocals at home and send it to Steve and he’ll add the vocal track to the music. There’s a lot of back and forth. We don’t all sit in a room together – the songs get written sort of in isolation, mostly by Steve and Alicja.
Steve: Nelson is right. I’m an introvert when it comes to writing… at least at first. Once the song gets going and ideas start flowing, we get together. I try to come up with the musical idea and a musical theme for the song, but sometimes the theme comes once Alicja starts writing melody lines and I pull those melodies and use them in the song to keep a familiar melody in the music. Alicja also presents ideas and some full songs that are generally acoustic. It takes some time and listening to give them our own sound and heavy nature. For instance, ‘I Bleed’ off the EP was a completed acoustic song. When I heard it, right away I had many ideas how to put my own spin on it and give it a heavy groove. Again, I pulled the main vocal melody line and used it as the musical theme in the beginning of the song.
Alicja: I have taken to working in solitude for the first part of writing lyrics or melody. I have grown accustomed to writing with Stephen, but I usually have a melody and lyric ideas ready to go before him and I have a session, or I would have already sent him a track with some vocal ideas on top of what he sent me.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
Nelson: I think Evanescence was a pretty big influence. Alicja is a huge Evanescence fan. We all are. In fact, when Evereal was kind of on hold between the old line-up and this one, Steve formed an Evanescence tribute band called Foreverescence. That’s when I came on board. I had been in a band with Alicja before and when I asked if she’d be interested in singing Evanescence material, she was like “fuck yeah!” And it soon became apparent that she was also the right fit for Evereal. We only do two cover tunes in our set and both are Evanescence songs.
Alicja: Yes, this is true – Evanescence is a big influence. I do have a wide range of styles and artists that I listen to and that inspire me for different reasons. It also depends on what I am doing too. I have been enjoying finding new bands (for me) on Spotify.
Steve: I did not set out to create an Evanescence style band. I actually discovered them after starting Evereal. I had heard a couple of their songs on the radio but that’s about it. (In fact, to be factual, Within Temptation was around first but, due to Evanescence’s popularity in North America, they tend to get more credit). I was actually looking for a male singer in the vein of Tate, Halford etc but there were none to be found. I worked with a couple of male singers at first, (Yes, Evereal had a male singer!) but it wasn’t working out. I then met Dave the keyboardist on the first album and he knew Stephanie. We all started writing together and that’s how the current band started. That opened the door to the world of female singers in metal and I became a big fan. I can’t imagine Evereal any other way now.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
Steve: UK big time, and Europe. Personally, I would love to do outdoor festivals.
Nelson: Any European country would be nice, just because there is more of a market for this kind of music there. But even a U.S. tour would be fun.
Alicja: I also would LOVE to go to Japan. I hear they are HUGE metal FIENDS out there.
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
Steve: I think ‘When You’re Gone’ is a striking track. It has dynamics, ups and downs and a great big singalong chorus. It might not be a traditional arrangement but there’s enough there to keep listening to, including an orchestrated middle section with great vocals. I’m also very fond of the title track ‘Falling Down’ and it sounds killer live. Every time I hear it I recall the moment the chorus came to me while driving, so I picked up my phone and sang the idea into the phone and sent it to Alicja… It turns out Alicja was able to pull it off!
Alicja: I really do enjoy both ‘When You’re Gone’ and ‘Falling Down’. The verse of ‘Falling Down’ is so amazing (in my humble opinion) and fun to perform and I love the lyrics. ‘Never Enough’ has such a powerful, HEAVY feel to the chorus too.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
Nelson: I just want to get this band on stage. I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over so we can, hopefully, get some gigs and play live. It’s hard to promote a new album when you can’t put it on stage. So once nightclubs and festivals reopen, I am just hoping to play as much as we can live.
Steve: Keep writing. It’s probably what I enjoy the most: the creation of something from nothing… an idea that swims in your head brought to life for others to hear and enjoy. It gives great satisfaction when someone contacts you to say how much they enjoy your music and how they connect with it. If something comes from what we do, then that’s a bonus.
Alicja: Must…keep…writing…must…keep…recording. Hopefully we will perform for live shows again SOON!
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Steve: We encourage everyone who listens to us to follow us on social media and YouTube and interact through our pages and private messages. We like to hear from the fans as it gives us inspiration to create more music. Follow the links provided and don’t be afraid to say “Hi, we saw your article in On Magazine!”
Nelson: Just thanks for listening. Music without an audience is like the proverbial tree falling in the forest: does it even make a sound? So, if you listen to our music, thank you – we really appreciate it.
Alicja: Thank you for taking the time for this interview and thank you to the readers and fans out there!
For more info visit: facebook.com/everealband