April 24 2016
(Recorded right outside TLA in Philly)
- Evan Stephens Hall (vocals)
- Nick Levine (guitar)
- Sam Skinner (bass)
- Zack Levine (drums)
WTSR: Today we are talking to Evan from Pinegrove. Welcome to WTSR!
WTSR: So, a lot of people wonder what genre you guys are and can’t really pinpoint it, how would you describe your sound and who are you influenced by?
Evan: Ok well I would say that we are under the indie rock umbrella, for sure, but influenced by all sorts of American musics. Americana, R & B, Country, and I don’t know.. Twangy Indie-Rock, that’s how I would put it.
WTSR: Would you say you are a little folky as well?
Evan: Sure, I mean folk is the music of the people.. Yeah, I listen to a lot of stuff that could be classified as folk and I think it’s an honor to be considered folk, if we ever are. I don’t know.. The thing is, of course, we don’t write to genre prescriptions really. I just write the songs that I wanna hear and what makes me feel good. And, yeah, maybe I’ve internalized a lot of the stuff i’m listening to which is sometimes rock music, sometimes spacey stuff or lofi or folk music or banjo stuff. I don’t know.
WTSR: That’s awesome, it’s a very wide range of genres. That’s why I didn’t know what it was exactly! Old Friends is one of my favorite songs on your new album. Can you tell us the meaning behind this song and why you decided to start the album with this song?
Evan: Umm.. That guy just did a wheelie in the street.. Just to let everyone know. Yeah, well I think that the album is a lot about friendship and different types of relationships and all the songs were written before we decided on sequence. But, eventually, you know that’s kind of the last piece of the puzzle.. How they go together and it’s kind of just a “you know when you hear it type thing”. That felt right. Well I should say, the names of the songs came way, way later on than the writing. The “Old Friends, New Friends” thing was just like, okay I saw the opportunity, I saw that it was kind of thematic and I feel like the more thematic it is the more it holds together.
WTSR: So, I know you’re from Montclair. Can you tell us a little bit about your roots in Montclair and the venues you used to play at or still play at?
Evan: Montclair matters a lot to me. I think that any artist writing from a confessional standpoint is probably going to write a lot about the place that they’re from. I happen to be from Montclair and it’s what I know and it’s what I think about and where a lot of the experiences happened. And I think that the places are the experiences. You know it’s impossible to say exactly how because I’ve lived other places, but you know you only really grow up in one place, often, or at least I did. Yeah, I think that’s my answer for you.
WTSR: Well, that was a good answer! Tell us about your upcoming tour and your new album, well kinda new, February.
Evan: You mean upcoming as in this one?
WTSR: Yeah, I mean your tour right now!
Evan: Yeah, well we are deep into a seven-week tour. It’s like a US and a half basically we moved down to SXSW for our first time and then met the other folks in St. Louis and did the total perimeter of the country and we are done and I feel tired I feel happy and I feel satisfied. I think that we are bringing our music to a lot of new ears and that’s really exciting to me because, of course, I want as wide a listenership as possible. I think I have a message to spread and I want to do it and this feels like an important step. It’s been great and fulfilling and exhausting and exhilarating. We are going on tour in July. It’s gonna be a headlining tour. We haven’t announced it yet and right after this we are going to have dinner with our booking agent but also I invited all my friends so it’s gonna be less business. We’re just gonna be eating spring rolls, but yeah, we’re probably gonna lock that in pretty soon. It’s gonna be very fun and we will be back probably late June, early July.
WTSR: Nice! Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate. Thanks for doing this and good luck! It was great meeting you.
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Photos by Karin Flannery