Interview: Thea Evans
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
To be honest I couldn’t tell you when I got into music because I’ve always been the person who sings all the time. One of my Mum’s favorite stories was about going to parents evening when I was maybe 4 or 5 and asking her “How do you get her to stop singing?” So basically, I’ve been affecting people with my voice for my entire life (maybe not always in the way I had hoped).
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I run a collective called the Dear in the Headlights Project – we do creative projects to educate people on Toxic and Abusive relationships and raise money for charity where we can. We’ll be getting it started up again now I have moved to Bristol.
How long has your band been around?
I’ve called myself a “solo artist” for a long time. This will be my first track out for 5 years. However, I’ve taken it much more seriously over the last 2 years. This is the first of many awesome tracks to come!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I spent the best part of 2 years in a warehouse in Tottenham, which allowed me to start my collective up, put on our own events as well as the support of so many amazing creative people who I love lots. I couldn’t have written all the amazing songs you have yet to hear without that community support.
I moved away from London for the first time in my life to Bristol, which has some amazing music collectives, initiatives, and general wonderful wackiness always going on that I’m buzzing to tap in to.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It’s just my name! But my collective is called “Dear in the Headlights” (potential future album name) because I was having a crisis at a party and felt like I didn’t know what I was doing and couldn’t see the future. I felt like a baby because I was. I think it was also a good metaphor for coming of age.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
My favourite one was at The Finsbury in North London, where I got to play the songs I had written on a stage for the first time. I stopped performing for 2 years after a really traumatic period and all of those songs I wrote about that time were now being sung back to me by my friends on a stage with an audience. I could have cried.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I love playing The Finsbury and have a few times now – but honestly I’d love to play at Koko in camden more than anything! It’s where I went to see my first gig when I was 12.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Joy Crookes, Lily Allen because they’re both iconic and to throw in a bit of a curveball old school Hobo Johnson? If I could choose anyone dead or alive I’d probably also have to chuck in Amy Winehouse (rest in Peace).
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Do music because you love it over everything else. I grew up on social media where everyone has some kind of “brand” that is doing so well. But now, I feel like its SO much more intense! Don’t be hard on yourself, and remember you’re doing music because you love it! That’s what’s important.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Probably just to take care of myself. I had a really tough time especially in my late teens because I put myself in positions where I was bound to get hurt or taken advantage of. It ended with me leaving drama school and taking a long break from music and performing all together because I was so unwell by the end. It took a long time to perform again too. So, I guess just remember your own worth as a person. People do care about you, but you always have to put yourself first.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I have a song coming out soon called Mars Argo about 4 years ago during a very unhealthy relationship. It’s about wanting another life so desperately and wishing you could escape. I think a lot of my friends would agree. :)
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I wrote a song called “I Hate Tequila” last year which I’m still a bit 50/50 on putting out just because there’s a LOT of f-ing and blinding and I don’t want my Grandma to hear! But it’s super fun, really rude and takes a dark part of my life and turns it into a song that my mates love to shout back at me at gigs!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
A lot of my songs are based on a time when things were really tough. My recent single, I’d Sell Out, is about a time where me and my partner didn’t know where we were going to live and wanted a life for ourselves desperately. I’d say for me the songs are less about the instrumentation and more about the meaning behind the lyrics themselves.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
In a way, that you’re not the only person feeling the way you feel. I write a lot of my songs in a really cathartic way, so hopefully people can pick up on that and maybe relate to it in some way.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
I don’t really have a band yet(fingers crossed for one soon!), but I do spend a lot of time annoyed because I don’t feel like my songs are professional enough. On the other hand, I really like making music that sounds quite authentic, so I always get quite existential about that I guess.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
For now, play as much as I possibly can, and put out an album. Keep an eye out in Bristol and London for me! I’m also sticking little cute QR code stickers with my song everywhere titled “This song sounds like a hug : )” If you see them, snap me a pic and send it my way!!