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A Dirty Dozen with DUNCAN EVANS – April 2021

| 9 April 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Once a guitarist for A Forest Of Stars (as “Henry Hyde Bronsdon”), Duncan Evans is now a creator of dark folk / post-punk melancholy music. His words are inspired by literature (Cormac McCarthy, Thomas De Quincey) and his music is influenced by the likes of Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave and Low.” We get Duncan to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

In September 2021 I have a split / collaboration album coming out on Trepanation Recordings. The other half of the split is by Javier Wallis (of Wilderness Hymnal) and there’s also a collaborative track on there that we co-wrote. I don’t know about hidden nuggets, per se, but I like to think that the songs work on different levels; that more is revealed from both the music and the lyrics with each listen.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

As a child I used to listen to my parents’ cassettes of artists such as Eric Clapton and Dire Straits, mostly on long car journeys. I always found listening to music to be a deeply soothing, exciting and evocative experience. At some point I decided that being a rock guitar player seemed like a good idea, and eventually I started having guitar lessons, which I really took to.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

My musical taste has evolved vastly since I first found a connection with music. I think that one key moment is probably the point at which I realized that being a technically gifted musician wasn’t the same as being able to create meaningful art. At that point I stopped caring about how “good” people were on their instruments, and started focusing more on the emotional experience of the music. Seeing Grinderman live in 2010 probably helped to seal this! The music and am the performance was beautifully flawed and exquisite in its rawness.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I listen to a lot of different artists and genres, and I’m sure they all influence what I do in some way. If I had to pick five key influences on my solo material they would perhaps be: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Richard Thompson, Leonard Cohen, Wovenhand, and Low.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would love to work with David Tibet of Current 93. Not only do I love his style, but I also really like the way he allows his collaborators (temporary members of the revolving Current 93 lineup) to influence the direction of each song or album. Somehow it all still sounds like Current 93.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I usually call my music dark folk / post-punk. It’s not necessarily heavy in a metal sense, but it often tends to appeal to people who are into metal / punk / industrial music, even though it is more folk-influenced and song-orientated. I don’t think anyone has made a truly cringeworthy comparison to another artist, actually.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well, we haven’t been able to hang out much lately because of the COVID situation. To be absolutely honest, we usually get together to rehearse, record or perform, so we’re all there to play music. Kev (the drummer) tends to make the teas and coffees!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I don’t really get starstruck, to be honest, I was privileged to be able to ask Nick Cave two questions at two shows on his conversation tour where audience members asked questions. That was quite fun!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I think the best part is the feeling of being on stage, lost in the moment and surfing the wave generated by the energy of the music and the audience. It’s a magical feeling. I also enjoy writing, so I guess that would be my creative focus of music wasn’t in my life.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I don’t know if there is a question I have always wanted to be asked. Perhaps I’ll know when I get asked it! I also tend not to get tired of answering any question, but imaginative questions are always nice.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I don’t think it’s really worth thinking in that way. I am more proud of my latest record than my first one. That’s pretty common for artists – you cringe a little bit at your earlier work sometimes. But it’s best to focus on the present and the next project.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I suppose I’d like to be around when Bob Dylan was recording some of his classic material. For example, the classic organ part on “Like A Rolling Stone” was played by someone who was just in the studio at the time and wasn’t supposed to be part of the band as such. It sounds like a very exciting creative process where anyone present could end up being part of something truly world-changing!

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

I definitley miss live shows (performing and watching) hugely! The live music scene is so important in all sorts of ways, and for me it is the ultimate way to experience and participate in music. I also miss sitting in curry houses and eating good food with my friends. Hopefully all of the above will be a part our lives again soon.





Category: News

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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