ProgRock Records is always presenting interesting bands who are somehow linked to prog music. Evolve IV is one of the bands on their rooster and some might know Peter Matuchniak from his previous bands Mach One and Janysium. Time to find out a bit more about Evolve IV! And thanks to Peter for the very quick reply!
Please tell us, how Evolve IV came to life! And why you choose the name Evolve IV?
I had become the family man without a band, and since I love both I went in search of musicians to fill that void. Mike and I just hit it off immediately and our co-writing came so easily – the music just seemed to 'evolve', hence the name. The suffix 'IV' makes the band name unique, as well as tying into interesting things about science experiments or the numbers in the band. What's really cool is my kids love Mike and I was best man at his wedding last year. That closeness shows in the music...
What music has influenced you when you started? And when did you realize that you want to this musical direction?
We are Genesis freaks for sure, with the Hackett-Gabriel era as the biggest influence, as well fans of Pink Floyd, Brand X, The Beatles. From there I venture off into Camel, Santana, whereas Mike is a Grateful Dead-head. We all share a wide variety of tastes beyond that, both past and present. Our music is not dictated by these tastes, but certainly it shapes them and it helps that we respect eachother's influences.
Now your album Decadent Light is in stores. Why the title Decadent Light? And what does it mean?
It's a line from one of the songs, and just seemed to fit the artwork and logo we had in mind.
I guess you got some feedback already... How satisfied are you?
I've seen dozens of reviews and most of them are really positive. I'm glad to see that they understand that we're a progressive band that likes to blend a lot of styles – and that hear the musical escapades that fall outside the song-oriented nature of this debut CD rather than just judging it simply by the number or lengths of the songs. A couple of reviewers that weren't too sure said that it sounded good but not their 'cup of tea', so even that was nice to read. Most said that the album grew on them and continue to listen after the review. I really appreciate everyone's time in reviewing it.
Tell us a bit about the way you write songs and how long did you gather songs for Decadent Light?
Usually Mike and I sit together and just jam. On every occasion we somehow have the making of a new song, so I edit the jams for the band to try out. During those band sessions I like to capture the earliest takes because they have the most energy and experimentation – and these seem to end up being the best versions for the album too. Within a couple of years we have amassed enough material now to fill 3 CDs!
It was first the 2 of you and you found a drummer quite easily it seems... But to find a suitable bass player seems to be a problem... You now found the right guy?
It came down to life's realities getting in the way of early stability as a band. It was so nice to get Jim DeBaun on bass as he had the time and personality that fit in really well. With Paul Sheriff on drums throughout, the four of us have had a blast in our band rehearsals.
I know it's a tough question, but which song(s) represent Evolve IV best? And why?
I think War and Listen Up are great representations of our music as they feature some interesting instrumental breaks that are typical of our style, and yet they have a great song-like quality to them. On either side of those I'd say Rolling Along is a great instrumental with its wordless female vocals, whereas Judgment Day is a more straightforward 'progressive single'. We did venture a bit into country on one song called Baby Come Back that is not typical of our style, but yet it is typical of us just having fun breaking the mould a bit – it would be the single that all the prog fans would hate, but their spouses would love, lol!
The opener is called Number 16, why this title? Any story behind this track?
Mike was writing about a gig he played and recalling a moment in their setlist when they were playing the 16th song. I loved jamming along with Mike's original rhythm part and it was an early example of where our two guitars worked together but played in very different ways. The middle 'waltz' section, almost whimsical in style, is in complete contrast to the rest of song and we decided to keep the lyrics that way.
Have you had the chance to play live yet? Any shows scheduled?
We played a few local venues a while ago and although we'd love to do more it's just not practical at this point in time. For now the focus is on completing the follow up CD so that we can then start work on the third one. So much material and recording to do!
The internet got you together... How important is the internet these days for you?
I don't think we could work at the rate we do without it. The reality of our lives, business trips and job relocations that throw you around would normally be the death of any musical project. But the internet lets us stay in touch and exchange ideas in a manner that sometimes surpasses the pre-internet times when all we had to worry about was music and not work.
Peter, with Mach One you were active in the early to mid-80's. Do you think it's more difficult these days to get attention? Or does new technologies like internet, etc. make things easier?
Today it's certainly easier to put something out there and keep on top of your fan base, but I don’t think it's any easier to break through overall. Back then we were greatly helped by Keith Goodwin who also represented Yes and Marillion and he had amazing connections in the industry. Today we're with Shawn Gordon's label at ProgRock Records and he’s done a fantastic job for this genre as well as releasing stuff from Steve Walsh (Kansas) and Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard). And today's prog fans are a solid niche in defiance of the trends du jour that 'know what they like, and like what they know'.
Day jobs are necessary for most musicians… and with the economic crisis won't make it any better... Do you have hope that things will change? Or do you think that in times of depression music will help people and so is a chance for musicians?
I certainly think that in tough times you are presented with an opportunity to evaluate what is truly important in your life. My family comes first but I can't do without music. Whatever happens politically or economically, the driving factor is still hope, and in times like these I definitely think that music has an essence of salvation about it.
One reason why the music industry complains are the mp3 downloads, but it seems that these days vinyl becomes more populare again... Do you welcome the 'return' of vinyl?
I'm glad to see that vinyl never died. On a great system it can sound so warm, and there’s something so tactile about seeing the engraved lines of music and placing the needle directly on it.
And what do you prefer? Vinyl, CDs or MP3s?
I think there's a place for every format. With vinyl I get nostalgic about the classic album covers that you could spend hours poring over. In terms of sound though CDs now seem to have both the fidelity and the warmth that was missing before. I would stop there, but the fact is that MP3s are so convenient that they've just become a part of life in a busy world. I have over 9,000 tracks on my MP3 player!
Tell us, what's on you schedule for 2009!
Mike and I are working on the material for our next CD Falling Ash that will be released sometime this year. The songs are all there and we are working on overdubs and so on. I'll let you be the first to know that there's we have one piece of music, broken into two main parts about 10 minutes each that will open and close the album called Landscape Burning. We started writing it before our first CD, but it just needed time to mature and take shape. It's an indication that this second CD will lean more towards our darker, more instrumental side. I hope you will like it – we certainly do!
Sounds like we soon will hear more from Peter and his partner in crime Mike Eager... And it will be really interesting to listen to Falling Ash when they go to the darker side. To keep up with Evolve IV visit their website or MySpace or sign up to their newsletter at www.reverbnation.com/evolveiv
More informations about Peter and his former bands you'll find here: