London-based duo THE EVER LIVING have continued to impress since their debut in 2016, cramming an enticing abundance of layering and atmospherics into their offerings to craft a rich and explorative tapestry of sound. Despite a considerable gap since their previous release Herephemine back in 2018 they have been working studiously behind the scenes to bring their new creation Artificial Devices to fruition. A title which has multiple connotations and has evidently taken significant thought.
“I was thinking about our sound and it reminds me of like a prosthesis, like a machine that has human qualities or a person with metallic legs,” explains vocalist and man of many talents, Chris Bevan Lee. “If you look at the cover it’s made up of squares and they form this weird organic shape that takes on its own form and I thought that describes our music quite well. It’s more punchy and accessible than our first album. We’re very proud of it. I think it showcases our sound in the best light. It’s a mix between the modern vibe of the EP and the crunchy heaviness of the first album. It’s got a lot of layers and becomes it’s own kind of entity and that kind of inspired the title for this release. That in conjunction with things that annoy me about modern culture, Instagram likes, not being able to have proper conversations with fans online because it’s easier to like something than it is to comment and engage with something and this sort of pressure we all have to share our lives all the time and become extensions of our phones. If you’re in a band and you’re quite shy you feel like you’re not going to get anywhere because you’re almost forced into doing this kind of thing and are expected to post videos and that seems unfair to me. Shy people make great music too and I wouldn’t want them to be left out of this supposedly inclusive culture. It can be very frustrating.”
Previous iterations of the band have consisted of additional members but Chris and bandmate Andrei Alan have fully embraced the more streamlined approach, utilising all of their varying skills to compliment each others stylings. “We realised during the lockdown and everything that we want to be a duo and write 50/50. If we have to play live then we’ll bring our friends along to learn tracks and play shows for fun, not taking it too seriously like we did the first time around. We’re much happier with the slimline approach and trying to make things more sustainable and fun.”
Whilst having the same mentality when it comes to the future progression of THE EVER LIVING, both members have completely different approaches to their creative process and this could quite well be the defining element which makes their compositions so diverse. “Andrei is very good at when he is working on something he gets it down and then walks away. He doesn’t noodle around too much but with myself because it’s all programme based I’m always messing around with sounds and adding layers and tweaking things in the studio. If I hear something while Andrei is recording I’ll go on my laptop and noodle around and change things on my side to compliment his work. I’m pretty bad when it comes to the mix as well, sometimes you just have to let it go,” admits Chris.
“I always want to make sure that the listener can hear everything I’m hearing rather than me hearing it subconsciously because I know it’s there. There’s a lot of stuff going on and it’s important to get the right balance.”
Considering that THE EVER LIVING leans more into the dark and industrial side of the spectrum you would anticipate that their influences also fall into this ballpark. This is a shining example of how we should never make assumptions. “When I’m working on a record, writing or recording I usually don’t listen to metal that’s for sure,” declares Chris. “I usually listen to a lot of pop music because it can be a bit depressing when you are standing in a room screaming all the time. If I’m not listening to podcasts, I like a lot of DEPECHE MODE and DEFTONES and I grew up listening to things like film soundtracks, I’m watching Miami Vice, the original TV show at the moment from the beginning so I’ve been listening to that soundtrack quite a lot. A lot of 80s electronic stuff really and a bit of nu-metal for nostalgia! I’m a 90s kid, at the moment on Sundays, I’m always watching BBC for the Top Of The Pops repeats. They’ve just started on ’93. So I’ve just finished ’92 and it’s a massive nostalgia fest to me. I’m listening to a lot of that kind of stuff at the moment too.”
Whilst the world is opening up to the opportunity of performing live again it is not a prospect which THE EVER LIVING are taking lightly. “I went to a gig recently and there weren’t many people there. Me and Andrei are very similar in the sense that if we do start playing shows and no one turns up then we’ll get really bummed out and very sad,” explains Chris. “We want to make sure the time is right. We’ve missed festivals this year but we’d love to get back on some of those next year, maybe do a headline show in London at the end of the year. We’ve been away for years and things are still a little bit uncertain but I feel like I just want to crack on again and keep going. I’ve already got some ideas for an EP which we will probably start writing in the winter.”
Artificial Devices is out now via self-release.
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