Evan is a multi-instrumentalist, rapper, producer, and former roommate from Ann Arbor. His latest album, Ramshackles came out last year, and as someone who lived with him during its production, I can attest first-hand that he did indeed work very hard on it. Evan is a man of passion. And his industry combined with his unique personality make him a creative force to be reckoned with in the South East Michigan music scene.
MILES LARSON – You’re doing more stuff with
Tree City this year.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I am. It’s good. I’m writing some raps again. We’ve just had this album 80-85% done for 3 years so we’re like “Let’s finish it.” It’s called Pure Levels. All Dykehouse production. Very poppy, bouncy, futuristic, hard-hitting beats. Very, very well mixed consistent sound. It’s cool. It’s almost like plastic, but a really strong plastic. Like neon plastic. Like the plastic on motorcycles. That kind of plastic. It’s smooth, but still completely opaque.
MILES LARSON – That’s a cool analogy.
EVAN HAYWOOD – That’s how I feel about it. Or like the plastic on a spaceship.
MILES LARSON – Sleek.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Yeah. So I’m excited about rapping again.
MILES LARSON – That’s really great, because you’re a talented rapper. I do enjoy Tree City.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Thanks. So yeah it’s fun. I think a lot of people do, we have a lot of tentacles out there.
MILES LARSON – The interview’s started, by the way.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Cool, yeah it’s chill. You’re gonna get a bunch of me crunching off some chicken.
MILES LARSON – Hell yeah.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Like a foul beast.
MILES LARSON – That’s what life is about.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I would be vegetarian if I were more Christ-like. I dunno dude, did Christ eat meat?
MILES LARSON – Yeah, he’d be Jewish. He wouldn’t have eaten pork.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Ok, but he got down on chicken and shit?
MILES LARSON – He fucked a bird up.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Alright, that’s fine then.
MILES LARSON – You’re ok.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Ok. I’m ok with Christ. I went to a temple once in India, outside of Delhi and it was this beautiful temple made of all white marble. The sun was setting so you could see the sun pouring through the outline of all these white minarets and the inside was this very long open hall maybe almost a football field in length. And at the very end was this statue of the guru of the place and a little sign that said that if you consume meat, fish, eggs, poultry, cheese, anything that an animal had to be used or killed for, don’t contribute. So this guru was able to raise however much money it cost to build this elaborate white marble structure all from people who didn’t do any of those things.
MILES LARSON – Oh here we go [coffee and beer/whiskey arrives]
EVAN HAYWOOD – Oh. Wow. Full coffee experience.
LIZ DAVIS – Fresh coffee.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Oh man. Thank you so much.
MILES LARSON – Real shit. Thanks Liz!
EVAN HAYWOOD – Woooo. So what do you wanna know? What’s in that?
MILES LARSON – What this? Jameson. Jameson and Two-Hearted.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Oh, that’s what a Three-Hearted is. I get it.
MILES LARSON – David McLendon comes here every day and orders the same thing so they put it on the menu as a drink combo.
EVAN HAYWOOD – The coffee is good.
MILES LARSON – When did you decide you wanted to be a musician?
EVAN HAYWOOD – I’ve always wanted to be a musician. About the time I started talking I started singing. I would sing along to the radio, my mom would have the pop country radio on, which is kind of funny to think about. And then I got really into musicals and theater and stuff like that when I was probably about 9 or 10. And I was singing in the boy choir of Ann Arbor from a pretty young age. The first time I ever really performed was when my school did a Black History Month assembly and I was Sammy Davis Jr. So I wore sunglasses and had a fake echo microphone and sang the “The Candy Man”. There’s a video of it somewhere. Had my little shades on. We went to another elementary school and performed it so that was my first ‘roadshow’ in a way. I think it was 2nd grade. My teacher, Mrs. Jones, who among other things taught us the lyrics to “The Message” by Grand Master Flash and would contextualize it like “The Sugar Ray line is about Sugar Ray Leonard” and would go into the history of Sugar-Ray Leonard. There was that, and The Boy Choir of Ann Arbor, which is the polar opposite because it’s about the whitest music you can do, but I got to learn about harmony and choral music. I went to my parent’s church, which is Methodist, and was pretty boring; modern Christian rock. So I had to come up with and improvise harmonies in my head so I wouldn’t fall asleep every time I went to church. And I had piano lessons starting in 1st grade from a very cold, old Israeli woman named Estelle Titiv. Started playing guitar and writing songs when I was 12 or 13. Started buying records when I was 11, that was my first musical education. Some of the first bands I was really into, after my taste evolved from Britney Spears and Ricky Martin, to Hanson, to the Offspring and Greenday, to Nirvana, to The Beatles, Can – “Tago Mago”, Velvet Underground, The Clash, all that started to happen in 6th or 7th grade.
MILES LARSON – I know the way you listen to music, having lived with you, is that you go through these phases. It’s a very exploratory approach.
EVAN HAYWOOD – It’s intense. It keeps me on my toes. Right now, I’m listening to early American folk music from the 1910’s to the 1930’s, trying to cut to the core of what rock ‘n’ roll is, what R&B is, what soul is, and how those things formed.
MILES LARSON – Like early blues or Appalachian folk?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Both, honestly. Any kind of old string bands or really apocalyptic blues; delta blues and stuff like that. It’s working its way into my music. The country creatures, the guys in all-white suits rolling up in a dusty buggy, nothing but a guitar and a pistol. That’s been my style.
MILES LARSON – It’s a whole different world down there.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I think a lot of those songs are still true. A lot of them are about human suffering; human longing and aspirations and frustrations. The blues will always be relevant because as long as we have emotions, it will be tied into that. Whereas a lot of the stuff going on now doesn’t really tap into emotional states, it just taps into aesthetic states. There’s a lot of cotton candy, and I’m sure there was a lot of cotton candy back then; but even the cotton candy of now, I’m sure will sound interesting in a hundred years to someone. So I like to look back. A lot of my friends criticize me because I don’t always listen to everything right when it comes out. I like to wait until the hype has cooled down a bit. And working at a used record store, sometimes you just gotta wait until something comes in.
MILES LARSON – How did that happen, by the way?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Working at Encore? I started going there a lot when I was about 10 – chicken tenders? That’s me. Thank you.
MILES LARSON – Beautiful.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Can you take a picture of me before I eat these chicken tenders?
MILES LARSON – Yes. [click click] There you go, that’s a good one.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Aight, nice. Gotta keep the lack of beard lowkey.
MILES LARSON – I don’t think I’ve seen you beardless since I met you in like 2010.
EVAN HAYWOOD – It’s pretty rare. Honestly, it’s because a bunch of heavy stuff is coming up so I need to shed some experience and have enough room to build more experience.
MILES LARSON – That’s why you shaved?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Because my beard accumulates experience, accumulates life. it’s seen the things I’ve seen, felt the things I’ve felt so I cut it off and it’s a renewal. Usually I don’t need to do full renewal, but a lot of stuff’s coming up. I have a few gigs where I have to play solo for a really long time so I have to get all of my material together. I’m playing for a lot longer than I’ve had to before so I’m in that place.
MILES LARSON – So you see this being a big transition year for you?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Every year is, man.
MILES LARSON – Fair enough.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I got on a certain bicycle last year, and the wheels are still rolling. I’m trying to see how much I can do this year. And there’s a lot on my plate already; so I need money, I need resources, I need ways to be able to do things. But I have most of the ideas, and a lot of stuff recorded.
MILES LARSON – I hear you’re producing a record with Fugi this year.
EVAN HAYWOOD – That’s a pretty exciting project that just has formed. Fugi is a soul singer, funk singer, rock singer, etcetera, who put out one 45 on Chess Records back in the late ‘60s called “Mary Don’t Take Me On No Bad Trip”. It’s a really really good psychedelic funk, social conscious, protest song. I bought the CD that contains that 45 and a lot of other stuff that was recorded at the time, but not released. I guess he had a little problem with label managers because he would sell coke to all their employees and shit. “We’re not putting this out, you’re getting all our secretaries hooked on coke.” So he had kind of a checkered past with Chess Records, no pun intended. [laughter] But his music was amazing, it’s part Hendrix, part Funkadelic. I got his CD probably when I was a freshman in high school and it was always pretty influential to me. I’m just trying to read the signs of the universe lately and I went to my friend Richie’s shop in Hamtramck and lo and behold, there’s a poster up on the wall for this show with Fugi and Black Merda – a great Detroit band from the ‘60s that was his backing band on all his stuff. They also have their own claim to fame, they had a couple LP’s out at the time that were really good. So I was kind of compelled to go to that show. I worked a nine-hour day at Encore and then I had to drive through this snowstorm to get back to Detroit, but I drove straight to the show with a couple copies of my record. So I saw them play and it was amazing. He played all the stuff I’d been listening to since I was 14. Afterwards, I had a conversation with him, gave him my record and we both sort of felt like it was a fateful meeting and decided to work on some stuff together. Who did you hear this from?
MILES LARSON – Barnaby Root.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Oh ok. Yeah so he’s always been a cult figure, but I was talking with a friend of mine from Brazil a few weeks ago in this very same room. His dad was a great professor of mine and he owns a record label in Brazil. – awesome guy, and he had heard of the 45, so record collectors and people who are into that kind of thing know about this. It’s made it onto a bunch of compilations, but he contains a lot more inspiration than that one song, so I feel like it’s almost my duty to produce a record that’s really gonna showcase his talents and get his message out there.
MILES LARSON – That’s a great opportunity.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I’m working with Ian Finklestein on that, the two of us are going to a lot of the writing and the arranging. I think I’m meeting up with him tomorrow to start chipping away at it. So that’s exciting, but it’s just starting to form. Trying to decide what people will be involved, who’s going to play on it, I have a bunch of songs written and some things recorded, but an album has to sort of fall together over time. So I have faith that it will, and I’m trying to move everything in my life forward, including that. Because I can’t put certain things on the backburner: I gotta pay the bills, but I’m gonna try to work on that over time.
MILES LARSON – This is going to be a big year for you.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I got two solo albums recorded: mostly arranged, mostly mixed. I gotta figure out what to do with those. One of them, “Perfumed Gardens”, I’m gonna try to put out fairly soon, as soon as I can; depending on circumstances like how I want to get them pressed and whether I’m working with a label on it or not. I’m not 100% sure in that realm. But musically, it’s almost done. So I would want that to come out in the Spring or Summer if need be, and the other one I wanna finish up in the Fall/Winter. So put out two this year and figure out what to do next year.
MILES LARSON – How’s Hamtramck?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Good! Hamtramck is an underrated place. There’s a lot of diversity, a lot of really good food, and really good people. People aren’t pretentious there.
MILES LARSON – Really?
EVAN HAYWOOD – I’m very blessed to be in a circle in Detroit of weird experimental hip hop producers, house producers, and emcees, and poets, and songwriters and all that kind of stuff. So I get shielded a bit from the whole hipness game of Detroit. I’m not chasing the same things a lot of people are, so I don’t feel like I have to play any games. I don’t feel intimidated by anyone just because they have a lot of plays on Soundcloud. I interact with people as humans and I take them at face value. I trust them if they give me a reason to trust them and I distrust them if they give me a reason to distrust them.
MILES LARSON – That’s life.
EVAN HAYWOOD – So I just like to hang out with open-minded people who are willing to push themselves creatively, break their own boundaries and come into unfamiliar environments, learn from them openly and not just walk all over everything and leave. There’s a lot of exploitation in suburban culture.
MILES LARSON – I know you hang out at Arbor Vitae a lot, which has some very genuine, passionate people.
EVAN HAYWOOD – That’s my favorite place to hang in Ann Arbor.
MILES LARSON – It’s my favorite A2 venue, if you can call it that.
EVAN HAYWOOD – When I had my big separation from the world, which was right when I moved in with you at High Street, because my lady at the time and Kyle Hunter moved away at the same time, it kind of affected me. All the stuff I was doing: my social life, my music life, was dead just like that. So I just focused really hard on writing songs, getting better at guitar, and singing; finishing up “Ramshackles” and school. I had a class on Middle Eastern music and Isaac Levine was in my class. So the two of us became study-buddies and realized we had a ton in common, being explorers and men who are not afraid of joy. We both embrace our multi-faceted aspects; we aren’t afraid of expressing ourselves in one way or another. Yeah Isaac became a very dear friend and musical companion. We understand each other.
MILES LARSON – He’s a really good guy.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Of course, and Noor’s great and Klay’s great. We went on the Jazz Dogs tour; I don’t know if I told you about that.
MILES LARSON – [laughs] That was a shitshow.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Never forget. You haven’t really lived until you’ve crashed a van full of six guys in rural Pennsylvania and then seen the crack on the radiator and had to stay at some creepy person’s house. I left my favorite leather jacket in an auto store dumpster in Julian, Pennsylvania.
MILES LARSON – Didn’t someone throw up on it or something?
EVAN HAYWOOD – This kid…we did a show at Purchase College in New York and we were staying in our friend’s dorm room, which was a little crazy because there were like six of us, so we were just all over the floors and everything. And this kid, cleanliness was not his strong suit [laughter]. Really nice guy, great musician, wouldn’t say a bad thing about him except he had a café latte that had been sitting in his room probably for several weeks; the milk had gone horribly horribly rancid, and it spilled all over my jacket.
MILES LARSON – I remember, It was a nice jacket.
EVAN HAYWOOD – And we had to leave in a rush, so I tried to wash it off as best I could. I put it in a garbage bag, hoping that it could be cleaned eventually; and after smelling it for hours, I realized there was no way that it would ever be cleaned so I left it in a dumpster. I think three jackets got left behind on the trip, not all mine.
MILES LARSON – Tragic.
EVAN HAYWOOD – It was tragic.
MILES LARSON – Jazz Dogs: Tour to Hell.
EVAN HAYWOOD – We came back different. Definitely had at least one near-death experience and several very challenging experiences together so it built a nice bond. That was me, Isaac, Klay, and Zach Kolo – you know him?
MILES LARSON – Oh yeah.
EVAN HAYWOOD – And Elijah Sparkman – he’s a great, great guy, too.
MILES LARSON – Was that your first tour out of state?
EVAN HAYWOOD – No, I’ve done that with Tree City before. We went to Seattle, that’s the farthest I’ve gone. We did Midwest tours – St. Louis, Chicago, all of Michigan, couple different places in Illinois. I hope to do some more legit tours this year solo. My good friend and drummer, Jon Taylor started taking up a managerial role.
MILES LARSON – He’s in Saajtak, right?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Yeah. So he’s helping me get a few gigs and I’m talking to him about booking a solo tour and go from city to city with just a guitar and amp. I think it’d be good, and I could even play for an hour if need be. One of my biggest battles is idealism vs. realism. Because I have so many visions for what I wanna do, and then I have to see the cold, bare-bones reality of how difficult it may be or not be.
MILES LARSON – Do you often feel self-doubt?
EVAN HAYWOOD – All the time.
MILES LARSON – How do you reconcile it?
EVAN HAYWOOD – I kind of just weather it. I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety and self-doubt my whole life; so it’s very easy for me to understand that it’s gonna be there; and that it’s not an accurate lens through which to see your world, when you’re seeing it through self-doubt. So I’ve learned to reject that reality, which is sometimes a problem. So right now I just work some menial jobs and make music when I can a few days a week. Well, it’s fair to say I work on music every day, wherever I am. A lot of it is just being on my computer mixing, or listening and reflecting, or rearranging things. A lot of it is playing guitar and improving; writing songs or playing the songs I already know. Sometimes I’ll play piano or synthesizers or drum machines. Like you were saying about listening in phases, I make music in phases, too. I could see myself making a totally different kind of music next year if my muse decides that that’s going to happen. I’m sort of at the mercy of that, because I have to keep myself entertained so I can’t stay stuck in one thing for too long. That’s another battle I have: stability vs. experimentalism. I love having a place to go home to at night and having food to eat, but I’d also love to just be travelling all the time. You can’t have both. Often I choose stability and then regret it later so I’m choosing experimentalism more each year. Each year, I realize more how easy it is to die. You lose people around you and it drives you to do that thing you’ve been meaning to do, because it might be the last chance to do it. That’s really my attitude each day and sometimes it’s hard, but I make sure to stay positive, I fight to stay positive every day. And if I do feel negative, I work my hardest to not have it affect anyone else. I try to make sure that my impact on the world is one of upliftment, and not one that drags people down. I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing my own thoughts and actions, and trying to improve them.
MILES LARSON – Best way to do it.
EVAN HAYWOOD – One thing I will say is, in these uncertain and terrifying times, a lot of people are in this state of despair or confusion or anger, and I don’t really feel any of those things. People say I’m privileged because I don’t have to feel those sorts of things and I agree. In the position that I’m in, I’m looking for ways that I can improve the situation. And I feel that the more energy I cultivate, the happier I am, and the more supportive people there are around me, I will be able to make change. So I’m not going to accept any suffering that I don’t have to. A lot of people do, a lot of people bring pain onto themselves and torture themselves internally. They have something they want to do and are afraid to do it so they’re in pain over it every day. Everybody’s in that place at some point, but I just told myself that I’m not gonna live in that place.
MILES LARSON – All you can do is create.
EVAN HAYWOOD – It’s a cleansing ritual to make music or art for me. It’s a way of shedding some of the toxic environment that is around us, that works its way into you. And if you never shed that, you end up being one of these guys who runs down the street shooting random people. They just snap, because they have no way of releasing any of that energy. So I figured out how to release it on a slow tap each day so that I never really get angry. I never get so sorrowful that I would hurt myself or someone else. I try to keep my actions very controlled. That ties into the music a lot. When I studied all of the spiritual traditions of India, China, Japan in school; aside from audio, that was the biggest thing I studied at U of M. It’s not something that directly coordinates with my chosen field; a lot of people look at it from the outside and say that it had an impact on my music. But that was really for personal development, and the personal development makes its way into the musical development. So if I’m at peace, the music sounds at peace. If I’m agitated, the music sounds agitated. And there’s a little of both.
MILES LARSON – It is part of you, it is you.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Yeah, in some ways I’m a person who’s very stable. In other ways, I’m never satisfied. So I’m constantly reaching for something that’s just a little out of my grasp. People ask me why I don’t just put out one album and tour on that for a couple years. It makes it hard to get a solid start with a label, because they want you to keep beating a dead horse forever. But it’s something that, over the long term, is going to work to my benefit. I create things just to create them, not to fill some quota. It happens very organically and it feels right. If it doesn’t feel right, I don’t do it. I have a lot of unfinished projects. Really I just try to live my life the best way I can and the music is the footprints of that. It’s so intertwined with my daily experience, that after hundreds of hours working on a song, getting the arrangements in place, mixing it from the initial writing; it actually is the soundtrack of my life because it’s something I hear every day. And by the time you hear it, I’ve heard it thousands of times, as I’ve worked on it so meticulously and gotten it exactly where I want it to be. So that’s the challenge. It’s hard to explain to somebody who doesn’t think that way why you need to do that. That’s why, in a sense, nobody can mix the way I do it, which gives me confidence to make bolder decisions; because it’s gonna come across as very personal, unique, and something that only I could have made. When I came to the realization that I could express myself in that way, it encouraged me to take as many chances as possible. There’s a lot of stuff that no one will ever hear, but led me to things they will. So just the act of creating every day and trying things and expanding boundaries becomes cumulative to the point where all those skillsets eventually come together to form a sort of greater conglomerate of things I can do. That’s why I spend really intensive phases studying one thing or another, whether it’s Indian music or drum programming or sampling or guitar. I study these things and try to get better at them one by one and then I circle around and revisit them in a year or two and just keep accumulating skill and practice.
MILES LARSON – How long has that been your workflow?
EVAN HAYWOOD – I started recording when I was about 14 with a handheld tape recorder, but I didn’t know anything about editing. I couldn’t really do anything besides write songs and record them at the time. Around 18 was when I really first started multi-track recording. So for the past decade or so I’ve had about nine albums come together. I’m at a point now where I can have fun with that because I understand now how the flow of it is gonna work; where to put different things and the transitions in between them.
MILES LARSON – So it’s the past couple years where you started to break out stylistically with MVIM and “Ramshackles”.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Well stuff just started getting finished.
MILES LARSON – Fair enough.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I’ve always been mashing up genres, but the acoustic stuff really started happening a couple years ago. Since then I’ve just been trying to get better. Play more shows and get better at singing, stuff like that. I’ll tell you about “Perfumed Gardens” a little bit.
MILES LARSON – Ok, go for it.
EVAN HAYWOOD – The first single is a protest song called “Do Right By My Kin”. It’s a pretty angry song about the stuff that’s going on right now and is very direct and I hope that people understand and appreciate what I have to say, because I don’t hear many artists saying what I’m saying the way I’m saying it. In hip hop there’s a lot of social commentary and criticism. You don’t tend to see that much in pop music now. They don’t want it on the radio if it’s gonna be controversial, which has always sort of been the case. You had Ed Sullivan getting angry at The Doors because they said “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher.” And we haven’t come too far from that. As many people as there are who want to expand human consciousness, there are just as many who want to constrict it because they’re afraid of growth. What we are seeing on a mass scale is a fear of evolution. They have an idealized past because they were in an elevated position and they don’t really care what anybody else’s role was. That’s the ego, which is the dark side of human kind. The kind that makes me sad sometimes. Anyway, “Perfumed Gardens” is a loving embrace of the aspects of American culture that I love and at the same time a statement against the parts of American culture that I hate. There are a number of covers on there of pretty obscure tunes and a lot of my own songs as well. And I brought in many, many talented folks for the arrangements like Antwaun Stanley and Madelyn Grant on background vocals, three different bassists, I played a lot of guitar myself, I got strings, piano, synthesizers, a vibraphone. I recorded the bell tower with Isaac for a song, recorded an old pipe organ in a church in Detroit. There’s a lot of instrumentation; it’s inspired by the Pet Sounds and Smile era of the Beach Boys. If you took that Brian Wilson production aesthetic and melodic sense, but then paired that with gritty folk songs from the earth about life and death, God and the Devil; put a bunch of harmonies on them and fleshed it out with baroque arrangements, you’d get an idea of what it sounds like.
MILES LARSON – So this is your approach to a sort of American Tropicália?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Yeah! I’ve been inspired by Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and how they were reacting against their situation creatively and causing a lot of people to rethink their values. So I’m not making my music for that purpose necessarily, but that’s what’s been coming out.
MILES LARSON – Subversion.
EVAN HAYWOOD – It’s definitely subversive. “Do Right By My Kin” is a very direct song; there’s not that much metaphor in there, but some of the other songs are more subtly about the political situation. You wouldn’t know it unless you paid a lot of attention. So there’s a lot of internal commentary; things I was feeling or thoughts I had about the future as I saw these acts unfold. I think there’s a lot of beauty in the history of our country. There’s a lot of perseverance against tyranny in various forms and as long as there has been oppression in this country, which has been since it’s foundation and before, there have always been people fighting that oppression. So I think that it’s a very important time to decide which side to be on, and I’ve chosen my side very resolutely and will be speaking about that in my music.
MILES LARSON – The best way to cope with hardship and turmoil is through creativity.
EVAN HAYWOOD – I feel blessed to be able to make music. I think it’s one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings. There are a lot of people who aren’t able to do that for whatever reason. They aren’t able to get the instruments they need or they aren’t able to get the education they need. They don’t have a way to express themselves or don’t know how to express themselves or are afraid to express themselves. I’m thankful that I don’t deal with those particular issues. I don’t have to work four jobs, I only work two. I’m thankful that I have enough of a foundation that I am able to make music and share it with people. My music contains a lot of messages, some of which can be interpreted in many ways, but chiefly I just make music because it’s beautiful and it makes me happy. I hope to make other people happy too. That’s really all it is. There’s no motivation beyond that; it’d be great to make money doing it, but it’s not why I do it. If that never happens, I’ll still be making music. I think you have to look at it that way if you expect to ever succeed in your field. You’re going to have to spend a decade or two busting your ass for very little reward.
MILES LARSON – It’s what my mom always says: “Do what you love and the money will follow.”
EVAN HAYWOOD – It’s true. I’m actually getting paid this year, these solo gigs are nice. Play for an hour, get some money, drink a beer, and head out. It’s really nice. I’ve been working with electronic musicians for so long, I’m glad I don’t have to plug as many things in.
MILES LARSON – I never thought about that.
EVAN HAYWOOD – It’s exhausting; you have a car full of wires! I’m stripping it all down. I feel like we live in an age where there’s too much information coming into our minds each day so I’m trying to make music that speaks to the spirit and not the mind. Something that can help you cleanse away some stress or some of the internal conflict that results from having information thrown at you all day; where much of it is useless and a lot of it is scary. So I want to make something that will make people feel calm and feel like they’re in love with life and help them love each other. I want people to make babies to my music. [laughter] So I put a lot of care into the artwork because I want the object to last. I want it to appear magically into someone’s life in fifty years.
MILES LARSON – The crowning achievement for any musician is when someone gets conceived to one of their songs.
EVAN HAYWOOD – Especially if they become a great musician. Next level.
MILES LARSON – Do you see yourself staying in Hamtramck for the foreseeable future?
EVAN HAYWOOD – Yes. I will be in Hamtramck for the foreseeable future. I have a lot to do this year and that’s the place where I’ll be able to do it. I have a good situation there.
MILES LARSON – Do you have a message for the kids?
EVAN HAYWOOD – I think the biggest thing I’ve learned in the last ten years is to be patient. Always. But you have to pair that patience with a willingness to improvise at any moment. So if you can be willing to accept an opportunity the moment it presents itself without any self-doubt or fear; but at the same time, be completely calm if everything in your life falls apart in front of you, then nothing can really harm you.