Exclusive: Eve to Adam Frontman Taki Sassaris Talks Music, Horror, Dexter, and Straitjacket Supermodel
Rock band Eve to Adam caught Dread Central's attention when we learned their song "Straitjacket Supermodel" was inspired by the TV show "Dexter," and we recently had a chance to chat with ETA lead singer Taki Sassaris to get an update on what they've been up to and have planned.
Eve to Adam's newest album, Locked and Loaded, will be released soon; and Sassaris told us all about the band and how they got to this point. "We're one of those groups that have been fighting the good fight and we believe in ourselves and what we're doing," Sassaris said. "Also, the trust of the people, the audience, has propelled us to this place, and to be able to get this type of opportunity is nice. You get validated and feel like you're doing the right thing. And this makes you want to do more. I think it's going to be a really good summer for the band. And true to the name, as much as ETA means Eve to Adam, it also means estimated time of arrival; and I think the recipe and the hard work that has gone into this band, with the old fashioned school of hard knocks formula, is all part of this being our time, our arrival period. We've got the right album right now for a larger number of people to get on board with the band."
Continuing on about the new album, Sassaris said, "We've been doing really well on the radio with 'Straitjacket' and we've got a great summer tour lined up. We're really happy. We worked really hard on the album with a lot of great people and we put everything we had in it, and we feel that this album deserves to be heard by the most people possible."
With so many overnight successes in the fickle music industry these days, Sassaris feels that Eve to Adam has done things the right way by not following the path to instant success. "We've come up by being a live group and doing live touring early on as an indie band and later, within the last few years, getting more of a relationship with radio and opening for some bigger bands," Sassaris said. "But it's always been the same ethos with us. It's always been about putting on great shows, doing the best you can for the fans and putting your best self out there. And that's the formula I think people agree with because whatever you're doing in your life, work-wise or career-wise, you have to show up and be the best you can be so you can advance and go forward. And I think in that sense we're in line with the same thinking people have in their lives. If we can present some music that helps inspire people in their own way and it coincides with what we're doing, I think that's what we're all about."
And it's that hard work to make quality music that Sassaris feels is the secret to success in the business. "Being around as long as we've been, and surviving so many trends in hard rock and metal and music in general, what I find is it comes down to the songs," Sassaris said. "You can have a great live show and have a lot of passion and energy, but the vehicle that really keeps your audience with you and has the capacity to add more audience is the songs. We've really spent a lot of time making sure the songs on this album were of stellar quality. We wanted to be sure there was no filler on the record and that it was also an album that had a great cohesiveness so that you could put on the album and listen to it track after track because as long as each song is just as good as the previous, if not better, that keeps you on the ride. We grew up with bands that made great albums. They made great hit singles, but you had to be sure the album was worth its weight in songs. That's what it's about, putting together a great product, and the same goes for the horror genre."
He elaborates, "When you make a great horror pic, it's not just about a few scenes that are gory. You have to have suspense and anxiety and anticipation with the audience when they're not sure what happens next and keeping them on the edge of their seat. And it's the same thing with making a good rock album or a good metal album. You have to keep the audience guessing and throw them a curveball every now and then so it doesn't get predictable. The experience has to remain unpredictable so the suspense is there."
Of course here at Dread Central our first experience with Eve to Adam was their "Dexter"-inspired song "Straitjacket Supermodel," and Sassaris gave us the scoop on how he created this with his dark passenger. "That song was inspired by 'Dexter'," Sassaris said. "I've been a big fan of that show since the beginning. When we started building that track, it had kind of an industrial Nine Inch Nails-ish element in the intro. To me, the first thing that popped into my head was this is an anthem or a set-up song for a person who's about to do some really bad things. Go on a tear. And Dexter Morgan was the first guy that popped in my mind. In my head it became the song that played in his head just before he's about to hack some guy up. I think that kind of visualization lends itself wonderfully to a metal song like 'Straitjacket'. It could be Leatherface from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre or Dexter. It's just that same character that's basically unstoppable and evil incarnate, but you like him and there's something sick about you that you look at it and say, 'I identify with that guy and I've felt the same way at times.' It puts me in a more imaginative headspace to create a song for a character I had a connection with that was already created that I felt that I knew. So it was really easy to write a song for a person who, in a weird way, I admired."
Sassaris went on to discuss some of the horrific concepts on ETA's Locked and Loaded as a whole. "There is some dark material in the lyrics," he said. "I've been a horror fan for a long time. I grew up with the classics: Halloween, Friday the 13th and obviously A Nightmare on Elm Street. I remember the very first Candyman scared the shit out of me. Lately I've really become a fan of Rob Zombie's directorial work. He's done some awesome shit and I'm a huge fan of that. I always enjoy getting the chance to check out a good horror flick at home. Me and my girl just staying home and checking some stuff out and getting scared. It's a great rush. I think hard rock, metal and horror films all go hand-in-hand because it's all about pushing the extremes, pushing your experience to the edge. I would love for some of the songs on this album to show up on some soundtracks of bigger films that are coming out next year in the horror genre."
And Sassaris truly sees some huge connections between horror and rock/metal music. "Checking out a great horror flick, whether it's a classic or a new one that's coming out, the formula has to be similar in the sense that it's about suspense. It's about pushing the extreme, and in that sense I think that hard rock and metal and the horror genre of film are similar," he said. "The audience goes on a ride with you and you have to outdo what you did before to get that audience and keep them in suspense. That's what's fun about that journey as an artist, to outdo what you did before and push that limit, and that's what makes it exciting."
Finally, as it was "Dexter" that brought Eve to Adam onto our radar, we asked Sassaris his opinion of the show as it heads into its final season. "I think the writers have done a great job with the fact that his sister is involved and she's dealing with that same dark passenger that he's been battling forever and the fact that they're in it together now going into the finale," he said "Again, it's about that suspense, and the second we thought it was predictable, it's not now and we don't know how it's going to end. It's great to feel like an enthusiastic fan. I can't wait to see where this goes."
And fans can say the same thing about the rising success of Eve to Adam. We can't wait to see where this goes.
Eve to Adam is on tour this summer with Texas Hippie Coalition starting July 13 in Birmingham, AL, wrapping up on August 16 in Abilene, TX. Click here for tour dates to find out if they're coming to your home town. For more visit the official Eve to Adam website, "like" Eve to Adam on Facebook and follow Eve to Adam on Twitter (@evetoadammusic).
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