How do you usually write the lyrics of your songs?
Evan: I typically write the music first and the lyrics second. For the lyrics, I start by thinking of a situation I’ve been in before, a place I’ve been to, or a specific relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, and think about how I felt or feel about that place or person and what images come to mind. Usually that leads to an a-ha moment of what idea or theme the song will revolve around.
Jon: Similarly, I tend to start with a general “feel” to a song. It’s usually inspired by a rhythm or chord changes. The two biggest aid to lyric writing is usually find a scenario or feeling you’re trying to write about and then don’t stop writing. Let it all come out, and rewrite certain parts that don’t fit. Sing it, record, wait a day, then revisit them. You’ll know if you like it or not.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing in songwriting?
Evan: Experimentation is probably the most important thing. Trying different things and finding what works and what doesn’t, and building off of what you learn for the next time.
Jon: For me the most important step is perseverance. Always, always, always write. You’re not necessarily getting better a songwriting, you’re just getting better at saying exactly what you intend in less time.
Are you ever scared of revealing aspects of your personal life/experience to strangers through your music?
Evan: Not really worried about strangers hearing about my personal life. I’m more afraid when the people I’m writing about hear my songs, unless I wrote something positive about them, then of course I would want them to hear it. A good happy song is hard to write though, at least for me.
Jon: No, it’s not really an issue. The more you release your emotions, the more people connect and, funny enough, the more you understand your emotions.
What is the best lyric that you ever wrote (the most meaningful for you)?
Evan: That’s a tough question. I have a song called “Paper Moon” that we play sometimes that I like the lyrics to. It’s a really sad song though. I wrote it soon after a bad breakup with an ex and it starts out: “All the moments I thought I knew seem to fade in a shroud of the truth. Sitting here with my heart split in two, like a puzzle I can’t seem to do.” I like the lyrics in that one because they’re relatable and capture how I felt at the time.
Jon: For me, it’s part of a song I wrote called “Blue Blood”: “Coast to coast perpetual lover/Time and again I’m wishing that we were together/Long flight to LA/Blue as the blood in your veins/You won’t fight the urge to change.” It described someone better than I thought at the time.
What inspired “All Eyes”, part of your latest EP “White Seasons”?
Evan: Another ex girlfriend of mine who was the first girl I ever really loved. We had a really tumultuous relationship but there was a lot of love there. The song is about the difficulty of getting through the end of that relationship, even after a long time had passed.
And “White Seasons”?
Evan: White Seasons is more of a mix of happy and sad. It’s about longing for better days during hard times. The better days I was thinking about when writing it, and what the title of the song is referencing, was spending winters in the snow with my family and friends.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Miles Alone”?
Evan: I remember around the time I wrote it, but I can’t tell you the exact day. I was in my sophomore year of college in my tiny closet of a room in Isla Vista at UC Santa Barbara. I was dating my now ex girlfriend, the girl who I referenced when talking about “All Eyes”, who lived about 400 miles away from me at the time at UC Davis. It’s about her.
Is there a link/a common theme among the songs of the new EP?
Jon: I think the link is that all the songs tackle tough issues and that Night Market can share those in a meaningful, acoustic way.
What is the best suggestion your producer gave you?
Evan: We produced the EP ourselves! My advice for myself is to get more sleep.
Jon: My advice is to keep writing!
What are your plans for 2019?
Evan: We have a lot of summer shows coming up around LA and plan on writing and recording a lot more new music!
Jon: Also hopefully play some festivals!
To conclude the interview a short Q/A session, please answer the first thing that comes to your mind:
- Define in one word your EP “White Seasons”: Evan – Airy. / Jon: Familiar.
- The best show you ever played: Evan – I really enjoyed the most recent show we played at the Hotel Café. It sounded great, people seemed to have a good time, and I had a lot of fun too! / Jon: I agree, that recent series of shows at Hotel Café really brought something out of us and brought it to the audience!
- The one thing that you must have in your backstage: Evan – Extra guitar strings. I break way too many strings. / Jon: Red Bull.
- The soundtrack of your childhood: Evan – Buddy Holly. My dad used to play his songs when my brother and I were kids and whenever I hear “True Love Ways” or “Everyday” it brings back memories of my childhood. / Jon: Pat Metheny and America.
- Your favorite song lyrically speaking, but not written by you: Evan – That’s a really tough question. All of my favorite artists have incredible lyrics which are very different: Wilco, Elliott Smith, Built to Spill, Andrew Bird, Radiohead, Death Cab For Cutie, it’s so hard to choose. But if I’m being put on the spot, I’ll pick a song that’s a favorite of mine to play on acoustic guitar: “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes. / Jon: “For A Dancer” by Jackson Browne: “I don’t know what happens when people die/I can’t seem to grasp it as hard as I try/It’s like a song I can hear playing right in my ear/That I can’t sing but I can’t help listening.
- Last question is “unusual”, we want to know your best relationship advice: Evan – She is always right. Just accept it. / Jon: Communicate about who you really are.