Die Singer-Songwriter-Reihe des 603qm in Darmstadt feiert am morgigen Samstag seine zweite Ausgabe – wir erinnern uns an den ersten Abend: Blinkende Lampions, schöne Songs zwischen gefühlvoll, beat-lastig, elektronisch und gitarriös – mit dabei waren damals I Am Poet, die Vimes und das Schweizer Künstlerkollektiv We Invented Paris. Dieses Mal reduziert sich die Anzahl der Bands, dafür konnte man mit den Kanadiern von Evening Hymns einen Headliner bestätigen, der für alles steht, was aktuell in der kanadischen Indie-Folk-Szene gut und gerne gesehen wird: Bärte, Karo und gefühlvolle Melodien! Der Kern der Band ist dabei Jonas Bonnetta, den wir zur Vorbereitung des Konzerts zum Mail-Interview gebeten haben!

1.) Band facts

– Name: Evening Hymns
– Founding year: 2007
– Residence: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
– Current album: Spirit Guides

2.) Questionnaire:

– How did you start making music – had you been forced to play an instrument somehow or was it in your own interest?
I had actually started playing music in a punk band. I was the singer. When that band broke up I started playing guitar and writing my own songs.

– What are your music influences?
I’m a big Neil Young fan. Listened to a lot of Tom Petty growing up too. Then I listened to Superchunk and that was my first introduction into “indie” music. Then Hayden and a bunch of folk guitar guys. That was sort of my introduction into what I’m doing now.

– When and how did you then become a professional musician, releasing CDs and everything?
I released my first record 4-5 years ago. It was recorded at home and I released it myself, under my own name. That record opened some doors for me and I started doing a little bit of touring with it. After I released Spirit Guides the project became a little more serious and we’ve since been able to tour a lot more. I still work a job in Toronto when I’m not touring so I’m not a full-time professional musician I guess but I’m pretty happy with the places we get to go.

– At some point you choose to release music under the name ‘Evening Hymns’ – in which situation did you come up with the name and what meaning has it for you?
I wanted a name to evoke a certain feeling or mood. Evening Hymns is pretty mellow music and I wanted a band name that had those vibes.

– How do you normally work on songs? What are the steps/processes, what are the usual problems of finishing a song?
I have a hard time writing music in the city. I work well if I can get away to the country and find some peace and quiet. I work best when I can sit down and write a song from top to bottom. It’s difficult for me to come back to a song that’s 75% written and find the inspiration to finish it. I try and write a complete song in one sitting, and then I’ll go back and fine-tune it and change things a bit later on.

– Which situations inspire you to your lyrics? In which situations do you write them?
Like I said above, I really need peace and quiet. I’m inspired by being on the road and traveling. Moving landscapes are helpful. I definitely prefer to write music in the country or the woods. I find that a lot more inspiring than the city.

– ‘Dead Deer’ is one of our favorite songs from ‘Spirit Guides’ – can you tell us what it is about, how it was done and if there is a story behind it?
The song is about a relationship I was in. It’s about how when you first start dating someone it’s all perfect and even the imperfections you can romanticize but eventually you start to see how things really are and that’s the point where a relationship is either broken or fortified. In retrospect it’s this interesting song to me because my feelings on the situation have changed and so it’s powerful to me in almost the opposite way that it was when I first wrote it.

– On ‘Spirit Guides’ musicians from bands like The Wooden Sky, Ohbijou, Timber Timbre or Forest City Lovers took part during recording, as this seams to happen often in the canadian music scene – how come and how did they took part in the recording?
I think in Toronto we’re all pretty close. It’s a very small music scene in Toronto and it’s pretty supportive. We’re all pretty open about collaborating and it’s a natural choice for me to ask my friends to play on my records. They know what I’m going for musically but also know me more emotionally and I think for the type of music I’m making that’s important.

– In January you posted on your homepage, that you would be heading into the woods for recording your new record – can you tell a bit about the recording process, the new songs and who took part in the recording?
The new record was recorded in the woods, about 20 minutes northwest of Perth, Ontario. The band The Wooden Sky joined us in the cabin for just over a week and we almost completed the whole thing. It’s a very peaceful place to go and the cabin had big vaulted ceilings so the sound was really nice. We found a pond after hiking through the woods so we cleared the snow off of it and in the mornings we’d go out and play hockey while the engineer would mix down all of our recordings from the night before. It was a nice way to clear the head before we started recording again.

– How come that you already knew the name of the record before recording?
I was reading ‘East of Eden’ by John Steinbeck and came across the words spectral dusk. It really stuck with me. I find it very beautiful. The whole record is about my father passing away in 2009 and the words spectral dusk seemed to fit the feel/mood of the record. It worked as a great term to guide the record. I originally was going to name it “quiet energies” but settled on spectral dusk. Quiet energies was this idea that we could have all the energy of rock and roll, and metal music, but under the disguise of this pastoral folk music, or something. Putting that much energy into the quietest notes.

– As you’re returning to Europe for a tour – can we already expect some new songs from ‘Spectral Dusk’?
We will definitely be playing new songs from Spectral Dusk.

– Do you already know when ‘Spectral Dusk’ will be released and if it also get’s an release in Germany?
We don’t have a release date for SD yet and are looking for someone to release it in Europe.

– What are you doing if your not making music?
I work for the Toronto International Film Festival full-time when I’m not touring. I like to spend time out of the city too. We’re taking it easy this summer before the record comes out and I plan on going camping all summer.

– We read that, if your not making music, you would be working in your own sawmill – how does making music and working at the sawmill fit together for you?
I don’t work on the sawmill anymore unfortunately. It was tough to come home from doing that and then switch into music making mode but the time I spent cutting boards and working the mill was a great time to think and dream. I miss that.

– You’re (in German promo papers) described as typical canadian – what would you say is typical canadian?
Well I do love maple syrup and I do have a beard. I guess that’s typical?

– What did you learn in 2010?
2010 was a good year for us. I’d never been to Europe before so that was really magical for me. I guess I learned that hard work pays off? haha… Let’s hope..

– What were your three favorite records of 2010?
‘I See The Sign’ by Sam Amidon, ‘Majesty Shredding’ by Superchunk and ‘Constant Companion’ by Doug Paisley.

– What are your next plans?
Finish the record and hide in the woods.

– How would your “Bedroomdisco” look like?
Lamps and plants and books.

Singer-Songwriter #2
Evening Hymns (Can)
Support: Moving City Lights (D)
@ 603qm Darmstadt
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Evening Hymns – Spirit Guides by evening hymns


Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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