We are kicking off the week right here @skopemag. It was a nice weekend but now we must look ahead at the week. So we have hooked up with Chris Eves and the New Normal from gorgeous Syracuse, NY. These guys have so much going on it is awesome to get in at this time with them. They got the new album out ‘Find Your Way’ which deserves a listen, plus secured billing for Flannel Fest (Rochester, NY) and The Strawberry Jam Music Festival (Turin, NY). I suggest you give them a Like or Follow now like so many others that saw Chris Eves join the ZAC BROWN BAND on stage for a rendition of their hit song “Keep Me in Mind.” So with no more delay we @skopemag offer you – Chris Eves and the New Normal.
@skopemag: Where are we talking from today and how was your St. Patrick’s Day?
CE&TNN: I’m on a flight from California back to New York right now. My St Patrick’s Day was fantastic! My wife and I spent it exploring San Diego, checking out the zoo in the morning and then a few spots downtown for a couple green beers! She was born in San Diego but hadn’t been back since she was a kid, so it was fun to reconnect with the area and spend a beautiful day there.
@skopemag: Spring is right around the corner. Does nice, warm weather enhance your drive & creativity to create music?
CE&TNN: Yes absolutely, the spring is always a very creative time for me. I’m not a very big winter fan and when the sun starts to come out I definitely feel a lot more positive energy, which translates to way more musical output. Right now I’m juggling about fifteen new song ideas and we’ve been demoing them for the next record. My favorite thing to do is to make a playlist of all the new demos, get in my car and just drive around the countryside listening. It’s a great way to get a feel for what songs are going to fit with the overall record I want to make and to keep getting ideas on how to evolve them. If a song gets me pumped up in the car and essentially passes the “drive test”, I know I’m on the right track. Spring also means festivals and outdoor concerts are on the way which I always look forward to!
@skopemag: How did you get the name – CHRIS EVES AND THE NEW NORMAL – and how do you define ‘the new normal’?
CE&TNN: For me it’s about following the beat of your own drum. Being yourself even if it’s not what people expect of you. It’s the freedom to be individually unique and accepting others for their individuality as well. I think in the past few years people have started throwing around the term “New Normal” as a bad thing or the inevitable decline of our politics, society, and culture. I however see it as the opposite. It’s the chance to look at what we can do to make things better. It’s the freedom in understanding that we don’t need to be stuck in the same paradigms that don’t serve us well as a society and personally.
@skopemag: There are five guys in the band. How did you all come together and are you friends beyond the music?
CE&TNN: We started out as five but our other guitarist Jay Lock has since moved to Denver. We miss him musically and personally but understood it was the right life decision for him. So now we are a four piece which has been a rewarding challenge on how to work with more musical space. Most of the work trying to fill that empty space has fallen on our keyboardist Mike D’Ambrosio. He’s been doing a great job of playing multiple keyboards and changing sounds all at the same time. It’s a cool evolution for our sound and I think the new album will reflect that.
We had all known each other and had worked together in various bands before the New Normal. When I wanted to start this band it all fell into place pretty easily since we were already friends and had worked together before. Our Drummer Sean Benz and bassist Mike Spadaro have actually been friends and have played together since middle school. They have a way of syncing together as a rhythm section that is hard to find, which I attribute to their long friendship.
@skopemag: Being from Syracuse did you know that Post Malone was also from Syracuse?
CE&TNN: I had no idea he was from Syracuse, I actually had to Google that! That’s pretty cool. I didn’t know we had that in common. I was already a fan of Post Malone but now I’m a fan of “Pre Malone” too! We actually have covered his song “Jackie Chan.” Would love to collaborate with him in the future!
@skopemag: At what point in life did you realize music was more of a career than a side hobby?
CE&TNN: Pretty early on. I started playing music when I was four and by middle school I was playing with bands professionally. I don’t think I ever considered it a hobby, it was always a passion from the very beginning.
@skopemag: Your new album – “Find Your Way” – is out now. How long did you work on writing / recording and how has the response been?
CE&TNN: Some songs take a half hour to write and some take a year. Songwriting is a frustrating but ultimately rewarding process for me. A lot of these songs flowed pretty quickly and naturally though, I think the writing and recording all came together within a year. The response has been very positive! I think the feedback I receive the most is that the songs seem to crossover and touch on a lot of different genres, yet still keep a unifying thread. I love hearing that because that’s exactly what we’re going for.
@skopemag: If you were to invest in a full blown music video for one song on the album which one would it be and what would be the vision?
CE&TNN: For me it would be “When The Stars Start Falling”. That song creates a lot of imagery for me and I think it would be fun to flesh that out visually.
@skopemag: When not doing music what do you enjoy doing in gorgeous upstate NY?
CE&TNN: When the weather is nice I like doing anything outdoors. Any kind of sports, hiking, and definitely going to lakes. One of my biggest hobbies is photography and video work as well.
@skopemag: I must ask how was it to play with the Zac Brown Band live –
CE&TNN: That was an amazing experience. I didn’t know it was happening until that morning. It was out of town and I luckily had my guitar and amp with me so I was ready to go! I learned the song in the dressing room about an hour before and just went for it. They are all amazing musicians of the highest caliber and also wonderful human beings. Zac was very kind and welcoming!
@skopemag: In the age of streaming how do you view money paid to artists for streams and what do you see as fair?
CE&TNN: I like that we’ve gone from outright stealing music to at least getting the artist paid. How you spend your money indicates what you value, and if artists aren’t getting paid for their work and can’t make a living our culture will will continue to be diminished. I think we’re getting closer to fair but it would be nice if artists got paid a little more per stream.
@skopemag: What is coming up for CHRIS EVES AND THE NEW NORMAL – and where you @ on socials?
CE&TNN: New songs, new video, more festival shows, and a new record this summer! We’re really excited about the new music and can’t wait for everyone to hear it!