Thursday 8 November 2012

The Friday Interview: Tommy Evans

Drummer-Bandleader-Composer Tommy Evans is bringing his orchestra to the Howard Assembly Rooms on Saturday 10th November. They will perform the award-winning Green Seagull suite, which has just been released as an album. Jazz Yorkshire caught up with Tommy to talk about Green Seagull, his work as a drummer and more...

There has been a bit of break between the last performance of the Green Seagull suite and the upcoming one in Leeds. How do you think it will feel returning to the music after a break?

We can't wait to play it again. It's great that the record will be out for this tour and we are all very excited about touring the suite again. We have only ever played the suite about 10 times in 2 years, so it's an odd mix of it feeling new and old to us all. It's also a piece of music that is very much still evolving in the live show so I expect it to sound different when we come back to it this time around. 

In terms of the line-up you're using, did you write the material with specific musicians in mind?

Yes very much so. I had all the musicians in place before writing a note. My approach to a large scale work like this is that I make sure the backend is completely in place before writing anything. For example with this suite I had had it commissioned, had all of the rehearsals booked in, had booked all of the band members, had a tour booked, and had tour funding without having written a single note! It's a pretty risky way of doing things but I find I work much better with deadlines and a lot of pressure.

Apart from The Green Seagull suite, what other projects are you involved in at the moment?

I play drums and MD Submotion Orchestra - a jazz/dubstep/electronica crossover project and I play drums and write for Gentlemans Dub Club. I have also recently been commissioned write another large scale work and have begun working as a composer for various dance companies in London. I also try my hand a pop writing too from time to time!

What music are you listening to at the moment - do you have a current favourite album or musician?

All sorts of stuff. The new Flying Lotus album is pretty good, as is the Clark album. I also listen to loads of choral music - John Sheppard, Thomas Tallis, Byrd - these kind of guys. Its amazing. In terms of jazz, the new album from Laura Jurd is mind blowing.

What do you think the best thing about the Yorkshire jazz scene is?

The diversity, originality and f**k you attitude!

No comments: