EVE TO ADAM – C’mon, Taste the Apple

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With the release of their new album Locked And Loaded, New York-based hard rock band may be on the edge of something they have long craved and worked for—a chance to break through the genre’s glass ceiling and make the transformation from perpetual opening act to headliner status. That would be something that lead vocalist Taki Sassaris labels as “an overnight success that’s been a decade in the making.”

IMGP0734“We’re based out of New York City,” says Sassaris.  “The band has been around since 2001. The core of the band is myself, my brother Alex, who’s the drummer, and guitarist Gaurav Bali. We cut our teeth in the clubs of New York City, and over the years we’ve seen the industry change through the advent of the internet. We’re kind of a do-it-yourself hard rock band with a punk ethos. We’ve had multiple indie deals, done national touring, and had the opportunity to open for many big-name acts such as Creed, Candlebox, Saliva, and Daughtry. I’ve toured and opened for pretty much everybody under the sun, but we’ve never had quite the right management and label and core group of songs to get over that opening slot hump. Locked And Loaded is the culmination of this band’s indie experience and veteran ethic. We’re kind of the Rocky Balboa of the hard rock circuit. We’re still standing. It’s a 15 round fight, and we’ve got one round left. We’re so close, and we’re still so very hungry.”

The album was a collaboration between the band and three key partners: Producer Elvis Baskette, songwriter Eric Bass (from the band Shinedown), and producer/writer Dave Basset.  “We cut songs with Eric Bass in Charleston, South Carolina. The album was helmed and sonically produced and mastered by Elvis Baskett.  A core of the big singles was made with Dave Basset out in Malibu. We travelled all over the country to work with these people. We knew that if we were given the opportunity to work with them, we had to rise up to the challenge. “

“Every step of the way we wanted to make sure the quality was there, for it to be the best thing we’ve ever done. We’re at that place now where we really need to get to the next level. I can’t say enough great things about Elvis Baskette. The facility he works at in Orlando, he’s got this vintage Neve console. With the kind of success he’s had, a lot of guys would have bought mansions and Ferrari’s. He bought a $400,000 board. He knew when he saw the big budgets from the record labels shrinking, he was going to need his own facility. Because the budgets were getting cut, he couldn’t work in the high-caliber places that he was used to. He had the foresight to create an environment that was always going to keep a certain standard. Thanks to Mark Tremonti, who we met when we toured with Creed last year, I knew I really wanted to work with Elvis. I knew Elvis was awake, knowing, and that he cared, and he was exactly the kind of producer I wanted. It’s really hard to find a guy who’s not on autopilot, who’s not just turning in status quo shit.”

IMGP0864The new album is impressive not only for the sonic quality, but for the songs. There’s isn’t a filler track on it. Each and every song is a hard-hitting tune that will instantly grab the listener and stick in their memory. Sassaris says “The core of what we are is a song-based hard rock band. Obviously, being song-based, you’re e going have melody. As a lyricist, I try to write things that have content and make sense. It’s not easy to do. You don’t want to sound too corporate, too commercial. You still want to have your edge, you want to have some rawness. It’s a fine line. We walked it pretty well on this new album, we worked with some awesome people who helped bring it to the next level.”

“We wanted to make sure every song would stand up. We started off with Straightjacket Supermodel, [the first single off the album] who we wrote with Eric Bass. Hitting it out of the park with him really set the standard, and we tried to beat that song. Whether it was writing with Elvis Baskette, or writing with Guarav, or Dave Bassett, that was the mark. The mark was Straightjacket. There are some really great songs on the record, and I don’t know if any of them beat Straightjacket, but each has its own character. We tried to make sure we didn’t get too monotonous with the tempo, content and sounds, so we changed keys, changed a lot of different things. Maybe make people want to download the whole thing. What’s really helped us is word of mouth, and that’s probably the most important promotional tool these days. You can be inundated with all the social media stuff in the world, but if your buddy says ‘I just heard this great band, you gotta check this out. This band’s for real,’ that speaks volumes. I think that’s what’s going to get people to pick up a new album, check out a new band. Even though we’re not a new band, to the great majority of people we are.”

IMGP0785One thing that is critical for a band with limited airplay is playing live. “As an opening act, you get that 40 minutes, and that’s your opportunity to show people why they should care. It really comes down to that. This band has been really blessed at having such diehard fans who have believed in us and have known that we’re just one break away from really getting to that next level. I’ve got to tell you, this album is really for them. We don’t know if this is the last thing we’ll ever do, so we wanted to go out on the strongest note possible. They certainly deserve it. They stuck with us, and I take that to heart. I don’t like letting anybody down. There’s always personal sacrifice with the audience to come to a show, and we never forget that. We know what it’s like to be on the other side of that barricade. We know what it’s like to be let down, when the band takes it for granted. You can be out there and you’re tired of singing that same song, but you have to remember that people have been waiting for you to sing that song, maybe for years! When you invest in me and believe in me, I take that personally.”

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