Evan Brewer has been a strong presence in the bass community ever since his remarkable approach to slap bass landed him in the spotlight in 2010.
He has a career that spans the gamut of genres with acts as diverse as The Faceless, Reflux, Chris Letchford, Animosity, as well as his own solo bass and band leader based releases. With a sound and attack that makes him stand out from the crowd, Evan has solidified his place as one of the most remarkable young players on the scene today.
Shortly following his departure from The Faceless, Evan joined up with long-time friend Navene Koperweis (formerly of Animals as Leaders) and vocalist Chaney Crabb to form a new super-group call Entheos. A fierce mix of technical death metal, searing bass, and intense virtuosity, the band released their new LP The Infinite Nothing in May of 2016. We sat down with Evan for a bit to have him answer some questions regarding the direction of Entheos and his approach to bass, touring, and what the future holds.
Entheos is a collaborative effort that stems from a long friendship. Could you give a bit of the history of the members and what inspired its inception?
When we started the band it was 3 of 5 members of Animosity, with a new vocalist. We liked the idea of working together again but bringing in all the new skills we had each refined over the years since Animosity. We each looked at it as a chance to build something that we could call our own from the ground up.
What inspires the Entheos sound? How did you guys end up with the sound you now have?
Well a big part of it was taking influence from what we did in Animosity, but updating that sound to fit where we were currently as artists. We put out an EP called “Primal,” that was the template to build from, but then the album writing took some turns no one really expected. So as we start making album two, after a change at the guitar position, we aren’t really sure where the evolution will go. I think that’s a good thing though. Keeps it exciting.
You have been touring almost non-stop in 2016. What do you feel is the state of current metal and the scene in general?
I’d say it’s pretty strong as always. I’m amazed that the underground metal scene continues to twist and turn through the sub genre trends but remains strong regardless. I can’t say that I always agree with the shifts in style that are at the forefront of metal but it’s cool to me that underground metal still has a DIY kind of support network that allows me to make weird music and play all over the world to great crowds of people. I feel fortunate to be involved in that for so many years.
What advantages do you feel you get out of primarily utilizing thumping techniques in a heavy music setting such as Entheos?
For me it starts with the tone. I want an aggressive heavy tone and that type of right hand attack is about as aggressive as it gets. The way I use my right hand to get an economy of motion means I can match speed-picking on the guitar or navigate speedy passages without much physical effort, so it helps a ton with stamina. I also think that it’s unique to apply that sound to technical metal and I like the idea of going down the road less travelled.
How was the recording process like for the Infinite Nothing LP? How did you approach writing and recording your parts?
We lay out demos that define song structure, usually just with programmed drums and scratch guitar, then I just experiment with different ideas so that I have some options when we hit the studio. From there I just start recording and see what works riff by riff. Some parts evolve a lot from what I think I’ll do initially.
Is there a piece of advice you would give touring musicians for road maintenance with gear?
Anything you bring on tour is going to get beat up or stolen so make sure you bring stuff that is replaceable to some extent. Try your best to maintain your gear using good cases and care but don’t get too upset when the airline dings your bass or looses your pedals. It is going to happen all the time. I’m thankful to have a great relationship with Gator Cases and that has been very helpful. Also, I pretty much always bring my main bass into the hotel or wherever we are staying because I don’t want to deal with having a bass stolen on tour. You can get by borrowing an amp or pedals but it’s tough to play someone else’s bass.
You had two solo releases that were really chock full of really original solo bass pieces and group compositions. Any plans to maybe release another solo record in the semi distant future?
Yeah, I have some ideas floating around. I make no promises on time frames for the solo stuff. I like to do them at my own leisure with no pressure or deadlines. I get great enjoyment out of those records so I want to make sure to keep the process as fun and stress free as possible. I plan to do solo albums as long as I can still make music.
Any advice for young touring bass players for road life?
Being away from your loved ones and your home can be tough. It can be easy to loose yourself in the lifestyle. Being in a band on tour, receiving praise and being pardoned for bad behavior, can make people behave very poorly. Try to remain humble, gracious and kind.
What are some of the plans for Entheos leading into 2017 and beyond?
We are writing the second album now. Our goal is to record that early next year and then continue to tour in support of The Infinite Nothing until the release of the new record, then we will see.