Published on May 19th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Evan Konrad On Working With Jason Flom & Republic Records, His New Single & More
Born and raised in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Evan Konrad has devoted his entire life to crafting music. Following stints recording and on the road with other artists — including Dear Rouge — Konrad locked himself away in the studio and commenced work on what would become his forthcoming debut.
With nothing more than a few songs on his private SoundCloud link shared by his manager, Konrad caught the attention of Lava Records founder Jason Flom, who signed him on the spot because of the downright mind-blowing songcraft. And keep in mind, that Jason Flom is the same A&R legend who signed the likes of Twisted Sister and Skid Row in the 1980s, Matchbox Twenty and Kid Rock in the 1990s, Paramore in the 2000s, and Lorde and Greta Van Fleet in the 2010s. Flom’s streak of success is likely to continue with Konrad, whose songcraft absolutely shows with his first single “Long Way Out.”
While in beautiful Columbus, Ohio for the Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival, I had the pleasure of interviewing Evan Konrad. The beginning and end of the chat are transcribed below, while the full interview will be appearing on a future edition of the Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz podcast. More on Mr. Konrad can be found on the Republic Records website.
It’s really touted, the fact that you actually got a record deal the old-school way of somebody at the record company hearing your music and signing it rather than through social media metrics. So how did you first get that reach-out from Jason Flom?
Evan Konrad: It was my manager, he had these contacts just from knowing people over the years. A friend of his who also knew Jason just suggested like, “You should play this for Jason”… He was like on the fence, “I don’t know. I’m still figuring out a plan. I’m not sure what to do yet.” But then he was like, “Okay, whatever, let’s just see what he thinks about it.” That was, I think, in October. Then the following month, the following Wednesday… I was on a plane to New York.
It doesn’t get much faster, wow.
Evan Konrad: It was really really fast.
The fact that you’re out there with just your name. It reminds me of somebody like Jeff Buckley when he’s out there and it’s not just a singer/songwriter, it’s a full layered thing. Was there any thought or pressure to adapt a band name like a Dashboard Confessional?
Evan Konrad: I had the pressure actually on myself. I didn’t know whether I was willing to be that vulnerable with people by using my own name. But I felt that it was going to be the most honest and quickest way for people to get into what I’m doing artistically, because I really want to want to expand a lot conceptually on what I’m doing in the music. So I figured going with my name, it just felt right.
And when did you first start doing home recordings?
Evan Konrad: When I was about 15, I didn’t know that that’s what I was doing. I was kind of just trying to mix it up, but it just grew from there and then it turned into me taking on production and engineering to know the whole project.
Was that in GarageBand? What was the software that you started out on?
Evan Konrad: I started in Reason then I moved into Ableton… Now I still use Reason for some creative stuff but Ableton is mostly where I do like the building, if that makes any sense.
Did you start off with piano lessons?
Evan Konrad: Yeah, with keyboard lessons when I was about four. I say “keyboard” because there was no piano… I actually wanted to play drums. My parents said, “We want you to learn this instrument first so you can understand the musicality of everything.” So I got a snare drum and a keyboard. When I was four years old and that’s when I started out.
So in closing, any last words for the kids?
Evan Konrad: Check out my new single “Come On Snake, Let’s Rattle” on Spotify or Apple Music or Tidal, wherever you get your stuff. And we’ll hopefully see you at a show really soon.