Late last year Evan of Mess reconnected over music after meeting more than a few years ago. Always a pleasure to catch up, we are chatting with him and the rest of Mess about how this new venture came to be, the music of Tree, their own Maryland, and more.
Kendra: First of all, how’ve you been since your days in Lilac Daze and how did Mess come to be?
Evan: Hectic, but great! After Lilac Daze went on hiatus I joined a couple other groups in my hometown and released a couple EPs; however, I have a habit of over-obligating myself to things so I ended up quitting a couple projects. School, work, my senior internship, and playing in multiple bands proved to be too big of a feat for me to conquer. After taking a break and reorganizing my life (seriously) I really started focusing on forming a new band in which I had more of a role in the songwriting again. I started writing songs with Erik (who lived in Baltimore; just 50 minutes from Frederick). Eventually, we asked Will to join in on bass, Mike on drums, and I moved to Baltimore.
Kendra: Did you take a lot of what you’d learned as a part of that band and put it into Mess and the debut?
Evan: The main thing I learned from that band was to appreciate what comes your way. That band really taught me the importance of not setting unrealistic/idealistic goals for a band. Whenever I had set lofty goals in previous bands it led to me taking it way too seriously and looking at music as more of a business, which is ultimately pretty damn lame.
Kendra: A lot of the debut seems to revolve around the end, death. So was that a theme agreed upon before you guys started working or did it come about naturally?
Erik: It’s weird to write lyrics. They sorta simultaneously spring both from the language of the music and what’s important to you at that time. So, yes! Maybe from those two places, a loose theme emerged? I’d say the record is more about movement though, the movement of things around all sorts of “death,” then maybe THE GREAT BIG DEATH lurking around there somewhere and how we approach it, experience it, and perhaps what comes after it or follows you there. I dunno.
Kendra: If you had to compare Tree to a place in Maryland, where would it be and why?
Erik: Dang, maybe a field somewhere? There are lots of fields here. Or maybe a river. Lots of those as well. There is a waterfall that exists in Baltimore. Maybe there with some friends or just alone. That’d work just fine.
Kendra: You guys have a handful of shows coming up throughout February out east. Heading west this year or is it still too early to tell?
Mess: We hope to go everywhere! Please let us know if you’d like to play together/hang out sometime!