Austin Talks: Evan Voytas

March 16, 2011

Turned Up Down South with Converse's resident music fan

Music aficionado Dave Sutton and photo virtuoso Victoria Masters will be taking us through some Austin moments with up and coming artists this week. First snapshot: A show and interview with LA’s Evan Voytas.

A plane took Victoria and I from Brooklyn to Santa Fe, and a rental car took us the rest of the way. In between those two rides were three relaxing days in the desert – clearly a planned calm before the inevitable storm. We pulled into Austin around 4pm on Tuesday; the town just as sunny and buzzing as expected. Our remaining agenda was fairly simple: find food and Evan Voytas. The latter would be discovered soundchecking his falsetto-laced synth jams at Mohawk. Food however was still in question, for all parties. So together we scavenged down Red River Street, eventually landing on the faithful “Austin Dog.”

Back at the venue, with hands covered in relish, we had a quick chat just before his (excellent) set:

What are you looking forward to this week? Where are you staying?

There’s some people here I haven’t seen in years, looking forward to catching up with them. And lot’s of music to see. We rented this suburban house, it has a nice vibe; there are chickens in the backyard.

How’d you get here?

We drove from LA, took like two days. We knew we were in Texas, when a car went by with an Elk tied to its roof.

So, I read you grew up playing Jazz in Pennsylvania, studied music in New York, and toured as a guitarist with some big names before moving to LA, can you take us through that a bit?

I started playing guitar at age 11 and eventually got into Jazz. I went to school at City College of New York. It was really cool, I was able to meet and take lessons with some of my favorite musicians in the world. After school I was working the Natural History Museum in New York and got this offer to go on tour with a teen pop star kid, I was like well that’s kind of a more dope summer job. We did this big arena tour; with the whole TV circuit thing…it was crazy. I moved to LA a few years ago and got into my own projects.

The EP is all you right? And you put this live band setup together after recording? How was that process?

Yes. The process was rough at first, but it’s solid now. With the exception of one member, this group has been together for almost two years. New recordings remain just me though, at least for this project, it’s very personal, kind of precious you know.

Had you played in Austin before with any of these other bands? How many shows are lined up?

This is my first time playing here. We have five.

Nice. Not 13?

Haha, yeah five is a good amount, it felt right.

What’s next after this week?

I’m finishing up a full-length record, it’s almost done, I just have to go home and finish it.

Any shifts in sound?

The drums might be a bit more hip-hop-y, but still pretty straightforward pop music.

How was the Veggie Dog?

Yeah mine was very good.

Tomorrow Night We’ll Go Anywhere is available through Cascine.

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