INTERVIEW: Evan Peta of Evan Peta

AUTOreverse #14, Summer 2011
interview by
Ian C Stewart

So, Evan. Is there anything you’re feeling particularly mouthy about at the moment?
Peanut Butter Oreos are pure evil, seriously.

Who were your early musical influences?
In the beginning there was The Monkees. Well, when I was 4 years old. I still like them and think Mike Nesmith is keen. Next I discovered Elvis, and that’s a big step in the right direction, that was rock and roll fer sure. Also 50s music in general was all good to me. In 6th grade I got into the Beatles through my friend Vernon Gravely who had all their LPs. The American versions, let’s hear it for BEATLES 65!!! But I only liked the early stuff then, the long haired stuff was too ‘weird’.

Then in 7th grade there was Kiss, which was the gateway to all that is hard rock and heavy. The big jump off point for me came next in the form of Ted Nugent and Cat Scratch Fever . This was about 1977. Here is where I started to play guitar, or the reason for me wanting to. Then the flood hit. Thin Lizzy, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Rory Gallagher, Humble Pie, Jimi Hendrix, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Cream, Rolling Stones, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, Free, Pink Floyd, Queen and a bit later, Black Sabbath. Early on, the emphasis was on blues rock. Black Sabbath wasn’t bluesy enough for me till I was 18. Stupid of me.

Later on, heavier stuff started creeping in, Motorhead, Scorpions with Ulrich Roth, Iron Maiden, but that was like the ceiling for heavy to me, though I listened to Metallica and Anthrax (Anthrax are still cool), when the dust settles, the heavy concept sort of tops off at the Motorhead/Maiden end of the spectrum.

Later on, after I was 18, I got into King Crimson, Frank Zappa, David Bowie, T-Rex, Ramones, Richard Thompson, Elvis Costello, Replacements, Supersuckers, Micheal Hedges, Mahavishnu Orchestra. To me, my idea of heavy now is King Crimson.


Where do you see your music heading?
Flopping between Big Rock and “What the hell is this?” So many of my friends tell me how much they love the “What the hell is this?”

What music software do you use?
Pro Tools 8 point whatsit is my main modus oper-oto on a super charged computer which my close personal friend Russ Stedman help build and set up.

Is there any other music software you plan on getting?

Not at the moment. Russ just recently updated my Pro tools software and also brought along a disc o’goodies which had a vast and silly array of plug-ins and virtual sound modules, I’d say I’m set for awhile.

What’s in your home studio setup?

The aforementioned Pro tools uberputer with dual monitors, Boss Dr. Rhythm 660 drum machine & Roland GR 700 guitar synthesizer.

Do you write songs on keyboards or guitar?
Guitar, sometimes lute. I can’t even fathom where to start with a keyboard, it’s almost beyond alien to me, that’s why I got the Roland guitar synth, now I can Eno my brains out and no one’s the wiser.



Talk about your latest release.
Mockingbird Hill veers more towards Big Rock than anything, but there’s a few songs that go into territories I haven’t before – mostly because of the Roland guitar synth. The song “Peace Love and Nuclear Fusion part 3” is all synth with 3 part ‘accidental harmony’ using an orchestral synth patch. Was kind of going for a Fripp/Eno collaboration thing there. Also this CD has more harmony guitars on it than anything else I’ve ever done. Nearly every song has some sort of Thin Lizzy infused guitars going on.

Can you describe your songwriting methods?
I’d say 9 times out of 10 its a riff I’ve mindlessly noodled on guitar and ran to my hand held cassette recorder to record before I forgot. But sometimes song titles will pop into my head and I’ll go from there. It’s pretty much a free for all.

What made you decide to start making music of your own?
A kid around the block was making his own music ping ponging tracks on a dual cassette boom box, his name was Russ Stedman.

Are you active in your local music scene?
Oh very, the squirrels gather daily outside my window when I practice.

Who would you like to collaborate with on new music?
I like collaborating with Russ because things are usually spontaneous and could go any direction at any moment, then there are times where he’s had something done and asked me to do specific things, like a solo. In fantasy land I always wanted to get with Iggy Pop, because for years he always had these really sub par bands and I always wanted to be an auxiliary Stooge and kick it real hard, but then he got back with the Stooges, so there you go.

What other bands are you’re excited by?
Currently there aren’t many new bands that get my attention, though I did dig Them Crooked Vultures, but it did have John Paul Jones in it and was really just a side project. I did like the Eagles of Death Metal’s 2008 CD Heart On, that made me shake my rump. Now the funny thing connecting all this is Josh Homme, who was in both bands, but again they were just side projects, as Queens of the Stone Age is his main band, which have had a few catchy songs, but I’m not really a big fan of.

What’s next for you, musically speaking?
I’ve already started 1/2 the songs for the next CD which will be all Big Rock, no filler, titled Smooth Up Enya. It will inform and confuse for sure.

What did I forget to ask you?
My current viewing habits: I’m rewatching all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is my fave show of all time! Craig Ferguson is like Monty Python, how the hell do they let that on American TV, way messed up and cool. And waiting for Dexter to kick in again in October.

Glad To Be Back (1993)
78s At The Speed Of Light (1994)
Living In The Present (1995)
Aladdin Sane (1998)
Lord High Sheriff Of Shakin’ Street (1999)
The Return Of Dez Valentino (2001)
Evland (2002)
Railyard (2003)
Klaatu Barada Necktie (2008)
Zen By Default (2009)
Spark Generator (2010)
Mockingbird Hill (2011)

Get ’em here –

“Hotter Than Hell”.

thank you, Evan!