What’s your name, where do you live, and how’s it going?
Hey I’m Nathan Evans, friends call me Nate and I’m currently chilling in my new pad down in Strathcona in East Vancouver. Things are good, I can’t complain, keeping busy with a range of different musical, sound recording /design and creative projects.
How did you get started in production? Where did the interest in electronic music come from?
I was always fascinated with music, electronic music and technology in particular. My mom Thecla Schiphorst is a media artist and has always worked closely with technology in her artwork so I grew up surrounded by technology. Video games, computers, film and sound equipment were always close by so even just synthesized and computer generated sounds have always been familiar to me and something comforting. I remember in particular when I was in my late teens our friends Rowland, Aaron and Cody had a hip hop group Castheadwork and they really influenced me in they way they were just making music and having fun. I always wanted to explore the idea of producing electronic music even at that time. I ended up getting a cracked version of the software Reason off their producer Cody but because of complications surrounding the serial number, and the fact that I was completely obsessed with skateboarding as my top priority, I never ended up diving into the program and music production. Around 2007 my roommate Ryan Mcguigan was deep in the process of filming and editing Green Apples Suppers Ready and we were consistently gaining more and more of an interest in electronic music. I eventually got Ableton Live online and began experimenting. This led me to acquiring Logic Pro, which is the program I’ve used to produce the majority of my Dale Evans stuff.
Can you tell us how skateboarding and travel from skateboarding has affected your music?
Growing up skateboarding and having a diverse range of influences coming from peers, skateboard videos and east Vancouver’s creative culture always informed my musical personality and fed my ongoing interests in the art form. My mom was also a dancer and she danced while I was in the whom so whenever I hear music with a defined beat I can’t help by tap my foot or move to the rhythm in some way. A lot of this comes from skateboarding too and just the physicality of it. Skateboarding and music both require an active kinetic and visceral engagement with the the creative process so there’s always been a common thread there. Travelling to Europe and Barcelona for skateboarding opened my ears to scenes where electronic music was more widely accepted than the more indie rock driven scenes of the pacific northwest. This definitely helped me formulate my musical ideas and to take an all encompassing approach to production.
What skateboard video from any year had the best soundtrack in your opinion?
The early Girl Chocolate videos have always been favourites amongst my friends and I. The music they used always drew heavily from break beat compilations like Dusty Fingers and the Ultimate Breaks and Beats. Even though I wasn’t producing music when I was watching these videos everyday, the music selection is so deeply engrained in my memory that it constantly informs the way I sample and create music without a doubt.
Where does the name Dale Evans originate from?
During my French House phase I discovered an artist named Roy Rogers on the Vegas Trax label who was rumoured to be an alias of Daft Punks Thomas Bangalter as the music was heavily influenced by the sound of Bangalters Roulé label. Like many rumours it proved to be false but I liked the idea of appropriating another artists stage name, almost like alias sampling. Roy Rogers wife went by the stage name of Dale Evans and as soon as I discovered this, the name being so close to my own, I was immediately drawn to the idea of using it as my own musical alter ego.
Earlier Dale Evans had a very sample based disco vibe. You’ve moved onto a much more chill Hip Hop Influenced style. What dictates your musical mood? Can we look out for any new influences in your work?
Like any human being I go through musical phases and like any artist I try to reinvent myself creatively with each new project. it’s really just all about taking on new challenges and trying new things while being true to yourself and the ideas you want to achieve with your work. My music will always come from the heart and so I want to infuse it with as much soul as I can muster at any given moment. I went from a french touch obsessed bedroom producer to reconnecting with my hip hop roots and rediscovering the Dilla, Madlib and tripped out Flying Lotus sounds. I’ve been playing out quite a bit more than my earlier days and so this summer I’m focusing on the visual promotional elements and on my live set. In my next project I hope to do more analogue recording and incorporate different friends music into my own work to do more collaborative based recording stuff. I’m also hoping to do a music video in the near future.
Tell us a little about what’s new and what’s been going on for you?
Well I moved back to Vancouver after spending the summer of 2012 living on Hornby Island, which is one of the mid northern Gulf Islands in the Salish sea. Some call it the “Hawaii of BC” and it’s a really beautiful place to spend your time. Now that I’m back in Vancouver I’ve committed to finishing my Electroacoustic Music BFA from SFU here in Vancouver so I’ve been situated and have been doing more live shows around town and sound recording / sound design gigs for friends video projects.
Vancouver’s music scene seems to be growing a steady pace. Who are some or your favorite Vancouver artist or artists in general?
Vancouver’s music and art scene is amazing in its DIY approach and the way everyone just makes art from the ground up. As far as local acts I really just try to support my friends. A handful of people I grew up with have started bands, The High Drops and the Boom Booms, Silver Skeleton Band. Ry Ry’s Green Burrito Tapes is too chill. I hope to do some music for his and Colin’s side project Total Distribution. I’ve been floating beats to the Rap Goofz for a while too and they are are always killing it with their hilarious approach.
What has been your favorite gig to date?
I played a rave on Flora island, which is a small island just off the tip of Helliwell provincial park on Hornby Island BC last summer during the blue moon of august that was pretty amazing. some locals set up a sound system and brought generators to power everything and were ferrying people across in their motor boats. Everyone was having a blast and the moon had lit up this little island all night. I played mostly house / minimal tech house stuff and people were loving it so yeah it was some of the most fun I’ve had playing music for sure. I’ve been doing Color Mag and Jamcouver’s TURNTUP Tuesday’ night and I’m playing a set at Jamcouver’s Burrard Hotel Takeover Party June 15th that will be straight madness. Opening for AM & Shawn Lee at the Cobalt the next Day June 16th and playing a Vancouver Producers Set at Fortune Sound Club June 21st so if you’re in Vancouver you should come check it out!!!
Everyone is always interested in the production process. How do you like to cultivate your tracks? What are some sources of inspiration?
I like to keep the production process pretty free form. I do a lot of sample based stuff so imposing creative limitations can be really helpful especially when your working with the endless options afforded by digital software. I really just try to think of it as a craftsmanship thing and try to sculpt a great sound that I would actually want to hear. I’m not the type to make a track and then not listen to it because I’m played on it or something. When I’m making music I make what I like and it’s like jamming for me. It’s all about building on a groove and how that groove speaks to your soul. music has always been a healing process for me so I tend to lean towards stuff that has positive energy and fuels me in a creative way, which all depends on how I’m feeling at the time. Theres no golden rule to making music though, it’s always changing and I’m always trying to challenge myself to experiment with new styles and procession process’.
listen to my tracks, come to my shows and thanks for the support!
MORE ABOUT DALE EVANS
Nate Evans grew up skateboarding in East Vancouver and has been making electronic music since 2007 using the Dale Evans alias in 2009 to solidify his musical identity. Everything that accompanies an upbringing entrenched in skate culture’s creative climate has been coupled with life experiences, travel, and experimentation. These elements have consistently influenced his breed of self informed electronica as it’s grown from sample based nu-disco fused dance grooves toward independent, forward thinking tripped out beat-hop. With support from publications like Viva Radio, 01 Magazine, Color Magazine, Stoney Roads, Close To Modern and LYFSTYL Music, shows at Fortune Sound Club, The Astoria, A Dental Lab, Songkla (Calgery) and Color Magazines TURNTUP TUESDAYS accompanied by releases on Napalm Enema Records, Close To Modern and a Naked Friday’s Mix for Viva Radio the Dale Evans sound has been established and re-established on an endless continuum of musical exploration.
CityScape EP – Close To Modern Recordings – CM 011
Beats By Dale LP – Independent Release
Xstatic EP – Napalm Enema Records – NER070