Eve To Adam Ė Locked and
by Dave Schwartz
Eve to Adam has been shaking up the music
scene since the release of their first album, ďAuburn SlipĒ in
2001. Thirteen years of recording and touring has helped Eve to
Adam to develop a strong fan base and a deep understanding of what
it takes to remain active in the music business. Taki
Sassaris along with his brother Alex (drums), Gaurav Bali (lead
guitar), Luis Espaillat (bass) and Adam Latiff (rhythm guitar)
have recently released ďLocked and Loaded.Ē Itís an album filled
with twists and turns, along with a couple of surprises. I
called Taki at his home to discuss the new record.
DB: Hi, Iím looking for Taki
TS: Youíve got him.
DB: Hi, this is Dave Schwartz from
DaBelly.com and weíre scheduled for an interview.
TS: How are you Dave?
DB: Doing well, and you?
TS: Iím going great, Iím glad itís
DB: Yes, I think the whole world is.
TS: Where are you calling from?
DB: Iím in Phoenix, Arizona.
TS: Youíre in Phoenix? Oh,
DB: Yes, itís one of those times of
the year when itís incredible to live here. Itís middle 70s
and hoping to get into the 80s. The sun is shining and itís
TS: Itís another cold day here in
New York but thatís par for the course. What are you going
DB: Well, yeah, that is the price
TS: This is true.
DB: Well, first of all I want to say
congratulations on the new record, ďLocked and Loaded.Ē I know
the album has been out for a little bit and that you have toured.
Nonetheless Iím still interested in hearing all about making the
record and who you worked with.
TS: After coming off the road in
2012 with Creed our label was excited about working with our band.
They wanted us to do another album. We didnít want to take
any chances knowing that this may be our last opportunity.
So I was interested in working with as many quality people as
would work with us. I wanted to bring in some new
perspectives and challenges really to elaborate on the sound and
build a new dimension. So we were very lucky that when the
label put their feelers out there were people that were very
interested. The first guy was Eric Bass (bassist,
Shinedown). He was interested in writing with us. He
had just come off the road with Shinedown. They were on the
Uproar Festival. We all had a little time so we flew down to
Charleston, Sout Carolina and the end result was ďStraightjacket
Super Model.Ē It was a great experience working with him.
Heís a really nice guy. Super talented with great energy and
very positive, heís just over all a pleasure to be around.
ďStraightjacket Super ModelĒ was really
what motivated and excited our label enough to sign us for one
more record. They were all in after that. They really
loved the direction that we were going and so that really opened
the floodgates. Next we were able to get in touch with
Michael ďElvisĒ Baskette (Ratt, Trivium, Chevelle) thanks to Mr.
Mark Tremonti (Creed, Alter Bridge). After listening to the
Tremonti record I was blown away by the production. We were
shopping for a producer at the time and I hadnít really made up my
mind. After hearing that album, I really wanted Elvis to
produce our record too. So Mark was really instrumental in
making that happen. Elvis is a really busy guy and super
talented. Heís in demand and at the time he was doing the
Falling in Reverse record and once he immerses himself into
production he is hard to get in touch with. Thank God for
Mark because he really made it all happen. Working with
Elvis was unbelievable. Heís just a production Jedi!
Behind the board or hearing a harmony and laying things down live,
you name it and Elvis does it. Heís a lot of fun to work
with and a great guitar player. He has a really passion for
hard rock and metal.
And as if things couldnít get any better,
the end of 2012 we went out on a tour with Hailstorm and In This
Moment. At the end of that tour we were able to go and write
with Dave Bassett (Saliva, Halestorm, Sevendust). We
literally got off the tour and went right to the airport and flew
to LA. We were able to write three songs in five days.
The last of which was ďImmortal.Ē Dave is another super talent.
As far as writing goes heís just brilliant. He brings the
best out of you and allows you to still have your identity, but
challenges your style. It was a great educational
experience, but also just a great exchange between artists.
Heís also another really great guitar player and is just
passionate about rock. For us, that was an easy
collaboration because we were all on the same page.
The best part about working with all of
these people is that we had such a great time doing it. Not
only did we make some colleagues and business partners, we made
some really great friends. These are people with really high
character, a lot of talent and soul and anytime you have a chance
to work with people like that you just canít be thankful enough.
DB: It sure seems like the stars
aligned for you. Thatís impressive.
TS: After everything that weíve been
through itís really nice to have a small streak of luck! We
had pretty much the most rotten luck ever, especially for this
business and business being what it is, a rotten business to begin
with, itís tough. This is all about hanging in there.
The music business is a war of attrition. You just have to
find a way to survive and thatís what weíve been able to do.
From the inception of this project to just recently, the last few
years with 3 for 5 Entertainment coming in and signing us in 2010,
weíve been through a multitude of deals and management and agents.
We never found the people who could do what they said they were
going to do. So itís par for the course. You have to
learn to endure. You canít allow yourself to become jaded or
allow them to take away your dream and break you. Thatís the
biggest challenge is to not lose sight of why youíre doing this
and what your original vision was.
DB: I appreciate what youíre saying.
Building momentum and finding people who can help shepherd you
through the tough times is vitally important in the music
industry. It seems you know this better than most of us.
But the good news is that the record is out, itís doing well and
youíve created and impressive album.
TS: Thank you very much for that.
We worked really hard on the record and something special happens
when youíve got your back against the wall. When itís about
survival you rise up and you discover that youíre able to do
things that you otherwise may not have. So I think it was a
unique culmination of circumstances that help contour ďLocked and
LoadedĒ and give it the attitude and cohesiveness that it has.
Iím proud of the record and really proud to hear that people are
happy and enjoying the music. Itís a wonderful feeling to
have strong reviews on it and for people to recognize it for what
it is. Iíve liked things that weíve done in the past and I
listen to some of our older stuff, but as a cumulative piece of
work Iíve never been able to sit down and enjoy a complete album
until now because of my obsessive, perfectionist disorder.
Iím always saying that I wish we had done this or I didnít really
like that. Something unique has happened with this album
because Iím able to take this record to the gym and listen to it
from beginning to end. Iím not all about just listening to
myself, but I am able to just detach and listen to the record for
what it is. So itís a great thrill for me. Itís also a
great workout album. I have a lot of friends that are gym rats
and theyíve been really enjoying it. I couldnít be happier at
DB: The first single off the album
was ďStraightjacket Super ModelĒ and with that came a video.
Did you anticipate the response you received from the video that
you envisioned and put together?
TS: Well which response would that
DB: You had Mistress Juliya and a
full on Dexter vibe happening with the plastic sheets. For
some the video was very shocking. Perhaps it made them
nervous but for others the response wasnít just, ďYeah!Ē but it
was, ďHell Yeah!Ē
TS: I didnít know that for some the
video was going to be that divisive. I thought this genre of
music was a little bit more risquť that what it is. Or
perhaps people formed an idea of the band that wasnít quite
accurate. Iím not really sure. Or maybe itís a
combination of both? I didnít think the video was that
crazy, you know? I mean compared to some of the other things
Iíve seen and content thatís out there now. For the people
who absolutely loved it, I think it was a head turner toward the
band. Maybe they thought that the band was absolutely
boring, but learned that weíre not and now they will check us out.
And then there were the few people that wanted us to stay a little
more conservative. One of the things that we really enjoy
about being a band and artists is breaching our horizons and
creating new worlds. Itís challenging and thatís find
because it keeps it interesting for us. And thatís the key
because if it has become boring for us then ultimately it will
become boring for the audience as well. You canít please
everybody. I will say that we had a lot of fun making it.
The greatest thing about the song and the video is that it opened
us up to a new group of people that werenít into us before.
It also gave us a little bit of artistic license and allowed
people to know that we are entitled to do what we want to do and
if youíre not good with that, itís OK. Just give us our fair
shot. Like I said, content wise itís not as shocking as a
lot of stuff out there, but you never know what kind of response
youíre going to get from people.
DB: Youíre current single is
ďImmortalĒ and itís been getting great airplay. You also did
a video for this song as well.
TS: We did the video in Jersey City,
New Jersey. It came out last October. We filmed in
this really old theater called the Landmark Theater. Itís
one of five dream theaters built here in the Ď20s. Itís very
ďBoardwalk EmpireĒ if you will. It really has a very
commanding presence and classic architecture thatís very
traditional, almost stoic. Itís really was a perfect
location for the song. The video has been very well
received. Itís straight up live performance Ė the band
doing what the band does. This theater has been through hell
to just survive so when the property manager asked what song we
were going to do we told him it was a song called, ďImmortal.Ē
His eyes lit up and he was like, ďOh yeah, this is perfect!Ē
because this place has been through it all. This was going
to be a perfect pairing of music to location. So Iím really
proud. I think that between ďStraightjacketĒ and ĒImmortalĒ
you get a really good understanding of the realm of this band and
our imagination. Iím really happy with this video.
Itís straight ahead but the guy who did it, Davo Paul (SevenDust,
Butcher Babies), is a really great editor. So when we shot
it he really knew what he was going for. He really knew what
he needed. All the magic is in the editing and I think he
did a hell of a job.
DB: Itís impressive that we still
have a few old theaters here in the United States that you can
see. You know the Ď30s and Ď40s vibe and all that incredible
architecture. It must be fascinating as a band to walk into
a venue for the first time and discover this old building that has
house so many great voices over the years. Just to be a part
of that must be amazing.
TS: Oh man, Iíll tell you that weíve
played quite a few of them. On the Creed tour in 2012 we
played a lot of these theaters. The tour kicked off at the
Chicago Theater which is a phenomenal place. And up here in
New York we played The Beacon. And speaking of all the
people who have played The Beacon, we took the old school elevator
up to the various floors where the artists' rooms are and the
dressing rooms are. Well, there are signatures on the
elevator. The elevator operator actually encourages people
to sign after they have performed there. I was able to put
my name right between Eddie Vedder and Willie Nelson. It was
crazy! I was just enamored and overwhelmed and honored to
play in these historic places that have hosted these legendary
people that have made an indelible mark on our culture. It
was a great feeling playing that stage. We did two nights
there. It was a humbling experience and also very gratifying
at the same time.
DB: Speaking of legends, I would
like to talk a little ancient history with you. Throughout
the history of a band, irrespective of it being five years or 50,
there are mile markers in which a band may reflect back upon and
acknowledge that that was a significant moment for them.
Years ago you had the opportunity to work with Desmond Child.
Was that just a moment in time for you or was it one of those mile
markers that changed the way you saw music and the business?
TS: It was definitely a landmark
moment for us. As a young talent, getting the nod from one
of the biggest songwriters in the world is epic. For him to
recognize a young talent and say that he wants to give us advice
and spend time helping to push you along the way is a hell of an
accommodation. I learned a lot from watching him work, from
the caliber of talent that would walk through the doors of that
studio. There was a lot of top tier talent from the industry
that would come to him searching for the golden egg. And to
watch him turn in out, day in and day out, sometimes in just an
hoursí worth of time was amazing. He is an extraordinary
talent. But at the same time, working with him I realized
what I didnít want to do. So because of that it was very
important to us at a very early age to understand the level of
greatness that needs to be attained and the different ways to get
There are longer roads that can be taken,
roads less formulaic. We were really young and didnít know
who we were. We knew what we wanted to accomplish, but
didn't know how to go about it. What I did know was that my
idea of a band was a little different than his. He
approached things from somewhat of a different point of view and
as a 19-20 year old kid it was difficult to see that. Now
that we have gotten older and having built this band, you
understand inner band dynamics and politics and how things can be
difficult with personalities. All of these things make being
in a band difficult at times. What doesnít change for me is
the brotherhood. Being in a band is just that, itís like
being in a gang, being in a family. You canít just always
have lines of division just for power. You have to be
willing to be humble and concede your point sometimes for the
greater good of the song, for the greater good of the band.
There has to be compromise.
And what I learned from watching
the world that he was in, dealing with the Jon Bon Joviís and
other artists that were running their bands a certain way, that
wasnít really for me. You can do it that way and have a lot
of success but the music will suffer somewhere along the way.
All of a sudden this all becomes about brand, about having your
name on a piece of merchandise, or churning out a new version of a
prior hit just to put some asses in the seats. I wanted to
always be artistically viable and I think for that to happen you
have to be able to share the vision.
Itís a long road and you wonít always
have the answers. Some people believe that they always have
the answers but I know enough about myself, being a man, that life
is complicated there are times when you need help. The two
guys that I have who have been with me forever, my brother Alex
and Gaurav Bali, we have a brotherhood thatís built on a series of
experiences. We have been there for one another in ways that
some people could never understand. This band is something
that I have invested in emotionally and life sacrifice-wise and
itís was important to me. I really believe that commitment
comes out in the music, especially in this new album. And to
me, thatís very important to hold. People do things
differently. This is the way we did it.
DB: It sounds like youíve been
mining some gold of your own.
TS: Well thank you. Iíve
learned that you have to stay on it. I donít ever want to be
behind the eight-ball ever again. Iíve already started
writing for the next record.
DB: So to bring all the way back
around the tree I have one last question. Tell me about your
TS: This is a great opportunity for
us. This is one they called us about. Weíre going out
with Escape the Fate. They are a band thatís been through a
lot as well. As the smoke is clearing they are one of the
last bands standing of their genre. I like their attitude
and energy. Theyíve got a younger crowd and I think itís
going to be a very unique intersection between our fans and
theirs. Iím really excited to play with those guys.
Itís going to be an awesome show. The convergence of their
energy and ours is going to make an incredible show for the
DB: Thanks for your time today.
Is there anything I missed? Is there anything else you want
to talk about?
TS: I just want to be sure that our fans
know that we are grateful for them. I want to thank the
loyal fans of hard rock and metal that, through everything, are
always there for us. If it werenít for them we wouldnít be
having this conversation. Thank you for believing in us when
we didnít. I just want to be sure that gets said.
I want to thank Taki Sassaris for sharing
his time with DaBelly. ďLocked and LoadedĒ is out now and I
anticipate that Eve To Adam with be touring on it for a while.
Make sure you check this band out live when theyíre in your town.
Also check out the links below!
http://www.3for5ent.com/ http://www.evetoadam.com/ https://www.facebook.com/evetoadam