Evet Socrates- Biography

 

Evet Socrates is a Los Angeles based musician, artist, poet, animator, inventor, and film maker.

Evet Socrates has been creating and recording music since an early age, encouraged by his parents, talented in music and art. Early on he was exposed to New Wave and Neo-Classical Metal and his interest in guitar playing surged with an all-encompassing vigor. Throughout his career, Evet has strived to maintain a balance between ‘tonality and technique’, and create not just songs, but works of art.
“I’ve always tried to go just a little further with the songs that I write, usually by going in unique directions with my riffs” Evet says. “I have many ways of writing songs, and it seems there’s always something weird in there that sometimes throws people off. But, if they give it a chance, people will start to hear the many levels with which I try to resonate, and feel they’ve made a discovery onto something new.”

His interests include astronomy, science fiction/fantasy art, computer animation, old vintage film noir, and classic literature.

Evet has striven to continually expand his horizons and draw upon any source that may yield new creative ideas and approaches including world music from the East such as India, Europe, Arabia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Bali, crossing cultural norms and genres by using such instruments, scales, and forms of those various cultures in his  compositions. Evet has long studied to get a fundamental grasp on such music so as to respectfully integrate and not just flash it out somewhere as a quick affectation. "I always felt a need to go beyond the norm, so progressing to more exotic sounds was appealing. I love the Arabian Nights tales and the Adventures of Sinbad as in the Charles Schneer/Ray Harrihausen films. I was exposed to the Hindus by some Hari Krishnas when I was 6. And then the soundtrack to Cosmos in 1979 really opened my ears to the likes of Vangelis and Tomita, and music from around the world. What would we have done without Cosmos?"

He respectfully cites some of his most influential bands: "Without a doubt Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Big Hat, A Flock of Seagulls, Peter Murphy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Tones on Tail, Bauhaus, Thomas Dolby, Gary Numan, Marc Almond, and Concrete Blonde were the big ones; but I can't forget of course Duran Duran, Love and Rockets, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys, Nik Kershaw, Tears For Fears, Adam Ant, The Fixx... virtually any band who appeared on MTV's "120 Minutes". Vangelis and Tomita too. I liked all that stuff... it was creative and colourful.. they played instruments but weren't afraid to incorporate electronics; and of course their videos were awesome which is what started MTV in the first place. Those bands helped shape my taste for atmosphere, hooks, lyrics, and effects. But they are only a part of my spectrum; I also of course have my guitar influences who include Jazz, Fusion, Neoclassical, and Flamenco players. Allan Holdsworth- amazing tone and cinematic approaches; Shawn Lane- we had a similar outlook. I quickly picked up his licks including some stuff people thought were untranscribable; I have remastered his solo albums and bootleg tapes. My favorite Neoclassical players include Tony MacAlpine, Jason Becker, Joe Satriani (I love his first album... his tone was so organic, and the fluidity of expression amazing. Plus he incorporated both live and programmed percussion, a lot of it is very danceable and influenced me greatly), Yngwie of course. I hate when people have said he has no feeling. They should listen to the first solo of Icarus Dream Suite. Also Richie Kotzen, Ron Thal, Eric Johnson, Robert Fripp... Greg Howe is a big one; I learned a lot from his creative tapping. As a matter of fact that whole era was alive with excitement and creativity, it was so exciting to get the new Guitar magazine and learn the new licks. And players came up with new techniques and transcriptions. Classically I would say Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Debussy, Ravel, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Holst; also soundtrack composers Miklos Rosa, Bernard Herrman, John Williams, and the like. Electronically speaking I would say Dieselboy. Digweed, and Photek, as well as Kraftwerk, Delerium, Talvin Singh, Steve Roach, and Bill Laswell.

Evet also is an accomplished film maker, with over 50 short films and music videos available on Youtube. "I love experimental cinema. I love the juxtaposition of abstract images to music. I get hypnotized and fall into a groove. That's why After Effects is so great; you can create layers of images all with different opacities and blending options. I used to be accused of going over the top... but I learned a lot in art school since about composition and color theory. So when I went back to Astrolux for the restoration, I was able to improve on it considerably.

"I'd like to finally get some backing to do stuff on a large scale, like all these things could be. See what I've done on my own; imagine what I could do with a real deal..."

Interview: Ensemblage

Q: How would you describe or define you music or genre?  Who and what were your creative influences, musical or otherwise? 

A: If I am asked to describe my music, I say what seems to be a good statement for the purpose, but it often  seems a general statement falls short, and pop music being what it is, I may seem to be an oddity, playing rock guitar along with dance and drum n' bass rhythms.  I have stayed true to my influences and vision, so to some people it may seem to be a little dated because of any lack of context... but New Wave is still new to me. I seem to cross barriers others don't comprehend until they actually see me in action.

 

Q: Many of your albums feature artwork that is mystical or of a religious nature; what are the creative influences? Is the artwork on your albums all your original work?  You seem to use a lot of vivid imagery and colors in the graphics and artwork of your albums; what is the rationale behind this?

A: As a child growing up, I always looked for something deeper. Early on I was introduced to Einstein and the Rig Veda, and related artwork and charts, so I thought everyone knew about that stuff and would be open-minded enough to be interested in creations so influenced. My parents were creative and supportive and didn't limit what I studied. I must admit if it wasn't for the show Cosmos growing up, it wouldn't have been the same for me. Comic books as well played a major part, with stories of other worlds, times, dimensions, and religions. I spent countless hours trying to capture the cosmic feelings of a confused child in my drawings and music. I believe art should resonate on many levels, not be limited by the prejudices and naiveté of an imposed normalicy of any present society.

 

How To Smash The Box

Evet's Guide for Breaking Out of the Box

I wanted to offer some ideas for musicians seeking to attain higher levels of expression. Hopefully I can pass on my over 500 songs worth of experience, and help people understand where I am coming from, and to help aspiring artists overcome comfort zones and invoke new heights of creativity and productivity. Things to be covered will be:
Voice, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Synths, Sampling;
Overdubs, harmonies, chords, dynamics, execution, performance;
Lyrics, mixing, arranging, theory;
Winamp Visuals;
Music of the World

Voice: Where is it one's voice should come from? The throat? Chest? Diaphragm? Answer... the entire body! To get the most out a performance, feel it with your body... express yourself as though dancing vocally.
Vibrato should come from deep below, and through the back of the throat to the surface. Exaggerate inflections dynamically and purposefully. Keywords: control, diaphragm, whole body, vibrato, pitch, power, inflections, dynamics, emotion, each part a separate performance, harmonies, counterpoint, low, med, high, knowing one's range, balance, breathing
Really feel the meaning- release energy from the entire body Follow chord changes with your voice; augment them Find other singers with a similar voice/range to practice alongside. Guitar:
Widen scope, find your vision, basic interval shapes with open strings (open string chords), 2 note per string octave shapes.
Look beyond the first four chords and pentatonic scales, of having to think things have to be blues-based. Learn rhythmic inflections and grooves from all the styles- Reggae, Funk, Spanish Tuba Music, Swing/Big Bands, Indian Tablas and Ragas, Punk, New Wave, Bulgarian Choir Music, Byzantine Church Organ Music, Polka, Slavic Dances; find and discover new things you can resonate with. The key is to have an open attitude, and not "change the channel" when something new comes on.

Winamp: Milkdrop Visualizations
Take your listening to a new level- become visually and emotionally absorbed in real-time images that pulsate to the music, imagine sand dunes, stormy seas, fractal bliss, journeys through 3d Mandelbrot sets, and other exotic worlds.
This gives you a chance to totally devote your attention to the listening experience, and the visuals are known to help produce Alpha brainwaves, the state of floating creativity. Look for extra presets on the web. Suggested configuration settings are: Time between presets: 60, Add Random Time: 60, Blend preset: 9, User Solicited: 1, and check disable hard cuts. The secret is to let each preset evolve with the music, and see how it interacts with it.
www.winamp.com

Music of the World
The entire planet is a global jukebox, with Rock music being only one page. Go to your local library and browse through the world music section. Good bands to start with that are exotic but still with a "Rock" edge would be: Cocteau Twins (of course), Dead Can Dance, Vangelis, Delirium, Bel Canto, Le Mystere Voix Bulgares, Bill Laswell/Material, Makyo, Muslimgauze, Natacha Atlas, Prem Joshua, Sakamoto, Japan, Talvin Singh, Sheila Chandra, Shankar, Cornershop, Xmal Deutchland, Yoko Ueno; plus the music of Egypt, India, the Middle East, China, Polynesia, Bali, Japan, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, Scandinavia, Spain, Mexico, Greece, and all other exotic places you can find!
Choose from this mixture ideas and points of reference to add to your own vocabulary. To stand out from the crowd, we must each endeavor to provide something unique, with our own spin on it you might say. The more elements you have in your "pot" the better tasting the meal will be!

Box Breakers PDF

Evet's Top 10 Favorite Guitarists

In no particular order:

Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins)- "Pink Orange Red", "Carolyn's Fingers" What can I say about this guy? His groundbreaking use of effects perfectly suited the nature of the band, it may look like the guy is not playing anything, but the sounds..!

Paul Reynolds (A Flock  of Seagulls)- "Space Age Love Song", "The More You Live"
Great echoed tones, more melody than power chords, innovative textures, timeless...

Bill Nelson- "No Time Says the Clock" "The Real Adventure" Innovative and intellectual, his groundbreaking work with Be-Bop Deluxe is underrated to say the least.

Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love and Rockets)- "Passion of Lovers" "Bela Lugosi's Dead" Haunting and original use of effects, to create richly textured landscapes for Murphy's dark vibe.

Steve Stevens (Billy Idol, others)- "Eyes Without a Face", "White Wedding" His rich textures and catchy hooks set new standards for craftsmanship.

Jim Mankey (Concrete Blonde)- "The Sky is a Poisonous Garden" "Caroline" Great soulful textures and Hendrix renditions.

Nik Kershaw- "Roses" "Easy" This Brit rocker had great tones and jazzy guitar riffs in a richly layered Rock context.

Paul Dean (Loverboy)- "When It's Over", "Lucky Ones" A Marshall, Fender, and Gibson guy, great tasty tones

The Edge (U2)- "Gloria" "Bullet In Blue Sky" An influence on a lot of us, his rich textures and way of filling out arrangements is respected around the globe.

Marco Pirroni (Adam Ant)- "Stand and Deliver" "Goody Two Shoes" Great ear for melody and classic tones

Also: Any Siouxsie and the Banshees guitarist (John McGeogh, Jon Klein, Robert Smith, with others)

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OZIMA Page

Evet Remasters

Evet's Bandcamp

Evet's Reverbnation

Lace and Steel Video

Blue Dream Video

Pink Orange Red

Evet's YT Channel

The Grim Shredder: Toccata in D Minor

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