The sun’s out at End Of The Road Festival 2019 and Sam Evian and Hannah Cohen have just performed their intimate secret set on the Piano stage, fresh off the tour bus after a long five-hour drive from Manchester. We manage to squeeze in a little chat backstage before their main set at the Tipi tent. The sun is warm on our faces and we’re sat cross-legged on the soft grass, Hannah explains to me what earthing is, there’s a little fire going, and we can hear the festival rumble faintly around us…
TFFT: So this is the last date of your tour, is that correct? How has it been? How was the UK?
Sam: I love coming here, it was really short, we played a week’s worth of shows, or less actually, just kind of in support of coming to End of the Road. In the past, we’ve done longer stretches, the last two times we’ve come for over a week, but yeah, it’s a nice place to come and visit, nice time of year.
TFFT: Any favourite places in the UK that you played?
Sam: London was sold out and that’s my first sold out show in the UK, so that was a really nice good thing to do, and the band played really well.
TFFT: So your latest single was a cover of Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Right Down the Line’. which is great, but what drew you to cover that song?
Sam: Well, I love that song, a lot of people love that song, and it was at the end of the recording session for my last record, and I was just kind of playing around with it and we just ended up recording it cos I had a little tape left, so we just rolled the tape and recorded it and then, I just did it, I dunno, it was a little indulgent but I really wanted the bridge, the middle section of that song is really strange, it’s just kind of left field and it was fun to learn how to sing all those crazy stacks and harmonies that he does. I think it’s a little contested that I would even try it but that’s okay. It was very low-key, I didn’t want to change anything about it, I just wanted to learn how to do those harmonies.
TFFT: And you’ve put your own spin on it with your own voice which is really cool. So you and Hannah are collaborating a lot at the moment, how did that come about?
Sam: Well Hannah came to the studio to sing on my first record in 2016 or something? 15?
Sam: And we became best friends and then ultimately became partners and now we live together and make music and yeah it’s been a journey. Do you have anything to add?
Hannah: We started making music together from that session, I was a huge fan of Sam’s work and I was sort of a fangirl [laughs], no I wasn’t, but I was fanning out when I first met him, that was the first time we ever met, in the studio, which is a kind of cool way to meet. But yeah, just from there we started working together.
TFFT: And you start your tour tomorrow?
Hannah: Yeah, tomorrow’s Birkenhead, I’m excited, I’ve never played in a library before.
TFFT: Ooh a library!
Hannah: It’s called Loud in the Library, maybe there’s no library at all [laughs] but I’ll be very disappointed if there isn’t a library. But yeah I’m excited for these next dates and have the Sam Evian band as my backing band, I feel very fortunate, yeah, that’ll be cool.
TFFT: And do you collaborate on any of Hannah’s material?
Sam: Yeah, together we made Hannah’s record.
Hannah: Yeah Sam produced it.
Sam: I play guitar in her band, and keyboard, stuff like that, so yeah, we’re linked in.
TFFT: So what’s next in the pipeline?
Sam: This is the last show of mine for the year until 2020, until then I’m going to be working on my new record, writing and recording.
TFFT: Very excited to hear it.
Sam: Very excited to make it. [laughs]
TFFT: So you’re not going to be able to stay and enjoy the festival today are you as you have to shoot straight off?
Sam: Yeah, we have an early call tomorrow so we’ll probably stick around for an hour or two and then leave.
TFFT: Who would you have wanted to see if you were to be able to stay at the festival?
Sam: I’m deeply regretting not being able to see Cate le Bon and Cass McCombs who played yesterday, he’s a great friend.
TFFT: You supported him on tour right?
Sam: Yeah we went on a tour together, so I’m sad I couldn’t see him play here.
Hannah: We missed Molly Sarle.
Sam: We missed our friend Molly Sarle.
TFFT: Oh I caught Molly Sarle at the Piano stage, she was on just before you guys were!
Hannah: Oh really? Oh man we just missed it.
TFFT: As soon as she left, about 20 minutes later you guys showed up!
Hannah: No! [laughs]
TFFT: She was great.
Sam: Yeah she’s amazing, I worked on her record as well, her new record, so I was sad to miss her too [laughs] yeah the stars didn’t really align so much in terms of seeing people but, it’s still gonna be fun, we’re excited to play and be here.
TFFT: And I’m very excited to see you guys on the Tipi stage!