Who are you – could you introduce yourself and all of the band members?
Hey! We are Evestus – I am Ott Evestus, founder and frontman of the band, our current live line-up is complete with our drummer Tanya, guitarist Simo and HK who plays keys.
How did you meet each other, and when and why did you form this band?
I make the music on my own but I didn’t want to be the laptop guy on stage so I formed a live band to make the music sound and feel more real and I’ve never thought to go back to solo.
How would you describe your musical style, and how did this style develop? What are your musical roots and influences?
I like to call it Industrial Rock because I like the way that sounds! I write the music without limiting myself in terms of sounds or instruments, however, I do like to use beautiful melodies and harmonies mixed with harsh droning of guitars and distorted beats – the result tends to land somewhere between Ministry, Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.
Was it a particular incident or song that inspired you to become a musician?
Not really – music was just my way out from my life. Every day I got home from school where I was ridiculed, bullied and singled out, I put on Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails or Korn and they helped me through the pain and hate that accumulated that day. And so the years went – now I make music to comfort and support other kids who have it like I did.
In which bands have you played before? Do you all still have other side projects?
I’ve played drums in several bands and was a frontman in a nu-metal band Solwaig, but I really needed to be in full creative control, so I created EVESTUS.
How do you write your music and lyrics, is it teamwork?
The lyrics are about what I’ve been through and how I see the world around me. The songs are very personal so I also write the music myself to capture the atmosphere. When I take the songs to the rehearsal room, then we will re-mix them with the band to create the live version so the songs may sound quite a bit different at live shows than they do on record. I think this way the performance is more real and present because all the band members can put themselves in the songs not just play what I give them.
Is there a particular philosophy behind your works, or where do you get your inspiration from?
If there is anything then it is the freedom to be yourself, the freedom to hate as much as love, the freedom to not tolerate everything the society might demand. We are all human and we are not very beautiful inside. But if we keep hiding our darker side then I believe we are creating bigger problems in the long run.
How did you come up with the band name – is there a story behind it?
The name is actually my family name and I started using it because that’s what people called me and it is unique enough to stand out. But I believe the meaning of the name will be what I will make for it by my own actions. For example I think Smashing Pumpkins is an unbelievably retarded name, but there is no-one who knows this band that thinks they’re a joke 😀
What is it like in your country to be a Rock / Metal band (playing the particular style you are playing)?
It’s shit. The country is small and so are the scenes. But I knew that from the start and I right then started considering myself as an international artist rather than a local one. Internet opened up the world so there’s no need to worry about country borders these days. Most of our shows in the last years have been outside of Estonia.
What are your goals, dreams, what do you want to achieve with your music?
There are a lot of people out there who feel the way I do, had to go through the same shit growing up or are living it right now – There are people out there who are not alright inside. They are broken by this world and they need to know they are not alone. I want to reach these people and help in bringing them together. I want to keep the Industrial Music alive and inspire kids and just be an example to them that there is another way of doing this – not everyone has to follow the glee club – you can do your own music your own way without following anyone’s rules and it can be amazing. There has to be somebody actively fighting against the mainstream shit. Just because today the mainstream is so diverse doesn’t mean that it has any more purpose or depth than it did twenty years ago.
What are you doing ”in real life”, when you are not making music?
EVESTUS is my real life doing. Besides that I work at RoundSound Studio – it’s the biggest and the best recording studio in Tallinn where bands can live in and record an album within a week without leaving the place. It’s amazing the people that come through there – we’ve even had Finnish bands as big as Korpiklaani recording there and all of Metsatöll records are recorded with us as well.
Are you looking for a record company or would you prefer to stay in the DoItYourself mode?
I just want to write and perform my music. I hate people, I hate business, I hate accounting. If a label can save me from all the things I hate – I wouldn’t mind giving them half of my royalties.
What should an ideal record company do for you?
They would kick my ass so I’d get records done by deadlines and help me release, distribute and promote them.
What are your live shows like? What´s the perfect venue/show for you?
We’ve played gala shows as a nine-piece including two percussionists and a cello quartet and we’ve toured as a three-piece in shady little clubs and let me tell you – the perfect venue is a packed venue!
Do you have a weird /absurd story to tell, e.g. about mishaps at a gig/tour?
Well, last year we were touring in Russia with MINISTRY and after the last show together I was hanging at their backstage, done all the hugs and kisses, said my big goodbye to all and stepped out of the room… into the fkn backstage toilet. It was right next to the door leading out of the backstage. So I took a deep breath and stepped back out and everyone was like – ”you already done? Cuz it looked like you were really going to go for it with the grand exit and all!”
If you could freely choose a band to tour with, who would it be, and why?
I’ve been lucky enough to have toured with Ministry and Youth Code – I’d love to share the stage with Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson of course but when you’re on tour with somebody then it’s more important what they’re like the 23 hours a day they’re not on stage, so I guess it would be guaranteed good times with Die Antwoord for example 😀
The invention/ innovation you would still need in your life, and why?
Time machine? So I could go back and NOT fuck up all these things in my life.. but then I’d probably never end up becoming an artist.
What are your plans in the (near) future?
The same as always – take over the world.
I’m working with producer Ade Fenton (Gary Numan) on the new Evestus material so it’s really exciting time for me, but I won’t reveal anything more on this now.
Bandwebsite photos: Grete “Stitch” Laus