Alt Revue Interview - Evan Sites - 'What, Me Worry?'

(Photo Credit Matt Albany) 

Recently I had the opportunity to chat with my old friend and classmate, Evan Sites, about his new record 'What, Me Worry?' out Friday 8/16. Evan and I met my freshman year of college, when I accidentally sat next to him on the first day of our African American Studies class. The teacher asked us what brought us to take the class, and Evan responded “I’m just here for the breadth of knowledge” and I couldn’t help but laugh. During our more recent conversation, we  were both fresh out of work, he in New York City and myself here in Columbus. He was sipping a tall glass of gin-and-something and I was subtly leaning out of view of the camera to stuff french fries in my mouth. This is a conversation with my friend. 

Francis: Okay, this is your chance to plug this record, and to tell me a little bit about yourself, and what’s happening with this record.

Evan: Okay, what is there to know about me? I don’t think there’s much. This is the hardest part, everything else is easy.

F: Yea, hardest question first.

E: I don’t know, what is there to say? What is- what is there to be explained about myself? I don’t know that stuff. I’m just a nice young man, I live in brooklyn, and I am an accountant for bands. What else do I do. That's it?

F: What do you do in your free time?

E: I just play music, and then I drink alcohol. 

F: So that's what you do in your free time?

E: That's what I do in my free time, I read books, and I sit in parks. That's pretty much all. I sit on public transportation a lot. I think that's most of my free time, is public transportation

F: Got it! So what's going on with this record on Friday?

E: It’s five songs. Um, they’re all about anxiety. I think it’s an anxiety that comes with having to make decisions that impact more than they used to. You know, when you're a kid and you make decisions, none of your- none of those decisions matter, or they're, like, very day to day. It’s like, ‘I'm not gonna hang out with this person today, I'm not going to do this, i’m not gonna do that.” where when you're older you’re like “alright well i need to move now’ or i have to go make, uh, bigger decisions. So, it's a lot of, like, it's about anxiety and, like, a lot of existential things. Yea, i think that's about it. I think it’s just a fear of- not even a fear, but like, the uncertainty of you twenty-somethings. I think everybody goes through that. You don’t really know what you're doing or why you're doing it, but you can't stay at home anymore. 

F: Alright, so what’s a Midwest boy like you doing in the big city?

E: I tried to live in Ohio after college, and I couldn't find a job because i decided to go to school to be a sound guy, and the only people that have sound jobs in Ohio are old men who have had them for 100 years. So i would get up at, like, 10:30, and i would chug a pot of coffee, and I would just sit on and apply for jobs I would never get. And then finally after, like, three months of that i was like ‘try and do this.’ You know, it’s gonna get harder and harder to live in New York, the older you get, especially moving there. So, it's like, if you’re going to do it, you're going to do it now. And I think that a lot of people move because they’re running from something, and that a lot of people move there because there is something missing, and I think that my problem was that I have way too much energy. And I think that, as much as i love doing nothing, Ohio is a lot of nothing. But it's good! It’s not a bad thing! But, while I'm young, I should go live somewhere where it’s loud all the time. 

F: Do you think your Midwest roots have influenced this album?

E: Yeah, i mean, some of the songs started in Athens, Ohio. so i have very specific moments of certain songs- i mean, only two of the songs were written back then, or at least started. But I think it is always there, I think I'm getting a little, uh, more cynical, but I try to stay as self-aware of that, and I still smile at strangers and help people on the street if they ask me for help. And, wave, and stuff, which i don't think most New Yorkers do. So I think that there's self-awareness that I try to keep as Ohio-y. I don't know, there's some hopefulness that New Yorkers don’t have,that Ohioans definitely do. New Yorkers are very ‘this is what is today, this is what is tomorrow.” Ohioans are very, not dramatic, but they are very hopeful, they're very excitable. They get excited about things. ‘Oh, this weekend we’re gonna go to the brewery, that's so nice! So exciting!’ where New Yorkers are like ‘that's what i’m doing this weekend, what are you doing this weekend?’ it’s very matter-of-fact, so I like to think that i try to stay weird with the hopeful in my music, but otherwise I don't know.

F: Do you think there's any New York City influences in your music?