Posted By McClain Johnson ~ 23rd October 2016
Through the Roots is a California-based band. They are playing The Bottleneck October 27th. Lead singer and guitarist Evan Hawkins recently discussed how he became interested in reggae, his songwriting approach and the beginnings of Through the Roots.
Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
I did come from a musical family, my father was a musician, he played guitar and bass for ?Marvin Gaye and other Motown acts in his day. My brother was a singer, so I guess I just found my abilities naturally.
What was your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory was spending countless hours at my best friend’s house playing all of the instruments that his father had collected. I think that is really where I found my obsession with playing them.
What was the first album you bought?
I honestly can’t remember, but it was probably Hanson or Offspring Americana or something.
What first got you interested in reggae?
My mom used to play reggae for me around the house when I was very young. At that young age I really found a love for the grooves and easy listening.
What do you remember most about your first time onstage?
I just knew that was where I belonged. I never felt insanely nervous or anything. The stage is my comfort zone.
How did Through ?the Roots first get started?
Started writing songs in my first and second year of college. I had a close friend that influenced me who passed away, and I wrote a song for him, “man down.” Once I found that people were digging the music, I got some guys together and we started putting more music together and playing shows.
How does your creative process work when songwriting?
Normally I just like to be in a quiet place with a good vibe. I normally make the music first and then find something to write about that fits the mood.
How did “Bear With Me” come together?
Eric Rachmany and I came up with the riddim for the song in 2013 on the “Give Thanks” tour. The song sat untouched and was revisited when I first toured solo with them on the “Count Me In Tour.” Eric came down to San Diego and we finished it in the studio together.
What have been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to overcome in your career?
I would say every day is a new obstacle, none bigger than the other. In this industry you have to learn to adapt, while maintaining the grind. We’ve had our bus burn down, switch our members, tour for countless years not making a dime. Starting a band is no joke. However, it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever been a part of. We are very fortunate to have this outlet.
What advice would you give to musicians just starting out?
Never give up, even when it seems impossible. You’re hardest day, might make someone’s greatest day.