Editor’s Note: We absolutely love covering indie artists that are trying to make a name for themselves. In this interview, Evan(The Values) sits down with Schmave in this interview that could be described as “the world getting to know Schmave”. Schmave can be found at the following locations:
First of all, what does Schmave mean?
Schmave was a nickname from college. My name is Avery, so some people call me Ave, and from there some people started calling me Schmave.
You recently released a split cassette with Winnebago Vacation, why did you decided to release them on cassette?
Even if you don’t listen to cassettes, they’re still really aesthetically appealing. I usually just stream/download music, but I still like collecting cassettes from some of my favorite bands.
[Listen to the split here: https://schmavemusic.bandcamp.com/album/winnebago-vacation-schmave-split-ep]
There are a lot of really interesting things happening with your drum tracks on ‘Amber Tiles’ and ‘In The Gut,’ how did you record the drum parts for these two songs?
Thanks! I recorded all the other instruments first and then I recorded individual drum hits and made beats out of them. It was nice to try something different from my first album, Painted Post, on which I live-recorded drums first and then layered all the other instruments.
This music feels very confessional, almost as if I’m hearing you tell me a secret or read from your diary. Can you tell the story behind ‘In the Gut’?
“In the Gut’ isn’t about anyone in particular, it’s more so just about a failed relationship. In the song I suggest that if the other person isn’t getting along with me, maybe we should try again in the future. My lyrics “when you’ve cut off your sleeves” are kind of a play on the idiom “to wear something on your sleeve,” which means to expose your true self. I kind of viewed someone cutting off their sleeves as them changing. Followed with “but maybe you kept a hint of me,” those two lines kind of mean when you’ve changed but not so much that we have nothing in common anymore.
What’s your writing process like? Do your lyrics come first or does the music?
It’s pretty random. Sometimes I’ll hear someone say something that sounds cool so I’ll write some lyrics inspired by it. But then I may not use those lyrics to a song for a year or two. Other times I write melodies or chords and the lyrics are written to the chords. The whole thing is a constant back and forth of trying ideas to see what fits with each other.
What were some of your biggest influences for the songs on the ep?
‘Amber Tiles’ has a lot of jazz chords/harmonies, which probably bled over from my other project with my father. We go by Wire & Wood, and we play jazz standards together on acoustic guitars. I’m not sure what influenced the rhythm section of that Amber Tiles. I wrote ‘In the Gut’ after listening to a lot of Bad Books, and the guitar/bass riff at the end kind of reminds me of Cake, who I’ve listened to a lot in the past.
What was the recording process like? How involved were you in the mixing of these songs?
I use recording and mixing as part of my writing process. I sometimes won’t have certain parts to a song until I record, mix, and listen to the other parts first. Like for Amber Tiles, I didn’t have the bass or drums until after the guitars and vocal ideas were recorded. Every instrument is layered individually in my home studio/bedroom.
I write/record/mix the songs by myself, but I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic group of New Paltz musicians in the band.
What’s next for Schmave?
I’m doing light gigging this summer while working and recording another album. Planning to release it in early 2019 followed by some touring. Still playing some great shows this summer and fall though, including Saturday, June 2nd at The Footlight in Queens with Huck, Nicholas John, and Hannah Lee Thompson; and a really cool show on Saturday, July 7th at The Catskill Brewery in Livingston Manor, NY with The Nude Party, Guerilla Toss, and ZZZwalk.
In the meantime, fans can check out his music video for “Hand Washed Clothing” below:
Photo Credit: Gillian Hammond