Fine Points is a band out of San Francisco. The band recently played a stretch of West Coast dates to support Take Shape being out. Evan took some time to answers our questions about the band, the SF music scene, and more.
THow did Fine Points initially start?
Evan: Matt and I have spent the last ten years writing, recording, and touring with Sleepy Sun. We started Fine Points on our off time because we just can’t get enough, ya know? I wanted this band to have an expansive sound that relied on pop sensibilities.
What’s it like playing music in a city like San Francisco on a regular basis?
Evan: I love playing music with my friends here in the bay. It’s my favorite activity. I was born in SF and still think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are incredible rooms to play in and an awesomely varied selection of music to check out. That being said, the bay area has turned into a tech-driven wasteland with no middle class. There are gigantic homeless encampments that share the same block with multi-million dollar high rise condominiums. The camaraderie amongst artists and musicians is still here but lots of talented gals and guys have been priced out to more affordable areas of the country. This is unfortunate since the city used to be a hub for creativity and self-expression.
Do you have a favorite local spot?
Evan: La Casita in East Oakland. Best Chilaquiles in the game. Cash only! If we’re talking music venues, The Chapel is my favorite place to play.
Let’s talk about Take Shape now. How did you end up working with Jason Carmer on it?
Evan: Jason contacted us on ye’ ol internet and asked if we’d like to record a song at his ‘Outland Studios’ in Berkeley. That song ended up being “The Fang.” We really liked how it sounded and ended up doin’ the whole damn thing at his joint.
When the band starts working on songs, what is the process like? Do you all work together or does it start with one person and then everyone else is brought in on it?
Evan: All of the songs start with either Matt or myself creating the basic structure. If Matt brings in a song, I will make suggestions and add lyrics to it. If I bring in a song, it usually has words on there already and Matt adds parts and helps piece it together. Then Josh (drums) and Owen (bass/keys) throw their respective magical potions into the pot. If we’re lucky, we’ll get our talented friends to play or sing on recordings, too.
Which song do you feel is the most personal on the album and why?
Evan: “The Fang” has a lot of gravity to it. It was written as a dedication to a pal of mine who passed away soon after the tune was written and recorded. A song is a nice way to remember.
How would you describe your sound to people who have yet to listen to the band? Where do you draw your influences from?
Evan: Narco pop. Dream gaze. We got a lot of comparisons to Britpop bands on this last west coast tour which I love: “You guys sound like a British band without the accent.” I love all things Creation records (MBV, Oasis, P Scream, Jam Chain) as well as The Cure and The Verve. The record also draws from stuff like Lee Hazlewood’s saccharine underground and Phil Spector’s wall of sound. Country music (i.e. Waylon, Merle, George J., Buck, Patsy, and Glen Campbell) is big for me, too. I look to Brian Wilson for vocal harmony lessons. All the classics!
What is the band up to for the rest of 2018?
Evan: I love how the live band is sounding at the moment. I’d like to play the new tunes out as much as we can. Sell some records? We have a sweet Velvet Underground cover that we want to put out this year. Velvets forever.
Where is the best place to keep up with the band?
Evan: We got some more west coast dates lined up in September. Other than that, you’ll find us floating on a swan-shaped inflatable pool toy somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Also, www.finepointsmusic.com and pretty much all of the crap social media websites that are available to mankind.