Interview: Nevaris

It’s not often I share dub music, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover New York artist Nevaris and his new song, Dub Sol. It definitely belongs within the dub genre, yet it’s also got a slew of other genres and styles thrown in for good measure, making for a fantastic tune. You can also check it out at the end of this interview!

Review by Jane Howkins

Photo by Michael Black

You released an album called Reverberations. What can you tell us about it?

Reverberations is an instrumental album that I created with Bill Laswell and a great lineup of musicians that includes DJ Logic, Lockatron, Will Bernard, Peter Apfelbaum and Matt Dickey. It’s a follow up to two other albums we put out under the band name Loud Apartment. This is my favorite one.

How has the reception to the album been so far, and where can the album be purchased?

The reception has been very positive so far, which I appreciate. It’s available to purchase directly through bandcamp and most digital music outlets. The CD is also available in many music stores which is a first for me in terms of distribution. It’s satisfying to see physical copies circulating out there in stores, especially internationally.

You’re also a visual artist. How do you balance everything?

There’s a great relationship between music and visual art. I’m always listening to music when I am working on visual art. And then I am able to incorporate my visual artwork into my music, like the cover artwork for Reverberations. It’s tough to balance everything in terms of time. That’s the hardest part, because there is never enough time. That’s my greatest struggle, but any serious artist is struggling in terms of time. Especially if you have to take on other creative work to make money to support your primary work. That’s the problem that so many of us are trying to solve. But so long as I am moving forward, I am content.

Your music has a dub vibe. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I started listening to dub a long time ago because of a roommate of mine. It was working with Bill Laswell that really got me into creating dub-based music as an artist. He’s been involved with so many iconic dub records. We had a dub based song on System Breakdown called Dub Enough. We had four of them on New Future. When we went to work on Reverberations, we started with the idea of creating a project with dub as the focus of the whole project. And Bill is clear that dub is what he wants to work on. And working with someone like Bill, it only makes sense to work on what he is most interested in. So that was a clear influence. So it has been a part of a natural progression that happened organically. But a lot of other elements crept into the music as well. We let it go where it needed to go.

In terms of listening, I keep going back in time. I’ve been listening to the greats like Fela, Mongo Santamaria, Lee Perry and Ray Barretto. Going way back and listening to Chano Pozo. I think the further back, I go the more inspired I am. You have to keep going back to the roots and then back to the present as well. And I check in with my friends and what they are working on. We support and inspire each other in terms of what is happening now especially in the more underground music scene.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

We did a recording of the material from Reverberations live in the studio at the end of May. We had nine musicians all playing together live. We had nine GoPro cameras running. So there is a lot of content that will come out of that. There was a great vibe in the room and I’m excited that all of that was documented. Normally, when the really good stuff is happening, there is no one recording. There will be some audio and visual coming out of that for sure. Other than that, I am writing new music and excited to get back into the studio to start working on new material soon.

You’re based in New York. How is the local music scene faring at the moment where you are?

Well, things are definitely coming back to life after the pandemic but there are some great clubs that have closed. And things have been really tough for musicians that are still hurting because of the pandemic. And the studio that is my home base is definitely under threat and has been for a while. And some of the musicians that I am closest to have been through a really difficult time. But things are coming back in some way,s and in other ways still aren’t back to where they were. There’s been some great shows happening though. I’m living further away now after the pandemic, so I am doing a lot of traveling back and forth. I’m interested in expanding into other cities and traveling with music a lot more.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

I don’t and I wish I did. If anyone wants to help line that up, please be in touch. Eventually it will happen.

Any last words for the fans?

Stay tuned for music soon. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but in a certain way I am just getting started.