Evan apRoberts aka Breezers Doug Frerichs photo

Today’s chat is with indie folk performer Evan apRoberts who records and performs as Breezers, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, touring sideman on guitar and/or bass and vocals. He is also a visual artist as well as a co-editor/publisher of a magazine on surfing. It is the former category that brings him to Maine’s Portland House Of Music on March 13 where he’ll be opening for Michael Nau. I reached him at his home in the Highland Park area of northeast Los Angeles, California, where he lives with his wife and a newly adopted puppy — he told me that he was sitting on the couch with said dog watching the rain, so I reciprocated by describing what I was experiencing here in Sweden, Maine.

Evan apRoberts aka Breezers Dylan Doren photo

Q: Well, you have rain out your way, we have a bluebird sky and freezing temperatures, but it’s Maine, it’s February … and it’s cold.
Breezers: (Laughter) Yeah, that sounds about right, especially this time of year, but I’m looking forward to visiting Maine for my first time in a few weeks.

Q: So this will be your Maine debut gig, you’re coming into Portland’s House Of Music and, just a heads-up, that’s a foodie city so come hungry!
Breezers: Nice, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve met some other musicians from there when I was doing other tours in the East Coast. I’ve met some really sweet people, different artists who live there, and I’ve been hearing about what a great city it is, so I’m looking forward to playing music there.

Q: Speaking of music, I’ve been going through “Hideaway,” you’re soon-to-be-released album, and I’m curious to know how you would describe what you do musically.
Breezers: Well, for me influences-wise, I really love folk music — I grew up listening to it — I also really love writing. It’s another creative outlet for me. So the written word is very important, lyrics are really important; but also, just how you can do something really simple with chords and words while trying to find something that’s truthful, something that’s like a crystallized version of something that is a truth about our experience. A lot of the songs were written just by me but some of them were written together with my wife, and that’s part of it, too, we’ve been musical collaborators as long as we’ve known each other so she’s a big part of the process, as well, her name is Melissa Castellano.

Q: How did the 12 songs on “Hideaway” come together?
Breezers: Well, the album started with me just recording some things on my phone because I don’t have a computer; then a drummer who I’ve played with a lot, Graeme Gibson, we were on the phone one day and he said, “What have you been doing?” I told him that I’d been demoing some songs on my phone and he said, “Send it over, I want to hear it.” A day or two later he sent it back to me, Graeme’s an engineer, and it had bass and drums and other instruments. So we just started building up an album from there without ever really discussing anything — just like working with Melissa there was just tons of trust involved, letting other people hear for themselves what the songs needed. The other collaborator for it was my friend Michael Nau. I’ve done a lot of playing in Mike’s band for many years now, so he’s the other musician who’s on it; but he was recording all his parts remotely from where he lives in Maryland.

Q: Oh, wow — long distant collaboration or what?!
Breezers: (Laughter) Yeah, and everyone who plays in Mike’s band kind of lives in different states, so just this last week I was playing some shows with his band around Southern California. And that’s who I’ll be opening for on this run of shows on the East Coast.


Q: Now, will he be joining you in your sets?
Breezers: We’ve been talking about it and I think that’ll happen. It’s always a possibility when you spend time together on the road, especially with an opener who’s traveling with the band and, in my case, actually playing in the other band because I’ll play guitar for Mike’s band, too. It’s just something that can happen naturally, especially since Mike recorded on the record with me, a little of that’ll happen (chuckle) … I don’t want to put too much pressure on it, it’ll be cool if it does, but it’s just me presenting the songs, I’m into that, as well. But I have a feeling that something will happen — I think everyone in Mike’s band are a bunch of sweethearts and probably by the time we get up to Maine, we’ll probably do at least one or two songs, maybe with a full band.

Q: So seeing you are the opening act, how do the songs on this new album translate to a solo performance?
Breezers: Well, it’ll basically be pretty much presenting the songs closely to how I wrote them. The musical parts of the songs were all written by me just on one guitar, and on two of the songs Melissa and I wrote lyrics together, so it’ll basically be a real stripped-down version: just the chords and the lyrics. But for me, that’s one of my favorite ways to listen to stuff. It’s a good way to just see what the songs can do on their own without any embellishments.

Q: Is there anything, Evan, that you’d like me to pass on to the folks reading this article, especially seeing this will be your first time in our fair state?
Breezers: Gosh, well, I guess that you could just express that I’m looking forward to it, and it’s definitely an honor to get to go to somewhere new as an artist and come into a community and meet other artists … it’s one of my favorite things. And, like I said before, I’ve met some really great artists who live in Portland and I’m just really excited to see where they’re coming from. I hope people, if they’re interested, will come and check out the show because Michael, who I’m opening for, is definitely one of the best songwriters out there, in my opinion. And I’ll do my best to present some of the songs from “Hideaway” and I’ll definitely be playing some of my older songs, as well.


Lucky Clark, a 2018 “Keeping the Blues Alive” Award winner, has spent more than 50 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at luckyc@myfairpoint.net if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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