Interview: Eves Karydas (AUS) talks VANFEST, synaesthesia and working on her new album.

Eves Karydas has been taking the Australian indie-pop world by storm since re-emerging on to the scene in 2017. In the past year alone, she’s dropped her debut studio album summerskin, supported the likes of Dua Lipa and Cub Sport, and garnered national and international praise for tracks such as “Damn Loyal”, “Couch” and “Further Than The Planes Fly”. She’s now in the thick of creating her follow-up studio album and took some time out to fill us in!


Hey Eves Karydas, how are you? Where are you right now?

I am in LA.

What are you doing there? Is it a writing session?

Yeah, I arrived here about three days ago and it’s just started what will be a month-long writing trip.

That’s so exciting! A lot of new music coming out of you soon then.

Hopefully, if I get better!

You’re sick right now? That’s terrible! That can’t be helpful!

I literally woke up this morning with a cold. Very frustrating.

Far out! Let’s talk about your music and 2019 for you. You’ve had a super busy 2019 after releasing summerskin – you kicked it off with Falls Festival, you opened for George Ezra, you played on MTV’s TRL, and then you completed your own headlining tour – what was that experience like?

My tour was probably I’d have to say one of the highlights of my career so far. I’ve done small tours before but that one was a national tour and it just really… I don’t know how to say it without sounding like a wanker! It was just incredibly validating seeing how many people showed up. The fact that it sold out is just mind-blowing.

Absolutely! And what was it like playing in Cairns, because you did a hometown gig as well?

That was so nice, that was probably one of those moments where it really hit me the most because the venue I was playing in is kind of the Botanical Gardens and I used to busk outside of that venue when I was fourteen or thirteen, so it was just one of those moments where I was able to sort of compare and contrast how far I’ve come and where I am now. There were a couple of moments on stage where I was trying to hold back tears, hearing people singing words back – it was a really surreal experience.

I can’t imagine what it would be like… I’m a Brissy girl myself and I go to so many gigs at the Entertainment Centre and I imagine playing on that stage after watching so many acts perform, it would be very surreal. One of those pinch-me-moments.

I read that you have synaesthesia – is that right? Can you tell me about that? Is it a real thing or is this an Internet lie?

No, I have synaesthesia! Everyone wants to know about it – it’s not really that interesting. It’s just, I guess it’s so normal to me. It’s like you associate colour with numbers and letters and it can also be associated with music. I have it with music and I have it with numbers and letters, but some people get it with weird things like taste can make them see a colour and vice versa. It’s just a cross-sensory stimulation, that’s what it is.

Does it influence the music you write do you find? Like do you think, “This song looks rather rubbish”?

It used to, it doesn’t really any more. I think maybe in subtle ways like I’ll gravitate towards songs that in my mind feel like a colour that represents me, if that makes sense. It’s so bullshit, but it’s like everyone has colours they like and maybe I like fire-engine red, but I don’t like hot pink magenta. Some things sound one, some things sound the other and I naturally gravitate towards things that feel like me and an authentic version of me.

What colour do you reckon summerskin is? Does it identify with a singular colour or is it overarching?

Sounds like I’m really out of colours, but I’d say it’s like a cross between royal blue and an orange.

Ooh that’s very complimentary! Two different ends of the spectrum.
I’ve chatted to you a few times in the past and I mention them every time we talk, but you’re basically the adopted fifth member of Cub Sport, in my opinion. Could we expect a sneaky collab with them any time soon? A real homage to Brisbane indie-pop royalty?

I mean maybe, I am working on my second album right now.

If there was a collab in the future, that would be incredible. I’m going to push for this to happen every time I speak to either of you guys because I think that would be an insane collaboration.

I would love that, yeah! If we could find time in our schedules because we’re so criss-crossed together at the moment…

Yeah exactly, you’re both so busy. I want to talk to you about VANFEST coming up in May! Do you enjoy playing the festival circuit?

Yeah! I’ve never really done a festival circuit extensively. I did Falls and that was probably the first time I had done it.

How does it differ from doing your headlining show?

Well headline shows are just so liberating because the space is yours and you can do whatever you want with it. Whereas in the festival dynamic, you sort of have to change your set a little bit and people are there to party I think more than they are to see one specific artist. So that’s cool too, it’s a whole different experience performing to that sort of audience.

I guess it’s like what you were saying before how you have an audience yelling your songs back at you, but at a festival, this is where you can attract an audience who might have never heard you before.

Yeah, and we’ll see them in regional New South Wales.

Right, the middle of nowhere! But that’ll be fun though – a good regional festival goes well because people have made the trip out there and want to make the most of it. Is there someone on the VANFEST line-up you’re most excited to see?

Probably Methyl Ethyl.

Oh yeah, I’ve never seen them live!

Yeah, neither have I! But I know what day I’m playing but I don’t know who else is playing on that same day. It may have been released already but if it has, I’m not aware of it.

I don’t think it has. I don’t think the set times are up yet, but there are some really good people on the bill like Ruel and Mallrat and Broods – should be a sweet day, well sweet weekend.

I’d like to see Ruel as well.

Did you see him at Falls?

His set times were coinciding with mine a lot of the time, so I’d always see him around the dressing room.

Maybe this time! So, what does the rest of 2019 hold for you? I see you’ll be opening Jack River soon.

Yep! So, I’m doing that then I don’t know. I’m dedicating the next six to twelve months on getting a good start on the next album. Hopefully I’ll have some new music out around the third or fourth quarter of the year and I don’t know… It all kind of hangs on what I can come up with.

In the next month? Is this crunch time?

I wouldn’t say it’s ‘crunch-time’ because I’ve got plenty of time, really. But I have some amazing opportunities over the next month, so I’m just super excited about how it turns out.

I’m very excited, I can’t wait for the end of the year to see what you’ve been working on then! It’ll be the grand reveal! Thanks so much for chatting with me Eves, I’ll let you get back to working hard and enjoy the LA weather – is it really hot and sunny as I’d imagine?

No. It’s actually cloudy and cold. LA’s letting me down!

That’s terrible, where are you drawing inspiration from then?! Well, feel better and I’ll chat to you again when all of your new music comes out!

Thank you, nice to talk to you.


Eves Karydas is playing VANFEST in Forbes, Central West NSW over 10-11 May 2019. For more information and tickets, head HERE.

Tait McGregor