Interview: "lesser degree" - Evan Sternbach
‘lesser degree’ is so catchy! What is the story behind the song?
Evan: Appreciate that! The original idea was very acoustic and stripped, but once I got into the studio with Steven, quickly we went in a different direction and I was loving it. The song (for me) encapsulates those moments when you find yourself thinking about an ex, past friend, past drama, etc., but realize it’s not affecting you the way it used to. We thought it’d be fun to kind of amp up the tempo and the dancey vibe to show that you’re on the right track of getting over it/them and you’re almost there. Not every breakup song has to be sad and slow lol
What does your songwriting process usually look like?
Evan: My main focus is always lyrics and melody. If a song can sound great just over piano over guitar, great production can only make it better. I’ll usually start with a cool riff or chord progression on guitar and build verses and choruses around that. Sometimes I have song title or lyric idea first and build a story around it. And sometimes, I just find a progression and freestyle over it based on what’s in my head, just letting stuff flow and keeping the good lines.
If you had to pick a favorite from the songs you have released, which one would it be? You can only pick one!
Evan: Overall, I would say my favorite song I’ve put out is halfway. I think the production, the lyrical flow, the aggressive vocals, vocal performance, etc. are really the closest I’ve come yet to my ideal sound and genre moving forward. I love everything I release or I wouldn’t put it out, and lesser degree truly is a really fun pop track that is very honest and authentic and I think clever. And catchy lol. But the song I’m releasing in November may pass up halfway for my top spot. Hopefully I keep replacing my fav song or I’m doing something wrong!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
Evan: Without a doubt, Ed Sheeran’s career and early stuff has been what’s shaped my mindset and musical inspiration to this day. Other pop singer-songwriters like Quinn XCII, Chelsea Cutler, James Arthur, etc. are up there too. Even some old OneRepublic, J. Cole, and more. Anything with great melodies, honest and real lyrics and some flow and I’d love it. I try to stay diverse and listen to as much distinct music as I can to learn more and stay inspired.
What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
Evan: I am a huge Philly sports (and Yankees) fan. I love watching baseball, basketball, football, etc. and going to games in South Philly. I love hitting the gym and working out as well. As I grow into my early to mid twenties, I want to travel as much as possible and explore different parts of the US and the world, and eat some fire food. Marvel/Harry Potter type movies and shows are what I watch more than anything as well.
What are you most looking forward to in terms of your musical career?
Evan: I want to wake up everyday and grab my guitar or head to a studio, instead of putting on a shirt and tie and driving to an office. I want to be able to take care of those who have supported myself and my dreams for years. And I want to create timeless music that I can share with people all over the globe, through the internet and performances in-person. The freedom, the ability to truly do what I love for a living, and steering my own life in the direction I want it to go are some of my biggest motivators.
Interviewed By Kendall Koval