UTG INTERVIEW: Everlost Discusses His New EP, ‘The Hardest Things To Say’

Everlost, the solo project of Orlando, Florida’s Jared Kay, wrote and recorded his debut EP, entitled The Hardest Things To Say, just this past summer. His inaugural effort was released in September and has steadily been gaining traction with fans of Something Corporate, Yellowcard and the vast majority of the Warped Tour scene.

We had the chance to speak with Kay about the formation of his project, the details of his debut EP, and what he has in store for the future as his solo efforts continue to evolve into his next release.

Follow us through the jump to get the scoop from Everlost.

Hi, Jared. When did you first find yourself interested in getting involved with music and what was it that initially influenced you to do so?

I have always enjoyed music but it really struck me to be a musician when I was 13. I remember listening to bands like Sum 41, Breaking Benjamin, Yellowcard, Green Day, and Avenged Sevenfold at the time. It was the way these musicians captured their deepest thoughts and life-changing experiences that inspired me to be a musician. I saw music as a way to express myself and I couldn’t have been more excited to get started.

And since then, what have been some of the biggest milestones for you as a musician up until this point? Any moments that are particularly memorable or that you find yourself the most proud of?

Looking back I have done some things I’d consider to be a milestone to me personally. Learning how to play five instruments, understanding what it took to write a full song, learning how to act in the music industry, and most importantly getting to the point where I can be my own band. I don’t want that to come off in the wrong way, because I loved playing in bands with friends but I’m so proud I was able to pull off putting out my own music. It’s been a personal goal of mine for a long time.

Apart from those who you already mentioned, who are some bands that have been the most influential to you in the way you write and the way your sound has developed over time?

There are so many bands I could give credit to for influencing me. Some of them are The Dear Hunter, Relient K, Jack’s Mannequin, Number One Gun, and Howie Day. Each of these artists hold a sound that can’t easily be compared to another band. However, what really makes these bands so influential to me is their lyrics. The heart and meaning these musicians put into their music is truly something to be inspired by. It’s because of them that I grew a desire to inspire others. I want my music to inspire people to express what they feel and pursue what they love.

In regards to the new EP, we’ll start with the artwork. It’s got some great imagery. How do you feel the cover art represents the material on the album?

When getting the album artwork made I wanted it to be something that represented the meaning of the whole EP. Each song off the EP represents an obstacle we all have faced that we consider impossible to overcome. The weather patterns symbolize the different emotional states we go through when facing those obstacles. The child represents how we tend to feel small and helpless when facing something we can’t seem to control. The growing intensity of the storm reflects how we slowly get pushed to our breaking point. The sunrise is shown at the end to symbolize inner peace and content with our lives and problems it contains. I depicted the boy looking out into the sunrise to show a sense of enlightenment, that he has gone through his dark days and broke through to find happiness. The whole EP is about breaking through our obstacles, seeing a sunrise at the end of our darkest storms.

everlost cover

And you play all the instruments on the EP, right? What’s the first instrument you learned to play and which would you consider yourself the best at playing?

I had a good friend of mine come in a give me a hand with some of the guitar parts, but yes, other than that I recorded everything else including the drums, bass, piano, and vocals. My first instrument was the piano which I started at the age of seven. I would say I’m best at singing with drums and piano following close behind. I’m not the greatest guitarist or bassist but I plan to change that by the time I start tracking the next CD.

How long have these songs been in the making?

Most of the songs on the EP were written a few months before heading into the studio. “All We Need” was actually written when I was 18 years old. It was originally just a piano song that I scrapped. When I was planning out the track list I came across the lyrics and decided to rewrite it, full band. I have to say it’s probably my favorite song on the EP now.

You mentioned how the artwork relates to the themes found on the EP, but where does the inspiration come from for these songs for you personally?

Each song was written about something I experienced from my past; something that I considered to be too difficult to accept. I titled the EP The Hardest Things To Say because I couldn’t muster the strength to admit how lost and hurt I felt from these issues. The songs talk about lost love, betrayal, internal turmoil, self worth and other struggles that seem impossible to overcome. The inspiration for these songs come from my darkest days, days I didn’t think I’d make it through. I really wanted this EP to mean something to whoever listened to it. I want them to feel empowered and inspired.

You have a backing band for when you play live obviously. Has playing with those guys made you want to expand this at all or do you plan to keep it as a solo project?

I’m still on the fence whether or not I will make Everlost a full band rather than a solo project. When I am joined by my friends on stage they all bring something new to my music. Seeing them add their own personal touch really shows me how beneficial it could be to add more people to the group. However, I do really enjoy working on all the music myself and I couldn’t be happier saying that I wrote it all. Maybe in the future I’ll make it a full band but until then, I’ll be writing all the music.

The EP’s been out for nearly two months at this point. What have you been working on since then? Have any new material in the works already?

Since the EP’s release I’ve been working hard to spread the word and establish a larger fan base. With the help of some very talented people in the industry the EP has gotten a lot of great press. It’s all very exciting! I have also started writing the next CD. I plan to head back into the studio in the near future but until then I will release some small things like new acoustic songs or cover videos.

Beyond that, what do you have in store for the rest of the year and moving in to 2015? Any plans you can reveal?

At the moment I’ve just been focusing on writing new music, something that will really show musical growth from The Hardest Things To Say. I have a few other things in the works but we’ll have to see if those things happen before the end of 2014.

To close, I’ll ask you a couple random questions for fun. What was the first concert you ever went to and what do you remember the most about it?

Oh, man. My first concert was 30 Seconds To Mars and Cobra Starship at The Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando when I was 14 years old. A few things I recall from the concert was hearing Cobra Starship play “Snakes On A Plane” (which was just plain awesome), getting my first band shirt which I wore religiously for a few months, and the way 30 Seconds To Mars presented themselves. This concert was supporting the release of their second studio album, A Beautiful Lie. I remember them walking on stage with a huge banner dropped behind them that depicted an army of men in riot masks and trench coats. I was slightly convinced the band was the leader of a cult. Nonetheless, the concert was amazing and I started going to every concert I could get to.

I saw that you’re in the running to open for Weezer and Fall Out Boy which is obviously a really big deal. If you could be on any (currently active) 5-band tour package of your choosing, who would the other 4 bands be?

I am! I’m in the running to open The Big Orlando Show featuring Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Young The Giant and many more. If I was able to pick four other bands I could tour with it’d have to be Panic! At The Disco, Relient K, Yellowcard, and The Dear Hunter. This would probably be my dream tour.

Brian Leak
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