Robert Corless and Andrew Saunderson recently sat down with Patrick Davies to do an interview in support of the know thyself ep. See below
The Evil Poor is a project started in 2009 by guitarist Tim Walsh Jr, bassist Andrew Saunderson and frontman Robert Paul Corless. They have just released their long-awaited EP ‘Know Thyself’ through Bandcamp and will spend 2020 unveiling a body of work they recorded over a whole decade.
Tragically guitarist and main writer Tim passed away earlier this year. But determined to continue his legacy, Robert and Andrew sat down to discuss these new releases, giving record labels the finger, and of course their fond memories of their bandmate…
Andrew: “The first lot of demos we recorded was in 2009, then we worked on them for about a year. But we didn’t do a lot the following year. Robert was busy with Gabrielles Wish and Tim had asked me to do some work with Northside. In 2011, Robert had got some offers for the New Order tour though.”
Robert: “There were three shows. We played in Newcastle with New Order, Poison Electric Head, and with Mark Burgess in Manchester.”
Andrew: “At that point the demos we had done were just the three of us and a drum machine and then we got Liam Farr on drums and Jonathon Prestbury on guitar. That was the first live band.
“Then we didn’t do anything for a couple of years. We reconvened in 2015 and in 2016 we wrote some new music. It would have started with a drum idea in the past, but the EP was different because Tim had started using GarageBand – and all the functionality of that means that you can do a lot more.
“Of the six tracks on the EP, all of them came from Tim. They were at varying stages of completion. But some of them were already very structured.”
Robert: “Yeah I think Tim was the one who would start all the ideas off. Me and Andrew would sort of wait for him to bring something to us and we’d go from there. But Tim was such a gentleman with it all. He would never just say ‘this is how it’s played’ – he would suggest things.
“Then we’d come back week after week, and each time there would be more ideas. Then with the EP we got to a stage where I said, ‘shall we put some brass on it?’
“So we got some lads in to do some brass and Voxra Anderson doing backing vocals. It was all recorded at Butterfly music on our 50p computer. Then we approached our friend Simon ‘Ding’ Archer at 6DB Studios in Salford. I think me and Andrew were both away, so we left it with Tim and Ding.”
Andrew: “I went to one of the mastering sessions but Rob didn’t come to either. But we were happy for Tim to go ahead with it. He had a clear idea. His hands were the most capable. And of course Ding was great at what he did. The six songs on the EP probably best capture the music we created over a decade. maybe it’s not that coherent, but it is representative of us as a band.
“We started in early 2016 and it was mastered October of that year. The plan was to release it early 2017. Then Mute Records came and said they were interested. So they came and said ‘hold off and don’t speak to anyone for now’, so we were just sat waiting really.”
Robert: “In the end they got fucked off, because we weren’t prepared to sit and wait. I wasn’t happy hanging on and don’t think any of us were. So in the end we said forget it. It only would have been a minimum of help anyway, so we said fuck you, and here we are doing it ourselves.
“And unfortunately Tim’s not here to do it with us, but it really is his legacy. He oversaw the artwork, all the tracks. We’ve made a concious decison to just get it out.”
Andrew: “Speaking to Tim this year he wanted to release it and concentrate on the Evil Poor. So we’re really only following through on what we were doing anyway.”
Robert: “And then we started on the other EP, which was kind of exactly the same formula – it was only last Christmas. Tim would bring the ideas to us then we would work over them. Tim had really written all the songs.
“So then we got Jack Wakeman in on keys. That’s being mixed in the summer. So it’s ‘Know Thyself’, then we’ve got a demos album, then end of the year we’ll try and get the other EP out.”
Andrew: “There were four sessions we did. ‘Know Thyself’ was 2016. Then we did eight tracks in 2017 and another eight last year. Even though they’re deoms they’re not rough recordings. A lot of time was spent on them. Rob would add brass, Tim would add bits and pieces. I think there’s more than enough to do further releases.”
Robert: “Yeah it’s really just documenting and getting the legacy out there of Tim, and all of us. We had some great times with it in the studio, falling about all over the place. Well I know I was anyway! Half the people I got on there were just people I found down the pub.”
Andrew: “From that legacy point of view, it was a privilege to be in the studio with him. Everyone contributed, but it was a privilege to sit and watch him at work.”
Robert: “He was an enlightened man. It was an honour and a privilege. We were all in the room, just three mates. We were having fun, but it’s more important we’ve come out with this body of work. We’ve been sat on it three years, but now’s the time to put it out.
“We thought about getting a physical group back together, cos we got to work with Jack Wakeman. That cunt can play for fun. And Liam on drums. It’s not technical our shit. But for obvious reasons that’s not going to flower.”
Andrew: “So we’ve self-published the EP through Bandcamp, and there will be some bonus tracks on there too. So they’ll be some of the demos from around that time we did the New Order and Mark Burgess shows.”
Robert: “But then I think after we get that body of work out there, that will be it. There will be no more Evil Poor without Tim. But it’s back to that legacy thing. I think it’ll be cathartic.
“It was such a privilege to be in the studio with Tim because he would just see different things sometimes. He was a genius really.”
The Evil Poor’s new EP ‘Know Thyself’ is available now from Bandcamp.