Ménage à Sabre
We first met Sam and Toast many years ago the first time WMAHMO went through Chico. Sam was a friend of a friend who said he’d set up a house show with his rap group (the show this picture was taken at). After hearing their acoustic band Bear Puns, I realized that these guys were loaded with raw talent and enthusiasm for creating much like ourselves. Fast forward a couple years and Sam and Toast are great pals of ours, and still making wonderful tunes under the name Ménage a Sabre. I hit them with a couple questions to give me (and the world?) a little more insight behind their debut EP, PIZZA.
– To those who don’t know- who are you guys and wtf does your band name mean?
My name is Sam Evans and I write the songs, play the guitar, and some ukulele. Toast is the brains. He plays all other instruments and produces all of the songs. We first started jamming under the name Pascual Duarte with our close friend Humphrey Orlando in 2010. We’ve had a couple projects (Bear Puns, Stay Golden) and random recordings since then, but Ménage is the first time that its just been Toast and I. Ménage à Sabre literally translates to household of sabers, but is really a reference to Kylo Ren’s lightsaber in the new Star Wars. My obsession with science fiction, space, dystopian societies, and the post-apocalypse runs deep.
– How did PIZZA come together? What’s the story behind it?
PIZZA came together when Toast and I finally had time to hang out and record. I live in Virginia now and Toast lives in the Bay Area. Winter break gave us enough time to chill, record, and eat pizza. The recording process was super fun, and I guess our whole idea was not to take anything too seriously. If anything sounded good we kept it. The name for the album came up when our pizza arrived while recording Optimistic Animals and I yelled PIZZA! We kept it on the track and later Toast changed the doorbell ringing into a rad melodica solo.
– Toast, off the top of your head, can you list all the instruments you played on this record? How frequently do you record other bands?
I played electric and acoustic guitar, uke, cajon and other percussion, melodica (aka “mouth piano” –Jon Batiste), synthesizer/sampler instruments, electric bass, drums, and backing vocals. I don’t get to record other bands as much as I’d like to…I teach drums and that takes up a lot of my time and gets me paid. But I have a few friends I record with when we get together like Sam, Kevin of Bear Puns, Humphrey Orlando, and some friends I make hip-hop with. I always have a few recording projects going on either with friends or just my own stuff. I’d love to work with more musicians if I get the opportunity. It’s always fun to collaborate with different artists.
– Sam, how do you write a song? How did these ones form?
Slowly. I’ll be playing guitar and think of some vocals that I like. Then, I’ll record it on my phone. The chances of me returning to that recording are slim to none. Usually I’ll listen to it and think, “fuck, that’s lame”, but sometimes I will actually sit down and expand on the idea. Complete songs are few and far between. These songs formed mostly from songs I had previously written/recorded for Group Picture that got revamped for PIZZA.
– Who did the PIZZA cover art? It’s dope.
Thanks! It was me (Sam). I’ve been having a lot of fun doodling lately. I’d be happy to draw anything for anyone if they send us a message on bandcamp.
– To me, this EP feels like a build up to an epic Ménage full-length album. Please tell me this is true? What do you guys have going on in the future?
We almost called this album PIZZA vol.1, but then realized that was too much pressure. It’s really just a matter of us being in the same place at the same time. There is no doubt that we will collaborate on some sort of musical adventure in the future, but I don’t think we can promise a Ménage full length at this point.