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Interview with Amanda Lyberg of Eva Under Fire

January 28, 2022

Paul: I'm joined here today with Amanda Lyberg aka Eva Marie from Eva Under Fire. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. How are you doing today?

Amanda: Yeah, good, man. Thank you so much for having me.

Paul: Thanks for joining us. So how have things been? I've seen that you’ve been on the road lately with Skillet and my friends in Adelitas Way.

Amanda: Yeah, yeah, that was a super fun experience. It was so fun. Because, you know, just coming out of the gate really, for us, that was our first tour of that size that we had been on professionally. We went out previously with BuckCherry and that was also a great run. Their crew was wonderful. And everybody was so kind, you know, the bands are wonderful. So, we had we had a really great time.  It's just really fun for us to get on the road with bands that we've been fans of for so long and now we get to meet all these people, and they're really cool, so it's a great time. We’re out on the road right now with Theory which has been an awesome time as well. 

Paul: How does it feel being back out on the road this time around?  Are you getting more fans that are recognizing you and your music the second time around? 

Amanda: So, we have fans that say, you know, we saw you with Skillet, and we wanted to come back for the theory dates, you know, we just loved your guys’ performance. It's exciting to tell them, yeah by the way, we're also releasing new music, you know, and they're super pumped about the new single that we released, Unstoppable. So, it's really, it's cool that it's finally happening, you know, we put a lot of time and work into the album, and then you know, of course, this very strange, crazy COVID world hit. So, it's been a long time that we've been just really chomping at the bit to get going. So, it's fun that it's actually here.

Paul: I'm glad to see bands finally back on road and music happening again. I mean, that was a strange year last year. It seems like a lot of the concerts that I’m going to are starting to fill back up and it’s starting to get back to normal somewhat, so I’m excited for that.

Amanda: Yeah, it looks like a rock show. I was telling a couple friends of ours, you know, because they were like, how's it going? Are people really freaked out? And I'm like, you know, it's obviously something to be concerned about, but it's, you know, people are still packing into these venues, and they're loving it, man, they want to get back to the rock show. And I've always told people, I feel like music, rock music specifically, is about live performance, being in a rock venue, at rock concert, it's just something very different about the atmosphere, you know, so I feel it’s like that with any genre of music of course, but specifically for rock bands, man, that's where people feel like home, you know? So, it's great to be back.

Paul: A lot of people, they need music. I mean it helps and heals people which I’m sure is something that you know, being a clinical psychologist on top of being a rock star. I mean, people need that outlet. Have you noticed this with people coming back to concerts?  Are there people telling you all how much the music helps them deal with everything?

Amanda: I hear so much from the stage after we play like a meaningful song, you know, something like Heroin(e), or our song, The Strong. It just gets so much of a response from the crowd. You know, I feel like they almost cheer louder after songs like that. Because it does, I think it's exactly what you're talking about. It means so much to them.

Paul: I'm glad that you mentioned The Strong, that's my favorite song by your group. I love Heroin(e) as well, but The Strong is just an amazing song and I love the video for it. It really, it makes you feel, it touches you.

Amanda: I appreciate that. Thank you. Yeah, we really wanted to align ourselves with powerful meanings. I think that the human experience is just really vast, you know, saying you have people that will get hyped over a song that's just a party track and, you know, everybody's loving it. The vibe is great, you know, but I also think that specifically for rock music, you know, when you don't have any words and you're just heartbroken, music speaks, and I think that a lot of fans also enjoy just the cathartic ability that music has. Also, you know, to express painful things, negative things, sad, you know, angry all that stuff. You just get it out and I love that at rock shows, which is why I'm so glad that they're back. Other people can validate and normalize that for each other. You know, yeah man, I felt that, you know, I've been through something like that, you know, I hope that you're all right, and it's just it's such a vibe.

Paul: Tell me about the process for your songs. It seems like a lot of your songs have that kind of message. Is that something that you wanted to do is advocate for that kind of stuff, like, people recovering, dealing with bullying, hard times and stuff like that.

Amanda: You know, that’s an interesting question, because no, really, when I go to my music, and my lyricism, it’s like my therapy, you know, I write more for me, I think in a lot of moments, maybe to encourage others, but that's always kind of the secondary thing for me. I really do enjoy music being the way that I have therapy, you know, and then I do therapy, also, to be there for you know, other people in the clinical sense, and that's where I feel like I can give back. But it has been a cool experience to see that when I'm open and honest in my lyricism with music, that other people do benefit from it, as well. So, it's just sort of a happy accident.

Paul: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey? You started in music at a young age, you started writing songs when you were six, singing when you were 11, got tied into doing battle of the bands with some of your friends? What took you from music into Clinical Psychology?

Amanda: Yeah, I mean, you couldn't shut me up as a kid. I was just always singing and doing something that was musical. I enjoyed the performance side, too, right. So, I got into some community theater and stuff as a kid, but, you know, my parents, although they loved my dream and they fostered in me to continue that dream, you know, they also had a little bit of dose of realism in there too right. Like, oh, sure, kiddo. I'm sure you could make it big but like, also, maybe you have a backup plan. You know? So, I said, okay, well, I want something that I do for my career to be about meaningful connection, you know, I can do that through music and I can also do that through being a psychologist. So that was kind of where that started, for me, was just wanting to be able to sit with people in a meaningful way. When I'm in therapy, I get to do that one on one. And when I'm performing, I get to do that for maybe thousands.

Paul:  I think that's great. I mean, seems like you have this energy, you want to help people and being able to do that through both things, helping people one on one and through music, that's a great thing, that’s a dream of yours that came true, you get to do it through both of your careers.

Amanda: You know, it's so funny, you mentioned that because I literally thought the universe was laughing at me because I graduated with my master's degree, and like, two months later, we were flown out to the label. And I thought, wow, are you kidding? I thought I was going to have to pick and now I get to do both. This is crazy.

Paul: How has it been on this journey?  From being on your own and sending in your tape to Better Noise and then all of this happening for you all?

Amanda: I mean, it’s a really cool kind of story that I feel like, doesn't happen too much anymore. A bunch of us that were kids growing up in the local rock scene, eventually all got to play together in the same project and loved it. So, we got with some other friends of ours and said, okay, how do we do this for real? We started trying to introduce ourselves in the local community, and trying to branch out and do this for real with marketing and everything. We sent an unsolicited email to the label, and it worked. That just doesn't happen anymore. You know, it's like it back in the old days when people would play like, oh, man, you know, listen to my music and I'll bring you doughnuts, or whatever, but, you know, it worked for us. I was never really a musician, just on my own. I had written songs, mostly, lyrical composition and things I have in my head, because I have one skill up there, I can only sing. Don't play. So, it took me hanging out with friends of mine that did play to be like, oh, you can help me translate this, you can help me bring this into the real world, not just in my head. So, its music speak, you know, that's all I got is a bunch of sounds in my head and luckily, my friends can try to figure it out with me.

Paul: That speaks to how impactful your music is where you sent in the unsolicited email, and it worked out for you. I mean, that talks about how great and how much of a connection people have with your music.

Amanda: Thank you. Thank you, I appreciate that.

Paul: It’s great to see you all getting out there doing more stuff.  I saw you’re getting into acting now, coming out in The Retaliators. It’s great to see you in that and to see your bands name up there on the sound track with a lot of the Rock heavy weights.  Names like Tommy Lee, Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and now Eva Under Fire up there too. How does that make you feel to see that?

Amanda: It's incredible. I keep sharing this with people. I'm like, you guys don't realize but we're on a soundtrack with people like Five Finger Death Punch. They’re on the same soundtrack. It's crazy, you know, and speaking of happy accidents, this is yet another one that just worked out. So originally, they had someone else that they were looking at to play this role in the retaliators. We were brand new to the label, but there was a lot of label cameos. And so, it was it sort of fit the agenda and I just so happened to be available, right and this other person that they wanted for this role was not available. So, I'll do it, and it worked out wonderfully. I just I loved all the actors that were involved, and the crew that put this whole thing together, the production, the directing, it was just brilliant. I mean I've been saying from the beginning, this is going to be another like, cult following like Evil Dead type film. It's that good. So, I was very excited to be part of it. I'm super proud of everybody involved.

Paul: Can you talk to us about your new album coming out? Like, what to expect from it? What is your favorite song that's going to be on the album?

Amanda: I was really excited when we released Comatose, because that's one of my favorites. Just the story itself of how it all came together. Because I think in the studio that was probably the most organic, the track just flowed right from the start, you know, came in with a riff, and the way that we, aligned the track. It just was beautiful the way that it all came together, it was easy, you know, sometimes you get those songs that just fall in your lap, and that was one of them, and it was powerful. It shared kind of an aggressive side of my story, too. I think Heroin(e) showed a sad, somber tone. You know, the same story on this one but it was more of the anger and the hurt that comes from going through, you know, some things like that with families that have addiction problems. So, it's very powerful story for me, too. So, I think that's why it’s probably one of my favorites. But the whole album was really interesting. We started with some songs we had, and adding to it to make a full record, we were like, wow, this has a big scope of different things that these songs are about, but I caught on to some themes. And that was where the title of the album came from. Because each one songs on that record has a theme of either love, drugs, or misery. So, Love Drugs, and Misery is coming out March 4, we just announced that and the pre orders are still relevant. So if you haven’t ordered it yet you need to because it's gonna be super cool. I'm so excited. Like I said, we've worked on this thing for a really long time and we are super confident that all these songs are just bangers. I can't wait to see what everybody thinks because I love it.

Paul: Can you tell us how fans can keep in touch with you, what social platforms you're most active on that people can go on and look and follow to see what's happening with you all. When you're releasing stuff and to engage with.

Amanda: Yeah, we've got our website. That's probably the first step, for updates on tours and that but we're over Facebook and Instagram. I have a tick tock so you can come see my shenanigans on tick tock.

Paul: Good. Well, I don't want to take up much more of your time. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us and I can't wait to see what comes down the road for you guys. I'm really excited to watch your career and see how far you go.

Amanda: Awesome you rock. Thank you so much, man. Take care.

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