Colorado outfit Evanoff have unveiled their debut release to their legion of fans, and it’s as fresh and versatile as we’d hoped. This album sets itself apart from earlier works though, as the inspiration behind Crowd Control was a very introspective moment experienced by guitarist JJ. Seemingly a journey from chaos to peace, from destruction to rebuilding, Crowd Control takes the listener on an emotional battle through various perspectives of feeling lost to becoming found. The musicianship and range of genres covered in the newest work of Evanoff’s ongoing project ‘Dark Before Dawn’ highlights the group’s ability to tap into multiple musical influences and fuse them into one fluid compilation. The band’s new single is fat and funky, serving as a perfect slice of what to expect from Evanoff.
CYM: The new concept album is based on guitarist JJ’s experience traveling with Syrian refugees on a train ride back in 2015. How long had this idea for the album been brewing when this experience happened? How do you think the album relates musically to the plight suffered by the refugees you met?
EVANOFF: We had been hoping to create a piece of music that was inspired by this at some point, because it was an experience that deeply affected JJ, so the debut of our first EP seemed like the perfect fit. When writing it, we came up with a general storyline for the progression of the EP that had 4 essential steps, each represented by a different song:
(Fight or Flight) The onset of chaos, and the process of making the decision to run and leave everything you know behind.
(Crowd Control) The perspective of the individuals involved in the riots and chaos that took place… Standing up for what they believe as they saw everything they knew fall to the ground.
(Stealing Fire) The journey to enlightenment and freedom as you struggle to find your new life in the world beyond.
(Eyes Wide Open) Finally coming to peace with everything you have gone through. A reflective state of mind, contemplating the struggle you have endured, but acknowledging that you were fortunate enough to escape, and that your whole life lies ahead of you.
CYM: With the new album being officially released in Fall, now you have shows lined up throughout September. How has the crowd reaction been with the new songs?
EVANOFF: The majority of these songs were written during our last extensive east coast tour during the early months of 2017. As we finished these songs on the road, we immediately began to play them live and gauge the response of the audience. This helped us work out the structure of the songs as well as really refine them into a finished product little by little each night we played them. By the end of the tour, these 4 songs were some of the most well received at every single show we played.
CYM: We’re super excited for your show at the Mishawaka with Ghostland Observatory. I lived in Austin for a while and was fortunate to catch them live a ton. How did the billing come about? It’s really a perfect fit for your future bass/Rock sound!
EVANOFF: Thank you! We are extremely excited about the whole three-night run we are doing with them, and the word is they are all close to selling out. We were lucky enough to get in the Boulder theatre date with them because David Weingarden at Z2 has always been a huge supporter of our music, and then our agent Matt Jensen leveraged getting us on the Mishawaka and Belly up shows, simply because the Ghostland team dug our music! We can’t wait to meet them and solidify that connection over this upcoming run, and hopefully, we’ll get to play more with them in the future.
CYM: What can we expect to see from the band this year and early 2018?
EVANOFF: We are about to announce our fall tour actually! We will be doing 3 dates in Arizona, as well as a run through the Midwest hitting Lincoln, Chicago and Lansing, on our way out to tour the east coast for the rest of the duration of October! Early 2018 we plan to release another couple singles and then do a run of shows in all the classic Colorado mountain towns as well usually do. Just gotta keep on the grind!