By: Anand Harsh
We worked tirelessly to stack The Untz Festival lineup with new acts doing something different. In our search through the scene for talented young artists who satisfied our needs for thick grooves and shredding solos, we happened upon Colorado-based Evanoff, who ticks a ton of our boxes.
We're suckers for monster guitar players, and as far as our Phase 2 lineup goes, fans will be hard-pressed to find a stronger technical force on the six-string, not to mention the rest of the outfits chops--which are rock solid.
The band, comprised of JJ Evanoff on guitar, bassist Parker Oberholzer, and drummer Jake Hall, pulls influences from classic rock like any young band. As many musicians will tell you, the sounds of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath form the backbone of any developing band's repertoire.
But where Evanoff differs, is that these three young musicians never let go of those early influences, where others might drift off as they move into new sonic territory. For these talented artists, those classic rock themes are alive and well, even as the trio delves into electronica-fueled soundscapes.
I got a chance to chat with JJ Evanoff about the band's Welcome to Dream Rock tour, bringing the sounds of classic rock into the electronica realm, and what new fans of Evanoff can expect from the band's set at The Untz Festival.
It's been going great! We are living the dream. Almost every single show so far has been totally packed. We have been receiving an incredible response from audiences wherever we go. Last night in Flagstaff was definitely been one of the highlights of the tour so far, along with Durango, Steamboat, and the Boulder Theater of course! Though right now we are experiencing some grueling weather traveling across the southwest on our way to Taos, New Mexico. The long hours on the road are tiring, but the geographical landscape down here is pretty spectacular, and definitely keeps things interesting.
Since your sonic flavor is all about combining classic rock with elements of electronica, and specifically livetronica, what are you guys listening to in the van on these long stretches?
It has definitely been a pretty eclectic mix! Our auxiliary cable broke so we have been limited to my collection of CD’s. There has been some Bonobo, Justice, Elephant Revival, Kasabian, Aphex Twin, Emancipator, and Pink Floyd. Kasabian is definitely the epitome of “electronic rock” in our opinion. Those guys are total badasses.
When you're pulling into these new markets, playing for a lot of people for the very first time, is there a go-to jam that locks in the band and psyches you up, or is always a crowd-pleaser to kick things off?
Usually our opening song is decided based upon what type of crowd we will be playing for that night. For example, last night we were playing a weekly EDM event in Flagstaff, so we opened with “Crossing Bridges,” one of our more electronically based songs. First impressions are always very important when playing to a fresh audience.
Some motherfucking, balls to the walls, rock and roll!!!! But in all seriousness, for anyone who is only familiar with our catalog of music that is online, they might be a bit surprised how hard we rock out live. We really don’t hold back, and let loose in live settings, creating a very raw lively experience. We also do a lot of live mashups and remixes of widely recognized songs, and that always catches the audiences attention. Expect heavy bass, heavy beats, and LOTS of guitar solos.
Are there any acts on The Untz Festival you're particularly excited to see?
All the Colorado homies! There are ton of local Boulder and Denver bands on the lineup that we are friends with, so it's gonna be a big party! But specifically, we are stoked to see Illenium, Yamn, The Werks, and Kalya Scintilla.
You can catch Evanoff, along with some of the best in livetronica like The Werks, Turbo Suit, Yamn, Dynohunter, Greener Grounds, and more at The Untz Festival at Mariposa County Fairgrounds in Mariposa, CA from June 2-4, 2016. Visit www.theuntzfestival.com to grab your tickets!
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