The Ultimate Jam Night Interviews with Evol Walks
The place to be every Tuesday is Ultimate Jam Night at the world famous Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip. Not only will you see many of your favorite musicians playing their favorite rock and roll songs, you may just discover a brand new band to thoroughly be enraptured by – such as Hollywood’s own Evol Walks!
Featuring a dynamic collective of musicians, the membership within Evol Walks includes Leah Martin-Brown on lead vocals, CJ Tywoniak on lead guitar, Dre DiMura on rhythm guitar, Ian Ross on bass (who is also in John 5) and Jimmy Lee on drums. Prior to the raging opening set at Ultimate Jam Night #71, Highwire Daze caught up with Evol Walks backstage at the Whisky to find out more about this band on the rise ready to break into the big leagues in an epic way…
We’re here with Evol Walks at The Whiskey for UJN #71. Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in the band.
Leah: I’m Leah and I sing and I do lots of music as well.
Dre: I’m Dre and I play guitar and I sing.
Jimmy: I’m Jimmy, the drummer. I just bash shit.
Ian: I’m Ian, I play bass and I cook a mean omelette.
CJ: I’m CJ and I play the guitar amongst other things with strings that I do not have to utilize a bow for.
How many times have you played UJN or is this your first time?
Leah: Ah, this is us popping our Ultimate Jam cherry, so we’re very excited. We also haven’t played The Whisky before. We normally hang out at The Viper Room so we’re very excited tonight. This is a big night for us.
For people who are missing this, what can one expect from your show?
Leah: It’s gonna be short. It’s gonna feel like you’re being punched in the face, but it’s gonna be really pleasant. Like, I’m enjoying this! It’ll be insanely energetic. [laughs]
Where are you guys from and what is your music scene like there?
Leah: I’m originally from the gold coast of Australia. Our music scene is developing there. It’s more like a folk / acoustic scene. There is an underground metal scene but not so much what we’re doing. I moved to America at the beginning of 2014 and started Evol Walks and now we’re a Hollywood based band.
What are your overall impressions of the Hollywood music scene?
Leah: I think it’s so strong. There’s something to do every single night of the week, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. With anything, there’s like 10 shows a night and I feel, especially in the rock scene, everyone is very supportive of each other. It’s a very close knit family scene, if you can get in there. I do like the Hollywood scene, it’s good vibes.
Have you ever pet or ran over a Kangaroo?
Leah: I have pet one and have seen a lot – I nearly ran over one because it jumped in front of my car at like, nearly 150 mph but I did not hit it. I have pet one, lots of times.
Let’s talk about some of your songs, select two songs and tell me what inspired the lyrics for you.
Leah: I’m gonna choose songs we’re doing tonight, that narrows it down a bit. I’ll do fun ones because doing something like “The Otherside” is a bit too complicated and I don’t want to go there. “Black and Blue,” for example, it’s like a party song and when I drink a lot, I bruise super easily. You can breathe on me and I’ll wake up looking like someone beat the shit out of me. So that one is about partying and waking up covered in bruises. It doesn’t sound exciting, but I thought it was great at the time. [laughs]
Then “Stiletto” is a new song that we worked on, CJ and I wrote that one together a little while ago and finally put it into the set. We worked on it with the whole band. That one, I was really mad at my ex-boyfriend so I write it like I was going to go kill him, with a stiletto. It was a gun originally but then it turned into a stiletto because I thought that was more brutal. Then I googled pictures and I thought I was glad I went with the stiletto, it’s also slightly more politically correct. [laughs]
CJ: It’s not a true story, yet.
Leah: I have thrown a stiletto at said ex-boyfriend. So, it could have been a true story.
CJ: Like any horror movie, mildly true.
Leah: He deserved it.
Jimmy: You mean a shoe though, not an actual –
Leah: I mean a stiletto. Something that makes me 6’1″ instead of 5’3″.
If Evol Walks could open for any band either now or from the past, who and why?
Leah: Janis Joplin, or the original lineup of Black Sabbath. Because Janis Joplin and Black Sabbath are both fucking badass. I love Janis. As a vocalist, I think she’s phenomenal. Black Sabbath, their riffs and the way that they put their music together. They kind of, they created heavy music as it is today. That would be cool.
Dre: Maiden. That was my first show when I was 13. 8th grade, my dad took me in New Jersey.
Ian: We’re gonna have to go with something weird. One of my favorite bands, a band from Japan started in the 80s called Anthem. They toured here a few times with Racer X and bands like that. They’re just a great metal / hard rock band. Very melodic. Kind of close to what we do, when they’re on their softer side I suppose.
CJ: I’ll have to second Metallica. I remember exactly when and where I was when I listened to Master of Puppets for the first time which has been an incredibly important piece of music for me ever since and likewise, incredibly important to this day. And King Diamond. Would have love to open for some King Diamond.
Ian, what has it been like working with John 5 and how did you become involved with his band?
Ian: It’s been absolutely fantastic working with with that crew. They’re fantastic musicians and wonderful people to be around. It’s a very low-key sort of thing. I actually got that through an audition through Musicians Institute that I went to while I was already part of Evol Walks. We were in the studio doing our EP at the time. I had been working with these guys for a few months. It’s all been really wonderful. I work with a bunch of great people, couldn’t have it any better right now.
When can we expect any new recordings from Evol Walks?
Leah: We’re in the studio right now just writing a bunch of new music. We just got taken over by a new manager, so he’s got us writing a lot of stuff right now. We hope to have some new tracks released by the end of the year. We are introducing new tracks into our live show as of this week, tonight!
Thank you to Lisa Woodard and Ultimate Jam Night for setting up this interview. Be sure to check out Ultimate Jam Night every Tuesday at the world famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip!
(Interview by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)