"A Serendipitous Crossing of Paths"
This track is reminiscent of a Sound Tribe track. Love the transition at minute 2:33… it’s chromatic and bursting with color, authentic and well developed, beautifully built up, with eccentric layers on the melody. Feels like: acceptance, allure, peace, serenity.
What started as a one man production in the summer of 2013 has blossomed into a tenacious trio that integrates meticulous production and dynamic live instrumentation. JJ Evanoff is a mover in the industry with humble beginnings in Denver’s intimate music scene. He has performed at many venues in the past two years but the majority of his following was undoubtedly exposed to JJ’s live experience at Cervantes.
Though many local artists have played Cervantes, few have repeatedly been featured at the venue alongside big name talent. JJ Evanoff Experience has shared the stage at various venues with well known artists including The Magic Beans, Project Aspect, Unlimited Gravity, Zoogma, Sunsquabi, and Cosby Sweater among others, and headlined Cervantes in May of last year.
I met JJ rather unconventionally almost two years ago. At the time, he mentioned he had a music project but didn’t share details. Since then, our paths have crossed on a multitude of occasions as paths often do in the music community. I have been told by several reliable sources that JJ Evanoff Experience live performance is a must see and fortunately, the band is co-headlining Boulder’s Fox Theater this Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with JJ. The exclusive interview is below, check it out!
What is JJ Evanoff Experience’s mission?
“Our goal is to revive classic rock n’ roll through the incorporation of modern dance music, and create an uplifting musical experience that allows peoples minds to transcend the chaotic patterns of everyday life.”
Talk about your upcoming show. Will you be performing any new music?
“What is unique about our performances is that every show is drastically different, and is dependent on the vibe and audience that is surrounding us that night. In the last few shows we have been incorporating many more improvisational jams, that have now turned into fully structured songs, so we will be playing a few of those as well as our new Single “Breathe Out” which is set to be released the day after our fox show on April 30th!”
You’ve played with Zoogma before, how did that relationship start?
“Interestingly enough, opening up for Zoogma last year at the Fox, was the first chance I ever got to play at the Fox Theatre. Its so amazing to me how far things have come from that day. There were such cool guys when I met them for the first time, and I got a chance to talk to Brock, Zoogma’s lead guitar player while I was at Electric Forest last summer. It blows my mind that I am getting the chance to Co-headline with a band as big as them. I am so unbelievable grateful.”
When you became a 3 piece in August 2014, what were the challenges and also synergies discovered in doing so?
“Well our drummer, BK Kahn, is an incredibly talented jazz drummer, who had never played jam music before joining this project… so it took a little bit for him to get comfortable with the genre. But once he started listening to bands like STS9 and Lotus, and really began to understand the direction I was trying to take the music, everything took off faster than I could have ever expected!
Having other musicians I respect to bounce ideas off of and help develop the songs I write, takes the music to a whole other level than I could do on my own. The types of musical ideas that are created when we get together and jam is something no individual could do on their own. I had always wanted to be part of a jam-band, and my DJ project was just an avenue to find the right musicians to play with… and it totally worked!!”
If you had unlimited resources, describe the show you would throw.
“Oh wow, that is a tough question… But I feel like it would be something along the lines of what string cheese and STS9 do at Hornings Hideout in Oregon. A small intimate festival in a stunningly beautiful location, with a small lineup made up of similar artists and artists I admire musically. That being said, putting on a festival like Electric Forest would be life changing.”
How do you categorize your music?
“Its hard putting a label on what we do, but I’d say it is along the lines of “Instrumental Rock Fusion” or “dance rock”. But its easiest to go under the genre of “Livetronica” like the bands we admire such as STS9 or Lotus. The difference is, that we incorporate more classic rock influences, and when we play live, will often improvise songs based off of old Jimi Hendrix jams, or stuff that sounds like The Who, without incorporating any electronic elements.”
What makes the JJ Evanoff Experience, an experience?
“The goal of our performances is to take the listener on a “journey”, persay. It’s not just another rock concert, we want it to be a transcendental, or spiritual experience. Another element that adds to this are the live improvisation video Djing done by “the 4th band member” Danny Shanahan. The visuals he produces are based on the thematic elements of the music we are playing. That being said, because it is “live”, whenever we start to improvise, he starts to improvise.”
How has growing up in Boulder influenced your music? How has it influenced the way you view the role of music in society?
“Well my first song I produced for this project, is a song called “Creekside Vibrations”. The song was inspired literally by meditating next to Boulder Creek one day and losing myself in the sounds and positive vibrations all around me. The song is supposed to play the perfect soundtrack to hanging out with your friends in the beautiful nature we have surrounding us in Boulder, Colorado.
In addition, being in such close proximity to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, has had such an immense impact on me as a musician. If I had not seen the shows I’ve seen there, I would not be where I am today.”
Big thanks to JJ Evanoff Experience for letting BFS get to know the band! Check out his music on SoundCloud, and be sure to see their show this Wednesday at the Fox. Also be on the look out for their upcoming track, "Breathe Out" set to release the day after the show!
Written by: Haley Midzor
*Photos are not property of Bass Feeds the Soul