“I’m sorry, ma’am, but we can’t seem to locate you. It appears you are in the middle of nowhere. Can you call back when you’re in a more populated area?”
ARGH! I forgot that OnStar can’t find me here. Leaving bed for the first time in four days was already frazzling me, and I hadn’t even left the garage. I watched The Compound grow smaller in my mirror and thought about how I wasn’t bound to it anymore. But I’m not returning to my old life. I’ve decided to become a nomad for a while, using this place as a safety house- part to keep tabs on my dad, and part to try to do some things that have only existed in the wildest corners of my imagination. Because if the answers are blowing in the wind, then I’ll go wherever the wind takes me.
Time to jump down the rabbit hole.
1.5 hours, 2 Evile albums, and 1 Red Bull later, I was parking near the White Rabbit. For some reason I had never made it here before, though I’d been hearing about it since I was in high school. As I stepped out of my car, two guys loitering in the parking lot look up and one decides to speak. “Hey what’s cool around here….I’m from California.” I let him know that I have no clue, I just moved here. “From where?” San Francisco. “I’m from Sacramento! Hey- do you smoke weed….because last time I was here, I got some really bad stuff…but this time I brought some from California!” I shrugged my shoulders, commended him on his planning skills, and proceeded on to the venue.
Perching on a picnic table, I eased back into the routine of foursquare/twitter show duties as I waited for Ol Drake, guitarist for Evile. Earlier this year (though it seems like a lifetime ago) I interviewed Evile, and we’ve kept in touch since then. I have the utmost respect for this band…beyond being such hardworking, nice guys, they really understand all the extra added value things bands have to do to succeed nowadays. I mean, if a couple days pass by and I don’t come across the name ‘Evile’ on twitter, facebook, tumblr, youtube, an Earache press release, or something else, then I might think something is wrong.
My conversation with Ol revealed that we’ve both been through a series of unfortunate events lately. While mine sound more like a country song: my dog died, my 93 year old grandmother was held up at gunpoint, my mom died, and then I got strep throat…he likened the beginning of Evile’s three month U.S. tour to Spinal Tap. Long story short, there was a closed highway, traffic, missed flight, long passport line, another missed flight, missed connection, van trouble, tire trouble, and two missed shows. But at least the band is fine, considering tourmates Bonded By Blood lost their vocalist and Early Man lost their drummer and bassist mere moments before the tour started….and one of those positions is still vacant.
Inside to watch Bonded By Blood, I feel like I’m in someone’s garage with the picnic tables and grungy couches lining the walls. And the guys in the band look so young. As the two guitarists’ fingers fly across the frets in ludicrous speed, I watch the three show old vocalist grow more confident by the minute. It has to be difficult to jump into a band and take the lead last minute like that. The room may have not been densely packed, but those there made up for it in excitement, pushing each other around the center of the room.
A short while later, and Evile kicked off their set with the melancholy and then swiftly pummeling ‘Infected Nation’. I was watching this one guy in a patched up denim vest grow more and more excited until he looked like he might burst. Onto ‘Thrasher’, it wasn’t hard to visualize what is must have been like in the ’80s, watching a band like Metallica play in a garage in California. This time around, seeing Evile on a smaller stage, I really picked up on how much Ol and drummer Ben Carter play off of each other. At some points it looked like Ol might actually be tapping the cymbals with his guitar. I’d have to say the highlight of this set for me was ‘Time No More’…
“Look into the staring void
Wake and curse yourself
Time to start another page
Chance may gift you change
Wasting all the breath you save
You lose it while you know
Life can heal every pain
Friend it’s time you grow
Brave the fall
Wolf you call
Time no more
This way you could…take it all.”
It’s fitting for me right now. They finished up with ‘Enter the Grave’…with vocalist Matt Drake telling the crowd to spread the word of Evile.
I ducked out before Early Man because less than 24 hours later I’d be partaking in another installment of my Evile weekend.