Boulder band gains traction in Colorado
Evanoff will play two shows in Summit County this weekend. The first is Friday, Dec. 4 at The Barkley Ballroom (610 Main St. Frisco), and then Saturday, Dec. 5 at Lake Dillon Tavern (119 La Bonte St., Dillon).
Check out their music at: evanoff.bandcamp.com
When JJ Evanoff was in fifth grade, he got up onstage at his school’s talent show to wail on the guitar to the classic “Summertime Blues” by The Who. As the last act of the evening, his performance earned him a standing ovation by his peers in the audience. As the crowd roared, kids tore up to the stage, picking him up and carrying him straight out the school’s gym.
This whole scenario sounds like a dream polar opposite of finding yourself onstage without any pants on, but this real event was when Evanoff realized a performer’s life was for him.
In his early 20s, the young musician started as a solo act, playing guitar over electronic productions, before expanding to the full band a year ago. The band, called Evanoff after its founder, will bring their Boulder-based act to The Barkley Ballroom Friday, Dec. 4 and Lake Dillon Tavern Saturday, Dec. 5.
Evanoff is hesitant to label the band with words like “jam music,” but emphasizes his passion for classic rock mixed with a “more complex electronic synth production,” he said. Legends like The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Pink Floyd stimulate his musical creations, but those classics are also intertwined with influences from newer jamtronica bands such as Lotus and Sound Tribe Sector 9.
“A big thing we talk about a lot is we want to break out of the jam counterculture,” Evanoff said. “While it’s really cool, I feel like it limits a lot of people. A lot of people hear the word jam music and immediately have a negative connotation towards it. So we want to be — not mainstream — but break out more into the public eye with music that is more publicly accessible.”
What started as a DJ project has catapulted from playing small gigs at local bars, to headlining the Fox Theatre in Boulder, to getting on the lineup at bigger festivals, such as the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover Festival in Salida, Colorado, with Mumford & Sons headlining. Evanoff said he hopes to get on more of the festival circuit in the future, with the ultimate goal of every Colorado musician’s dream — Red Rocks.
The band has shared the stage with acts such as Zoogma, The Main Squeeze, The Magic Beans, Cosby Sweater, Sunsquabi, Dynohunter, Project Aspect, Unlimited Gravity and Yamn. In one short year, the trio — which includes Jake Hall on drums and Parker Oberholzer on bass — is now touring around Colorado and into Arizona and New Mexico, and all while Evanoff is pursuing a degree at the University of Colorado Denver. He met the other two members of the band at the school, and is currently studying in the recording arts and engineering program, with plans to keep music as not only a passion, but a profession.
“I’m using the music aspect to cater to my knowledge as a performer and musician, and just be able to know — going into the future and being in studios — know how I want my music to come out and have creative control over that,” he said of his choice of program.
When it comes to creating the music they play, Evanoff said he draws inspiration from life experiences, but also from collaborating with fellow musicians and attending concerts himself. He wants fans to feel the same way walking out of an Evanoff show as he does when he experiences a killer show with his crew.
“We just want to create a good experience — a fun time,” he said. “I want people to walk away wanting us to come back to town and to see us again. We love catering to that party atmosphere — giving people that feeling like when I go out and see a great show with my close friends. If we can do that we’ve done our job.”
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