When I think of bands, I generally think of four to five members rocking out. It’s rare to find a solid lineup of nine members, each contributing equally the massive sound that is called The Everymen. Hailing out of Tuckerton, New Jersey, they have been a staple in the local music scene for a few years. Would you call them a household name? I’d say so. Branching out all over the country, they have a bright future ahead, along with a new full-length on the way. I recently had the chance to chat with Mike of The Everymen about their interesting history, new music, and their bittersweet show as they bid farewell to Maxwell’s. Check it out below:
Can you tell us a little bit about the history of The Everymen? How did it all begin? The name? Spill the beans!
Well, believe it or not, I started out as a two-piece. Crazy to think because now there are nine of us! As time went on, more and more people started playing with us, and I realized we had to make some adjustments; it wasn’t matching what I had going on in my head.
The funny thing is I am always creating fake band names in my head. I even create backstories to go along with them. Before I knew it, the more and more that people started jamming with us, we had nine members!
It’s definitely rare to find a band that large. I feel as if that alone makes you guys stand out!
Definitely, I can’t think of anyone else holding nine members! Basically, we aren’t trying to mold or redefine any genre of music; we play straight-up rock and roll. But I do agree, we aren’t like anything else out there right now, and that’s the beauty of it. You can be original without trying to be.
I know you guys are releasing a new LP. Can you give us some hints on it, and is there a theme of some sorts? Any inspiration?
Well, this will be our seventh release—second full-length. It’s pretty much the first release that we have done wholly as a band. Previously, we were still at the point where the band was still growing and not complete yet. It’s straight-up rock and roll.
It’s funny because sometimes I like to consider myself some sort of a dictator; I like to go out of my way to make sure everyone in the band is comfortable. I take everyone’s opinion to heart. Our music is like an open platform and so is our band.
As the years have passed, I find myself being inspired by different music. At first, it was bands like Green Day and Weezer. As time passed, I found myself listening to bands like The Clash and even Miles Davis. Of course, you always land up going back to the roots like Bruce Springsteen.
It’s crazy because we are constantly writing music, like when we are about to release an EP. We already have the next one written sometimes. It’s going to be awesome; we are excited for everyone to hear it.
So many groups out there are trying to do the same thing; do you find it difficult to stay somewhat original at times?
Well, like I said, we are constantly making new stuff and writing new material. Bands really have listener’s attention for such a short amount of time; it’s hard to describe. You always have to play your ass off and keep things coming out fresh.
Would you say that touring full-time is the ultimate goal of The Everymen?
Most definitely. It’s tough right now for us to tour full-time because we all have other jobs and we aren’t quite at that point yet, but we are getting there. We love to play music and to be able to do it for a living is pretty much every musician’s dream.
How many songs don’t make the record? Does the writing process change with each release?
I’d say each release we record about two or three extra songs. We aren’t one of those bands that record like 50 songs and pick five. Reason being, I feel that doesn’t make sense. Think of it this way: it’s almost like you are throwing away songs. If you take that energy that you put into 50 songs, and compile it into 12, just think of how solid and strong those songs would be? We like to make the tracks that we release as strong as they can be, so that’s where we focus our energy.
We have to talk about the farewell show at Maxwell’s. How was the crowd? Was it bittersweet?
Oh man, so bittersweet. I grew up in that place; I’m devastated about it. I seriously have been going there since I was 15. I had so many sentimental moments there, met so many people and saw so many shows. I’ll never forget the first show there. I might as well have been playing at the Apollo Theater or the Garden. It’s sad. People are very emotional, people were crying.
However, on the bright side, our show was off the wall; best show we ever had. We did covers, slow songs and more. We practiced to work out a really good set. The place went nuts.
But, back to what you were saying, it’s very sad for musicians like myself, however; they are doing it because it’s what is right for the place. They aren’t being forced to close down so they are going out tastefully and on top, just like they started.
I saw that you guys will be part of the Hopscotch Music Festival this year in North Carolina, and it has a pretty solid lineup.
Yeah! We are so excited about this one. A friend of mine texted me about the festival; we heard it is really rad. It’s smaller and has a crazy, eclectic lineup. It’s more of a SXSW feel, where there are venues all over the town holding showcases and stuff. We will be playing a few shows while we are down there and may even go out early to catch some of the other bands!
Are those festivals just one big party?
(Laughs) You know, it’s funny that you ask that. I always have buddies of mine saying, “Tell us some road stories.” Thing is, we don’t go out and party after the show. In our opinion, the show is the party. I don’t need to go out and get drunk off of my face after a set to solidify a rock moment. We play so hard that by the time the show is done, we have nothing left in us, and that’s how it should be. Kudos to people who can do it, but we just put so much energy into our set that that alone is the party.
What do you think it is about The Everymen that has gotten you to the point you are at now?
Well, we don’t cater our music to fit into any genre. If we had gotten the press coverage and the radio play, our band would’ve been signed years ago if we played a style of music that was “hip.” But we don’t. We don’t play pitchfork-ready indie rock. We’re the kind of band that wins people over one fan at a time. I’d rather do that and tough it out than be part of a scene that’s going to die out.
It took me a while to realize that I just want to play rock and roll. I think it’s refreshing to people to see that we stick to our roots. Our fans always tell us, “You guys look like you’re having so much fun when you’re up there.” I’m like, “Um, yeah dude, that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Would you give any advice to other bands starting out, trying to make a name in the scene?
It’s simply, really. Focus on the song and focus on the band, don’t worry about YouTube and Facebook likes. Play your music as much as you can, play as many shows as you can with as many bands as you can play with.
I think a lot of the focus has become on content videos and sounds; it’s kind of sad. The Everymen spent the last several years figuring out how to be a good band rather than figuring out how to be popular on social media, and that’s why we are where we are. We are going to continue to make music that people will enjoy, that we love to play.
The Everymen will play The Rock Shop in Brooklyn Aug. 24, BlueClaws Stadium in Lakewood Aug. 25, and Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen Aug. 30. For more information, go to facebook.com/theeverymen.