ROLLIN’ STONED AND LIVIN’ FREE
A CONVERSATION WITH JORDAN GRIFFIN OF THEM EVILS
Them Evils might just be the best band you’ve never heard of — for now, that is. The So-Cal based power trio, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Jordan Griffin, bassist Jake Massanari, and drummer David Delaney, has toured with some of modern rock’s greatest icons. The list includes Alter Bridge, The Pretty Reckless, and Zakk Sabbath, the Zakk Wylde fronted Black Sabbath cover band, with only their 2016 self-titled EP under their belt. Now, the band is preparing to release Rollin’ Stoned And Livin’ Free, a six track EP, produced by Kato Khandwala (The Pretty Reckless, Blondie, Drowning Pool, Pierce the Veil). The album consists of brand new material along with some older favourites that include re-written and recorded arrangements.
Them Evils is currently in the middle of a massive tour that will take them across America, including sets with BC’s The Wild and stops at some of the country’s biggest rock festivals, among them Welcome to Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, and Rock On The Range. While on the road as he was headed towards the next gig, Griffin had a chance to chat about the album. “It’s not our debut album, but to most people it is; it’s the one we are releasing as more of an international band”. It is because of this that the band had decided to re-record parts and alter arrangements of older songs like the incredible “Untold”. “We kept the drums for the previously recorded songs”. “I sang new vocal tracks and changed some guitar parts and then we remixed everything”. By doing so, the best of Them Evils’ early material can be showcased to their audience, which has grown significantly since dropping their first record, while also giving something different to their fans who have followed them since the beginning. As a result, Rollin’ Stoned And Livin’ Free is a flawless and thrilling rock ‘n’ roll record that is both nostalgic for the ‘70s while also pushing the genre forward in a major way.
Of the new tracks, Griffin admits that “Got Me Rockin’” and “Practice What You Preach” are his favorite songs on the album. The former opens the album and is largely driven by a groovy verse with a big chorus, that one can imagine being sung by an arena full of fans aiding Griffin’s Chris Robinson inspired raspy and bluesy vocals. “Practice What You Preach” on the other hand is the final track on the album and is the heaviest on the record that feels like a modern and swampy take on Black Sabbath. “The riffs and the music had been written about a year ago, but we had been touring so much that we never settled on finished structures so we went into the studio and we just redid everything with the songs so they were written three or four times to get them where they are. It was a lot of trial and error”. Reflecting on Them Evils’ writing process, “We always try to keep it bluesy; that music has the most feel, the most soul and is easiest to connect to, and it just sounds groovy”. “It always starts with the riff, we will go through the verse, the chorus and work it out as a group, but it always starts with a riff”.
With a sound that is as classic as it is innovative, it comes as no surprise that Griffin and the band are influenced by a wide range of music that spans many generations and eras of rock. Speaking for himself, Griffin goes through a solid list stating “Definitely The Black Crowes, Led Zeppelin always, I always keep two AC/DC albums in my CD player at all times – Powerage and High Voltage. I listen to The Cult a lot too, especially Electric and Sonic Temple; lots of Soundgarden and Alice In Chains too”. If Rollin’ Stoned And Livin’ Free is any indication, this is not only reflected in the band’s sound, but Them Evils are very much on the verge of breaking through to a point where they will soon be influencing and inspiring the coming generation of rock. I will confidently declare Rollin’ Stoned And Livin’ Free as being among the best records released this year making Them Evils a band not to be missed.
April 24 – Houston, Texas @ Satellite Bar
April 26 – Mobile, Ala. @ The Merry Widow
April 27 – Jacksonville, Fla. @ Welcome to Rockville – River Stage @ 2:40 p.m.
May 1 – Birmingham, Ala. @ The Nick
May 2 – Memphis, Tenn. @ Hi Tone
May 3 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The High Watt
May 5 – Concord, N.C. @ Carolina Rebellion
May 8 – Richmond, Va. @ The Camel
May 9 – Washington, D.C. @ Songbyrd
May 10 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Ortlieb’s
May 11 – Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Saint Vitus
May 12 – Hartford, Ct. @ The Webster (Underground)
May 16 – Lancaster, Pa. @ Chameleon Club (Lizard Lounge)
May 19 – Columbus, Ohio @ Rock on the Range
May 20 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Grog Shop
May 22 – Pittsburgh, Pa. @ The Smiling Moose
May 23 – Detroit, Mich. @ PJ’s Lager House
May 24 – Chicago, Ill. @ Beat Kitchen
May 25 – St. Paul, Minn. @ Turf Club
May 26 – Omaha, Neb. @ Lookout Lounge
May 27 – Fort Collins, Colo. @ Hodi’s Half Note
May 29 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Metro Bar
*with Red Sun Rising