As I walk into the garage/shop where Evologic rehearses, Johann Brier is setting up his new drums. After a few minutes and a couple of taps on his equipment, Brier nods and they are ready. The room goes to black light, Spencer Woods picks up the microphone and the atmosphere is energized. It is soon apparent that Evologic is no mere garage band.
With Ryan Allen on guitar and Steve Bade on bass, these guys practice as if they were on the stage. Evologic's music is "hard-edged, in-your-face metal" that is layered, deep, at times disturbing, but above all, unique. "Evolution of the mind" is the core concept behind this local band. Together since the spring of 2004, these guys are looking to challenge the status quo and bring originality back to the rock music world. A local favorite with a substantial following, they have toured the West from Seattle to Las Vegas with an energy and passion that leaves audiences spellbound.
During a rehearsal break, the band steps outside for some air and the chatter between them begins. It's pretty obvious by their banter that they have formed a brotherhood in the short time they have played together. All of them have played in other bands: Allen and Brier were in the cover band Shades of Grey, while Bade and Spencer were formerly with the band Basement. As the story goes, they came together while Allen, Brier and Bade were jamming in a house on the corner of Harmony and Melody streets (they swear it's true). Woods jumped in with a microphone in the middle of a song and started wailing and he blew the guys away.
They immediately felt that fate had dealt them a hand. As Allen states, "I knew with these three other guys, this is where I wanted to be. We were on the same level and on the same page." The rest of the band nods in agreement.
All the members of Evologic say they expressed their interest in music at a young age. Woods says that growing up listening to Motown and singing in choir taught him how to understand harmonies and vocal control. "Our influences affect us subconsciously and that translates into our music," Woods explains. Brier grew up listening to classic rock such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and credits a lot of what he understands about music to a music theory class he had in high school. "Learning time signatures and experimenting beyond the usual 4/4 or 3/4 time has influenced how I play," he says. Bade originally wanted to play guitar but his grandmother bought him a bass. "I figured OK, why not? I took about four lessons and the instructor said I was a natural and I stopped taking lessons." He adds with a grin, "probably not the best thing to tell a student who is paying you." Allen pipes in about getting kicked out of music class for being the class clown. Allen, who started playing guitar in his early teens while listening to David Gilmore and Jimmy Page, credits their influence for everything he knows.
A full-length album, Instinct, is in the works.They plan to have it out by late December. It is a concept album that tells the story of a young man through many trials in his life. A concept album seemed natural to them as they were in the process of writing their songs. They view themselves as storytellers as well as musicians. Their songs are not about politics, or love, or hate but as Woods says, "They are songs about the thoughts that people have but don't want to say." Evologic prides themselves on their uniqueness and the inability to categorize their sound. "When we were starting out, we realized that three of the first songs we wrote sounded like Tool (songs). They were immediately thrown out," says Allen. When asked if they had thoughts about compromising their musical integrity to guarantee radio play, Allen explains, "It's not that we don't understand the value of a good hook, but we write for us. It's all about the music for us. It is fun and we understand that it is a business, but we just want to influence people through our music." Brier says, "You can see the wheels turning in people's heads. They are thinking about what we are playing." Allen finishes the thought with, "It's even more amazing when you see people actually singing along with the words. That feeling that you've reached people and connected is an awesome experience."
With their popularity on the rise and with an arsenal full of music, they seem to display a great deal of pride in being a part of the Boise music scene. They acknowledge that while the competition is tough, they feel lucky to be playing with other great local acts and want to take their music to the next level. "It's time to put Boise on the map," Woods says. "We are here to raise the bar and change peoples' minds." No doubt, they will.