Erecting their vision out of the wreckage of their high school bands, guitarist scene-mates and chemistry classmates Dean Rudd and Tyler Pickering aligned themselves with drummer Casey Lewis and dubbed themselves The Failure. By 2008, The Failure was anything but, selling through pressings of their first two albums and placing videos in rotation on both MuchMusic and MTV Canada. Despite this, change was coming. While the role of fourth- member-bassist was becoming prone to turnover, it was a metamorphosis in The Evidence’s songwriting that got the attention of fans and critics.
When Rudd, Pickering, and Lewis set out to write and record their third album together, Polarity, something had changed. Whether it was the long road slogs, broken vans, broken hands, shows for a dozen sweaty kids in moldy makeshift all-ages venues or simply the upshot of a band collectively transitioning into their late-20’s, the trio realized they had uncovered the marrow of their identity. Recognizing the winds of change, Rudd, Pickering, and Lewis chose a new name for the band, and The Evidence was (re-)born.
The Evidence doesn’t fit the mold cast by typical Indie/Alt-rock bands. Approaching their craft with a nerdy attention to detail, the band seeks to build a legacy while making a living playing the music they love. To that end, Dean Rudd started his own record label, Meter Records, to release The Evidence’s albums as well as projects for their peers. Casey Lewis keeps his hand in the business side through his recording studio, Echo Base. Tyler Pickering spends his days helping music literati of all ages find their perfect instrument in one of the best practical networking gigs a working musician could find. It would be easy, with all of these other responsibilities, to get distracted from making music, but as their tenure and talent attest The Evidence are one are dedicated to their music; bound to their vision and craft as they are to each other.
The blend of dedication, musicianship, and attention to detail particular to the Evidence is apparent from the opening notes of the band’s upcoming album, Currents. If Polarity was a leap forward for The Evidence, then Currents is a confirmation, presenting the band’s progressive tendencies while streamlining and sharpening their sound down to a razor’s edge. From the opening notes of the aptly titled “Crossing The Rubicon” to the complex, poly-rhythmic post-punk of “Of Haves And Have Nots”, The Evidence give every indication that their muse has never been stronger.
Cut to the stage, with Rudd and Pickering bouncing notes and lines off each other like animated electrons while Casey drums for his life and belts out the vocal leads in a flurry of sweat and fervor. Their live show is an invigorating and indelible experience, but The Evidence are real guys, doing what they love without pretense. Their distinctive blend of literate songwriting, attention to detail and fearlessness beam from the stage and stereo in an experience that proves music can still move us. Here, my friends, is the evidence of that.
How do you describe your music to people, Casey?
Well, in this age of taglines, soundbytes and catchphrases, "Progressive Nerd Punk" is the best we could come up with (at least with brevity in mind). Really, I just think we're a smarter breed of rock music, in the best tradition of progressive rock, metal and punk. We aim to be melodic, thoughtful, explorative and vigourous. If Rush, Queen, The Cure, AFI, The Beatles, Bad Religion, Coheed and Cambria, Aphex Twin and Pantera had a baby, we'd be it.
Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
Well, my father is a professional musician and recording engineer, and my mother is a professional singer and keyboardist, so it was around me constantly growing up. As a result of the teenage predilection for rebellion, though, and a desire to distance myself from what my parents did, I didn't get into music until quite late, actually....sometime around 16, my Dad offered me an old, decrepit drumkit, that he had been storing for years, to bash on. The minute I picked up the sticks, my fate was sealed, and it's been a whirlwind since then. It was only natural that eventually I'd start singing and writing, and then recording...picking up a smattering of other instruments along the way.
What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Play music....duhPlay music....duh.
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Keeping it separate from the art. Making sure that our artistic decisions aren't strictly influenced by business concerns. It helps to a) maintain our purity of purpose and b) not get bogged down in the minutiae and focus on what's really important, the music. After all, without music, the music industry is just industry.
When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
An Illustrator or an Architect.
In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Well, we live in Calgary, which is a city almost solely built on the bones of dinosaurs...literally and figuratively. The oil industry is what keeps Calgary rich, with a steady influx of people moving here just to make money. Calgary is a city in transition, trying to shed itself of the right-wing, entitled, western alienationalist mentality. But under the surface of all of that, there's this rich culture of art and music, people who are thinking forward, passionate about positive change. I've never seen a city with so many bands per capita...it's crazy. Having been part of that community, it's hard not to be inspired.
What other artists out there do you love?
Well, we have our individual favourites, I'll try and get a sampling from each of us:
Coheed And Cambria
this list could probably go on for days...
What does your future hold?
Well, we just had the release for our new record, Currents, last weekend. It went incredibly well, and now all our attention is focused on our upcoming European tour. April 12th to May 17th. We're very excited about it! After we get back, we have several local shows booked, both in clubs and all-ages, and a few out of town shows in the area. Discussing plans for a fall tour. Busy, busy!
Overall, the future hold more great music, more friendship and more laughs. Couldn't be happier!