Asked to sum up New Jersey's the Everymen in a single sentence, singer and six-stringer Mike V says the band's got "the hips of the E Street, the balls of Rocket From the Crypt, the heart of the Replacements, the soul of Reigning Sound, [and] the livers of Guided By Voices."
If that's not enough, he adds that his band's effect on everyone who sees 'em is akin to a "knock-down, drag-out -- the best rock 'n' roll show you'll ever see in a small club."
On tour in support of their latest long-player, Givin' Up on Free Jazz, Mr. V and Everymen make their Miami debut at Gramps on Friday the 13th, which is a damn good omen for everyone.
Who are the Everymen? And what makes 'em different from just any men (or women)?
Technically speaking, the Everymen are Mike V singin' and slingin' rhythm guitar, Catherine Herrick belting out vocals, Geoff Morrissey on flaming guitar, Stephen Chopek on thunder drums, Jamie Zillitto on the four-string guitar, and Scott Zillitto on the big brass horns. That's our road crew. In the studio, we had help from Jake Fiedler on drums, Will Hoffman on trumpet, and the White Tiger, Tom Barrett, on keys.
Esoterically speaking, the Everymen are all of us. A bunch of ass-shaking, beer-drinking, shoe-shuffling knuckleheads from New Jersey who've worked hard all week and are ready to kick out the jams, to sweat out the headaches, and to dance till the sun comes up. We're gonna outwork anyone and then we're gonna outparty everyone. But y'all can come hang with us. We'd love that.
Are we different? Not really. We're just playing rock 'n' roll. We're not reinventing the wheel (but who really is these days?) and that's how we like it. I guess, in a way, we are doing something that not everyone else is. We're just playing rock 'n' roll. It ain't garage rock. It ain't punk. It sure as fuck ain't indie rock. It's just good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll. The world has been missing that for too many years now.
Would you say the sound is more akin to Jersey's Adrenalin OD? Or Asbury Jukes? Or neither/both?
Adrenalin OD for sure. I think just in the sense that if you really listen to what we're doing musically, it's closer to punk rock than it is your more standard, twelve-bar blues that is plied up and down the Jersey Shore all summer.
That's not to say we abandon those stanky blues cues. We take as much from the Jukes or the E Street Band as we do from the Misfits. But I think it's more of the spirit of those Jersey Shore bar bands that we reflect than the sound. I think that's why we get so many Rocket From the Crypt comparisons. They were a bar band playing punk rock. I think, in a similar way, we're accomplishing the same thing.
How much of the Everymen sound springs from the waters of New Jersey anyway?
Hard to say, because our tastes as a group vary so widely. Come ride in our van, Rosalita, for a few hours and you'll be treated to everything from Naked Raygun to Count Basie, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks to Gun Club, the Cardigans, and Jimi Hendrix. So really, I think a lot of our influences come from all over the map.
That said, I have been a diehard Springsteen fan quite literally from the minute I was born. My mom's obstetrician let her play some music in the delivery room and sure enough "Born To Run" was playing when I came into the world. So Bruce has been there with me my entire life. It's hard to say that doesn't permeate through what we do, ya know?
But these songs we write, they're Jersey songs. It doesn't matter what they're about or who they represent, but they're coming from emotions and places that were all created, matured, or manifested on the shores of Jersey. In my case, Long Beach Island. So inherently, these are Jersey jams.
What other elixirs might the Everymen work through/into their system? I'm thinkin' they include liquor.
And you wouldn't be mistaken. We will never shy away from a 30 pack of Coors. That's our poison of choice. Of course, we do have the occasional bottle of whiskey, which usually leads to some interesting stage banter and often nothing much more. It's a party, ya know? People come to a rock show to have some fun, to forget about some bullshit for a few hours, to be with the people they love most, and to dance and to shake and to drink. It's pretty unavoidable.
So, you'll be adding a lotta fuel to your fire over this summer's 40-date American tour?
I hope so. Adding fuel. But more importantly, I hope we add a whole bunch of new fans to our crew.
How should the folks prepare for your, er, storming?
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The Everymen. Friday, June 13. Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami. The show starts at midnight and admission is free. Ages 21 and up. Call 786-752-6693 or visit grampsbar.com.