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INTERVIEW: The New Evil

The New Evil is an up and coming rock band from L.A. Fronted by charismatic lead singer Sophia Reyes, the band recently released a video for their single “Pale Skin Latin Girls.” In the video, directed by Jamie Mark Reed, you can see Sophia fighting a gang of thugs combining both of her passions, music and martial arts.

We had the chance of chatting with the New Evil’s band members about their passions, music and upcoming projects.

How would you classify your music?

Dark rock n’ roll that ranges from raw and powerful to strange and mystical. A strange brew of almost every style of rock n’ roll mixed together in one big cauldron.

Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?

Ian (guitar) : Black Sabbath, Smashing Pumpkins, Talking Heads, The Cure, Iron Maiden

Sophia (vocals): Amy Winehouse, Public Enemy, Sleigh Bells, Jeff Buckley, Selena!!! (duh)

Nate (Bass): . Curtis Mayfield, ELO, Paul McCartney, Charlie Mingus, The Mars Volta (to name 5)

Patrick (drums) : Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Pink Floyd

What do you want fans to take from your music?

Ian (guitarist) I want people who hear our music to make a connection with it, so it to speak to them in a way that makes them want to keep listening.

Sophia (vocals) I want them to leave the show feeling inspired by the energy and aggression I bring to the performance, and take it home with them to face any troubles they have in the real world.

How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?

Ian (guitar): We gotten much tighter as a unit over the last year, thanks in part to adding a new member of the band who has brought a lot to the table in short amount of time. Also we’ve expanded expanded beyond the bubble of LA and are starting to work on developing a larger fan base one city at a time.

Sophia (vocals): I’ve been writing a lot more songs on bass and piano that my band transformed into full on rock songs. Those songs have so much emotion and it’s such a rewarding feeling to have others feed off of your vision creating something entirely new and special.

What do you think about the current music scene in L.A?

The music scene in LA is interesting to say the least, most bands and artists have a love/hate relationship with it. Part of the problem is that there are thousands of bands in LA which means that there isn’t really one all-encompassing scene but instead tons of micro-scenes that sometimes overlap, so it’s really about finding your scene within the scene and we feel like we have been really fortunate to find out niche in the sea of bands in LA.

What is the best concert you have been to?

Ian (guitar): The first big arena concert I ever went was Smashing Pumpkins at the Honda Center in 1997 after Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness came out. I have never been in love with a band as I was with Smashing Pumpkins at that stage of my life, so it really was a magical experience, even though I was in the third to last row of the arena in the nosebleed seats.

Sophia (vocals): I’m not sure if this counts but I saw my little brother perform the lead role in a high school musical. His performance was fearless, powerful, and so incredibly engaging. I will never forget it, I was speechless.

Nate (Bass): I can’t pick a “best” concert. I saw Too $hort after a boxing match once. He was clearly super drunk and brought about 7 girls on stage and just danced with them while the track from “Blow the Whistle” played on a loop. They pulled him off the stage after what felt like 10 minutes of that. The crowd was really into it, though.

Patrick (drums): Arcade Fire at one of the Coachellas. They had a group of artists orchestrate these light changing orbs that fell on the crowd and it was incredible!

What do you like most about playing live?

Sophia: When I am on stage, everything is brought to the table. My fears, my troubles, my anxieties. I get to fight all of those. I get to say fuck you, this is me, this is what I want to do in the way I wanna do it. I get to be my true self, no holding back, and it’s the most rewarding experience I could ever have.

Ian: What I like best about playing live is the raw energy that you feel on stage when playing for a crowd, that moment where you and the audience are both connected by the communal experience of sharing music, to me it is a borderline religious experience sometimes.

You just released a video for your single “Pale Skin Latin Girls,” what’s the story behind the song? 

I’ve always wanted to film my own fight scene, ever since I was little. My aggressive stage style seemed to inspire others so I thought, this is something I have to create next.  With the help of my boxing enthusiast brother, Jeremy, and the video’s director, Jaime Reed, I was able to bring her vision to life.The music video continues a story first established in NEW EViL’s previous video, “The W.” In that video, the band stumbles upon a crystal that awakens a powerful witch (played by myself) who is trapped inside of a tomb by a mysterious Man in Black. The new video reverses the scenario: the band has now been kidnapped by the Man in Black and I, along with my magic crystals, have to fight my way through an abandoned warehouse riddled with thugs in order to free my band.

How did you get into martial arts?

Sophia (vocals) I grew up around boxing; watching my dad and my brother box, watching it on tv, then I started boxing. Just a few years ago I was introduced to Krav Maga self defense; it was life changing. Also, I grew up with idols like Buffy and the pink ranger.  They actually had the same stunt double, and her name was Sophia. It’s kind of meant to be.

If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?

Ian (guitar): First choice would be to bring David Bowie and Lou Reed back from the dead, but if I were to choose a living person it would be Neil Young or Iggy.

Sophia (vocals): Fantastic questions. Breathless Mahoney from Dick Tracy (played by Madonna). I know she’s a fictional character but her viciousness always fascinated me as a child.

Nate (Bass):   I try not to meet my idols. With that in mind, I’d love to get together with a really foundational classical guy like Bach and listen to a bunch of modern music to see if he gets the appeal. I bet he would.

Patrick (drums): John Lennon or David Bowie

What’s next for you?

We are releasing a brand new single and music video for our song ‘King of the River’ which will be released by Play Like A Girl Records before the end of the year.

Upcoming Shows

October 21st – The Monster Mash: A Halloween Arts & Music Festival at Garden Amphitheater, California.

October 28th – Haunted High w/ Ramona Hammer, SP/BH and Velvet at The Hi Hat, Long Angeles.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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