Monday, April 5, 2010
EveryNight Drive Timeline and CD Review for Sunny Asylum
(Photo by Alexa DiMaio)
EveryNight Drive Timeline and CD Review for Sunny Asylum
Very few bands have the ability to captivate a wide variety of fans across many backgrounds. Those chosen few have been blessed with the power to keep an audience on edge, and coming back for more with every performance. I’m lucky enough to know such a band—EveryNight Drive.
E.N.D. has undergone some major changes since their establishment in late 2007. To start with, they were a five-piece band including: a singer, guitarist, bassist, drummer, and a synth player. They recorded a demo cd featuring some of their earliest songs. Unfortunately soon after that, the synth player, Zach, left. EveryNight Drive was content with moving on, when bass player, George Thomas, decided it was time to leave. E.N.D. never panicked because they had long time friend Jay Campbell waiting in the wings. Jay joined the band to play bass and complete the lineup, which looked like this: Chris Monopoli- vocals, Nick Pisani- Guitar, Jay Campbell- Bass and background vocals, Manny Mavrakis- Drums and screaming vocals. This is truly when E.N.D. started establishing their foothold as one of Staten Island’s brightest and best upcoming bands.
EveryNight Drive started to play many shows around the tri-state area, and eventually set up a recording contract with a studio in Ohio. While out in Ohio, EveryNight Drive began recording their long awaited “Sunny Asylum Ep”. They recorded five songs: Can One Person Change the City?, Pull Down Your V-Necks, it’s Time to Get Physical, Emma, Heads or Tails, and Hearts Collide. While in Ohio they also played a few shows in hopes of getting a following outside of NYC.
When E.N.D. came back to Staten Island, they welcomed back former bassist George, and Jay moved to rhythm guitar. This made them more dynamic sound wise. From here on out they went to play the Richmond County Fair, and hosted numerous shows or organizational shows at the Cup. Besides these, they were in a competition for Bamboozle and even played in front of a record executive. One of the most anticipated shows they played was their return show at the Cup for Halloween after taking a small writing hiatus.
Sadly after all this, EveryNight Drive continued to experience problems. They were asked to go on tour with Tooth&Nail famous band, Spoken, for the Lion Hunt 2010 winter tour. This dream tour soon fell apart after conflicts with touring, jobs, and overall lack of funds. It was then that EveryNight Drive seemed to be coming to an END (no pun intended).
It was a sad time for many fans, including myself, who have seen them grow and make music since the beginning. I have played many shows with them, and have gotten to know them personally. Quite honestly, they have been the biggest help and supporters to my band, and I owe them a debt of gratitude. Luckily the story doesn’t finish here.
Lead singer Chris left the band to pursue college and job opportunities. Once again bass player George left to pursue other music ventures. He joined local pop-punk band, It’s Not Over. He is also going away to college in hopes of making the NHL. This left the E.N.D. boys with two big holes to fill. After a little searching, they found bassist Justin Damico formerly of Groove Revival. Along with the new year, they found a new singer, Guy Michaels. They had met Guy when they first started out, and played a few shows with his former band. With this new lineup the original members of Manny, Nick, and Jay were revved up and ready for a second chance at redemption. The new five-
piece headed into the studio to record some new songs.
The new revamped EveryNight Drive is currently playing shows again including the JCC Rockfest, which was their comeback, and the Process of fusion cd release show, which was their return to the Cup. The new sound is very different from the old stuff. They are a lot more melodic and musically driven. The new vocals of Guy are almost operatic, or as Manny told me “He’s more of an American Idol type singer”. This adds a new dynamic in which E.N.D. can explore an infinite range of style along with gradually making a shift away from their older music. As of right now, they are getting back into playing shows and promoting the Sunny Asylum Ep. I wish them the best of luck, and hope to share the stage with them for many more years to come.
Sunny Asylum Review
(Based on the former lineup of EveryNight Drive)
1. Can One Person Change a City?
This song is about overcoming your darkest obstacles in life by facing up to them and taking them down as a good guy would a villain. It then rejoices proudly when they overcome. Chris and Manny’s vocals seem to be compelling each other to move along as the story progresses. The whole band yells out “Your blade is dull!” when talking about being faced by an enemy’s metaphorical sword.
2. Pull Down Your V-Neck It’s Time to Get Physical
It actually doesn’t have anything directly to do with the song, but from what E.N.D. tells me it’s more to do with the image. A lot of rock groups sport the v-neck t-shirt, so it’s more like a battle cry than anything else. It’s almost like a pregame stretch. This would most likely be their single off the album. The song is about the hardships and tediousness of being in a band touring and playing shows everyday. It puts into perspective to not take for granted the time you have with your band like with the line, “Remember hallway fliers”. This refers to the band finding Chris by putting out fliers looking for a lead singer.
Emma is about a woman they know whose husband committed suicide, and how terrible it was for the family. It talks about the trials and tribulations that people can go through and how to cope with the loss of life and the grieving process. It has powerful lines and vocal parts, like when the music drops out and a passionate “And I scream out to God, are you listening?” rings out over the muted music.
4. Heads or Tails
Heads or Tails discusses the fighting back and forth of a “changed” person being haunted by the ghosts of his past, “The phone is ringing at the bottom of the stairs, the ghosts are calling and they’re haunting my past.” He can’t get rid of them no matter what he does, and it’s destroying his current relationships “It’s ripping us apart”. By the end of the song, the character has learned to confront the past with the people in his present.
5. Hearts Collide
This song is about the typical girl/guy struggle over a relationship “Why can’t you believe you’re all I ever wanted”. The song is about letting go, and making a change for the better regarding the relationship.
Overall, on the local circuit this cd has top production quality. At times it may have been overproduced with little metronomes and claps here and there (I say this with confidence because I talked to them about this, so don’t hate). The cd was made to compete in today’s hottest market of music and can easily transition from rock song, to a poppier version on a top 40 station. Musically the style is that of a pop/screamo infused band, like a “Red Jumpsuit Apparatus” or a heavier version of “Boys Like Girls” (sorry Nick). Vocally Chris’s angst and emoish vocals rival that of the excellence of Bert McCracken from “the Used”. This cd is a must have for anyone looking to see what Staten Island brings to the table. However, keep in mind, that although EveryNight Drive has this cd, and plays some of these songs live, this is not what they sound like anymore. So go get yourself a copy before they run out!
CHECK THEM OUT ON MYSPACE