Off the road, on the record
The Evening Episode survives the Midwest
On the night the Evening Episode returned to Sacramento stages from a month on the road, the hipster aesthetic in the Press Club was so thick you could cut it with a cliché. The Sammie-winning electronica band ignored the hubbub and got down to business, launching into its set with an intensity born of months of solid gigging. Chris Loental’s melodic bass and Ira Skinner’s drums anchored the group while Brian True’s ambient guitar cut through the bombast. Vocalist—and occasional theremin player—Teresa Eggers took an unassuming command of the stage.
Eggers looked out into the crowd. With a smirk, she asked, “Can’t we all make some love?”
The Evening Episode made love to the Midwestern United States on a tour in support of its album The Physicist Has Known Sin. The following is an excerpt from the band’s recent tour-debrief interview with SN&R. It’s a little manifesto we like to call For All the Bands That Come After Us.
1. Sometimes you’ll forget where you played a show, which could be just as well.
“We played in St. Louis, to …” began True.
“Columbia,” corrected Loental.
“What are you talking about?” Skinner asked.
“Turf Club,” said True.
Skinner and Eggers: “That was St. Paul.”
True continued, “We played to the bartender and the promoter and the opening band.”
They all laughed.
2. There is much driving. To alleviate boredom, engage in tomfoolery and ballyhoo.
Said True, “This pretty trashy-looking guy was driving next to us and sipping on a big slurp of coffee. And he had this sign in the back …”
“Hand-drawn,” interjected Loental.
“Hand-drawn,” confirmed True. “'For a good time, call Mark.’”
“So I called him,” said Loental. The following is his recollection of that conversation:
Mark: Hello? Who is this?
Loental: This is Chris. Is this Mark?
Mark: Yes. Who is this?
Loental: I’m right next to you, dude.
Mark: [looking Loental over] Why you calling me?
Loental: Uh … good time?
Mark: [beat] I actually prefer ladies.
3. Keep your day job.
“We came back in the hole a little bit,” said Loental.
“Yeah, we had to replace all four tires on the van,” said Eggers. “In Missouri, we woke up and went outside, and there were grapefruit-sized boils protruding from our tires.”
“If no one had day jobs or nice parents, we’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere trying to make it work,” said True. “I just got my job back at Tower for the fourth time this morning.”
“That’s got to be a relief,” said Eggers.
“Wait, the fourth time this morning?” asked Loental.
“Yeah, I got fired and hired and fired and hired …”
4. It is possible to improvise over prerecorded electronics.
“I didn’t play my parts the same as I did the last tour,” said Skinner.
“Which is crazy because we have the same electronics playing behind our music the entire time,” said True.
“My bass parts have changed so much from when we recorded,” said Loental.
“There’s gotta be room,” mused True.
Loental to Skinner: “You give me some pretty hard looks when I screw up.” He paused. “He can tell when something’s not right.”
The drummer can always tell.
5. Illinois is as good a place as any for a bottle-rocket fight—until it’s not.
“These kids were firing off bottle rockets in their front yard,” began Eggers.
“Wussy bottle rockets,” added Loental.
“Yeah, really wussy,” continued Eggers. “And we got really inspired and shot off a ton of our rockets. And then this kid from two houses down came over and gave us a stern talking to. It was like”—Eggers affected her best Col. Nathan R. Jessup voice—“Are we clear?”
Skinner looked down at the floor. “I slept through the whole tour. I have no cool tour stories.”
6. There’s no place like home. Or something.
“It was great driving through those states. Except North Dakota,” said True.
“It was full of deer waiting patiently by the side of the road,” said Loental.
“Around the town of Killdeer,” murmured Skinner.
“North Dakota,” said Eggers. “It doesn’t matter if we lose that state.” She added, “I think we’re all glad to be home.”