Evacuate is a 6 piece punk rock band from Southern California, who for the last 7 years have been captivating audiences worldwide with their politically and socially charged punk rock assault. With influences ranging from bands like the Sex Pistols, Chelsea, UK Subs, to hardcore acts like Broken Bones,Negative Approach and the English Dogs. Evacuate’s releases and live sets cover a wide range of the punk rock spectrum. Guitarist Karlos Evacuate discusses the band's musical influences, new music, and plans on playing some shows and touring!
1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Evacuate, and how long the band has been together.
Karlos: Greetings! My name is Karlos, I'm the lead guitarist for Evacuate, and the band has been around since early 2007
2. Tell us the brief history of your band.
Karlos: LOL wow where do I begin hehe...Well pretty much after Cheap Sex(Mikes old band) and Lab Rats(my old band) broke up, 3 members of Cheap Sex, myself, and a drummer named Ryan formed Evacuate. The band went through a number of lineup changes over the years, released 2 full length albums and 1 7"ep, and have played across Europe and throughout Americas west coast with many of our favourite bands from yesterday, and top bands of today. The current lineup of the band is: Mike Virus- Vocals, Karlos Evacuate-Lead Guitar, Tony Cortez- Rhythm Guitar(us 3 have been in Evacuate since our first album) Kevin Nguyen-Rhythm Guitar, Kevin Kane- Bass Guitar and Riff-Raff- Drums.
3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there?Are there any local bands you could recommend?
Karlos: Half of the band is from the San Diego/Oceanside California area. The scene there is kinda small now, depending on what style of punk your into I guess. The older rock n roll/power pop scene or crust/grindcore scene seems to be doing ok, the street punk/oi! scene is not as prevalent as it used to be, especially with the lack of all ages venues. The other half, including myself, lives in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County area. The L.A. punk scene is getting hot again,especially in east L.A. and South Central areas, OC is good especially in Santa Ana, I haven't really been around the Inland Empire much lately but i'm sure they got something great going there too. Bands I would recommend would be Rat City Riot, Sytematic Abuse, San Deviants(rip) and Störta out of the San Diego area.....and Generacion Suicidia, Damages, Poliskitzo, Fangs on Fur, and Ex-Gentlemen out of the LA/OC area.
4. What type of band are you?
Karlos: I like to say we are a straight up, no bullshit, no gimmicks Punk Rock band. We do get lumped into the street punk scene cos of our 80's UK hardcore and oi! influence, but that's not where Evacuate stops. We also have alot of musical influence from early 77 UK and US punk, to Anarcho punk, as well as American, Japanese, Swedish and Finnish hardcore and even some early metal influence like Motorhead or Iron Maiden. We love punk rock throughout its whole musical spectrum and we try to incorporate whatever we like, and its not an attempt to pander to everyone in different punk sub-genres, its just 6 guys playing the music that we love, no need for labels or subcategory, just trying to bridge the gap between old school and new school.
5. Why did you want to name the band Evacuate? What does it symbolize and represent for the band?
Karlos: We took the name from the Chelsea song "Evacuate.'' Chelsea is one of our favorite bands, as well as the song Evacuate, plus it sounds tough and not sure anyone's used it, not that we know of anyways.
Cool story... The guys from the band Chelsea were so stoked about us using their song title as our bands name. Their guitarist and drummer even went up on stage during our first of two sets at Rebellion Fest and played the song with us when we covered it as part of our set. To me it was like time had stood still, I remember playing the songs solo standing next to Chelsea's guitar player who was also playing the same leads. We both looked over at each other with these huge shit eating grins, it was unreal.
6. Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
Karlos: Musical(as a guitarist/songwritter); Rikk Agnew, Johnny Thunders, Bryan May, Terry Bones, Steve Jones, Joe Strummer. Non-Musical (speaking for myself as a person); Hailie Selasie1, Dr.Vernon Carrington, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Ghandi, Buenaventura Durutti, Pancho Villa, Joaquin Murrietta, JFK, Che Gueverra.
7. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Karlos: Our song topics include lyrics about today's social/political/economic issues, personal feelings, keeping positive in a negative world, being an individual, and not making punk rock an excuse to act like a jerk or live like a scumbag.
8. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Karlos: Usually one of us writes an instrumental, we record it individually at home, put it up on our kompoz internet account or send mp3s to each other, learn it at home, while adding parts and Mike adding lyrics. Next when, we get together at practice on Sundays, we loop the song piece by piece, add and subtract instrumental and vocal parts...put it all together..and BOOM! We have a song!
9. What about your music, do you have anything new in the works?
Karlos: Yes, as mentioned before, we just recorded a new single which will be released in April, just in time for our West Coast Tour w/ The Virus. We are also in the midst of writing our 3rd album which we hope will be ready by the end of summer/mid fall.
10. What are your dreams and goals?
Karlos: Personally just living a healthy, productive and prosperous life comfortably, continue to play music and travel the world and try to be successful at anything I try to do. As a band I just hope whatever we do influences someone out their to start their own band, make their own voices heard. Make people aware that yes even though we do live within an oppressive system run by money hungry, blood thirsty war monggers and shady corporations, we still have the power to change that. And we still have the power and the right to happily live life as we see fit, as long as we don't hurt our neighbors, or brothers and sisters.
11. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?
Karlos: That we are a hard working, honest, play our music with a sense of purpose,and we are as real as it fucking gets. They should be interested in us because we love doing what we do, and will give anyone who is interested in us(including our fans,and live audience) 110% every time.
12. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Karlos: Directly through
13. What plans do you have for the near future as a band?
Karlos: Our aforementiond new "Our Lives" 7 inch, a West Coast Tour with The Virus in April, and our 3rd full length release later this year.
14. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
Karlos: How awesome we sound, and to pay attention to the messages our lyrics try to convey.
15. Any final words of wisdom?
Karlos: Yes! Thank you for your continued support, and that no matter who you are, no matter what you do...you matter! Musically, politically, socially, spiritually. Don't ever feel like you cant make a difference, all it takes is believing in that you can!