Ben Bomlitz – drums, vocals (1994 – Present)
Chris Sobb – guitar (1994 – Present)
Matt Meyers – bass, vocals (2003 – Present)
Schmid – bass, vocals (1994 – 2003)
Isolation is a double-edged sword. Too much of it can lead to trouble – freakishness, inbreeding, Deliverance-style yahoos with mullets. But a healthy dose of it during an artist’s formative years can shield them from the fickle whims of passing trends, allowing them the chance to develop their own ideas of how things should be done, without the self-conscious aggrandizement of scenesters and sycophants to point them toward hipper, safer waters. Thus, a collective sigh of relief should be uttered that Evolotto’s seed sprouted on the windswept, glacier-flattened plains of Bowling Green, Ohio, and not in some next-big-thing, bullshit-fertilized hothouse of mediocrity. Without limits, borders or scolding mentors, the band was free to grow as straight – or twisted -as their own minds would allow.
Forming in 1994 after the obligatory time spent in bad high school garage bands, Evolotto’s original (and current) lineup came together as three unpolished, unsure musicians who were literally at square one, both as players and writers. Endless practicing and gigging in the relatively incestuous, thoroughly insular Bowling Green music scene toughened and seasoned the young band, incubating their art-damaged, metallic, self-contained freakouts and nurturing them into songs to reckon with. After an early demo (Candied Peas, in late ’94), the band spent half a decade just playing and writing, mutating their set slowly into a peerless assemblage of heavy, seething, smoldering – but thoroughly compelling – audio wreckage. Gigs with the likes of Limp Bizkit, Wig, Suicide Machines, Dink, Karma To Burn and numerous local luminaries slowly increased the band’s profile in the area, and in late 1998 they signed a contract with local powerhouse Sin Klub Entertainment and set off to record their debut album, 1776.
Learning to write together, while they honed their individual skills, has formed a bond between Evolotto’s three band members, the sort of near-psychic link all the good bands have – that ability to focus on and play up to the strengths of each musician, while sublimating individual egos for the good of the song, and of the sound. Like the best power trios, Evolotto’s music is born of a “less is more” virtuosity, each instrument carrying its weight without excess layers of tripe to hide ineptitude or glut the senses. The results are deceptively simple, yet viscerally powerful – from the opening salvo of 1776’s “Righteous Ole Joe,” where the walking bassline crashes into a swelling crescendo of chaos, and then spins out into a freaked-out musical chaospace further out of orbit than Pluto and twice as chilly, you know you’re in for a wild ride.
What other band out today could downshift from the jagged raveup of “Strappt” to the haunting, moody “Violin,” and then blaze right back into the explosive “Punk Rock Juggernaut”? Kick out the knuckle-dragging, Sabbath-on-Xanax “Geech” and then fire up the harrowing, percolating “A Clockwork Green” on the very next track? Evolotto’s diversity, and their ability to toss anything and everything into the mix without qualm or question, may or may not have grown to its current dizzying prowess in a bigger city, or surrounded by cooler cats. That’s a question we don’t have to bother to ponder, however, because luckily for us, they did get to this unique, fury-scorched plain on their own, no mean feat in a world of cookie-cutter ineptitude and lowest-common-denominator pandering. Now, with the release of 1776 upon an unsuspecting planet, and a full slate of get-in-the-van touring planned for the rest of 2000 and beyond, the long night of Evolotto’s isolation is over. They’ve built this thing, and now it’s time to take it out of Ohio and into the world.