The term “supergroup” may conjure up images of a squeaky-clean boy bands or eager, spandex-clad crimefighters. Evening Shadows are neither of these things—and yet—I really can’t think a better word to describe them (if you think of one, please let me know).

As if created by glorious accident in some mad scientist’s lab, this oozing, punk-rock experiment featuring members of Valient Thorr (bassist Tyler Wolf), Strike Anywhere (guitarist/vocalist Matt Smith), ASG (drummer Scott Key), Toke (guitarist/vocalist Jason “Bronco” Pierce) and White Tiger & the Bed of Roses (vocalist/tambourine spanker Matt Hearn) have busted out of the petri dish and bopped straight into our collective, pop-punk hearts.

Upbeat, melodic, a little snotty—and with a healthy whiff of bubble-gummy Ramones worship—this is probably not what any of us would have expected from Wilmington, North Carolina’s motliest crew.

WARNING: Evening Shadows is neither thrashy nor screamy nor in the least bit shreddy. There will be NO breakdowns, moshing, or hair-whipping solos.

Hey, I ain’t mad at it! Check out Evening Shadows’ catchy new single and New Noise exclusive “Psycho Chaperone” for yourself. It’s the sweet debut single from the band’s upcoming LP, due out later this year on Eccentric Pop Records (recorded by Ian Millard at Dogwood Lane Studio). If this track is any indiction, it’s gonna be radical! Here’s my interview with vocalist Matt Hearn as he tries to explain how such an unlikely project went down. Truth is always a little stranger than fiction, right?

This is a fun supergroup. Do you feel an element of each band you guys hail from (Valient Thorr, Strike Anywhere, ASG, Toke) bring something to this new side project? If so, who brings what?
Thanks for helping us get the word out. This is fun for all the guys because all their other bands are way different than this. We’re doing simple punk rock and enjoying the song writing process. “Psycho Chaperone” is the first song Matt Smith (Strike Anywhere) and I scratched together.

Where did the name come from? So Emo.
The name is kind of random. Something me and a buddy dreamed up on a hike.

You guys are from Wilmington, NC. What’s the state of the scene there now (well, before COVID-19), and how does Evening Shadows fit into that web?
Wilmington, NC has a great scene. There’s a ton of different acts around town. It’s cool for a small, coastal town to have such a variety of stuff coming out of it. I own a club in town called Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern.

We do a ton of bands. That’s where I met Travis Woods (of Eccentric Pop Records) laying down bass in the sadly short-lived band Ration Card. Those guys ruled for a couple weeks. It’s a mixed bag, Wilmington is. We’ve only played three shows so far, so we don’t know where we in fit in … just like high school … but this time, people seem to dig it.

The obligatory: How did you guys form?
Matthew Shadows and Matt Shadows have been tossing around songs for a couple years. Tyler Wolf retired from Texas, by way of Valiant Thorr, to Wilmington. Scott has the practice space and a van, and Bronco slithered on somehow.

What’s the plan for the band? Y’all focused on recording? Obviously touring is kinda a no-go…
We got a couple more to record with with Ian, then releasing on Eccentric Pop Records. Hopefully, we have the album done by September or early October. We’re planning on playing Fest in Gainesville Florida in Late October, so I hope before that. No extensive tour plans, but open to opportunities and running around with buds on the East Coast and beyond.

“Psycho Chaperone” has a sonically upbeat, poppy vibe. Does it feel like you’re taking a musical detour or using a different muscle writing music like this?
No detour. Downstroke rock ‘n’ roll … so yeah … our forearms!

Author

Hayley believes in the power of lipstick and distortion! Guitarist of poolside glitter trash band Hayley and the Crushers, host of Sparkle and Destroy Podcast, writer at www.isyourboyfriendintheband.com and BUST Magazine. Find Hayley at www.hayleyandthecrushers.com.

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