Despite rocky path rockers Evergreen Terrace still strive to thrive

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | JULY 23, 2009 7:15 AM

Many people wish they could live the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle, but most people don’t take the time to realize how much effort bands put into touring. Melodic hard-core band Evergreen Terrace recently lost its bass player of almost 10 years, saw its drummer get in a serious bike accident, and suffered from all-around tough economic times.

“Last year, when the economy got really bad, on Warped Tour alone, we split a bus and gas and still spent $25,000 on gasoline,” guitarist Josh James said. “It definitely has taken its toll on us and has been stressful, but we also know that things like this happen. But we can either call it quits, or we can continue to do it, and that’s why we decided to do this record.”

Nearly 10 years after the band’s inception in Jacksonville, Fla., vocalist Andrew Carey, James, guitarist Craig Chaney, and drummer Kyle Mims are preparing to release their fifth full-length album, Almost Home, on Sept. 29. At present, the band is hitting the road as part of the Summer Slob Tour with Acacia Strain, Cruel Hand, and Unholy. The all-ages hard-core show will come to the Picador, 330 E. Washington St., at 6 p.m. today.

“There will be strippers, midgets, and all kinds of crazy things,” James said. “Actually, Acacia Strain has this deal where if you weigh more than 200 pounds, they will give you a free pizza or calzone of your choice. It’s a pretty interesting gimmick they got going on. Free pizza, free calzones, free Oreos … I would go.”

The Summer Slob Tour got off to rocky start when Evergreen Terrace and Unholy arrived at first stop in Philadelphia and discovered there was a change in venue.

“We found out where the new venue was, and when we drove there it was a baseball field,” James said. “We were confused so we called Vincent from Acacia Strain, who was like, ‘Oh, here, I’ll walk outside.’ So he comes walking out of the woods and tells us to get over on some dirt path. We just played pretty much underneath a shed. There were no walls. A few hundred people showed up so it was a good show, but it was definitely an appropriate way to start off a tour called Summer Slob. It was a pretty slobby night.”

Evergreen Terrace is touring minus drummer Kyle Mims, who got into an accident while riding a beach cruiser just a week before the tour began. James said Mims’ spokes collapsed on the cruiser, sending the drummer headfirst over the handlebars, breaking his clavicle in three places, crushing his elbow, leaving road rash all over his body, and a head wound that required stitches.

“We knew we couldn’t afford to miss this tour,” James said. “So we had like four practices with my little brother, who plays drums for a band called Casey Jones, and he came out here, and now we are pulling it off.”

Although Evergreen Terrace’s bass player decided to move on from the band, James said the experience helped the band write the best album of its career.

“I think that a lot of that frustration, and that stress, and that anger, and that just curiosity of what’s going to happen in the future — that energy ended up getting put into the writing process,” he said. “The record turned out awesome, and it’s definitely the best record that we’ve done.”

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