The Story of EVA Los Angeles, a gothic dance-pop outfit that conjures a sound reminiscent of Suede, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Pet Shop Boys, The Cramps, and more, is a riveting odyssey with many serpentine twists and turns. It began, as things often do, at a quaint Christian Dance Party in 1991 amidst the serene backdrop of Irvine’s Mariners Church. Here, a casual remark on a Dead Kennedys t-shirt sparked a connection between EFC and J-Rad, a connection that would go on to sculpt the very essence of what would later become Eva. Amidst the echoes of an Orgy song, the band Eva emerged in 2001, symbolizing a male-fronted ensemble enveloped in a feminine aura. The lore further unfolds in the electric nights at Gay Del, where the energy of electroclash mingled with the raw echoes of punk, forging an unspoken manifesto that steered clear of darkness, instead, embracing a fashionable identity that resonated through the Value Village DC thrift finds and a unique OC washed hairstyle. The duo, flaunting a reimagined John Squire guitar sound and crystalline dream-witch vocals, embarked on a whimsical journey, envisaging Suede B-side covers as their initial motif.
The summer of 2001 saw the infusion of J-Rad’s Tascam 8-track minidisc and a Fender Jazzmaster, a cue for a shift towards original compositions that encapsulated the spirit of Eva. The unanticipated arrival of original tracks like ‘GoGo,’ ‘Outside Girl,’ ‘Red Ferrari’ and ‘New Violence’ emanated an avant-garde aura, transcending the traditional analogue essence as they reverberated from Agoura Hills to Oceanside over a payphone. The entourage soon expanded, with MycoJesus and Subtraktor joining the fray, the latter injecting a fresh dose of synth magic into the ensemble. This concoction of electroclash with britpop/goth guitars, molded with a touch of trip-hop beats, embodied a genre-defying aesthetic that set Eva apart in the indie-sleaze carousel of the time. The journey through studio recordings, label interests, and a fair share of musical evolutions, though laden with hurdles, kept the essence of Eva resilient, culminating in a distinct sound that captivated the goth and electronic dance spheres alike.
At a serendipitous gathering at the Patriarchy show at the Levitt Pavilion on July 22nd, 2022, J-Rad’s fortuitous meeting with postmodernfamilyrobinson and apokrify revealed a new chapter in Eva’s narrative. This encounter, immersed in humor and music, led to a creative collaboration that saw the birth of the ‘Eva gals.’
The rendezvous also paved the way for a fresh spark in Eva’s visual realm as the ‘gals’ provided the ideal imagery to complete the visual scope for the video treatment that director moodwithaview set forth. This performance reflects the vintage aesthetics of Bahooka Tiki Bar in 1981, with a touch of Mick Jagger’s charisma from the movie Performance. This portrayal, a vivid reflection of Eva’s live gig aura, intertwined with a dash of 1981’s deathrock allure, encapsulated the essence of Eva, hinting at a crystallized body of music and art on the horizon, patiently awaiting its dawn amidst the echoes of past, present, and future reverberations.
On creating the song “Vegan Mafia,” the band explains: The idea sonically was if Christian Death, Bauhaus, The Cramps, and Wesley Willis were stuck in line at the DMV.. what could possibly go wrong? For the video, the idea was to simulate a live performance at Bahooka Tiki Bar in 1981 with Mick Jagger from Performance leading the charge.
While editing the video of “Vegan Mafia”, J-Rad found inspiration from a tarot reading that was conducted during the assembly process. As a result, he recorded a version of Orgy’s song ‘Fiction’ in the style of Bauhaus’s ‘Silent Hedges’ or something off Swans’ album ‘Children of God.’
On recording the cover of “Fiction (Dreams in Digital),” he explains: – Orgy are fucking sick! I like them so much that I had Amir Derakh mix this track. The video was supposed to be an updated version of George Michael’s Freedom ‘90 video but ended up being something else entirely.
Watch the video below:
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