World music? Soft rock? Folk? Even the members of Evry7th aren’t quite sure how to categorize their music.
The three-member local acoustic band’s sound is unique, thanks to a style that’s influence by Turkey, gypsy culture, rock ’n’ roll … and the Southern Shore.
Evry7th is Eren “Turk” Bayazitoglu, Jeremy Walsh and Craig Luscombe, who met through their mutual love of music and The Dave Matthews Band.
Bayazitoglu is a native of Turkey who moved to St. John’s about 10 years ago to attend Memorial University. In the fall of 2000, he and Walsh, of Mobile, were both living in residence at Paton College.
“I’d hear him in his room, playing some funky grooves on the bass, and he’d hear some crazy flamenco guitar coming from my room,” Bayazitoglu explained, in an accent that sounds more local than Turkish. “We started playing together at open mic nights and The Breezeway.”
The pair recorded their first original song, “Out of the Blue,” on the computer in Walsh’s dorm room, and it was shared around, played at parties and became a hit with friends.
“That’s when we got the first inkling that our original stuff was going to be good,” Walsh said.
The pair began playing the George Street scene, as well as the Stratford Music Festival with local traditional band Rowdy Stout. They also appeared alongside other local artists such as Rex Goudie and Chris Kirby.
Bayazitoglu and Walsh met Luscombe at a house party, and started including him in their jam sessions. A seasoned drummer, Luscombe had been a longtime member of Sundriver, which released the album “Rearrange” in 2000.
The trio parted ways after a few years, but dusted off their original recordings last spring. A chance meeting with Little Known Artists Studios owner Dean Stairs of Lewisporte resulted in the recordings being tweaked, polished and re-recorded to produce a five-track, self-titled album.
They decided to name the band based on an old Newfoundland saying.
“They say that every seventh wave is the biggest, and we really liked that,” Walsh said.
Although Evry7th does some covers — including flamenco-inspired versions of songs by Sade and the Police — the tunes on the CD are all original, written by Walsh and Bayazitoglu. Walsh does the lead vocals on most of the tracks, although Bayazitoglu sings lead on “Out of the Blue,” with a voice reminiscent of a younger Larry Gowan.
“My Beautiful” is the song that’s been getting the most airplay so far.
“That one was written while I was dreaming. I woke up and scrambled for a piece of paper to write it down,” Bayazitoglu said.
“Most of our songs have taken place over a number of years,” added Walsh, noting the tunes he writes are usually about “general guy things like life, girls, break-ups and make-ups.”
“Sometimes there’s a song you might not like, so you get rid of it, then pick it up again later and something jumps out at you.”
The songs are all different, and aren’t easy to describe. They’re all flamenco-flared rock, often with blues influences, with the band sounding much larger and deeper than a three-piece.
The CD had its official release with a show at The Republic in St. John’s last month. The 200 or so people who attended gave them some great feedback, the band members said.
“Most people said they had never heard anything like us before,” Bayazitoglu said. “We did a cover of The Police’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ and a guy came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I’ve heard a lot of bands play that song, but I’ve never heard anything like you guys.’”
Luscombe attributes the band’s likeability factor to its unique sound, and the creativity that allows them.
“I like the creativity we can put into the music, because it gives us a lot of room to expand and to improvise,” he said. “If we play the same song twice, it’s not going to sound like the same song. It keeps us interesting, and it’s nice for the fans and audiences.”
Bayazitoglu, Walsh and Luscombe are writing songs for their next CD, which they’re hoping to release sometime next summer. They say the plan is to develop a fan base, performing at least one show a month, and they hope to perform the festival circuit, both in this province and on the mainland.
Bayazitoglu said he’d like to see the band eventually grow.
“I’ve always thought of different parts in the songs, like violin, saxophone and piano,” he said. “Whether we can find someone in the same mindset as us or not, we’ll see.”
Evry7th will perform at the Brimstone on George Street Dec. 17. The CD is available at Fred’s Records, O’Brien’s Music and HMV in the Avalon Mall, and online on iTunes and www.evry7th.com.