Calgary, AB-based four-piece band, Crooked Spies have recently released their new single “Pay It Mind”. The band which is fronted by brothers Dylan and Steven Evanik had a chat with us for our newest segment of Five Questions With, so check that out below, along with the single.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello,Canadian beats connoisseurs. Dylan from Crooked Spies here ready to fill your brain holes with some fun and useless truth facts about our rock band. We call Calgary, AB our home and native land and have been ripping tasty rock vibes since the year of our lord 2014. Some might say that we are dreamers. Stuck in a time of when guitar rock dominated the airwaves. Most wouldn’t say that though. The band is fronted by my little bro Steve and I. Our rhythm section consists of some hard hitting homies Aaron Samson and Mark Lawlor. We have a pretty simple philosophy as a band. Serve the songs that we are writing and to have fun in all aspects of what we do. In terms of a sound, I think the best description for our band to date is that we serve up a “gnarly, almost belligerently cool slab of stoner rock, muscled-up pop-punk, and ’90s mostly metal.”
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
Our music is kind of all over the map. We like to consider ourselves a straight up rock band but definitely dive into the worlds of stoner rock, pop punk, and psych rock. Some might say that we have a heavily garage rock-influenced sound. In terms of a writing style. I do the majority of the songwriting with Steve coming in for the win on some tracks here and there.
The songwriting process for us can vary wildly. In general, I’ll have a riff first but occasionally a melody or a line will weasel its way into my brain and I can’t stop humming or singing it until it’s documented in some way, shape or form. Usual via a voice memo. Often times these lines become the hook or the chorus of a song. I have a deep catalogue of random one-liners that I can use in times of lyrical trouble.
In many cases, I’ll have the majority of a song put together (riff wise). Try to lock down lyrics for a chorus. From here I try to figure out what it is I’m actually trying to say and then write the verses. Most of the time bridge parts are a communal effort when we start going through and putting the song together as a band.
Once I feel comfortable with having a fairly complete piece of work I bring it to the gents and we piece it together. This is where the songs usually take on a new life and become a “Crooked Spies” song. Each of the dudes really attacks their own stylistic elements and it takes a new shape. That is my favourite part of the whole process.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
We sure do. You can catch us for our next single release and at Lilac Fest.
May 29th, 2019 – Commonwealth w/ A Day as Wolves & The Varmoors – Calgary, AB.
June 2nd, 2019 – Lilac Festival – Main Stage – Calgary, AB
Our approach to playing live is very natural. It’s a raw, unrehearsed and honest show we put on. We never stop. It’s full on for however long we get. We may stop to tune or have a sip but in general, we want to get the most out of whatever time slot we have. I think that our fans appreciate the energy and the honesty that comes with our live experience. Something else that we’ve found resonates with people is the fact that we don’t hide any emotions. We are transparent in the time we are given and in general showcase the fact that this is live music and it is meant to be fun.
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
Man, Oh Manischewitz that is a tough one. Let’s go with Beginnings/Wandering. I’m kind of cheating here because its a two-part song but was originally written as one. For some reason, we split it up for the album. I can’t recall why. They are tracks 9 & 10 on our last release ‘High Plains’. It really encompasses all aspects of our sound and is a beast of a tune. Everyone shines in different ways on this song. Steven’s solo at the end of wandering is my favourite thing he has ever done.
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
The Dirty Nil
The Ashley Hundred
Free the Cynics
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.