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Everest: Alt-Folk's Most Underrated Band

Everest: Alt-Folk's Most Underrated Band
Jay Blakesberg

In an age when lesser bands have gone further, Everest is a rarity. The Los Angeles-based outfit with O.C. ties (three of five members are from here), is one of the most underrated bands in music today. This is a shame. So why isn't a band that not only cites Neil Young as an influence, but as a friend, a household name? It's not due to a lack of effort.

Since the band's formation in 2007, they've been writing and touring relentlessly. Everest put out two albums on Warner Bros., but it wasn't the right fit. Despite having the support of their day-to-day people, Everest ultimately parted ways with the label, which for whatever reason couldn't put the band in the position to succeed.

For the unfamiliar, the band's sound fuses alternative, folk and straight-forward rock. Judging by the ingredients of the band's songs, Everest at minimum, should at least be an alt-country or alt-folk favorite, especially on the strength of Ownerless, their well received third album released in 2012 via ATO Records.

Instead, they're a throwback to an era that seems distant. Unlike other, lesser-willed bands that would have packed it due to the ridiculous number of obstacles they've faced, Everest soldiers on, believing in their talent and trusting their songwriting abilities.

When times got tough, the band has been able to call upon Young, their trusted friend and mentor. Everest has opened for Neil Young multiple times in the past, most recently late last year at the Godfather of Grunge's show at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. Guitarist Joel Graves says that both Young and his manager, Elliot Roberts are close confidants who helped them through some their toughest times by offering pointed suggestions, words of wisdom and insight that only a Rock N Roll Hall of Famer can offer.

Everest's current tour has been energized the group. Even with the addition of drummer Dan Bailey and guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan, the band is hitting their stride. They've been playing each show without a formal set list. While that could be daunting to a lesser band, Graves says it's made each show more exciting. They've been following the flow of what they're feeling and what they think will work with that night's crowd, which has led to tight sets and their growth as a live band.

"These are the best shows the band has ever played," he says. "It's a testament to where we're at right now as a band. Touring has turned into a viable option for us, which is exciting after all of these years of hard work. It's great to see the fan base start to grow.  

While the guitarist says the band would consider soldiering on for what's been nearly a 15-month tour, the time has come for Everest to get back in the studio for their fourth album. They're planning on heading in potentially as soon as late September or early October, but after a much needed and well deserved break.

"We're in a place where we're anxious and ready to make new music," the guitarist explains. "We have a new chemistry that's working for us and everything's cracking right now and I think we're ready. We're in a good head space right now."

Regardless of how long it takes to crank out the next album, Everest will continue to evolve in a business where that can be extraordinarily difficult. But after three albums, it would be easy if Everest got complacent, but that isn't in the band's DNA.

"We still have so much more room to grow and you don't know how exciting that is," Graves explains. "We're not even tapping into some of the potential we're starting to feel right now. If anything, we feel like the shackles have come off."

Now is your chance to get on the Everest bandwagon. Hop on board before it's too late.

Everest play tonight at the Constellation Room. For full ticket info, click here.

Follow us on Twitter @ocweeklymusic and @danielkohn. Like us on Facebook at Heard Mentality


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