OC Transplants Them Evils Deliver Big, Badass Rock By Way of Vegas
Growing up down the street from one another just outside of Las Vegas, Jordan Griffin and Jake Massanari had an interest in music, but it wasn’t until Massanari’s previous band broke up that the duo finally joined forces. Once the longtime friends plugged in, they instantly knew that they were meant to play music together, and thus the birth of the band known as Them Evils.
Pulling together several local musicians, the duo started playing throughout Las Vegas. Hating the local scene and realizing their bandmates lacked the same desire to succeed, the duo disbanded that outfit, and packed up and moved westward.
Griffin and Massanari decided to relocate to Huntington Beach on the recommendation of a friend, and since it was is nestled in between Los Angeles (“We don’t have to deal with the bullshit there every day”) and San Diego. That decision has been fruitful. Following the dissolving of their previous band, Griffin decided to take on vocal duties on top of his guitar responsibilities.
“We’re close to L.A.,” Griffin explains on the band’s decision to ditch their hometown. “The music scene in America is here, so we came here to play rock n roll.”
Once they settled in, Griffin and Massanari had a revolving door of drummers before they met David Delaney II, who became the drummer following the band’s first EP. Them Evils also met Mike Wilson, who lives in the area, through a mutual friend, and ended up recorded the band’s first two releases.
Delaney’s addition has allowed the duo to move in a direction they not only deem to be satisfactory, but towards an attainable goal of crafting big songs that will introduce them to a wider audience.
The band produces music at a prolific pace. Since moving to Huntington Beach, they’ve been working tirelessly both on-and-offstage. The trio has already grinded out three releases, attributing the effects of beach life as the reason for their creative prosperity. As soon as they’re finished with an album, Them Evils are back in Delaney’s rehearsal space practicing and hashing out the next batch of material several hours per week (“We jam, drink beer, eat pizza and talk shit”). The manic pace in which they produce material — so far they’ve had a new album in each of the three years they’ve lived in Southern California — has allowed them to progress faster as a band than others at the same juncture of their career.
“You’ve gotta strive out here, you gotta grind,” Griffin says. “When you go through hardships, it’s easier to write music. Life in Vegas was too damn easy. You gotta fuckin’ hustle here. You gotta work your ass off to pay rent, buy music shit and there’s too much competition. You have to strive to be the best.”
Them Evils are still in their early 20s, but their hunger and desire to impress veterans in the local rock scene hasn’t gone unnoticed. They’re currently working on another EP, which will contain five or six new songs, and have seen their profile grow with opening slots for Mount Holly, Jared James Nichols and recently Mac Sabbath at the Observatory on top of gigs with local favorites like Well Hung Heart and Big Monsta. Even as they continue to work hard, the band has a simple goal as they plan to hit the road in 2016 both locally and beyond.
“We’ve pretty much whored ourselves out across all across California playing as many shows as we can and we’re looking to play Europe this year,” Griffin says. “We’ve actually done better than I thought in a short period of time. Hopefully people will keep wanting us to come back.”
Them Evils perform with Well Hung Heart, Thunder Gut, Killmama and Joyous Wolf at Feedback Fest at The Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St. , Costa Mesa, (949) 764-0039, www.wayfarercm.com, Feb. 27, 7 p.m., $5 advance, $7 day of the show. 21+.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.