Leah Brown is from the Gold Coast, but she’s poised to take on the world. She’s the front woman of Evol Walks, and currently residing in Hollywood, California. Evol Walks have the feel of iconic 80s rock, but with an injection of unmistakeable Australian energy and craftsmanship. Kyle Butcher had a chat to Leah as she hung out around her old GC stomping grounds before touring Australia with a string of dates through March.
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The name Evol Walks is attention grabbing for many different reasons. Is it misspelled deliberately? What does Evol mean? I knew better than to whip my phone out and google the answer- I asked the Leah the origins of the bandname and her reason for moving across the world.
“My manager pointed out that I wasn’t exactly evil, so Evol is love backwards, along with being short for Evolution. I actually got invited to move over to America by an A&R company. They contacted me in December 2013, and I had to turn around and be there 14 days later. It was pretty awesome. Living over there was really different. The culture, the people, the way they relate to each other, just everything in general,” Leah said.
That’s not to say that Australia hasn’t been kind to Evol Walks. The band has received national airplay and the band snagged a lucrative spot at the now defunct Big Day Out festival.
“We got the opportunity to play Big Day Out in 2013. It was so fun, we ran into a few musicians, and it was a great day. We got to play the same lineup as Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Killers and Vampire Weekend. I definitely was pinching myself. We got to meet the Alabama Shakes and Dead Letter Circus along with being side stage for Grinspoon, which was really awesome,” Leah said.
Once upon a time, Australian bands found footholds in the UK and Europe before being able to make the trek through the extensive land that is America, but Evol Walks seems to have pulled it off without a hitch. I was curious as to how the band has been going over in the United States.
“I was having a conversation with someone about this yesterday!” Leah told me. “I was in a band prior to Evol Walks and we got a little bit of hype, but I’ve found that Evol Walks has been extremely well received. We released our first single for radio in September, and when it hit national radio, it exploded. People seem excited about our latest single which is awesome, because usually it’s just me being excited (laughs).”
Along with their success in America, Evol Walks landed themselves a massive producer in Brian Howes who has worked with artists like Nickelback, Air Supply, Simple Plan and Skillet. Leah told me what it was like to work with a major producer.
“I love working with Brian, he’s rad. He’s the nicest dude ever, and I was a bit scared going in there, because you hear horror stories about Hollywood producers being very intimidating and over the top, but he’s just a chilled out guy.”
“He has excellent ideas, great studio and great vibes.”
Still Leah said she’s never been worked so hard in a studio before in her life. “The pressure was on, but that’s what made it. You don’t want to work with someone who is complacent,” she said.
And with that, the stage is set for Evol Walks to trip around Australia plying their wares. The band is not only servicing the major cities, but are also trawling through regional locations like Bendigo and Toowoomba.
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Evol Walks hit Currumbin Creek Tavern on Saturday 14 March