September 17, 2010
by Ben Flanagan
Evolett Lead singer and Montgomery native Haden Brightwell opens up about the River Region’s music scene, its best venues and whether it gives artists an environment where they can grow commercially and technically.
Ben Flanagan: When is your next Montgomery show and where?
Haden Brightwell: The next Montgomery show [was] actually [last night] at Strange Days. But I’m sure within the next month we will have another show booked. Just check our Facebook, Myspace or Twitter page for any updates on shows. (Evelott is performing tonight, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. at The Vineyard in Birmingham.)
BF: People often label your group as a Christian band, yet members would rather be known as a “rock” band. Describe the sound of Evolett.
HB: Yes, we are a rock band. We’re all so young and very new to all of this so I think we’re still discovering our own “sound.” I like that we are heavier than the pop/rock female-fronted bands out there now, and we hope to continue writing that way in the future. We all grew up listening to heavy music so it’s just natural that we have that hard rock sound.
BF: Do your musical tastes tend to lean toward groups with female vocalists or frontwomen? Who are some of your personal influences?
HB: Honestly, no. I will admit that I enjoy bands like Flyleaf and Paramore, but they are not what encouraged me to sing in a band. I grew up listening to a lot of Underoath, Nine Inch Nails and The Used, just tons of heavy bands. I still love all those bands today but also have a big weakness for pop artists like Rihanna, Lady GaGa and even Ke$ha. (Laughs)
BF: Has music always played a role in your life?
HB: Oh yes! I took ballet for almost 14 years, so I was always around classical music. Learning different rhythms and beats to put dance moves to has definitely helped me with understanding music I sing, too, today. I also started singing a lot in school and church when I was about 12, so my love for music has just grown from there.
BF: How do you feel about the level of quality in musicians around the Montgomery community?
HB: I think there are a lot of great local bands in Montgomery. Whether it’s a cover band or original band, there are definitely hidden talents in this small town.
BF: What’s your general opinion on the entertainment scene of Montgomery?
HB: I think Montgomery has a lot of hardworking bands and people with talent, but it’s hard to succeed in a town where sometimes people don’t give you a chance.
BF: What do you think Montgomery can do to improve its status as a cultural hotspot?
HB: Support more! If you like a band in town and want to see them play more, then start helping promote them and talk about them to anyone you know that would be interested! Plus our generation has a huge advantage now with all the social networking sites. Just because people don’t “Like” your Facebook status or comment them doesn’t mean they don’t read it. But it goes back to what I said about support. If you want to help out your local talent, then re-post anything you see about them. It helps a lot more than people think.
BF: What are your favorite venues to play?
HB: A few of my favorite places to play around here are Strange Days, The Blue Iguana in Prattville and Workplay Theatre in Birmingham.
BF: Do you think this community gives a growing musician what he or she needs to grow both technically and commercially?
HB: Yes and no. Montgomery has the right clubs and promoters. Every band in town, big or small, has fans that help spread the word, but I think the problem with Montgomery is sometimes it’s too small for a band to grow. It goes right back to the question before. Montgomery, if you want to keep seeing your favorite local bands play and succeed and branch out, then we need your help! Some people don’t like to spend money to go see only local bands play, but would people even come out if it were a free show? It’s all about spreading the word to the right people and supporting the whole way through.