From: Seattle, WA
If musical fate were a thing, Josh Starkel (guitars/vocals) and Kyle Veazey (drums/vocals) of Seattle’s own Duke Evers, were definitely meant to have crossed paths. Having found each other whilst looking for roommates, it wasn’t until months later that they started jamming together and soon realized that their musical styles and ideas were destined to be melded into what is now known as Duke Evers.
Duke Evers is a duo that fully embodies the phrase “quality, not quantity.” With a roster of only two members, the guys can pack punch with their hard-hitting and dance-y guitar-driven style. While Josh’s vocal timbre is reminiscent of an alternative 80’s crooner meets the tenacity and swagger of a Julian Casablanca, Kyle keeps the groove and intensity going at all times with his crisp patterns that align perfectly with their lyrical phrasing. Duke Evers are such a fun time on stage regardless of whether or not you are familiar with their songs, and it is only a matter of time before more and more people start to catch on to the great tunes that Josh and Kyle are creating.
I got the chance to chill with the two guys and chat boots, bacon, and tour goals before they tore up the ShowBox Market stage opening for folk-y indie pop singer, Leighton Meester.
RCA: Duke Evers, thanks so much for taking the time to interview with Rain City Ambience. Congrats on playing the ShowBox, such a milestone for any Seattle musician!
Kyle: Thanks! It feels incredible, it feels good. It’s definitely our favorite venue that we had yet to play.
Josh: I’ve actually never been to the ShowBox Market, I’ve only been to SoDo. I’ve never even seen a show here before.
So your first show is your show, even better!
As a Seattle-based band, how has the local music scene and musicians affected your musical ventures and goals?
K: I mean as far as how it’s affected as a band, it’s just like any other local music community. We started a band, we started playing out and we started making friends, making friends with bands and musicians. It’s a cool little tight-knit community. You just start playing around, and if they like you they put you on and we’ve been fortunate enough to get good praise from a lot of people and a lot of other bands
J: Played with a lot of other cool bands. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun!
I know you guys found each other when initially looking for a roommate on some sort of Craigslist type deal. How did that happen?
K: Yeah, not trying to play in a band though. I was looking for a roommate at my house.
J: Casual encounters!
K: Yeah, that’s what it was. He just showed up at an open house thing and I was blasting Zeppelin and drinking beers and then yeah, he never left.
J: We actually lived together for three or four months before we ever really started jamming, and we were both in bands that we didn’t really want to be in and we said F it. We had a bass player for a long time and it was awesome and we loved that time, but it just didn’t work out. So after that we were sort of bass player-jaded and we just said F it, let’s just did our own thing. It was just one of those things where rather than trying to find someone that was into what we were into and had the same idea as us, we just figured we would go and hopefully someone would eventually come, and if not that’s cool.
So are you guys living with each other right now?
J: No, I actually just moved out!
J: [Laughs] But that’s okay I literally live a couple blocks away. Sometimes you gotta do that you know?
Yeah, I was going to say it would be band practice like 24/7 otherwise right?
J: Well we do have a 24 hour practice space where we live and it’s a lot of jammin’, a lot of playing. We’d just go to the bars and people would follow us to our practice space and we’d jam all night and just come up with songs.
K: We have a good time, let’s just put it at that.
I just happened to stumble upon your set at Capitol Hill Block Party last year, and I was pleasantly surprised!
J: Yeah, we’re glad you did. That was one of those things where I turned around and there was nobody, I turned around and tuned my guitar and turned around again, and there was everybody. We were definitely surprised by how it turned out, it was great, a really fun show.
Do you have any non-musical influences?
K: He’s wearin’ them!
J: My Chelsea boots, man.
Yas, that’s fantastic!
J: Yeah, we’re actually playing a song tonight that I wrote after my Chelsea boots, and it kinda sounds like it’s about a girl, and that’s how I wanted it to be. Mac DeMarco kinda does this thing with his cigarettes and how they are almost like a love interest. I mean, I totally ripped him off but I was got this idea of what if I take something I really loved a lot and turned it into a song? And, Chelsea boots!
So do you have a collection of boots, or is just Chelsea?
K: He absolutely does.
J: Yeah, I like boots.
Oh my gosh, same.
J: Yup, anything with a Cuban heel. It’s a feminine thing, but it’s very rock n’ roll.
Do you guys have any pre/post-show rituals?
K: Yeah, we always take a shot of whiskey [laughs].
J: Ooh, so original [laughs].
K: We have this chant, we hype ourselves up right before the show, right before we get one.
J: We’re still a really young band so we don’t always have a place to do that, but we’re usually just hanging with friends, it’s as simple as that. For now we just let our friends back in the green room and drink all of our free beer.
Favorite local grub?
J: Sushi is always good.
K: Yeah, Dragon Fish, we go there all the time. We’d always grab a slice of Mario’s too.
Maybe they’ll name something after Duke Evers!
K: Yeah, The Crocodile was actually talking about naming something the “Kyle-zone.” It’d have pepperoni, tons of black olives, and bacon.
J: American bacon, not Canadian bacon. I mean, I like Canadian bacon, but let’s get real, let’s get American [laughs].
What bands do you enjoy watching live?
J: Yes, lots of bands. I find myself more often than not in a YouTube spiral of watching KEXP videos.
K: We’ve also been really lucky to play with some really good bands too, like My Goodness kills it, Aaron Jones, The Hollers..
J: ..The Country Lips, a lot of our friends’ bands too.
K: I also really love Kings of Leon, and I would love to see Queens of the Stone Age.
J: We saw Robert Plant recently too, we cried. It was beautiful.
Any upcoming shows you’ll be attending?
J: We love to go to shows whenever we can, just random ones that we’ve never even heard of. Especially local bands.
Where do you guys want to see Duke Evers in the next year?
J: No place in particular, but we’d love to be more successful than we are right now. We’d love to tour Europe, go on tour with another band. We plan to have our next EP out this year too.
K: Yup, that’s the next thing on our plate.
The last song you listened to?
J: “Lonely Teardrops” by Jackie Wilson
K: “In The Fade” by Queens of the Stone Age