After touring the globe drumming for One Direction for five years straight, the group’s 2016 hiatus left Josh Devine ready for his next gig. That year, much like One Direction’s leading members, he too branched off with a new venture. But instead of going solo, he formed a rock band with guitarist Hayden Maringer (Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lopez, Bebe Rexha) and vocalist Sean Michael Murray (Broadway’s American Idiot and Rent), calling the project Evaride.
Now two years into its formation, the pop-rock trio, which describes its sound as “hooky and catchy with edgy soaring melodies,” is gearing up to release its debut EP with the new lead single “What’s It All For?”
Check out Billboard‘s exclusive reveal of Evaride’s new music video for the track as we talk to Devine, Maringer and Murray about how performing alongside the biggest acts in the biz has prepared them for this new next musical chapter.
What makes Evaride stand out from other acts out today?
Murray: Rock is back! For far too long, everything was done on a laptop and electronic and with fake instruments. That was good for a while but I feel like there is definitely a shift happening back towards people wanting to hear real bands, real music, real guitars and real drums. There is emotion behind those instruments. When you go to the electronic elements, you lose that human feel and connection. I think that’s what’s really important to our band is that we want to keep that organic and allow for people to hear us through our instruments that we each perform. And we’re not some pop-rock band singing dumb pop songs. We really take the time to make sure that the lyrics are telling a story within the music. We want people to take something away from it.
What was the inspiration behind the video for “What’s It All For?”
Murray: The song spanned from a title we had in one of our notes, which is, “What’s it all for?” That’s the million-dollar question. We ask ourselves–, “Why do I do what I do?” and, “What in life am I doing?” I think everybody has a similar thing, especially when we see certain videos that go viral. We’re like, “Wow. Why do people care so much? What’s it all for? Why do we do this and why do we give precedence to these dumb things?” But at the end of the day, life is too short and we just have to have fun and live it to the most. We really wanted to translate that to a music video and I feel like we definitely captured that. We’re very excited for the fans to see it.
What can you tell us about your upcoming music? Debut album?
Murray: We’re finishing a six-track EP right now. We’re hoping to release a new single mid-August and follow up with the EP in September or October. We’re really excited to release new music and have a real body of work, not just a couple of singles out.
Maringer: The EP will be a mix of stuff that we’ve done. “Heartless” and “What’s It All For?” are kind of in the same vein but at two different points of the spectrum of it. There will be some tracks that are slightly more pop and ballad-y and then there will be some that are a lot bigger and chantey and anthemic, keeping it at our core standing of drums, guitar and vocals. We want to make sure that in every single song, those are the key highlights that we really bring out so people can listen to it and go, “Oh that’s Evaride.”
How did your previous projects prepare you for Evaride?
Murray: Doing eight shows a week on Broadway, you really have to be on your feet and ready to go every day. That really helped me build up my vocal stamina. I also learned how to really command the stage and hold an audience. Every night you are performing in front of a solid 2,000 to 3,000 people so you have to take really good care of your voice. And that’s what the discipline of that taught me, to be ready for it.
Maringer: I’ve done a lot of music direction. So I would do things like creating the music for the artist’s show and designing the intros and doing everything from hiring the band to rehearsing the musicians, everything to do with the sound of the live arrangements of the songs. My job was to take the songs that had already been recorded from the studio versions and make them elevated, take them to the next level for a live performance. So for me, it’s insane now to be able to take all of those skills that I learned and did for so long to bring to our own project.
Devine: Touring around for five years was pretty demanding and challenging. It definitely taught me what it means to be in a band. I’ve seen the good, the bad. I’ve seen it work, I’ve seen it break apart. I’ve seen all of those different aspects. So I feel like I have a little jumpstart into the world of actually being an artist and I started at the very highest level. We’re nowhere near that kind of level but it’s good to take example from the people that are doing the best. I learned how to smash the hell out of the drums. We went from playing smaller 1,000 theater places to Wembley Stadium. I mastered commanding the stage and keeping the beat down. At the end of the day, my job is simple — to make people dance. If I’m doing that, I’m doing it right. I’m predominantly a rock drummer so I don’t just play very quietly, like you’d imagine. I play with my hands raised as high as they can and then slam down. I just want to be a good entertainer and I feel like that’s all really helped develop my style.
Murray: Josh also brings the female fans.
Devine: Yeah. Yeah. I guess [laughs]. There is genuinely nothing better than when you have a song you’ve created yourself and you see people out there digging it and singing the words back to you. There is no other feeling that beats that.