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Music |

Eternalism Embodied: An Interview With Evvol

Friday 17 July 2015
Words Ailis Mara

There’s a collective mentality that runs through Berlin-based Evvol, a band cross-pollinated by contrasting cultural homelands and propelled forward by two core members Julie Chance and Jon Dark.

The duo have a long emotional and creative history and potent chemistry which shines through on recent singles lifted from their forthcoming debut album Eternalism, due July 24. Boasting a sound filtered through the juxtaposed beauty of Berlin, Evvol are as rhythmic and rich as they are bleak and brutal.

In an interview conducted prior to a recent London show, we sat down with Julie and Jon and talked beginnings, Bowie and rowdy Australians.

Watch their latest video, for ‘Sola’, below.


how do Australia, France, Berlin and Ireland play into Evvol?

Julie Chance: I’m Irish.

Jon Dark: And I’m Australian, our drummer is French and we all live in Berlin. Jules and I met in Paris. Jules was living in Berlin and then I moved to Berlin and we’ve all been there since. It’s such an international community, in the arts especially. Everyone’s from everywhere!

Julie Chance: I have like no German friends!

Are there a lot of Australians in Berlin then?

JD: Yeah, I feel like almost more than London. It seems like it’s a new place where Australians got to. When I was leaving school, [London] was the first place everyone went to. I kind of avoided London because of that. But now it feels like it’s Berlin.

JC: If you go to a coffee shop, or you go for dinner, you’re guaranteed that one of the tables will be a bunch of Australians.


Are they all creatives or are they just a whole random bunch of different people?

JD: Nah, they’re all just “doing” Berlin. But they’re all starting to get a bit of a reputation, you know like with American talkers. And now that’s happening with the Australians in Berlin, it’s not always nice.

I think England had that prestigious award for a while.

JD: It goes in cycles does it? (laughs)


People always assume if that environment plays into a musicians work. I was wondering how much your location impacts your sound.

JC: Yeah, I think there is an element of truth to that. I am Irish and I was literally brought up on traditional Irish music and traditional songwriting and I do think that comes into our studio sessions.

JD: I don’t think I’m influenced by Australia at all. I think that’s one of the main reasons why I left – the culture and opportunity for musicians was much smaller, and I didn’t feel I fitted into anything at all. I think weather does have an effect on the aesthetic and the mood I think. Like we joke about if we were living in Mallorca, I wonder what our sound would be, like brighter you know?

Yeah, there’s been a lot said about the effects of climate on a musician’s sound. You can name loads throughout history where these things are strongly linked.

JD: One of our favourites is the Bowie Berlin trilogy. And that is so time and place and the sound and the impact of the landscape, you can really hear in the music.


It seems like there’s a good community there of people who are really hungry to make music. Do you think you associate with people you wouldn’t have associated with before?

JC: Yes and no. I have always said that the London music scene is way more thriving – you can go out any single night of the week in London and see a really good band, you cannot do that in Berlin. I think Berlin is very much an electronic city, it’s a big DJ scene, a big producer scene, but like bands… it’s not at all. We’re definitely part of a supportive community but it’s small.

JD: It’s very true. It totally does exist and there are opportunities but the quality and the variety of venues as Jules was saying just coming down the street, like Birthdays, there’s only a handful that you get.

JC: Of course the big bands all come through Berlin. But smaller bands, not so much. What is attractive with Berlin is the time and the space – it’s not as hectic as London. I don’t think we could do what we do in Berlin in London at all.

JD: It’s also the ability to try things out. If you were gonna try a new project you’d be guaranteed that people will come and support it and be interested. I think that that’s a really important aspect of Berlin, you can try anything. There’s a lot of wild and weird shit that people do.

Evvol has fragments of techno in it, maybe brutality is too strong a word but there’s a definite atmosphere. Do you think that’s Berlin’s influence?

JD: Berlin has a very heavy history and we’re both actually really into learning about it right now – World War Two and the Wall. That must influence us on some level. The Nazi regime as well. We just watched six part documentary on Auschwitz which kind of blew our minds – it was a BBC doc and just the detail, it makes it real.

JC: I think that influences the sound somehow – it’s dark.

JD: Yeah the heaviness of Berlin and the heaviness of the sound for sure.

JC: Berlin has a very grey industrial feel to it as well, particularly in the winter. It’s kind of bleak.


So what kind of themes do you cover in the new record?

JC: A lot of relationship stuff. We were a couple and then we broke up and then got back together, and I think a lot of the songs are around that, and love and redemption and gratefulness as well. Would you agree with that?

JD: Yeah, also the connection of our relationship changing, lyrically and also through the emotion and movement of the music. We were kind of getting together when we were writing it, so all those emotions are in there.

Have you played recent shows? You DJ in Berlin, so what have you been playing recently and is there a limit on what you play?

JC: We play a lot of house music. There would be a limit, we play a lot of older stuff.

JD: Our sound works together, but Jules plays a bit harder, more prime time. I play more cutesy, Chicago stuff. So within that, we play house music, yeah. We’ve both been into house music for a long time.

JC: But there is a really ‘Berlin’ kind of sound, if you go to Club Der Visionaere which plays kind of minimal stuff, which I’m not interested in at all. Dixon sound and the Innervision sound, which I’m not crazy about at all actually to be honest.