While the first thing that pops into mind when the words “Oklahoma” and “evangelicals” are uttered are television preachers from the buckle of the Bible belt, the trio of singer Josh Jones, bassist Kyle Davis and drummer Austin Stephens that makes up Evangelicals are anything but. Hailing from Norman, Oklahoma—origin of the Flaming Lips, Chainsaw Kittens and Starlight Mints—the band’s debut “So Gone” received universal critical acclaim and launched the band on a nationwide tour last fall, during which they made a stop between shows to spend a night at Yale. Davis spoke to scene&heard about Yale girls, the new ‘gelicals record, and their plans for visiting the Elm City again.
Scene&Heard: How did the tour go last year? Lessons learned?
Kyle Davis: Last year was awesome. We ended up circling the country about two and half times. Drink “Emergen-C.” Avoid Plano, Texas.
S&H: What was your favorite city to tour in?
KD: It’s hard to say best…but I love Montreal. Seattle, Portland…New York. All good. Anytime there are people there to see us we’re pretty fucking excited.
(More after the jump)
S&H: Do you have any funny or amusing stories from the road?
KD: Too many inside jokes to count. There were some crazy stories, but I don’t want to spoil the mystique of it all, yeah?
S&H: What was your experience like at Yale? Does it fit the stereotype? What kinds of things did you do while you visited?
KD: We’ve had a blast hanging out in New Haven. It’s a very different scene than I’m used to…Josh and I tried speaking binary for the first hour we were there.
I think it fit the stereotype of looking like an Ivy League university, which is probably what you’re going for.
While we visited we went to a couple parties, plotted to steal some sort of trophy, and went to a really giant dance party in the cafeteria. Josh actually crowd surfed a few times in the madness.
I was trying to talk to a girl out of my league and she eventually asked: “Do you go here?”
I thought about lying, cos’ I wasn’t sure that she went there, but I couldn’t really explain the touring situation accurately on the dance floor, so I went with, “No,” which was not the right answer.
S&H: Looking forward to coming again?
KD: Yes! We should play there!
S&H: Yale girls–hot or not?
KD: Hot. Super hot.
S&H: What can we look forward to on the second album? How has the sound changed, and how would you compare it to So Gone?
KD: The record is called “The Evening Descends” and it’s quite a bit different from So Gone, but it still sounds like us. It’s sort of a dark, trippy, rock record but we sort of amped up the pop elements to some extent. More singles, maybe. It’s a better record.
S&H: Do you and Austin have more influence in the songs now that you’ve been with Josh longer? Who did the primary songwriting on this one?
KD: Josh is the principle songwriter for the band, no doubt. But the original recording of So Gone doesn’t have us in it at all. We did end up playing some on the reworking of the album we did that led up to the Misra release.
This record has the band, it’s us on it, so infinitely more influence.
S&H: How does your college experience compare to Yale?
KD: It’s hard to say. New Haven is a different scene than Norman, Oklahoma. I love living in Norman, but I’m sure that I would love New Haven too. There are too many variables. I would most likely get a better education at Yale.
KD: Also, [the University of Oklahoma] is a football school, which is awful, and it sort of boasts the giant Midwestern college feel. That part isn’t entirely bad, except for whatever compels people to wear gaucho pants. But a beautiful campus, and great people. The experience probably wouldn’t be too different.
S&H: When will the new album be released? When will you be touring?
KD: January of 2008. It seems like a long time from now! But we’ll also tour then. In the meantime I’m finishing school, and we’re trying to build an Evangelicals HQ to make some music videos and recordings in. We need a homebase.
Listen to Evangelicals at http://www.myspace.com/evangelicals