War Radio wages at Taffy’s

By Justin Kreitzer

War Radio is an Indianapolis-based folk-rock band led by the husband and wife duo, Joel and LaToshia (Tosh) Everson, along with drummer Drew Cooper and bassist Dennis Furr. Their promising debut album, Tracks was released in 2014 to great praise and their fan base has grown rapidly in part because of their road-warrior mentality. Currently the band is working on their sophomore album set to release this summer. In anticipation, they are touring throughout the country and will make a stop at Taffy’s in Eaton for a performance on Friday, June 17.

Led by the Everson’s close-knit harmonies and vocal interplay, the quartet creates a soulful brand of folk-rock with elements of ’90s alternative rock, country and western and catchy, pop-leaning melodies.

Dayton City Paper spoke with Tosh about their influences, the new album and more.

As an introduction for new listeners, how and when did War Radio form?

LaToshia Everson: The current band line up is about 3-years -old. War Radio on the other hand, has been playing shows for about five years.  The band formed when a group of us, who had been playing music for fun, thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could share this music with other people?” And so we did. For us, music is a passion, but it’s also an exchange, so the idea of sharing our music just made sense.

War Radio’s sound is highly eclectic; what has influenced your music the most?  

LE: We love so many styles of music, and I think our sound reflects that. It’s interesting because on the local scene, there are a lot of musicians who have influenced our music that you all probably have never heard of. Nationally, we love everything from My Morning Jacket, to Houndmouth, to ZZ Ward, to Sufjan Stevens—with Adele, and Coldplay, Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, etc., in between … what has influenced [us] the most is the idea of being something more, of creating a world that others can fall into. Music is meant to transcend, and we’re trying to do that, together, with
the audience.

Your sophomore album is set to release in June.  Does it have a title and what inspired the creative process for the album—are there any unifying themes?

LE: Title, well…that’s a good question and one that I cannot confirm for you today. We have not made the absolute, final decision on the name. You know how these things go. Unifying theme? Yes, for sure: hope.

Standout track, “Whisper,” rocks out with soaring vocals and lead guitar runs despite the demure song title and sounds like a fun one to play. What is your favorite song to play live and why?

LE: I absolutely love singing “Whisper.” The title is meant to be coy in that you’re shouting the whisper. Currently, my favorite songs to play (sorry, I have to give you two) are “Mona Lisa (Pages)” and “Driving Darkness.”  They are two very different songs, but at the end of the day, I think their commonality is taking responsibility for yourself and making this space we live in a better place. “Mona Lisa” describes some of the great women in our world who have fought for change. As the audience listens to the song, they’re being encouraged to do the same. The ending refrain says, “Don’t die without name, fall in love and love again.” That’s powerful. It’s meant to incite a reaction. “Driving Darkness” says a lot with its title alone. It’s fun to play because the music is heavy and driving and there are all these sounds that are being created. And lyrically, it expresses a kind of mindset we all could use a little more of.

With music festival season upon us, what would your dream lineup be for a music festival if you were asked to curate?  

LE: Man, tough question. We go to a lot of concerts.  So, we’ve been fortunate to see so many of the bands we love. If I had to give you a lineup, I’d still be listing them from now to when we play at Taffy’s in a few weeks. Let’s just say there’d be a lot bands that like to be creative, and engaging, a jam, and go off the set list, and … you get the point.

Without giving away too many surprises, what can be expected at a War Radio show?

LE: Honestly, feelings. Feelings can be expected. We like to engage our audience with our music in a way that makes them feel intrigued, moved, somehow a part of this wonderful collaborative effort. There’s an energy that moves through music, we want them to feel that and be a part of it.  It’s what makes the show come alive.

War Radio performs Friday, June 17 at Taffy’s, 123 E. Main St. in Eaton. Show starts at 8 p.m. and there is no cover charge. For more information please visit warradio.us.
Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at JustinKreitzer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Megan Garrison grew up in the small town of Lampasas, Texas, spending her time immersed in Ernest Hemingway novels and dreaming of being a journalist one day. Now she attends the University of Dayton and is hard at work studying to be a war-time correspondent. Though she is very goal oriented and works hard to achieve her dreams she also loves to have a little fun. She DJs her own radio show on Flyer Radio and makes it a point to attend great movies and local concerts. But her greatest love will always be books.

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