Evil Eye Gypsy releases 3rd album at Oregon Express
By Matt Clevenger
Photo: Evil Eye Gypsy’s Sheree Jane sings the psychedelic alternative-rock blues; photos: Wesley Holt
With influences ranging from Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath to The Cowboy Junkies, Ween, and the Flaming Lips, Dayton-based psychedelic rockers Evil Eye Gypsy are bringing the psychedelic blues of the ’60s into a new era.
“We’re almost shoegaze,” guitarist Mike Emmons says. “When we started the band, we were actually going for a shoegaze sound. We ended up being a lot more versatile than that.
“I’m really influenced by alternative rock, and I also love like ’60s psychedelics,” he says. “Overall, I would say we’re kind of a psychedelic alternative-rock band, but there’s a lot of bluesy stuff is in our music, too.”
The band has already released two full-length albums, Dirt Roads (2011) and Late Nights & Double Features (2013), and will host a CD release party for their new album, Mistaken Karma, on Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Oregon Express in Dayton.
“It’s been three years since we released anything,” Emmons says. “This will be our third CD, after a three-year layoff of songwriting.
“We’re really leaning more towards the psychedelic side of things this time around,” he says of the new album’s sound. “I think it kind of recaptures the vibe of the first CD more than the second CD did, but still moving into some new territory.”
Evil Eye Gypsy started out approximately six years ago, as a side project that eventually grew into a band.
“We’ve actually been around for about six years now,” Emmons says. “Our original singer, her name was Cindy Bergen. This was actually just kind of the music side of a multi-media internet thing we were going to put together, with animation and everything.”
“I just started writing songs, and I ended up getting way ahead,” he says. “I had more music than we had animation, so it just kind of morphed into being a band, and we kind of dropped the whole animation thing.”
The band’s current line-up includes Emmons, lead vocalist Sherree Jane, bassist Aaron Gebard, and drummer Cat Shift.
“I’d say she’s kind of a local personality in the music scene,” Emmons says of Shift. “She’s been in quite a few other bands over the years, and she’s a character.
“Our singer Sherree Jane did the artwork for the CD,” he says. “She’s a very accomplished artist.”
All of Evil Eye Gypsy’s albums have been produced completely DIY. “I’m just kind of obsessed with music, so the second floor of my house is our recording and rehearsal studio,” Emmons says. “All three CDs have been self-produced there; I’ve been the songwriter and the producer for all three.”
Emmons emphasizes the DIY nature of the project: “We haven’t relied on anyone other than ourselves to put it all together,” he says. “It’s fun to be on top of something like that from start to finish; just the four of us did every aspect of it.”
The new album will be available in stores and online at the band’s website, after the release party at Oregon Express.
“The physical CD release will be on Jan. 7, and then starting on Jan. 8 it will be available on the website at EvilEyeGypsy.com,” Emmons says. “It will be available for download, and you can also download the art that goes with it.
“I’m really excited about the show,” he says. “We’re playing with two great bands, and it’s going to be a lot of fun…A Shade of Red, we’re really good friends with those guys. They’re one of the best bands in town, and I just love their sound. The Sunset Junkies are going to be playing too, they’ve got this great bluesy, Hendrix-type thing going.”
After the CD release, Emmons says the band plans to focus on playing live throughout the spring.
“We actually might have a live CD coming up in a couple of months,” he says. “The future is going to be more live shows. We just really love playing, and being a part of the Dayton music scene…the music and arts scene in this town is just really, really strong, and a lot of great bands support each other.”
Evil Eye Gypsy perform Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Oregon Express, 336 East Fifth St. in the Oregon District. For more information, please visit OregonExpressDayton.com or EvilEyeGypsy.com.