The Walk Arounds ARE ON THEIR WAY

Interview with Diane DiMemmo

August 11, 2020

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New album. New video. Recently featured “Band of the Week” by 95.9 WRAT Radio. And ready to take on the world.


The Jackson, New Jersey alt-rock/grunge/punk band - The Walk Arounds - are keenly focused on making a name for themselves and ready to take a leap of faith. To Florida, that is. “We're going to be back and forth from New Jersey and Florida to do recordings, play shows, the whole nine yards,” explained Donavan Evans, lead vocalist and guitarist for the band. ”We're just trying to expand out of New Jersey a little bit to see what else is out there in the world for us. I figure there'll be a lot of opportunities for us here, so, it's a big jump; but I think we're going to make it work.”


I had the pleasure of chatting with Donavan online recently and was genuinely impressed by his resolve, his willingness to take risks, and his deep connection to his bandmates. The four of them met in high school and have been together as a band since the beginning, with a brief bass player switch between Tyler Van Pelt and Jonah Resnick. Donavan was quick to give credit to close friend, Van Pelt, for coming up with the band name. “I like to take long walks to just get my mind off things and get my ideas straight and figure out how I want to keep going in my life or whatever. So Tyler and I came up with the band name - The Walk Arounds - that way.”

Click to hear this podcast episode!


MEMBERS

Donavan Evans - Vocals/Guitar

Connor Byrne - Lead Guitar

Matt Tiedemann - Drums

Jonah Resnick - Bass Guitar

GENRE

Alternative Rock/Grunge/Punk

FORMED

2016

The Walk Arounds [TWA] have been busy shaping their musical presence and career since 2016, carving out a unique grungy punk-rock sound that’s mixed with pop and classic rock undertones. Donavan’s rich, deep, calming voice drives through each song like an arrow to the heart, connecting  lyrics to listeners in a meaningful way. Musical chops abound in lead guitarist Connor Byrne who can easily vacillate between playing beautiful supportive harmonies and scorching-hot guitar solos, reminiscent of Eddie Van Halen’s aggressive style. And the strong bass-drum foundation set by Jonah Resnick and Matt Tiedemann is fast, airtight, and technically progressive.


Donavan explained the band’s sound further. “At the end of the day, even though we do experiment with a lot of different genres, I'd say we're really inspired by the nineties grunge movement and a lot of classic rock music too. So, we kind of try and mix those two together and make it our own little formula. We try to make it very diverse. Music is endless to us. We really think there's no reason to stop in one spot.”


Their latest album - East Coast Love - embraces all of those genres and shows the band’s versatility in producing heart-pounding hard rock tunes as well as soulful ballads and pop-friendly songs that you’ll find yourself humming throughout the day. Donavan believes their work on East Coast Love is what really brought all of their styles together to form the signature TWA sound. “Once we made the song “Point Place Girls” [the first song made for the album], it seems like the other ones just started to come so naturally. I usually come up with the lyrics and just a simple guitar chord melody to show the guys, so they have an idea of what I'm trying to do. We try and sink into each other's brains to understand each other and be on the same page, which is very hard to do."


He continued, “And a lot of the times, we just jump in altogether and there's some sort of magic; it just happens, like we know each other so well. Connor just plugs in his guitar, and Matt bangs away on the drums and Jonah plugs in the bass and I start screaming and it just happens.”

Tune in to The Walk Arounds' Music!

In addition to connecting with each other during their creative process, Donavan also believes it’s important to have a close connection with their fans. “I try to really make songs that people are going to relate to. I do it for myself, but I do it for others too. I feel if somebody is getting something out of any of the songs [I write], then I’m doing something right. I personally feel like our duty as a band is to inspire.”


During the recent quarantine, TWA have been actively producing new music and videos to relate to listeners in this period of separation. “The songs that we're putting on this [new] album are going to be very related to a lot of the things going on in 2020. A lot of the isolation that we've had to deal with (with the quarantine) and all of crazy, different things that are going on. We're really going to try and make a comforting album to show people that we're going to make it like through these times, and that there's other people that feel the same way. That's our main goal. We want to connect with everybody out there [to let them know that] we feel the same as them. We're all human. So, that's the biggest goal ... to make a genuine, real album.”


The album will be titled Nowhere Feels Like Home and was born from tough times and the close bonds between bandmates. “There's a little bit of a meaning behind it. Some of us have had family issues and have been moving around to different places. I've been the one who's been couch hopping all over the place for a year. But we all kind of relate to that … not having much stability and trying to make our own stability as a band together. And we really feel like as long as we have each other, we're all going to make it through. So we're like a little family; and it doesn't matter where each other goes because the others will follow.”

Their latest releases which will be included on the album are the spirited, high-adrenaline “Misfortune” and a slower, expressive ballad titled “High In The Shower.” The band created their own video for "High In The Shower” entirely on their iPhones giving it a classic, behind-the-scenes footage look. “We're really about just doing it yourself and showing people to just go for it,” explained Donavan. “A lot of people think they need a team, or someone to help them. But I feel as long as you've got your heart, you're going to achieve a lot of good things with the music."


Heart and passion is something Donvan seems to possess in spades and he pours every ounce of it into his craft. On August 10th he also released a solo album - Cliché Love Entry – an eight-song masterpiece which truly deserves its own article. In speaking of the upcoming TWA album he stated, “ We wanted to keep it short, sweet and simple, and we wanted to have a very straightforward message with it. I think people are really going to relate to a lot of the songs. A lot of the lyrics are, I feel, a lot different than the last album. They're a little darker sometimes, a little deeper and some are not as straightforward; the message is a little hidden. So I think people are going to be able to put their own interpretation on them.”


The Walk Arounds' perseverance and resolve in putting out all of this new music has recently caught the attention of industry insiders, specifically the popular rock radio station 95.9 WRAT who just featured them as the Jersey Rock Band of the Week. “We're very lucky to have The Rat," states Donavan. "They are always constantly supporting local music. I have to give a real shout out to Tom Hanley because he's been the one who's had our backs since day one.”


Donavan continued, "It's just such a blessing to see your name on a radio station [site] that I used to listen to on my way to kindergarten with my grandfather. He would put on The RAT all the time on the way to school, in my elementary years, and would joke with me and ask. ‘Who is this?’ He was trying to give me knowledge on rock and roll. I never thought that one day, we would be the band playing through the speaker. It's just a crazy feeling.”

Click to Listen to EAST COAST LOVE!

Watch our interview!



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