Interview: The Young Evils

This pretty much sums it up:

I’m not in the mood for much flowery prose – plus I’m inspired by how freaking short their songs are – so I’m just going to lay out for you.

Reasons Why I Like The Young Evils and their Debut Album Enchanted Chapel A Lot:

  • It’s effing catchy.
  • Mackenzie and Troy are effing cute, endearing, and super nice.
  • The melodies are sweet and sugary like a guilty pleasure without any syrupy aftertaste.
  • Every song toes a very fine line between familiar and predictable, but never falls astray.
  • I’ve found it’s amazing walking/riding the bus music.
  • I’m in awe of Troy’s songwriting accomplishment here: actively saying “I want to write some songs like this,” and then executing it to a tee without being a ripoff.  More on this in the interview.
  • Did I mention how the songs are all really short?  Only 2 of the 10 tracks are 3:00 or over. What?!  How the…

I’m going to cut myself off there and let them do the talking.  I had the opportunity to sit down with Mackenzie and Troy at my favorite spot in West Seattle, the Skylark, and pretend to ask them questions while they just talked about whatever they felt like.  I had a blast hanging out with them, and I think it shows in the interview. As per usual, enjoy the interview in short mp3 clips below, and definitely check out two of my favorite tracks from their album Enchanted Chapel on the Mid By Northwest Pop-Up Radio Player.

“Having something that people can watch is a whole other experience . . . Have an art concept behind your band – something people can look at, an image, an idea, a color scheme, or whatever that they can latch onto . . . Anything that’s behind the scenes feels more intimate than just listening to the record –  you’re getting to know the individual better.” – Mackenzie Mercer, The Young Evils

“That’s why I get pissed off anytime somebody’s like ‘ohhh he just knows people and he works and KEXP and that’s why they’re out there doing stuff…’  It was 1999 and I was playing the open mic circuit – I was going Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursday driving around Seattle.  I played these little singer/songwriter songs.  One time I had to go on after a guy who called himself Satan, he broke the strings on this electric guitar, poured candle wax over his head, and broke Ramen noodles on his face, and he’d screaming about the devil. Then he was done.  ‘Up next… Troy Nelson?’ . . . God forbid 11 years later I get some airplay.” – Troy Nelson, The Young Evils

On the origin of The Young Evils, and by default, Mackenzie & Troy’s friendship and eventual courtship:


Behind the Music: “One Way Route”


MH: “How would you characterize the Seattle music scene?”


MH: “What are some inhibitors to good music community in Seattle?”


Stories of Seattle venues, the trenches, and the worst open mic ever:


MH: “What advice would you give someone moving to a new city to do music?”


The Young Evils are already crazy-busy this spring, with slots at Showbox (2/19), Nuemos (3/12), SXSW, and Sasquatch.  Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Photos courtesy of The Young Evils, taken by Lance Mercer