Where did you get the name The Evelyn Situation? What does it mean?
Who does the songwriting and arrangements?
Which chick sings which part?
How did The Evelyn Situation get together?
How many songs do you guys have?
What other bands were Andrew and Jill involved in?
Does anyone have any gum?
Where was your favorite place to play?
Be honest-- why did you really break up?
Will you be getting back together?
What are the band members doing now?
How can I get a tape of The Evelyn Situation?
How can I get a tape of your older material?
What is Tolstoy For Fun?
What is Brooklyn Ferry?
What is The Lester Years?
What is the fastest land animal?
did you get the name The Evelyn Situation? What does it mean?
Most people hope there's a juicy story behind the name, but there simply isn't. In 1993 and 1994, Andrew and Jill worked idiot jobs in a mid-sized law firm to make some money. The band was forming during that time and was tentatively being called Tolstoy For Fun. Since that's a stupid name, it was time for a change. Many hours were spent in diners brainstorming new names, but doing so usually just made us tired and punchy, which yielded names like "Donut Time" and "Satan and the Pool Cleaners." Finally, we created a list of decent names, and Jill peddled it around the law office asking her co-workers for opinions. When she reached this one hilarious lawyer's office, he said, "You need band names?! I have a giant list of them. Every time I hear a weird phrase that sounds like it should be a band name, I add it to the list." He printed it out, and "The Evelyn Situation" was on that list... along with other winners like "Abra Cadaver" and "Chickenator."
does the songwriting and arrangements?
Andrew did almost all of the songwriting. Other band members were encouraged to write songs, but only one of them came to fruition: "They" by Paul Badalamenti, our guitarist. Paul wrote some other songs that we were working on when the band broke up. Jill wrote a song called "Piss off, Lunk-head!" which for obvious reasons wasn't performed. Donna was a Music Theory/Composition major in college, and though she composed many songs, they weren't performed by the group. Danielle was working on some songs as well, but none of them were completed. As for arrangements, the band arranged the songs, for the most part. Sometimes Andrew would have a specific arrangement in mind and would teach the harmonies as he heard them; and other times he would ask us to do what we wanted. He always wrote songs for specific singers, however, since he knew how each singer might handle the tone of the song.
sings which part?
That varies from song to song, but the general rule of thumb is, Jill sings the bottom, Donna/Carolyn sings middle and Danielle sings the top. However, Danielle and Donna/Carolyn often switched off, with Danielle being in the middle, depending on the mood of the song. On a few rare occasions Jill sang the top part, but only for a few phrases in a given piece. For example, on "Guilty Pleasures", Danielle sings the lead vocal. When we arranged it, Donna sang a harmony above Danielle, and Jill didn't want to muffle Danielle's lead by singing below her, so she chose to sing a top part.
did The Evelyn Situation get together?
To make a long story short, Andrew and Jill were in a bunch of bands that didn't quite work right. After the breakup of their previous band, they started working on some tunes that eventually required another voice. Jill suggested that Donna join the group because she is easy to work with and incredibly talented. Donna and Andrew worked very well together, and the band was just the three of them for a while. One night, Danielle dropped in on their rehearsal after a hard day of work. Since Andrew had played for Danielle's senior vocal recital, he was familiar with her big voice and her vocal skills. So he asked Danielle if she was in a rush, and if she wouldn't mind singing the top part to a three-part arrangement just so he could hear how it sounded. So he taught us all the parts and we sang together, and it just felt right. Paul and Leo didn't join the band until later on; we first had Steve Bergamini playing guitar; and he can be heard on our four-song demo. As for Paul and Leo, Andrew and Jill had been working with both of them on and off since high school, so it just seemed natural to invite them to work with the group once Steve went off to college.
songs do you guys have?
Lots and lots. So many of the songs overlap band incarnations, so it's hard to keep count. I would venture to guess somewhere around 150, but that's just a rough number.
other bands were Andrew and Jill involved in?
Andrew and Jill worked together for the first time in 1987, where she recorded two songs he wrote. Later that year (which was his senior year in high school) Andrew wrote a full-length rock opera called Dancing Days in which Jill played a role. In high school, Andrew was working with a band with Jill's brother Jeff called Area Code (201) which began as a performing group doing mostly covers, but eventually moved towards almost exclusively recording originals. The band broke up since many members graduated high school, and Andrew and Jill started to work together and record songs, usually two at a time. They separated for a year or two as Andrew began college, but he soon transferred to a local, private school that was closer to Jill's college. They eventually added two other female singers and formed Brooklyn Ferry, which was popular among the people who knew of them, but as Jill describes it, was "the whitest group in the world." Brooklyn Ferry recorded a four-song demo (containing "The Balance", "Ugly" , "Parent's Day" and "Life Without The Hero") and sold about 50 copies at gigs and through various BBSes. Brooklyn Ferry broke up in the summer of 1993 due to personal differences between the singers, and Andrew and Jill decided to take the remainder of the summer off and start working again in the fall. They soon formed Tolstoy For Fun, and then The Evelyn Situation. Jill and Andrew are now working together again, and using the name The Lester Years.
Does anyone have
Yep, I'm pretty sure that somone, somewhere has some gum. In fact, I think I have some stale Cinnaburst in my backpack...
was your favorite place to play?
It's so hard to say... we played two shows per month at the Common Ground Cafe in Summit, NJ during 1994, and we were considered regulars there. We pulled in such a big crowd that the owners asked us to play two totally separate shows per night so they could turn over the tables, and so we could get another round of cover charges. It worked well. We also played at Cafe Newz in New Brunswick a few times which was an outdoor venue; that was kind of cool; however, we needed to use a synth instead of a piano, which is always a bummer. My favorite place to play was at the Minstrel Coffeehouse in Basking Ridge, NJ; the audience was attentive, intelligent, polite and very gracious. We only played there twice; once at an open mic night, and again as an opening act for Bob Franke, who is a cool folk singer/singwriter from Massachusetts. That was an honor, and a great deal of fun.
honest-- why did you really break up?
The main reason is because Andrew received a full scholarship + stipend to earn his doctorate degree at the University of Southern California. He deferred it for a year, but in 1995 he had to either accept the scholarship or throw it away. It was a difficult decision for all of us, but we decided it was the right thing to do. I personally don't think we would have broken up had Donna not left the band; but I can't really blame her for leaving... she left the band because we were getting some minor label interest and the pressure was getting to her. After she quit, Leo soon followed. I think another reason we broke up was because after Donna and Leo left the band in early 1995, the vibe was just never the same. That isn't to slag Carolyn or Paul at all, because they picked up the parts in no time and executed them professionally, with style and flair! But I felt guilty for asking Carolyn to "sing it like Donna;" it just wasn't fair to her. We never let Carolyn develop into an Evelyn; we just kept trying to turn her into Donna, which was obviously impossible. I often feel like Carolyn got a bum deal; but the audience loved her and she did an awesome job.
be getting back together?
It's funny. All of us agree that we would love to get back together, either for a reunion or for something more permanent, but right now, our geographical locations and collective financial situations keep us from doing that. However, if any record label wants us to pay us to get back together, we'll gladly accept. :)
are the band members doing now?
Carolyn finished up her last year of college and is now teaching music in a public school in New Jersey. Andrew went off to school in California and is still there working hard; Paul moved to Korea with his friend to teach English but has returned and is now working various jobs in academia; and he's also playing in a band with Robert Oakes. Donna is working a cool job in northern NJ and spending time with her boyfriend and family; and Leo got a new job and is playing in a few local bands. Danielle moved to Arizona with her boyfriend in January of 1996, and has a job in Music Therapy, and Jill moved to Arizona in October of 1995 and is working various computer consulting jobs in the western U.S. Andrew and Jill are also working together to form a new one-vocalist band called The Lester Years.
can I get a tape of The Evelyn Situation?
Email Jill and grovel. :-) No really, tapes are available; just drop Jill a line and a few bucks for postage and a tape and she'll get you one.
can I get a tape of your older material?
Uh... why do you want that?! I suppose you could grovel for that too when you email Jill.
What is Tolstoy
Tolstoy For Fun is the name of the band that preceded The Evelyn Situation. It was comprised of Andrew, Jill, Donna, Danielle and Steve Bergamini. Eventually we realized the name was stupid, so we changed it.
What is Brooklyn
Brooklyn Ferry is the first "real" band that Andrew and Jill formed. The singers were Jill, Linda Onorevole and Kristen DiBella, (all Montclair State University alums) and Paul on guitar. One show also had drums and bass, and it was WAY too loud for the venue and the music. Hey- we were young and dumb. :) It is also Yrref Nylkoorb spelled backwards.
What is The
The Lester Years is the working name for Andrew and Jill's new musical endeavor. Andrew is challenging himself by writing in some different styles - ragtime, blues, dixieland, country and jazz. In L.A., Andrew is playing piano for an awesome dixieland band who will be playing on some of our new songs. Cool, huh? We are planning on recording over the summer, so we'll keep you posted.
the fastest land animal?