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Kick-Ass Sexy 

Evil Beaver thrives on bass instincts

According to Evie Evil, after a couple of decades of female empowerment in the arena of aggressive music, women in her chosen art form are "a dying breed."

"We are few," says the bass player, songwriter, singer and guiding force behind the Los Angeles-based band Evil Beaver. She hopes, however, that her assertive presence will be inspiring to younger generations. "Hopefully, more women will get involved in punk, metal and rock and roll," she says.

The music of Evil Beaver is a near-ideal balance of punk rock and heavy metal. The music is as catchy and tuneful as it is aggressive and snarling, which is just as you might imagine coming from a bandleader whose primary role model is the immortal Lemmy Kilminster of Motörhead. "(He's) my hero. He is a great person, too. I borrow a lot of my musical style from Lemmy."

Evie's vocals range from a snarl to a purr, and roam everywhere in between. It almost goes without saying that Evil Beaver's end product is sexy as hell and kicks serious ass.

It's a testament to the band that it has shared bills with an assortment of acts as diverse as Fu Manchu, The Gossip, Nina Hagen, Peaches, Semi Precious Weapons, Shellac, and the White Stripes.

Evil Beaver is and always will be a bass-and-drums-only duo, with a rotating cast of musicians on the drum stool.

"It is what it is, and I never changed it because I never had to," Evie says. "I also play drums and record drums on my songs, as well. I do, however, work with a handful of drummers that include, or have included, members of Queens of the Stone Age, Dee Dee Ramone's band, Ministry, and Eagles of Death Metal."

Evil Beaver has a treat for local audiences when the band plays the Old Pueblo this weekend, Evie says.

Judy Coccuza, formerly of the now-defunct all-female metal act Betty Blowtorch, will play drums with Evil Beaver at the Surly Wench Pub this Friday, Feb. 11. Coccuza also happens to live in Tucson, Evie notes.

Originally from Chicago, Evie started playing in bands as a teenager. While still in the Windy City, she started Evil Beaver in 1999. She picks up the tale: "I had our first show recorded live and it was released in 2000 by Johann's Face Records, a punk label based in Chicago. The first show was at a nasty, dirty gay bar on Halsted Street called the Manhole."

That recording was released on vinyl only, as a split live album with The Traitors, titled Live at the Manhole. "I started it then and haven't stopped yet," she says.

Evil Beaver has released four full-length studio albums and several other live recordings and EPs, including a Christmas-oriented disc. Most of the band's music is available to download for free at Evil Beaver's website: www.EvilBeaver.us/tunez. Donations are suggested when downloading the tunes.

"I also have music for sale on iTunes," Evie says, adding that she never really cared for CDs. Now she releases vinyl LPs and singles, with accompanying digital files.

"I stopped releasing CD albums in 2007," she says. "I recorded a couple singles for StarTone Records in Beverly Hills a few months back. StarTone is a new label formed by Billy Corgan and his friend/producer Kerry Brown. The first single is to be released on a vinyl comp which will include Melissa Auf der Maur, The Germs, the Smashing Pumpkins, Greg Dulli and a bunch of other killer bands."

She currently is recording new music as part of a "Beverly Hills" project. "My plan is to keep recording in Beverly Hills and release the tunes as MP3s as we go, and eventually release all The Beverly Hills Sessions on vinyl." The first tracks from those sessions, "Hey Man Hey" and "Cold," are available for download at the band's site.

Those two tunes also are included in the specially sequenced 11-song compilation Evil Beaver, which includes Evie's own favorite "Beav' tunez." It's a good place to start for listeners still new to Evil Beaver.

Although Evie wishes she could devote all her time to making music, she has found a way to handle all the logistical duties that keep a musical project afloat.

"I think musicians should just be musicians. This has been my greatest challenge because I am constantly having to handle much of the business that involves my music. I would rather not, but I don't think we musicians have much of a choice nowadays. Everything is so connected via Internet that promoters, agents, writers, labels, etc., contact me directly about everything via e-mail or Facebook."

When not touring, she works for the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, and also is "an investor, a studio musician, and CEO of a small entertainment group. Evil Beaver is one of my jobs. Most of the time Evil Beaver is my favorite job."

Evie says she is fond of Tucson after having brought Evil Beaver through town for several gigs over the years.

"I love Tucson! Can't wait to get back. Evil Beaver has performed at the (Club) Congress before a few times. I do love the Surly Wench Pub, too. We've played Tucson about six or seven times between the two clubs."

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