Through a combination of dedication, persistence, and passion, the Rock ‘n Roll outfit known as Eventide managed to motivate their fan-base enough to receive the nod for Best Rock Band at this year’s 2014 Review Music Awards Ceremony, along with individual awards to Dave Banks as Best Rock Keyboardist and Matt Hyatt, who won Best Rock Guitarist at last year’s ceremony.
Consisting of bassist Glen Chipman, who started the band with Banks; Matt Hyatt on lead guitar, and Pat Cherry, who has tackled the drums with many pivotal groups over the years, Banks rounds out the group’s full-bodied sound with dual duties on both rhythm guitar & keyboards.
“The band first came together about 10 years ago to fill some gig requests I had received from a local entertainment booking agent and the singer/guitarist I played with had moved away, explains Banks. I contacted Glen and a drummer I knew and we came together pretty quickly. We stuck with that 3-man lineup for probably 7 or 8 years because we just enjoyed playing together and entertaining. That still remains the core of what Eventide is: guys that enjoy playing together and entertaining others. There's very little "musician's ego" with this group.”
Chipman notes that he started playing guitar at the age of 11 and was with his first active band right out of high school. “When Dave and I formed Eventide I played lead guitar; and when we had the opportunity to add Matt, I gladly stepped over to bass. We all share the goal of entertaining the crowd to the best of our abilities.”
Hyatt says he joined the band two years ago and has enjoyed the ride. “Classic Rock is my true musical love, but I love to entertain a crowd and watch them have fun, which usually requires a variety of material. I want to be able to give them what they want. Eventide has been a great avenue to play a range of music that is not only fun, but also consists of songs and venues I may have never had the opportunity to play”
Pat has been playing drums since he was 8 when he received his first set of drums. He started playing with his dad and family members at family parties and graduation parties. Pat joined his first band playing paid jigs in the early 80’s. He has been in 5 bands (including Eventide) and has been hired to play drums on occasions with a few other bands. His roots started him in the country music genre and he has found his niche playing Classic Rock. He is currently playing drums in Eventide and Vengeance and both bands play around the Saginaw, Bay, Clio and Flushing areas.
When asked their reaction to winning the Best Rock Band category at this year’s awards ceremony, Banks says that because it was announced towards the end of the evening, plenty of time existed to build up the element of suspense. “When my name was announced for Best Keyboardist it was a fantastic rush for sure. The people & musicians I got to play with and meet this year after winning the keyboardist honor last year was mind-blowing, and I was thinking how cool it will be to have some notoriety within the group for another year. But winning Best Rock Band was even better – just to realize that people took the time to vote for Eventide and then being able to get up there with the band and collectively accept the award was one of those moments I will probably never forget.”
As for what they feel distinguishes their sound from other groups, Banks reflects upon the fact that Eventide is a ‘client-based’ band that works hard at satisfying the ears of bar-owners, managers, and customers. “We’re a bunch of good ole-church going dudes that also love to rock out when we get a chance, so we’re always trying to do what we can to provide the best night of music that each particular night calls for. I guess I've come to learn is that you can GET gigs with a great stage show, but you get asked back by keeping people in the place and by being relatable. Don't get me wrong, these guys are the most talented collection of musicians that I've gotten to play with, but I don't think people will take the time to vote for you...or re-book you...if they don't like you as a person or group.”
“I agree that what sets us apart from other bands is our attentiveness of what the crowd is looking for,” interjects Matt. “We try to read them and give them what they're looking for and have a hell of a lot of fun in the process. We are great friends outside of the band as well and I think that helps when you're playing music with friends and not just band mates.”
As for current & future plans, the group says that after working hard to obtain gigs at clubs and bars they’ve been wanting to get into, suddenly they are booked up almost through the end of the year. “Some of the guys are keeping their rock chops by playing in a classic rock band, and I'm playing with Mandi Layne from time-to-time, but for the most part we're enjoying being able to play together in some great new venues that we haven't had the opportunity to get in to much before,” reflects Banks.
In terms of challenges facing the band, Banks says it’s a tie between maintaining a forward movement with the music, sound and venues, and also trying to make a gig schedule work with four busy family guys. Adds Hyatt; “Even though we get busy with our musical ambitions, our wives are all very supportive of our passion for music and my wife Gaymarie has been nothing but understanding, supportive, and above everything else, extremely patient.”
“This past year has been an emotional one with the loss of our original bass player Terry Kasper,’ adds Pat. We played in two separate bands for at least 15 years. Learning musical techniques, and having a mentor, and friend for all those years is a great loss to a band that is together like a family.”
“Also the loss of Al Limberg has greatly affected my musical career, as I was a 16 year old kid walking into Watermelon Sugar, meeting a big man with a smiling face, who would answer any question you had about music. In last few years we were lucky to be reunited with Al and had him run sound for us. We learned a lot in regards to sound techniques and will be forever grateful. Terry made me a better drummer and Al made us sound the best. Both men will be truly missed.”
16th November, 2023