EXCLUSIVE: Pop-rock duo Evaride break down their single 'What's It All For', detail upcoming debut EP

In an exclusive interview with Meaww, vocalist Sean Michael Murray and guitarist Hayden Maringer discuss Evaride's sonic feel and give us a sneak peek at their upcoming EP.

                            EXCLUSIVE: Pop-rock duo Evaride break down their single 'What's It All For', detail upcoming debut EP

Dubbed iHeart Radio's "Emerging Artists of the Week," rising pop-rock outfit Evaride just dropped the fight song of the summer, 'Warrior,' this past Friday. The song arrived just a couple of months after their angsty, edgy single 'What's It All For,' which was accompanied by a fun music video that saw the band rip up an office space in an act of carefree rebellion.

Along with their breakout single 'Heartless,' which dropped in Aug 2017 and quickly racked up over two million streams on Spotify, the three songs together form half of Evaride's upcoming yet-to-be-titled EP.

Evaride comprises the duo of guitarist Hayden Maringer (touring guitarist for Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lopez, Bebe Rexha, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry), and singer Sean Michael Murray, who shared the stage with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong on the Broadway musical adaptation of the 2004 concept album 'American Idiot.' Hayden, who might also be recognized from Fox's 'Glee,' has performed on national television programs including the American Country Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, 'Ellen,' and 'American Idol,' among many more. 

Sean, in addition to a decorated Broadway background, had a previous band, Fancy Reagan, and even won VH1's reality show 'Make a Band Famous.' His soaring vocals can also be heard on 'Knock Me Out,' the debut single from the band that was the theme song for the NCAA 2015 March Madness and featured during the 2015 ESPY Awards.

Evaride is vocalist Sean Michael Murray and guitarist Hayden Maringer. (Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin)
Evaride is vocalist Sean Michael Murray and guitarist Hayden Maringer. (Photo Credit: Vince Trupsin)


Bringing together Sean's vocally trained Broadway background and Hayden's self-taught guitar skills that have impressed artists and music directors twice his age, Evaride gives listeners the best of both worlds with their catchy riffs, instant earworm producing hooks and a sound that teeters on the poppier side of rock. Combining their individual talents and achievements as young, serious musicians, Sean and Hayden have devoted their lives to their craft and have poured their heart and souls into their new band. 

I had the chance to catch up with Sean and Hayden for a brief chat where we discussed Evaride's material so far, their fresh new sonic feel, the upcoming EP and everything that's in store for the band in the near future. Here's what I got:

Your new single 'What’s It All For' seems to be packed with existential angst and uncertainty. Could you tell us more about how the song was born?

Sean Michael Murray:  The song started from the concept of a title in my notes on my phone. The million-dollar question! "What's it all for"; Why do we as humans do what we do? And why do we care about certain things so much and give weight/ precedence to them?  For example, social media consumes most of us these days and has become an economy on its own and drives popular culture. There's always a new viral thing or video that we all end up watching or seeing and before you know it everyone's doing it! Whether it's the flossing dance "backpack kid" or playing Fortnite to questioning the word Yanni and if and why it sounds like Laurel.

So ultimately, the concept of the song was to really make people pause and ask themselves to think about "What's It All For?" At the end of the day, it's best to never take anything for granted and love life and live it to the fullest! Have fun and live a little, don't take things so seriously! 

You also dropped a music video for the single that sees the band rebel against the corporate structure by having some fun in an office space. What was it like to shoot the video?

Hayden Maringer: The concept for the video was to capture that “Office Space”/“Workaholics” vibe but to make it our own. Filming it was such a blast in that we literally just threw a giant party in a real office. We had tons of nerf guns, paper airplanes, masks, plastic swords, light sabers, and a ton of other things the director called “props” aka toys! We wanted this video to be fun and entertaining while still capturing who we are. The very last scene of the night I actually dislocated my patella surfing on a wobbly office chair, I popped it back in on my own and ended up in the ER. But hey “What’s It All For?”, right?! A killer video - that’s what!

The band seems to have found a unique sound centered around pop-rock, almost like a more pop-friendly Green Day. How did you arrive at this sonic feel? Did Sean’s work on the ‘American
Idiot’ musical bring in some of that feel?   

Sean: That's a great comparison actually! The essence of the music we make and aim to create definitely lends itself to the edgier side of pop. We write most of our songs off of guitar riffs and a rockier base/instrumental and then like to write big hooky melodies that are very sing-able to the listener. We try to find that earworm hook that we hope will get stuck in people's heads and one they will remember after only listening to the song once. I wouldn't say my work in American Idiot influenced my personal artistry, only because I was a huge Green Day and Billie Joe Armstrong fan long before I had the privilege of being in the show.

However, I will say being able to perform on stage with him and next to him, made my appreciation for his artistry and what he does that much more! I definitely took some pointers and gems from watching him perform. One of them being the recklessness of Billie's voice yet how in control of it he is, is something I've always looked up to and tried to bring into my own artistry.

The art of letting yourself go within your performance yet somehow still being in control of it all, physically and vocally. Something I'm always working on and trying to get better at. Overall musically, Hayden and I definitely have our own separate musical influences, tastes and backgrounds, however, combined I feel truly encapsulate what Evaride's sound is.

You have an EP planned for later this year. Have you got a name for it yet? Roughly when can we expect it to be out?

Hayden: We are so excited to release more music for our fans and to release our first EP! We know roughly which songs are going to be on the EP, however, we keep writing more material, so it keeps changing. We really want this to be something special and really show people who we are as Evaride. Just like the song, the date as well keeps changing. I promise it will be worth the wait when it’s done! Definitely no later than spring of 2019! 

How many tracks will the EP have? Is it all new material or will it also include the two already released singles?

Sean: We are aiming to release 6 songs total! 'Heartless' and 'What's It All For' will be on the EP and then we are aiming to release 4 more new songs, one of which is coming Aug. 24 called 'Warrior,' so stay tuned! 

Who is producing the EP and where are you recording it? Will you be releasing it under a label? 

Hayden: We have some pretty incredible producers on the EP that we are really fortunate to be working with. Gregg Wattenberg, Doug Rockwell, Colin Brittain, Dan Book, Joey Martino, Nash Overstreet, and I think that’s it as of now. All incredible guys and really great at recording our vision/sound but still making the songs current and cohesive. We also self-produced some songs that may make the EP. The EP was recorded in studios all over the US. I did some guitars on tour with my fly rig across numerous cities. We really just record where ever and whenever we can to get things done. The EP will be released on our own through our amazing team at AWAL/Kobalt!


What’s on the horizon for Evaride through the rest of 2018? 

Sean: We are really excited to release our EP and to have a body of work out there that we are proud of! We will definitely be playing some shows very soon and have some big announcements we can't wait to share with our fans!

Stay up-to-date with all things Evaride by following the band on Twitter and Instagram.