Monday nights aren’t typically known for hosting parties, but thanks to Everest and The McKittrick Hotel, June 25 was an anomaly. After all the rain, atop a beautiful roof with a gorgeous view, Everest entertained a small group of lucky fans with a live performance of their new album, Ownerless, which dropped on multiple medias the following day.
After waiting anxiously with free drinks, snacks and the promise of good entertainment, attendees of the small release party couldn’t have been more receptive and encouraging when Everest finally took the stage. Soon after introducing the band and their new CD, frontman Russell Pollard and his fellow musicians set to work presenting the audience with the sound they’ve been striving for.
“It feels like we’re in a spot where we’ve been trying to get to for a long time,” Pollard notes. “It’s really the best feeling in the world to be able to close my eyes on stage and hear what’s going on around me and feel it. I like it. I love it.” From the looks on their faces during their performance, Pollard’s bandmates agree.
Everest is composed of five members including Pollard, guitarist Joel Graves, guitarist Jason Soda, bassist Eli Thomson and drummer Kyle Crane. With so many personalities and ideas, it’s not surprising that it has taken the band three albums to find the music they crave. Aside from all the input, feedback and collaboration that goes into creating a collective sound, Everest also works hard to make music they can respect. Pollard provides a bit of insight as to the thought behind the process of recording Ownerless.
“Music really matters to us,” Pollard explains. “First and foremost, we wanted to create something that we would feel good about purchasing and listening to ourselves.” The ultimate goal behind Everest’s new album was for all the members of the band to be impressed with their own work. As is often the case, this proved to be the most difficult crowd to impress.
“Trying to impress ourselves, that raises the bar so high,” Pollard says. “Everyone is so self-critical.” Answering to five musical perfectionists only compounds the difficulty in reaching their goal. As with many bands and performing groups, it has taken time for the members of Everest to become accustomed to providing criticism for each other without reserve and without offending.
“We can’t always sound like one thing. That was a goal,” Pollard reflects as he describes the band’s variety of musical interests and collections. From Al Green to ZZ Top, Matt Ward to Radiohead and an abundance of other diverse artists, Everest draws inspiration from the taste and experience of each member. “All of that is stuff that we’ve digested,” Pollard continues, “so for us it was important for the five of us to utilize each other’s strengths.”
In regards to the music that ultimately came out of this effort, Everest has created a diamond from coal. Their sound can hardly be characterized, but there is a definite presence of southern rock, indie influence and personal experience. The tracks on Ownerless are a perfect blend of various music styles and expertly composed lyrics. Pollard’s description is accurate, in that this new sound, while laden with heavy drums and classic guitar, brings a sort of inner peace and relaxation that proved a perfect remedy for a tough day. In short, Ownerless has captured the soul of Everest. In Pollard’s eyes, this is success, “Somebody asked me recently what it takes to make a good record,” he remembers, “and the only word that came to me was ‘soul.'”
Having heard the new record, this writer is inclined to agree. Ownerless is a doorway into the souls of Everest’s members and it is a respite for the souls of their fans. Available on digital media through iTunes or the band’s site, CD or vinyl, Everest’s most recent album is definitely worth the investment, and only a fool would pass up a chance to see them live.