Everymen's Capt'n Bobo: "I Am Living My Dream"
Lake Worth does certain things exceedingly better than the rest of South Florida, like how the area breeds hippies with uncanny efficiency. Between Tacos Al Carbon and Lupitas, Lake Worth's authentic Mexican cuisine game is untouchable. Also, the city has spawned and sustained a unique music community entirely its own, one that touts a small cavalcade of artists that are developing a sound for the area to call its own.
At the center of it all is Everymen, a group that fuses punk's ethos and energy with Americana sonic cues and traditional string music for a sound that's simultaneously fresh and familiar.
Between the band's unique sound and its peerless, high-octane stage show -- which features everything from athletic tricks with an upright bass to actual fire-breathing -- Everymen already conquered its locality. In addition, it spent the past few years touring the country tirelessly, earning a small but growing national following that is sure to expand with the release of a freshly minted full-length scheduled for fall release. We spoke with the band's frontman, Sergio "Capt'n Bobo" Witis, about the band's future, the new album, and the support and love of the area.
New Times:I would characterize your band as one of the hardest-working groups I've ever encountered, especially in the context of touring. Does the group feel more at home on the road at this point?
Sergio "Capt'n Bobo" Witis: I don't know, man; it's a love/hate relationship, you know? When I'm home, I want to go on tour, but I love being home too. I like being on the road because my best friends are on the road with me in my band, but I constantly miss home too. I like my other job; I like the things I do at home.
I know the band is very excited about the new album. Could you describe the band's sound for those who are unfamiliar with what it is that Everymen does?
I guess with the new record, I finally learned how to write songs. I have a method now. I've built up my confidence and my love for what I do. Before, it was just for fun, you know?
The past two albums were done in a rush and just for fun -- we were just doing what we love to do, and it was a great time. But I don't know when Everymen is going to end or not, and as far as I'm concerned, for myself, I wanted to put out a real record, something that you could listen to from beginning to end and identify with us and, for once, make a really good record. Not like, "Oh! There's three great songs here, and that's a really good song" or "They're really good live!"
From my perspective, the band's energy and personality have helped quite a bit to carry things thus far. I can only imagine the results when more articulate songwriting is thrown into the mix.
I like to say the first album was about me, about the things I went through to get where I was at. It wasn't really about the band or anything; the lyrics were about me and situations I had dealt with. And we matured and did Beautiful Curse, where I tried to identify with other people's problems on that CD. There's a couple of songs about how people aren't treated equally and just ignorance in general. That album was written to identify with other people. This new album is not so much about my life; it's not about identifying with other people. I just wrote exactly what I wanted to say about certain things.
I feel like we've built up enough of an audience that I could finally say something and have it mean more, have more of an effect, you know?
So you've come of age in a way?
Yeah! It's called Generations, and it's definitely a little more on the punk-rock side, but there's also a lot of acoustic songs and sing-along songs, and there are some pretty songs, and it's definitely a lot different musically. Things are smoother, there're a lot of political lyrics, the whole album is based on what I've seen through generations and what I want to pass down to kids and my future. Being OK with making mistakes and how to deal with it. The way I see it is I'm not one to call people out on their shit because I've made enough mistakes in my life, but I talk a lot about breaking the walls that separate us from each other.
The rest of the band has matured incredibly as far the music goes. If it wasn't for Jesse [Baumann], for example -- who has the best ear -- his leads and his violin kind of pulls everything together. I had a lot more help from the boys on this one.
Playing in a genre such as this and coming from a punk-rock background, what is success for a band like Everymen?
I just had somebody ask me the other day, "Aren't you afraid of what you're going to do when this ends? Why are you putting so much effort into this pipe dream?" and I had to say, "I am living my dream. This is what I love to do!"
I'd rather fail doing something I love than succeed at doing something I don't want to do. I see a lot of people giving up these beautiful moments. Like, when our friend and washboard player Cowboy got in an accident, he can't do these things anymore. That got to me. What if I die tomorrow? I can say, "Fuck it, I tried."
I see so many kids wondering what their future is going to be like, and our system in general doesn't teach you to be happy. They ask you what you want to be when you grow up, do you want to be a fireman or whatever, but I just wanted to be happy, and no one ever taught me that -- I had to learn that the hard way.
I see a lot of younger kids come to our shows, and I feel like if I have anything to say to them, it's that. I just wanted to make it clear that I feel like we have succeeded. I feel like anyone that struggles day to day to do what they love experiences success.
Everymen is currently on tour and can be seen on the following dates:
June 30 - Greenville, NC at a house show
July 1- Virginia Beach, VA - Retro Bar
July 2 - Lynchburg,VA - Rivermont Pizza
July 3- Richmond, VA - Wonderland
July 4 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
July 5 - Johnson City, TN - The Hideaway
July 6 - Winston-Salem, NC - Heavy Rebel Weekend
July 7 - Greenville, SC - Independent Public Alehouse
July 8 - Nashville, TN - Fubar
July 9 - Nashville, TN - The Crying Wolf
July 10- Huntsville, AL - Copper Top
July 11- Valdosta, GA - Ashley St. Station
July 12 - Savannah, GA - Jinx
July 13 - Melbourne, FL - Boondocks