With a gravelly voice that lilts in a low register, DeerGod’s Evan Moore sounds more like a grizzled veteran than a 21-year-old musician.
“Before we went on tour, I would’ve told you about our album,” he sighs. “But in the last few days [of the tour] everything took a turn for the worse. Things got… weird.”
After weeks of trying to contact Evan following a problematic American tour, it appears that I’ve found him wallowing in the remains of a metaphorical battlefield. Despite successful shows in Indiana, Ohio and New York, the peculiar events that would follow have culminated in the band’s hiatus.
He continues: “[One venue] at first came off as a kind of punky house venue. People seemed cool. Then the bartender started throwing up on himself at 7pm. Our bassist found a needle in the bathroom. And there was a cage in the basement separating the band from the audience. We were told it was because people like to mosh really hard in the venue, but really most of them were too stoned out of their mind.”
Suspicious looking needles weren’t the only thing that the band’s German touring bassist had to worry about. When the band ran out of money due to immoral practices by unnamed individuals, he faced the prospect of being stranded in America – some 4882 miles away from home.
The American tour setback is something of a U-turn from what had been a series of wins for DeerGod. ‘Gravity’ for example – the lead single from debut album Self-Deprecator – is a particular triumph, and they’ve just come off the back of supporting hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse.
With ICP scheduled to play nearby, Evan was amused by the idea of starting a fan-signed petition to get on the bill. The promoters were so impressed with the group’s gusto, however, that they invited them on-board. “It started as a joke!” he explains. “We got to see Violent J – without make-up – teaching choreography to his posse… ‘I want to see you with your arms straight up in the air!’ It was pretty hilarious.”
Those first tastes of success are only the start for Evan, and despite the American tour setback he is focused on moving forward. “I’m still gonna do the last dates on the tour,” he says assuredly. “I’m not giving up. I always kid myself that I wouldn’t like to play big stages, but I would like it if [a lot of] people listened to my music. I’d just like to make something good I guess – as long as it isn’t half-assed.”
You can order Self-Deprecator on DeerGod’s Bandcamp page.
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Cover photo by Nadeem Oudeh