Sitting with Julie Chance and Jon Dark (AKA Jane Arnison) feels like sitting with old friends, engaging, open and genuinely passionate about what they do. Recalling their first encounter, Chance says, “We hit it off straight away and had loads of musical influences in common.” On August 24th, the duo will perform at Berlin’s Pop-Kultur Festival as Evvol. Teasing the performance, Dark reveals, “Our show is pretty much a multi-sensory installation. We’ve got a huge lighting show, an amazing designer on board and of course it’s sound based. Hopefully it will feel like an interactive experience and the audience will become sort of engulfed, either sonically or visually.”
Berlin has always been a hub of music. Whether techno, electronic or weird forms of punk, the city’s energy has inspired some of the greatest artists of today. It’s hard to imagine living here as an artist and not feeling the immense creativity Berlin brings. “Before I came here, I was obsessed with David Bowie, the Berlin trilogy and Iggy Pop,” says Chance. “A lot of mine and Jane’s musical influences have lived here at some point, and with the heavy history that goes along with the city, you can’t help but feel a dark vibe here.” Evvol has evolved immensely between their last two releases, with the influence of Berlin’s deep, hedonistic lifestyle shaping the group’s sound. When questioned on their influences and how they start a new project, Chance elaborates, “We draw inspiration from everywhere. We’re influenced by the music and artists that we see, and the environment for this particular piece being performed at Pop-Kultur.” Dark interjects, adding, “The biggest challenge for us is how to express our feelings about current social situations without coming from a stance of being privileged and not realising it. It’s about standing united with oppressed people and individuals who don’t have a voice.”
Social commentary is ongoing in Evvol’s music and work. The two have made it was made clear that they don’t want to come across as “being preachy and speaking for other people.” Exploring the political climate is a hard feat in music, but the duo have a positive and refreshing attitude. In Dark’s words, “It’s really important for white middle-class people to address it, even if it’s an awkward thing to deal with. That’s integral to this piece. How can we deal with the shame and guilt relating to things that we haven’t actually done, but are complicit in? That’s the springboard; we want to sit in that energy in a way that isn’t alienating or arrogant or confronting, but without avoiding shit, too.”
Driving her point home, Dark continues, “It’s not good enough anymore for people to sit in silent solidarity. I have the option to deal with it. A non-political position is a political position, whether you like it or not.” With the promise of “bean bags in the room and a surrounded set-up” you don’t want to miss out on Evvol at this year’s Pop-Kultur Festival.
Evvol will perform at Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei on 24 August as part of Pop-Kultur Festival 2017. Tickets are available for purchase here