We sat down today in a Starbuck's and talked to The Knockabouts drummer, Chester Evans.
Luckily, Chesty, as they call him, sipping his lattè appeared to be in the mood to chat and chat he did.
Chesty: So, as I started to tell you guys, I started banging on the kitchen table, on Campbell Soup cans, full and empty both, and I guess I drove my mom crazy, but I think she saw something there.
Interviewer: What makes you say that, Chesty?
Chesty: I say that because when I was about ten, she brought home a drum set for me. Now I ask you, how many mothers actually go out and buy a drum set for an over-active kid like me? Of course I didn't think about things like that at the time. It was just recently, you know, that I thought back at the torture she must've gone through while I pounded away on those drums night and day.
Interviewer: So you taught yourself then?
Chesty: Well, kind of. But when I was a little older, I begged her to let me study under this old guy named Leddy. Joe Leddy used to drive the bus with a jazz group in the old days. Man, I've heard some of his old vinyl discs, and that man could turn out those broken up beats, do a kick drum and a crash like nobody I've ever heard.
Interviewer: Better than you, Chesty?
Chesty: Well, I'm too modest to say that, but Ledfoot as they used to call him, said I was there. He taught me a lot, no doubt about that. I had a hard time for a while with rim shots and shuffle beats, but you know, practice, practice, practice.
Interviewer: What about the other guys in the group? Lead guitarist, Phil Olson?
Chesty: Phil? Yeah, he's lead guitar and our vocalist. He's really the head of the group, but we all come up with our own ideas and Phil listens. We have our moments, but in the end, we all love each other.
Interviewer: In some of the mags we've read that some of your group has some weird hang ups. Can you talk about that?
Chesty: Hey, let me tell you something. Weird is normal. Every normal person has some weird hang up or another. Some are just a little more weird than others. I like to keep oranges back stage and squeeze fresh orange juice between sets. I don't know if that makes me weird or not. The Teeze on bass guitar, now he's got this thing about his stingy brim black hat. It's about to fall apart. Belonged to his old man I think. We were trying to get him to send it to this hat genius, Art Fawcett for a rebuild, but he's afraid he can't play without it, so…
Interviewer: Wow, that's sad. Oh, your lattè's cold, Chesty. Let me order you another one.
Chesty: I won't say no to that.
I went to the counter and ordered a lattè for Chesty, the fabulous Chester Evans, and he was gone! Does that count at normal? Go figure.
But we liked Chesty and his open frankness about himself and the others in the group. We didn't get a chance to ask about Billy Begum, their keyboard, but just seeing him standing there with his long too-black-to-be-true straight hair hanging over his face tells us he's a normal weirdo too.