The Black Tones
The Black Tones album title Cobain and Cornbread is a description of the band that lead singer/guitarist Eva came up with playing at a show, in answer to the most commonly asked question, “What does your band sound like?” This tasty adroitly description sums up her and her twin drummer Cedric David’s Seattle-spawned punk-blues. “Sometimes we don’t even sound like our influences,” she explains, “So the best way I found to describe The Black Tones was to talk about our environment we were raised around, which was a bunch of southerners living in the Northwest.”
Louisiana-bred, though born and raised in Seattle, The Black Tones’ reference to grunge god Kurt and the Native American quick bread cuisine, evokes “Southern influences in the grey of the Northwest,” Eva says. “It sort of creates this offspring of rebellion and soul. We eat gumbo in our flannel shirts, and we eat red beans and rice while head-banging!”
Music was a huge part of Eva and Cedric’s childhood, their first shared fandom being for “Turn Your Love Around” by iconic vocalist and guitarist George Benson, which they would dance to together every time the radio played it. They enjoyed looking in at what their older siblings were digging on MTV, such as Jay Z, Nirvana, Blind Melon, Michael Jackson, and “90s pop music was awesome too! And R&B like SWV, En Vogue, etc.,” Eva says. In high school their tastes had drifted; Eva was introduced to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. After high school she researched and grooved on the old blues and folk that had influenced those classic rock bands. At the same time, she and Cedric were also big World-Wide Wrestling fans — “we loved wrestling! Cedric loved it before I did, but then I became a fanatic too.” They really enjoyed the hard rock music used in bouts, drawing them closer to heavy metal.
About this time Cedric had started to play the drums and wanted to hear the songs that Eva was writing, which she found exciting. He matched drum parts to songs she had only worked out so far on guitar, later on getting a bass player and another guitarist. As soon as they had a few arranged, they were ready to start performing. They went through some changes: The Black Tones as a four piece only lasted for a while, then became a trio, “but Cedric and I were the founders and the only consistently reliable members, so now we just keep it as a duo, while hiring other musicians to play instruments live with us.” Eva had also been in an all-girl punk band called BUST, but she ended up channeling everything into The Black Tones with Cedric.