It’s hard, almost impossible, to listen to Evolfo Doofeht without feeling the urge to dance. I saw them during their single release party at the Middle East Upstairs, a tiny venue holding only a few dozen people. Although their style of music differs from Streetlight Manifesto’s, their energy that night reminded me of a typical Streetlight show. People formed dance circles, bumped into each other, hopped up and down, flailed their arms about. “Light Me Up!” someone from the crowd yelled in one of the small clearings of sound. “No, you light me up,” answered one of the band members, punning on the correct name of the song requested.

The band members had great chemistry too. At least two of them had no problem occasionally sharing a mic to yell out lyrics in unison. Their new drummer and a guest bassist (their official bassist had a surgery) had only been playing with the band for a couple of weeks. But the energy of the band members must have been contagious, because they fit right in.

After the show, I had the chance to ask them a few questions about their music, Boston, and their latest work.

 

Nitesh: Without using genre names, how would you describe your music?

Rafferty: Our music is like an old man dancing… really hard.

Kai: He’s right. When he says that, we’ll get compliments at the end of a show. “Man I don’t want to offend you, but you guys reminded me of Earth Wind & Fire, like Chicago, that kind of stuff. And we’re like “no way, that’s awesome.” We welcome those kinds of bands being compared to us. But I guess that’s just the horns and the high energy funk of it all.

Rafferty: Maybe Iggy Pop now, dancing really, really hard. I retract my earlier statement.

Nitesh: How would you describe it using genres?

Matt: Gypsy-funk is what we coined for ourselves. It depends what your definition of gypsy is though. For a lot of people that’s a slur.

Rafferty: It’s also a race of people.

Matt: I’d say it’s also got a very New Orleans feel. Even though none of us are from there, we’re just playing the music we love. We’re not trying to play the music we love. We’re not trying to be a funk band, necessarily. I’m playing the music I love, and I force these guys to play it with me.

Rafferty: I definitely think of it more as rock and roll. More like punk rock, garage rock. Like the Black Lips, I really like. Flower-punk, but with a horn section.

Kai: I think that’s the idea. We come from Nebraska and Oregon and Washington and California and New York. We’re from all over the place and we just bring what we grew up with and what we do. We found each other and we created what had all came together as Evolfo Doofeht, the Food of Love backwards.

Nitesh: How’d you come up with your name?

Matt: It has a very specific story. We started as the band for a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. The line-up was completely different back then, but I’ve had this name since I was in high school. Yeah, it spells “the food of love” backwards, which is the first line of The Twelfth Night — “If music be the food of love, play on.” All in all, it’s a pretty fucking awesome phrase for a musician. So I latched on to it. But then we flipped the name around. Something about “doof” just makes it kind of funny.

Nitesh: You have a song that goes something like, “We’re in the 90s, we can do whatever we want.” Can you explain that song?

Rafferty: It’s called, “This is the 90s. We Can Do Anything.” It started out as a joke song. It came from a really weird place. I was watching this interview with this punk band and they were sampling hip-hop records, and they were like, “Yeah well it’s fucking the 90s so we can do anything man.” And I was like, that’s a really funny thing to say in an interview in 2006. [laughs] And so I wrote the song. It’s kind of an onion song.

Kai: It’s actually going to be a new track coming on the full length album.

Nitesh: How long have you been in Boston?

Matt: We all met here. I wanted this band to start forever and it all just kind of came together randomly. I just took members as they came. I found Rafferty among the first. We get along well. it’s a nice chemistry, a friendship chemistry. Musically, we just all try to bring an ass-load of energy.

Nitesh: What about the music scene in Boston? Do you feel like you fit in?

Rafferty: I feel like we’ve just started fitting in to the music scene in Boston in the last three months. We’ve split bills with some really strange bands. We’re just a hard band to book. We were doing a lot of basement shows a year ago and most of the bands that do that are just either straight indie bands or more punk/hardcore.

Kai: I think people are starting to appreciate what we bring the table, as well as bands like the Macrotones and Destroy Babylon and they’ve been around forever and their totally down with us. It’s been great being here. New York’s another story.

Nitesh: Your music video, Wildman, it’s really awesome. How did you come up with that, did you hire someone?

Matt: Basically, I saw a little video they did–Screaming Shih-Tzu’s–and they deserve a ton of recognition. Because they busted their asses over that. It’s so worth it to support what they do. I found them looking at a little video they made for fun. [The music video] covers up our awkwardness.

Nitesh: Last question: Is there anything you want to say about your latest single, “Mechanicals”?

Kai: Mechanicals is like Dr. Dre meets…really awesome funk meets…little dash of gypsy some Dixieland…some New Orleans. Mechanicals, we are super excited about. It’s part of an ongoing project that’s going to span probably the next eight or nine months. We’re super confident in what it is. Because it really defines what we’re trying to do, which is just be honest, original, and have fun. And Matt’s just screaming about living life. Just live life. And that’s what we do while we play it.

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