Original band Ever/After aims to keep the spirit of glam metal alive — minus the outlandish spandex outfits, bushy hair and face paint.


Original band Ever/After aims to keep the spirit of glam metal alive — minus the outlandish spandex outfits, bushy hair and face paint.

Ever/After, of New Jersey, will debut at the World Café Live at the Queen’s “Summer Bash” on Saturday, July 14. The band will share the bill with acts The Hyde, and Shawn & Hobby Band.

The band — comprised of members in their 40s and 50s — features Jim Drnec (drummer, of Middletown, who works as a civil defense attorney for the law firm Balick & Balick in Wilmington), Mark Evans (frontman and bassist, of New Jersey), Reggie Wu (guitarist, of New Jersey) and John Dennis (guitarist, of New Jersey).

The genesis
Around the fall of 2010, Drnec, Evans and Wu were having a ball creating music for the soundtrack of film director Lou D’Angeli’s documentary “All Ages Sunday.” The film — which Drnec says he believes “is still in the production phase” — is about the hard rock scene in Philadelphia during the ‘80s.

In addition to having the trio work on the soundtrack, D’Angeli (a former director of promotions and event marketing for World Wrestling Entertainment) interviewed them because they were all part of the rock scene in Philly during the ‘80s: Drnec and Evans played in the mostly top-40 cover band Network — which also offered originals in the style of bands like Survivor and Journey — during the mid-‘80s; and Evans and Wu played in the glam metal outfit Heaven’s Edge, in which the band was signed to Columbia Records from the late ‘80s to early ‘90s.

Once the guys — who each submitted one song for “All Ages Sunday” — wrapped up their music for the project that fall, they soon realized, “We had such a good time that we decided to keep it going,” Dnrec said.

They’d soon add guitarist Dennis to the mix — thus birthing Ever/After.

No shoegazing here
The backbone of Ever/After’s concerts are built on capturing elements of the exuberance and pride demonstrated by legendary bands like KISS and Van Halen.

“We try to do things a little different,” said Evans, 50, who was describing how the band is distinguished from most modern acts. “There’s not a lot of energy and we try to have a bit of energy, even though the fact we’re older than some of those [younger bands]. Obviously, we don’t do our hair like [the glam metal era] anymore, but we try to capture the same [excitement].”

Evans added that Ever/After has played shows where members of younger bands compliment the group on its active stage-presence, offering praises like: “you guys are all over the place!”

A big reason why the band is able to deliver compelling shows is because the guys work so well together. 

“The chemistry is perfect,” said Wu, 49. “We really have a great time playing together and I think it shows in our performance.”

Previewing the music
In a nutshell, Ever/After’s songs have been shaped by a cluster of bands each member respects, such as Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Stone Temple Pilots, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and plenty more.

Meanwhile, Ever/After’s lyrics reveal shared life experiences from the members, told from a deeper and different perspective than when they were wild kids in their 20s.

Drnec says two tunes Ever/After might introduce at The Queen are: “Stop and Go Blues” (a blues-based rocker that’s played in a sort of slide-guitar style reminiscent of an old Aerosmith tune) and “Turn This Thing Around” (which has a “Van Halen feel to it”).

“Back in the ‘80s we kind of did a lot of songs about partying and women,” said Evans, who’s happily married to his wife, Jeanne, and has three children: Dillon, 15, Kaitlin, 20, and Justin, 23. “We’re all older now. We’re married. Singing about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll seems a little silly. It made sense in our 20s, but not at our age now.”

Drnec concurred with Evans.

“Growing up and raising a family and accepting that responsibility gives you a different perspective on life,” said Drnec, who’s also cheerfully married to his “beautiful wife,” Tracee, and is a father to his 24-year-old son, Kody (who’s also a drummer), and 26-year-old daughter, Kari.

What’s next?
Ever/After is currently in the “recording process” for its first album, Drnec said. Since each of the guys have recording equipment at their home studios, they’ve been able to create tracks piecemeal by recording their individual parts and emailing them to one another. However, the gang still hasn’t found a producer and engineer for the project. At the least, the band intends to release an EP this fall, Drnce said.