Daily Egyptian

Hans Predator creeps about local venues

By Sam Beard, @SamBeard_DE

Playing in a band with members who live hours away from one another can be tough. One might expect it to deter regular practice, resulting in a sloppy show.

However, that assumption was quickly shaken as Hans Predator took the stage Saturday at Tres Hombres Mexican Restaurant & Bar.

Fronted by Evan Neuman on guitar and lead vocals with Marcus Lappin on drums and backup vocals and SIU alumnus Dylan Frost on bass guitar, the band is a staple in the Carbondale music scene — playing everywhere from Hangar 9 and City Pavilion, to basement venues scattered around town.

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With more than 30 years of cumulative musical experience, every member brings their own musical flavor to the ensemble, having grown up listening to different music.

Although stamping a band with the label of a specific genre can be difficult, Hans Predator considers their genre to be psych-garage.

“It kind of a call-back to old ’60s rock-n-roll, with some elements of ’80s progressive rock and there is a lot of surf music influence in there,” Frost said.

What started as a duo grew a third pair of legs with the addition of Frost, who graduated from the university in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Originally called Chris Hansen and the Predator, a throwback to the MSNBC television show “To Catch a Predator,” the addition of a third member seemed to logically require a name change, Neuman said.

When confronted for the new name by the booking agent at The Swamp, a do-it-yourself Carbondale venue that regularly hosts shows, Neuman and the crew came up with the name Hans Predator on the spot.

Frost lives in Nashville, Tenn., but that does not prevent the group from performing for a tight-knit but expanding fan base at venues in Carbondale.

“I like playing house shows more so than bars,” Neuman said. “Of course bars pay more, but at house shows the band generally gets a better response from the audience.”

Lappin said people are usually more in to the music at house shows since they specifically attend for the music, while people at bars tend to be there to drink and socialize.

“There is definitely more interaction in a basement, rather than when we’re playing 30 feet away from the crowd at some bar,” he said.

Fans, new and old, can see the band’s new music video, “It Ain’t Heavy,” on YouTube and can expect to hear new tracks next year. Their music can be found on their BandCamp page and cassettes are available for purchase at Plaza Records, a record store in Carbondale.

Although the members of the group work hard to make Hans Predator’s sound seamless and tight, all three members work at locally owned businesses to help pay the bills.

Between all of them, scheduling time to convene remains one of the most difficult aspects of being in a band, Neuman said. Moreover, booking tours can be tedious and nerve-racking at times when waiting for a venue to respond.

For Frost, distance between the band and himself has proved to be the most difficult part of playing in Hans recently.

“I’m three hours away from my band members,” Frost said. “But we live in this digital age where they can send me songs with their smartphones. I have become accustomed to working on songs on my own.”

That was not easily noticed at Saturday’s show, as the trio’s stellar collaboration led to a set that had some audience members shaking their “groove thang.” 

“Being a musician is one of the most humbling things you can endure,” Frost said. “We will play these roadshows, say in Kansas, and you have high expectations. You’re expecting a big crowd, and you get there and you’re playing for like five different people.”

He said other times expectations are blown out of the water by the turnout and audience reaction.

Sam Beard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SamBeard_De.

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