Raised in greater Detroit, Evan Demko left the University of Michigan with a degree in industrial engineering at a bad time.
"Factories were moving out, and plants were closing down [in 2005]. All that's left in Detroit is doctors and lawyers, but there is no one left to doctor or lawyer to."
Demko left Michigan in the summer of 2005. "I drove out to the farthest part of the U.S. I could drive to. I had four guitars, five amps, and a 4' by 12' speaker cabinet."
At age 23, found a job at a local textbook company but quit after six weeks. "I had the balls to get out so I wouldn't be working at something I didn't like until I was dead."
He found other musicians and launched Animal Style, a dirty garage-rock band.
"Our first gig was April 2006. We wanted to play any place that appreciated real rock bands, like Blind Melons, the Tiki Bar, and O'Connell's." Demko says that after about ten gigs, "People were starting to know us. Everything was building. We got booked for our biggest show yet at 'Canes."
But, three days before that June 2006 'Canes show, "Our drummer Kevin was skating under the O.B. Pier. I was on the pier when I heard Kevin wail in pain. He hit the wrong bump. I went down and asked him if he was okay. Every time he sat down it would take him 15 minutes to stand up again. We finally got him back to our house. We laid him on the couch....
"The hospital trauma doctor said he had three broken vertebrae and was lucky to not be paralyzed. He can walk, but he has some reoccurring pain that shoots down one of his legs. He was overwhelmed, financially. He quit drumming. He'll spend the rest of his 20s trying to get out of debt. He had to sell his drums."
Demko says it took six months to find another drummer. "If you're a drummer in this town or a drummer thinking about moving to this town, you will always have a gig."
-- "Blurt," 2-8-07