By Robbie Nevel
Imagine a revamp of the best dance-pop from the eighties blasting in a futuristic nightclub where everyone is totally stoned. That is precisely what Eons sounds like. They have sounded that way since their birth from the creative mind of frontman and songwriter, Johnny Deezal, back in 2012. Since then, multi-instrumentalist Matthew Gossman joined the mix and they’ve polished things up quite a bit.
For their new single “Heat of the Night” the songwriting is brought up to the next level while production is at its most crisp. They recorded and produced it all themselves which even in this DIY day and age, is impressive. It’s an audio science fiction movie and an ode to Miami’s nightlife – and as Deezal puts it:
“Those moments in time that we’ll never forget or regret.”
They have undergone an evolution to be sure, but their hooks and driving beats always intermingle will a sense of retro sci-fi. That could be from to the duo’s shared love of classics such as “Back to the Future” and “Quantum Leap.”
“It’s nostalgia. We are children of the 90s and 80s and it just comes out,” said Gossman.
What started as a more organic project has become increasingly futuristic over time. At first, Deezal was on synth and guitars while collaborator Gossman played live drums. Nowadays, influenced by the Miami dance music scene, it’s an all electronic undertaking (although in the future they might expand back to live instrumentation).
In “Heat of the Night” digital patterns intermingle over a steady, catchy beat. Vocally, Johnny Deezal resembles a mad scientist stepping fresh from his musical DeLorean and explaining just why Miami is the place to have a decadent, 1980’s-worthy night of partying. It follows the development of the song from deep grooving verses to musical breaks of electronic flourishes and soaring falsetto.
Their next show is Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Gibson Showroom as part of the iii Points Festival. There, they will be playing to a music-hungry audience and a panel of industry professionals. Whatever comes next should be anticipated because with the direction this band is heading, it is only going farther into space. They provide a trip back to the future that no other group has offered yet.
What can you tell me about the evolution of your band, and how it started?
Matt: The project was started by Johnny about two years ago. He wrote and recorded the entire first EP ‘Time and Space.’ He had been a fan of my previous band, so when he moved back from New York he sent me some tracks and asked me to be the live drummer. I enjoyed the sound so we started working together. So it’s been about two years and we’ve produced all the tracks after that EP together. Now I play live bass.
Johnny: Evolution, evolution, and more evolution. No project I have ever been in has gone through as many transformations pertaining to our live setup as EONS. That is a good thing because it shows that we learn from our experiences and always step up our approach. It is in our nature to constantly better ourselves as artists, performers, and people.
How has involvement in the EDM scene in Miami inspired the shift from more organic to more electronic?
Matt: We have realized through experience that every show is different. We take into account the venue, the crowd, the vibe, etc. when planning for a performance. We are by no means permanently moving away from an organic approach, just going with what be feel is best right now. When we start to tour more often, I can see us getting more live players, and me moving back to the drums.
What was the songwriting/recording process like from start to finish for “Heat of the Night”? Were there differences or similarities to methods used in the past?
Matt: Heat, and our previous two singles were literally 4-6 months in the making, but I feel after two years together we are really starting to hit our stride. We now know exactly what sound we like, and have a system in place that allows us to consistently achieve that level of production more efficiently. We have a good chunk of quality stuff in the pipeline that will probably end up either seeing release more quickly, or being compiled into an EP.
Johnny: With Heat of the Night I just found this cool synth sound. After customizing some parameters, I started playing some chords that had kind of a really slick vibe. We built on it, and the song fell in place step by step. It was basically written for a while, but we continued to improve the production based on our own drive to be better, and on feedback from our talented and trusted friends.
You have a certain visual presentation onstage, what is the inspiration behind that aspect of the band?
Both: It’s the added element of the visual with the audio. We try to set ourselves apart from other acts, and we feel that the lights we use live mesh really well with our style and sound, and help to create more of an experience for the audience. The imagery in our music draws from our passion for science, our city, nostalgia, and just having a good time. It’s EDM, it’s Miami, it’s 80’s. It all helps to portray what inspires us every day.
Plans for the future?
Matt: We’re going to keep doing what we do regardless of our success. When it comes down to it, we have a lot of fun making music. That being said, who wouldn’t want to make a living from their art?
Johnny: As we’re currently producing in the studio, we could also benefit from representation. So far we’ve played Ultra and opened for quite a few national acts with no help from a manager, booking agency, PR company, etc. It has been purely from our own drive to succeed. We would like to get our music out to as many ears as possible, and if they like it that’s even better.