Local band War Radio gears up for big weekend

Friday, October 19, 2012
War Radio, fronted by husband-and-wife duo Joel and Tosh Everson and also featuring Drew Cooper, Billy Speckin and Steve St. Pierre, has a big opportunity Saturday evening at Wabash College when it opens for national touring act Gym Class Heroes. War Radio will also be playing locally tonight with a 9 p.m. show at the Swizzle Stick in Greencastle.

For every band that's heard some smart aleck in the back yelling "Free Bird!" there's a point to strive for.

When will they start wanting to hear our songs?

Local band War Radio is starting to see the fruits of its labors.

"It's our goal to try and pursue our music more and more," songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Joel Everson told the Banner Graphic. "It's kind of cool to see how the crowd now sings our songs as much as the standard cover songs."

Composed of Joel and wife/songwriting partner and vocalist Tosh Everson, drummer Drew Cooper and bassist Billy Speckin, War Radio has been playing locally for several years.

"We're very fortunate here in Greencastle," Joel said. "We're playing the Swizzle Stick this Friday and it will be packed. We have such incredible people around us that want to hear us play."

The Swizzle Stick show, set for 9 p.m.-midnight tonight, is only the warm up for the weekend. On Saturday, the band will have one of the big opportunities of its career when it opens for national act Gym Class Heroes at Wabash College.

The 8 p.m. show will take place at Wabash's Chadwick Court.

Tosh Everson is actually employed at Wabash, but that connection is not how they got the gig opening for Gym Class Heroes.

Joel said the band has played at Wabash three times previously, and when Saturday's show was in the planning stages, a group of students actually requested War Radio as the opening act.

From there, the band had to submit a demo to Gym Class Heroes, who liked what they heard.

"One of the exciting things with this Wabash show with Gym Class Heroes is they are interested in our original stuff," Joel said. "It was kind of an honor for us to be a part of that."

The success of the original work is a result of a weekly routine by the Eversons. One night each week is songwriting night for Joel and Tosh. Each week, they try to bring one new song to the band's next rehearsal.

"Every week we're constantly writing," Joel said.

And being able to play the originals, mixed with covers, allows the band to bring its own flavor to its shows.

"Our goal is to provide something different," Joel said. "We want to give them a show. We want it to feel like a concert when they come to the Swizzle Stick."

For the last six months War Radio has been joined by veteran guitarist Steve St. Pierre.

With St. Pierre's input, the band feels ready to take a big step.

"It's at that point right now where we're staying busy enough to play two, three nights a week," Joel said, "but we're wanting to take that next step and play other places."

And they've begun to do so, having recently completed their first mini-tour to North Carolina.

Even as they play other places, though, the band still loves playing for a hometown crowd.

"We try to make it to where when we play here, it's War Radio night in Greencastle," Joel said.

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