An Interview with Neocentrics

neocentrics boise local music

neocentrics boise local music


With yet another Treefort upon us, there’s a glut of bands from all over playing right here in Boise.  And while I’m not immune to the prospect of catching some exotic group from, say, Evanston, Illinois, I’d have to put these local Neocentrics fellas up near the top of my Must See list for this year’s festival.

    I sat down with the band prior to a show at The Shredder last month, and got them to answer a few of my questions. 

First things first, I ask, how about names and instruments?

Going clockwise around the benches where we sit: “My name is Evan [Zurilgen].  I play guitar and keyboard, and do vocals.  I’m also the main songwriter.”

“I’m Quinn [Carrier].  I play bass guitar.”

“I’m Demetrius [Vargas-Morman], and I play guitar.”

“I’m Carsen [Cranney].  I play drums.”

    How would you describe your sound?

    “The best way I can describe our music,” Evan explains, “is experimental indie rock and folk.  We kind of bounce around genres a lot, so one song could sound like punk, the other sounds like folk, then one sounds like math rock, etc.  We’re really all over the place with our sound.”


    Evan continues, “When we first started, I was really influenced by bands like Pixies, The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and Car Seat Headrest.  A lot of mid-90s alt rock stuff.  […]  My current influences include the likes of Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Grandaddy, Slint, The Microphones and Pink Floyd.”

And how long have you been playing together?

    “We started playing shows in April of 2019,” Evan says. “But it’s been kind of like a rotating lineup since we started playing shows. I’ve been playing with this particular lineup since, like, March or April of last year?”–he asks this last bit while looking at his bandmates, one or two of whom nod.  “But that was when COVID was shutting everything down.”

    And how much have you been playing once things started opening up again?

    “A lot,” Evan says, and Demetrius backs him up with, “We played here a couple weeks ago.”

    “Yeah, we played here…umm, mostly just a bunch of house shows.  Where else?  Oh, we’ve done livestreams at The Hive.”

    Quinn mentions something about the park.  

    Oh, the bandshell at Julia Davis?  I think I remember seeing a flyer for that show.

    Evan adds, “I think the last show we did was, we opened for Surfer Blood and Worn-Tin at the Neurolux.  And that was our first time playing at the Neurolux.”

    I think I saw something posted online about that show, too, I say while nodding Carsen’s way.

    “Yeah,” Carsen says, half chuckling, “I was supposed to be there, and then I got COVID, so I couldn’t go!”

    Did you get properly sick?

    “I did!  But our friend Cam–shout out to Cam! love that guy!–filled in, played for those two shows.  I never heard how he played, but–”

    Evan interjects, “He did really well!”

    Is this enough of a close friend that he vaguely knows the set list anyway?

    “Yeah,” explains Evan, “Cam’s in The Phets, and he [pointing at Carsen] got sick and had to quarantine.  So I literally reached out to Cam like two days before these shows, and was like, ‘Hey, here’s the deal. Carsen is sick, he can’t go out, can’t play these two shows.’”

    You had two shows back to back?

    “Yeah,” Evan continues with a grin, “we had the Bandshell on the 6th and Neurolux on the 7th.  So I texted Cam, ‘Hey man, would you be willing to learn most of our songs, or like our regular set list?’  And he was like, ‘Yeah, I’d be down.’  He showed up to practice the next day, and swear to God, he nailed every single song!  …Which is badass.” 

    Is this the band’s first time playing Treefort?

    “Yes,” a couple of the guys chime in simultaneously.

    Evan elaborates, “We were initially on the bill for last year’s Treefort.  We were gonna play at the Regal Beaver.  But then COVID happened, everything got shut down, and obviously the Regal Beaver doesn’t exist anymore.  And we got moved to probably a lot better bill than we would have been playing at Regal Beaver.”

“We’re playing with VEMM,” Carson thinks aloud, “…uh, Raccoon Tour…”

Evan finishes the list, “Emperor X, Xiu Xiu, and AJJ.”

And this is at which venue?

“The Mardi Gras,” comes another simultaneous answer from a few of the guys.

Backing up a bit, you said you had different lineups in the past. How did this lineup come together, and how do you all know each other?

“I’ve known him,” explains Evan, pointing at Demetrius, “since freshman year of high school.  And we had one class together in sophomore year…”

This was which school?

“Eagle High School,” he answers with more than a little despair in his voice.

That bad, huh?

“Ugghhh,” exclaims Demetrius.  “It’s a horrible place.”

Evan picks up where he left off.  “Uh, he started dating one of my friends, and so we started hanging out.  He was into 90s alt-rock, like Nirvana and Green Day and Sublime.”  At this, we both nod to Demetrius’ Sublime t-shirt.  “And I was into more indie stuff.  I was getting into Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, and Neutral Milk Hotel.  And so we sat next to each other in biology class, and I would show him all this weird stuff–”

“Sharing earbuds,” Demetrius says.

“Yeah.  And I knew he played guitar for the longest time, but,” and here Evan searches for the right words, “he was kind of like in and out of the band ever since I started it.  Mostly because he didn’t have a reliable form of transportation.  But then this past year I was like, ‘Hey you wanna play guitar for my band, finally?’ Because he finally got a car.”  At this, the rest of the guys in the band are laughing.

“How long has Quinn been in the band?” Demetrius asks, beating me to the punch.

“Quinn has been in pretty much since the beginning.  I followed him on Instagram, but I didn’t really talk to him.  I knew him from Sobersick.  He posted on his story, ‘I’m looking for other musicians to jam with. Hit me up.’  And I reached out to him: ‘Hey, I’m in a band. Wanna come play bass for us?’  He came and jammed with us, and he’s been in pretty much since the first show, I think.”

Which brings us to Carsen.

“I met Carsen…  Well, me and this other guy who used to play drums for Neocentrics–his name’s Lev–we played a show with his cousin, Jack Ball, and he [Carsen] was playing drums.  I saw him play and I was really impressed by his drumming.  I was like, ‘Yo, if we can get a drummer like that, we’d totally be set!’”

Carsen picks up the story: “And then my cousin Jack left for Africa, so I was out of a job.”

More laughs.

What’s your recorded output looking like?  Got any new music you want to plug?  Or upcoming projects in the pipeline?

“We have one good album, which we put out a couple months ago,” Evan tells me.  “It’s called ‘The Long Way Out’–and that’s like our second album, technically.  But before that, it was mostly just stuff I recorded in my bedroom.  The first Neocentrics EP is just me in my bedroom, fucking around.  It doesn’t sound that good, I’m gonna be real,” he confesses with a shrug.

“We’re still able to take those old songs and play ‘em live,” Demetrius points out, and the rest of the band agrees.

And where can people find this music?

“We’re on pretty much anywhere music can be streamed, like Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Soundcloud–”

“Amazon,” Quinn offers.

“YouTube,” Demetrius chimes in.  They’re clearly having fun with this list.

Future plans?

“We’re looking at touring,” Evan says, “hopefully next year, if things get back to normal. But for now, we’ll keeping playing shows and write at our own pace.”


So if you’re attending Treefort, do yourself a favor and catch Neocentrics.  They’re playing The Mardi Gras Ballroom on Thursday the 23rd, at 5:40pm, and Mad Swede Brewing Hall on Sunday the 26th, at 5:30pm.