Dierdre Evans had long played covers, when five years ago, she needed a little more.
She wanted to be like the fierce women she emulated—Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and the Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen.
“Female-fronted rock bands are not only inspiring, I find it intriguing,” Evans says. “I like to see what they do, see how they interact with the crowd and move around on stage—or how much they don’t move around on stage.”
Evans created her own rock band, Dierdre, blending compelling vocals and an amalgamation of soul, alternative rock and hard rock music.
“I knew I wanted my project to be original music and rock,” she says. “My producer, Mike Bolenbach, and I started writing together and working on music about five years ago. Once I had some content, some songs written, I put together the live band.”
Evans, who has her own wine created by Desert Rock Winery in the Scottsdale Airpark area, released her first full-length album in June 2017, “I’ve Come to Life.” Recorded at Full Well Studios in Phoenix, “I’ve Come to Life” was mastered by Grammy winner Emily Lazar at The Lodge Mastering in New York.
She returned to Full Well Studios to record her second album, “Siren,” but is releasing singles throughout the COVID-19-stricken year.
“I’m releasing the songs as singles so there’s new music out there for everybody every couple months,” Evans says. “When I decide the album’s complete, I will release them all together as one work of art, one album.”
Recently she released “Channels,” a song Evans wrote about her struggles with anxiety and depression.
I’m the quintessential, emotional, dramatic artist,” Evans says with a laugh. “I deal with depression and anxiety fairly regularly. I’ve been wanting to write about that for a while.
“I wrote about the struggles of not letting your anxiety consume you and persevering through them and pushing on. The music lent itself to that, with the different pieces, different rhythm changes and different moods. It’s reflective of anxiety’s ups and downs.”
Evans was born in Texas and moved to the Valley at age 5. Music has been a big part of her life, as her immediate and extended families are musicians.
“My parents were in bands together back in the day, before I was alive,” Evans says. “Music was always being played in the house. My dad played guitar and my mom played bass.”
In grade school, Evans became “obsessed” with ’90s rock. When the former ballerina entered Horizon High School, she auditioned for choir and explored singing. She took private singing lessons to learn proper technique.
Her freshman year of college, she studied opera at NAU, singing in Italian, French and German. Evans decided it wasn’t for her, so she transferred to ASU, where she took “regular classes” and private jazz lessons.
“I started writing my own music and dabbling in all different genres of music,” Evans says. “I do love most genres out there. I started in cover bands because it seemed less scary to perform other people’s music.
“I fronted a band and became comfortable doing that.”
She dabbled in a variety of genres, including top 40, country and R&B.
“Ultimately, I decided, at the end of the day, my home is rock,” she says. “I hate to have to pigeonhole myself. Some of my songs are alt rock and others are a little more hard rock, but definitely not metal or softer indie rock.”
Evans is joined in her band by bassist James Kulon, drummer Dwain Miller, guitarist Jimmy Caterine and guitarist Deej Asterikk. Besides Bolenbach, Evans’ studio team includes Kolby Peoples and Byron Carrick.
Bolenbach remembers being impressed the first time he saw Evans in the studio.
“She has always been the bomb. When she had a cover band, I thought she was incredible then. She has a vision for herself. She knows instantly if she likes something or not. It’s easy enough.”