Guitarist and singer/songwriter Pete Evick, best known as the lead guitarist and band director of the Bret Michaels Band has released a new single today, To Whom It May Concern, the latest in a string of single releases that Evick has undertaken in the past year and will continue to do in the foreseeable future.
In 1998 Pete Evick’s band Some Odd Reason signed it’s first record deal with Sol 3 Records, distributed by WEA/Warner Bros. That band’s album was produced by the legendary Richard Gottehrer, who is best known for writing I Want Candy, producing Hang on Sloopy, and producing Blondie and The Go Gos. Sharing names with the album itself, the title track was called To Whom It May Concern; a controversial song with the opening lyric “I used to believe in God”. Although written in 1998, the inspiration for it had been swirling around in Pete’s head since the onset of the Gulf War in 1991. At an age where Pete was old enough to begin understanding how cruel humanity can be to each other, images of war were repeatedly being broadcast live on TV in real time, permanently burning into his memory.
This did not help with Pete’s lifelong struggle with faith. He spent years of his youth freely speaking to preachers, rabbis, and anyone that would listen, looking for something to believe in. Due to very personal and traumatic events in his life, that quest for understanding left him to conclude that the universe is one of science, not faith. This is something those close to him know he still struggles with today.
The emotion of his search, along with the visions of a war being broadcast live on TV, finally manifested into the song To Whom It May Concern, an imagined conversation between Pete and Jesus. Pete asks Jesus if he himself still believes in his own Father. Gotterher loved the song but said, “The song is a hit, but…it’s a war protest song and right now there is no war!”
Several years later, Some Odd Reason disbanded. Pete formed Evick, where he moved from guitar player to singer. As he was finding his voice, he began to re-imagine and re-record the Some Odd Reason material he had written, including To Whom It May Concern in 2002. The hard drive housing this material had a catastrophic crash and Pete was told by several experts that the drive was simply unrecoverable.
Twenty one years later, in a time where there is war, unrest, and uncertainty, Pete was able to resurrect the song with his original vocal from that old hardware. After all this time, Pete’s voice has come a long way, but he chose to leave the raw, “amateur” vocal exactly as it was recorded back then, along with the demo – quality (At best) piano introduction. As if by divine intervention, the material seemingly rose from the dead.
The album art may be even more controversial than the opening lyric. A haunting vision from a lifetime of Pete’s own nightmares, the image depicts Jesus as a grey alien, leaving his crown of thorns behind on a rock where the supposed messiah painted “I Tried” on a pile of rubble as he strolls off into the teeth of the apocalypse.
And with that, we give you To Whom It May Concern.