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The man behind the music project called “The Evil Dark” is named Aaron Henderson. He was born in 1984 in Washington, DC. By the late 1990s, Aaron was living in Ohio. And as a teenager in high school, he started writing song lyrics to original songs. He also started playing guitar in high school as well, due to a few music classes that were offered in 9th and 11th grades.
The 9th grade class taught classical music through acoustic guitar, it is in this class where the teacher claimed Aaron (and another student as well) had “qualm palms” and this would have prevented him from playing guitar in the future according to the teacher. Unfortunately for that teacher, he continued to play but never had any issues because he never needed to play in a style that required every single string to be used in an open chord pattern all of the time (ex: Folk music). The kind of music Aaron was into was definitely not folk music, he liked rock music. When he was in 10th grade, he started listening to the harder stuff which would be considered under the umbrella term of “Underground Metal”. One of the first Death Metal bands he would listen to would be Morbid Angel. The next music class that offered guitar was in another high school in Maryland which Aaron attended 11th grade, where an actual “guitar” class was offered. Much like the last class mentioned, the classroom had their own acoustic guitars which where owned and supplied by the school.
Outside of school he only messed around on friends’ guitars at times, but didn’t play much since he didn’t own his own guitar. And he also didn’t properly know any full songs because of his limited time behind the guitar. It would be the next year, for the Christmas of 2001, when he would first get an electric guitar of his own. Since Aaron was into Hard Rock and Metal, the first things he learned were power chords and different kinds of alternative tunings (such as Drop-D). From that point on, he would eventually teach himself how to become a Metal rhythm guitarist of sorts. The early recordings from that period of time are lost to the sands of time, which is probably a good thing since most of those recordings were not great by any means.
In late 2003, Aaron would meet a new friend & start a noisy Hardcore band with him called Random Noise. Aaron would play guitar and his friend would be the vocalist. The band officially started in early 2004 and wouldn’t do very well because they were considered a joke by the majority of people in the DC Punk scene who had witnessed the band live. The vocalist wasn’t overly concerned over what anyone thought, and used the opportunity to work out his own issues over the mic. The lineup was always changing outside of the two founding members, the third member being whoever happened to agree to be the drummer at the time.
Aaron also agreed to join the Alternative Rock group Black Gun Barrels in 2004 as a bass player. At the time Black Gun Barrels were made of 3 members but were soon to be joined by a drummer. A few months later the lead guitarist quit the band making it a 3 person band once again. The peak of the band Random Noise would be the time they played a show with Total Chaos in late 2004 at an unknown dive bar in Alexandria, VA. At that time the drummer from Black Gun Barrels agreed to play the show. That would be the last show ever for Random Noise as the band finally called it quits in 2005.
In 2005, Aaron would also first start working on his solo music project called “Mechanized Warfare” by borrowing a drum machine and recording the first few tracks, which also involved playing an octave-down tuned distorted bass played alongside the drum machine. The project was mostly experimental at the time. In the spring of 2006, Mechanized Warfare would release the first EP (called “Endless Night”) and do the first & only live show for that project. These early tracks would also be found on Myspace as this was before other social networks, such as Facebook, would take off. The drum machine heard on the first EP was borrowed from the singer/guitarist of Black Gun Barrels. Aaron bought his own drum machine in mid-2006 after finding a way to pay for it (a Zoom RhythmTrak RT- 223).
At some point in mid-2006, Aaron played bass in a short lived Hardcore Punk band called “The S&M” (which also went by a plethora of alternate names since members of the band considered the name to be an acronym and you could make up any name you wanted for it, as long as the words started with S and M). Most of the band already had another main band they played in, so for the majority of the band this was just a side project. Aaron met most of these guys at many of the live shows he attended in the DC Punk scene at the time (from about 2003-2006). That band only lasted a few weeks during the summer of 2006. Black Gun Barrels continued until some time in 2007 when that band finally broke up.
At this point, Mechanized Warfare was the only survivor. Aaron had left the DC Punk scene and was now a regular at a goth club in DC called “Midnight” from 2007 until early 2009. Between 2008-2009, with a new guitar and finally, a computer to record with; his solo project became more guitar driven and ended up creating songs in the styles of Industrial Rock/Industrial Metal. A YouTube commenter (in 2011) once said “Reminds me of KMFDM but heavier”. That comment most likely has been deleted due to the multiple apocalyptic wipes YouTube has done over the years (which also explains the disappearance of many old comments). Also, Aaron was an Industrial, Electronic/Dance, and Rock DJ for an adults-only online world called “RLC” between 2009-2011, and again from mid-2017 until Jan 2018.
In late 2010, shortly before Mechanized Warfare started posting to YouTube (in 2011), Aaron obtained a copy of FL Studio and started to learn about electronic music production. And that was when the last era of Mechanized Warfare’s sound was born. The closest way to describe it would be Industrial Metal mixed with Aggrotech. Many of the influences ranged from Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, Ministry & other artists such as Agonoize, Centhron, Front 242… And countless others. In this final era, the project would release 4 EP’s and a 10 track compilation album that contained the original “Endless Night” EP as well as additional songs from the Industrial Rock/Industrial Metal era.
The solo project Mechanized Warfare would join other similar music artists in an independent music label called Elektro Villain near the end of 2014. There was a collaboration album released in 2015 called “Mechanized Warfare vs Elektro Ferret” which was released through the label. That label was also known for putting out compilation albums. Mechanized Warfare lasted until the final EP was released in 2016, when Aaron completely quit the music business for various reasons. An old friend, whom used to be the vocalist for Black Gun Barrels, seemed to agree with the choice Aaron made. He told Aaron that it’s been over 10 years since he started Mechanized Warfare, maybe its time to move on.
Then 2019 rolled around… At this point Aaron was an Army veteran, and at some point during the year Aaron discovered a genre called “Synthwave” which he had not been aware of before. Upon first listen, it reminded him of synth heavy 80’s music. He had listened to music genres from the 1980’s before, but this was new and different. In November, Aaron was preparing to return to the music world. All social media profiles with the name Mechanized Warfare had been changed to reflect the brand new name.
The name for his solo music project would now become “The Evil Dark”. Aaron has also decided to go with a different sound, and come from a new Synth angle rather than from the previous Industrial side. Everything he has made has been dark sounding, even his Rock and Metal had been dark. Therefore his new music would also be dark, as there was no choice for the music to come out differently. The name is a good fit to describe his dark sound, and the name is also a reference to an 80s Horror movie (which also explains the design of the logo).
“Dead Again” was the first album released by The Evil Dark in Jan 2020, and the remix album followed in Feb 2020. He has also released the “Endless Night Revisited” EP and 2 singles leading up to the album “Dead World 2189” which was released on Oct 16, 2020.
As of the start of 2021, The Evil Dark is no longer associated with Synthwave or any artists within the genre, due to internal issues within the genre. The Evil Dark has returned to it’s previous industrial music roots from before the name change, but this time it is more aggrotech and electro based rather than an offshoot of industrial metal. As of mid-February 2021, The Evil Dark has changed the spelling of the music project to EVVLDVRK1 and has released one single “Life Is A Bitch” under the new spelling with the newer sound.
As of April 2021, Aaron has taken a break from music production and is now DJ’ing on Twitch playing music on that platform. The main reason for taking the break from music is that the music industry always favored those on labels, even Bandcamp Fridays favored those on labels and not those that actually needed the money. Also, even a small streamer on Twitch makes more than unsigned independent artists, so there is a huge discrepancy on potential income. Because there is no desire to go back to being a starving artist (where it takes an entire year of 4 different releases to make $200, which is what small twitch streamers make in one or two months), there are no immediate plans to return to creating music in the future. Unless, of course, the fans ask for it.