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Hello Kryssie, so glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it.  

KRYSSIE RIDOLFI: Of course! Thank you for having me! 

MPAP: Evil Engine is a Chicago punk rock band that formed in 2015? What else can you tell the readers about your band? 

KRYSSIE: Evil Engine started as the vision of my bassist Mike and his former drummer back in 2014 and has evolved into the four-headed creature it is today through various changes and growth spurts. Evil Engine is meant to be an answer to the four cogs that power “the” Evil Engine (political corruption, religious extremism, corporate greed, and the toxic tabloid media), and while our aim as writers and performers is to help destroy the evil engine, there’s just too many bands with “destroy” in their names, so Evil Engine it is. Haha 
Think a female-fronted Bad Religion/Pennywise hybrid with thrash metal roots, with a little first-wave flavor and hardcore punk sprinkled in. 

MPAP: Who are your partners in crime that make up the rest of the Evil Engine

KRYSSIE: I’m the voicebox and the soapbox, Mike Skull (live performances with 45 Grave, The Vile) is the bassist and primary lyricist, Jamie Booth (Indolent) plays guitar, and Colin Holmes (Crusader, The Massacres) keeps us all in line on the drums. 

MPAP: Nullius In Verba is your first release and is getting some great reviews. It debuted at #11 on Amazon the first night. How did that make you feel? 

KRYSSIE: Obviously I’ll never stop being giddy when people like the music we make (we definitely had an impromptu listening party the minute it dropped on our periscope channel), but I didn’t actually expect it to move so quickly and be so well-received. I’m THRILLED that it has, though, and I hope that the fact that the songs are all serious face-punchers musically helps trojan-horse the lyrical points we’re trying to make into as many ears as possible. 

MPAP: Did you feel the band was doing the right thing and going in the right direction? 

KRYSSIE: Absolutely! I’m beyond proud of everything this band has been able to throw together in the past year and a half and I’ll never put my name on anything I’m not proud of. 

MPAP: The only bad review of Nullius In Verba, if you could even call it bad, was that it had been just an EP. It seems everyone wanted more music? Will the next Evil Engine record be a full release to satisfy your fans cravings? 

KRYSSIE: Actually, our plan is to keep pumping out EPs to get more content out faster than waiting for the budget to record a full-length. I’ve been in projects before that had a huge catalog of music that never saw the light of day because we were waiting for the money to hit the studio - we all promised each other that Evil Engine would keep producing new stuff as much as possible, and doing it a few songs at a time is more time efficient and cost-effective. We’re already set to record the next one, and we’re hoping to do a special release for Record Store Day 2018! 

MPAP: Is it hard being a female fronted band when the punk genre is so dominated by males? 

KRYSSIE: Nah. I’ve been doing the “only girl in a boys’ club” thing for so long that nothing phases me anymore. I think it’s hilarious (and obviously totally fucked up) when people think I’m “with” the band and try to make me pay the cover charge or whatever, but I, in turn, take great pleasure in showing them what it means to be “good for a girl.” 

MPAP: What do you say to those who can’t accept it? 

KRYSSIE: They can eat my proverbial balls. 

MPAP: Let’s talk more about your EP. Nullius In Verba is Latin for "on the word of no one" or "take nobody's word for it". What inspired you to choose this for the title of your EP? 

KRYSSIE: It’s also the motto of the Royal Society (founded in 1660 in the hopes of promoting science and its benefits and challenging religious fundamentalism - 1660s antiestablishmentarianism)! We thought it was a pretty neat sentiment and words to live by. Question everything and find out for yourself; take no one’s word for it. 

MPAP: One of the songs on it is called 'Father'. It is about a boy whose abusive father forced his ideologies and lifestyle upon him. What made you decide to sing about this subject? 

KRYSSIE: The song was actually already written when I auditioned for EE, (Mike wrote it after a fight with his grandfather) but the lyrics hit home HARD with me. I was always an honors student with a near-perfect GPA and an IQ four points below “genius,” and I started college as a pre-med major because I thought that was what I was supposed to do with my life… I quit after a year and a half of gen. eds and a lot of emotional struggle about giving up music, something I’d loved since birth, for a career I didn’t want. It was a tough decision that caused a huge fight between my mother and I, and though she’s proud of what I’ve accomplished now, EVERY time I sing that song, I become that nineteen-year old spitfire telling my mother to fuck off in my livingroom.  
Fun fact: I auditioned with that song (since it spoke to me, I wrote my melody for that one REALLY quick) and made it through only ¾ of the first verse before Mike cut the music and said “holy fucking shit, Kryssie, you got the job.” 

MPAP: Another song on it is 'Radio Coup D’état'. On your Bandcamp page, it states that the song is the calling to arms of underground music artists against mundane, contented pop music that has usurped talent with manufactured drivel and conformity. The Ramones said it best; "We Want The Airwaves", and this is our outcry to take them back, by force and seizure. I couldn’t agree more. This should be the song for every new generation of music listeners to hear and take note? 

KRYSSIE: Ha! I always introduce that song live as “our stab at ‘We Want the Airwaves’ for our generation.” I would certainly love for everyone who hears it to help carry on our displeasure with the contrived nonsense on the radio today. They only put that crap out because PEOPLE BUY IT. WHY ARE THEY BUYING IT?! 

MPAP: The song 'Ugly Public' features Dan Precision from 88 Fingers Louie. How was that being able to work with him?  

KRYSSIE: Actually, Dan Precision produced and engineered our entire EP! He helped out on backing vocals for some things we needed to retrack while I was out of town, and was a lifesaver in SO MANY WAYS. He’s a great dude and I really look forward to working with him again. If not just for the lunch breaks at Chipotle, but for our mutual love for the Golden Girls... And hey, he let me burp into a microphone that’s worth more than my car, AND he has an ADORABLE dog named Fiona who smothered me in kisses anytime I wasn’t tracking. 10/10 would definitely go back to Bombshelter Studios! 

MPAP: If you had another opportunity to collaborate with any punk rock band, who would it be? 

KRYSSIE: Okay this is such an unfair question because I ramble and could go on for weeks about who I’d like to work with. I feel like the obvious answer is Greg Graffin from Bad Religion. He’s everything I want to be as a lyricist and I’m just in awe of his brain as a whole. If our collaboration was only so much as him high-fiving me before a performance, I would somehow feel smarter for having done it. I’d also LOVE to work with Dan Andriano from Alkaline Trio. Not only do his lyrics feel like he stole them right from inside my ribcage, but I can tell you from years and years and YEARS of singing along to Trio and Dan’s side projects in my car, our voices blend amazingly and the world needs to hear it, damnit. Okay I need to hear it. But whatever. I’d also LOVE to record a tune with the ladies in Doll Skin. They’re fucking amazeballs. 

MPAP: Do you want to explain the cover to Nullius In Verba? It will definitely get someone’s attention and spark their curiosity to look at it closer. And then once they see the back cover, they might be disappointed and then just must have to laugh? 

KRYSSIE: We went back and forth on cover ideas for a while, and I will forever brag that the cover image that won was MY idea. To illustrate the “take no one’s word” motto, we put a bra on Mike’s buttcheeks to make them look like a big set of boobs… we included my hands in the photo and released it without explanation. When asked if I was on the cover, I could, in good conscience, say I was, and it got a lot of people talking… 
Once it was released, we took a few days and did one of those “if we get X amount of retweets, we’ll tell you a secret” tweets and released the explanation image of Jamie photographing me holding the bra and Colin holding my blonde extensions just above the frame and people went NUTS. Lots of people were mad that they’d had impure thoughts about Mike’s hiney…but hey…we told you to take no one’s word for it... 

MPAP: Evil Engine just did a small tour with Dollskin? How was that? 
KRYSSIE: It was AWESOME! We’d played with them when they came through town in April of 2016 and they put on a great show. Since they were so goddamn good at what they did, we jumped at the chance to share the stage with them again and dude, they did NOT disappoint. They have such a bright future ahead of them in this business. They’re already seasoned pros at a young age, and they’re all so smart and savvy that they aren’t going to get eaten alive by this business and that makes me hella proud. They’re the millennial generation’s Donnas/Runaways hybrid with a powerhouse vocalist that I know I would’ve TOTALLY looked up to in high school. Fuck, I look up to them NOW. 
But the tour itself was awesome. It was an honor to share the stage with them, and although I joked about it on stage, there’s some truth to the whole “I just booked these shows so I could see Doll Skin for free four nights in a row” banter. Even if they weren’t my friends, they’d have a fan in me. I was right up front every single set of theirs, singing my ass off right back to them. 

MPAP: Dollskin wrote on their Facebook- ‘Last night we ended our four-day run with Evil Engine. They were such a huge inspiration to us in a million ways. Not only did they slay with their punk badassery, but they inspired us to take no shit and to be fearless as a band. We just adore them and you should too! Go check them out. Hoping for way more tour dates with them in the future.’ How does that make you feel to hear those words from them? What would you want to say back to Dollskin

KRYSSIE: Oh man, I’ve already said so much. Haha! I just want them to know how their energy made us all want to step up our game as performers, and how comfortable they made us feel as people. This was the first time we toured WITH the same band multiple nights in a row, and we all felt so spoiled when it was over. It’s amazing how four days with people you respect as musicians AND get along with so well as human beings can go by faster than you want. Four days wasn’t long enough. I really hope we get to hit the road with them again. We make sense together on a bill anyway, so let’s just indulge 8 friends and let them hang out for a longer period of time doing what they love!  

MPAP: Question everything, and not taking "NO" for an answer. Do you have any other advice you’d care to give? 

KRYSSIE: Never forget who you are. You can have everything in the world or nothing at all, but if you’re not true to who you are, you can’t and won’t ever be truly happy. 

MPAP: It’s not on your EP, by you cover 'Oi! To The World' by The Vandals who were a punk band from the 80s. What bands did you grow up listening to? Were Punk rock and metal music your first choice? 

KRYSSIE: I LOVE PLAYING THAT SONG. You did your homework! Haha! My musical tastes have always been all over the map. From Alice Cooper, to Iron Maiden, to Joni Mitchell, to Kelly Clarkson, to The Beatles, to Prince, to GWAR, to Alkaline Trio, to Bad Religion, to The Misfits, to Skid Row…. I’ve always just loved music. I love good melodies. I love tunes that make me fucking FEEL something. I’ve only ever been in metal or punk bands, but my love for music knows very little bounds. 

MPAP: At what age did you start listening to music? 

KRYSSIE: Birth. One of my first favorite songs was Little Richard’s cover of 'The Itsy Bitsy Spider'. Look it up. I don’t care how old you are, it’s a fucking jam. 

MPAP: You have an enormous collection of horror movie memorabilia. What are some of your favorite horror movies and authors?
KRYSSIE: I think author-wise it’s pretty important to pick either King or Benchley for writing the books responsible for two of my favorite horror films (Carrie and Jaws). As far as other favorite films…oh boy…in no particular order, I love the first two Creepshow films, the Critters series, Bad Taste, the Nightmare on Elm Street series, the Friday the 13th films, The Loved Ones, Sinister, the Halloween movies (even part three. GIVE IT A CHANCE), the Exorcist, the tried and true old Universal flicks… gah. Every time someone asks me this I list a million and I always know I’ve forgotten some…if you asked me again tomorrow I’d probably list a bunch of different titles.  

MPAP: Before we bring this interview to a close, just a few more things. 
You said you became a singer by accident? Can you explain this story? 

KRYSSIE: Absolutely. In short, every single band I was ever in growing up, I played either guitar or bass. Consequently, I was always the only member of any of those bands who could play and sing at the same time…some decisions are made by default in a garage when you’re thirteen, and this is one of them. The first band I was exclusively the frontperson for was my old metal project, DEADMANSWAKE, and that wasn’t until I was twenty-two. I still don’t know what to do with my hands on stage. STILL. 

MPAP: Some might not know this, but you were on CBS’s Big Brother: Over The Top? It aired exclusively only online. In the season finale, the voting public awarded Morgan Willett with the $250,000 grand prize over Jason Roy and you. You were so close to winning? 

KRYSSIE: Eh, I placed third…that’s WAY better than I thought I’d do!
MPAP: What did you learn from being a part of this show?  

KRYSSIE: For starters, I learned that “reality tv” is anything but real. You don’t have a team of story writers for something “real,” guys, and a lot of the drama is…generated. Yes, people do get cast from cattle calls so you shouldn’t give up hope…but a lot of the people that make it onto reality tv are handpicked in advance. I also learned that lots of old biddies on the internet don’t appreciate my vulgar language, belching, and love for my boyfriend (so many of the Mildreds freaked out when he tackled me at the finale)...but they can all eat my ass. For every one asshole that has something negative to say (and hey, I still win, because those jackasses are thinking about me indefinitely and I don’t know them from Pinnochio), there are at least five great people with nothing but support and positivity to throw my way. I’ve met lots of invaluable folks through the reality show experience, and although it was stressful, I wouldn’t trade it.
MPAP: To do this show, you walked away from your band at a crucial point. Would you do it again? 

KRYSSIE: It would all depend…I can’t say one way or the other truthfully, because I don’t know how I’d feel in the moment if I were faced with the decision….I doubt they’d want me back anyway, though, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about! Ha! 

MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, I would like to thank you for your time. Look forward to what Evil Engine does to finish out the year 2017 and beyond. 
Any last words you’d like to tell the readers and all your fans out there? 
KRYSSIE: Just a big heartfelt thank you for all the support, encouragement, tweets, tags, selfies in your Evil Engine shirts, high fives at shows, all the love in our PO Box, and for tuning in to the livestreams when you can’t make it to performances…it’s so damn important to me. Thank you from the bottom of my butt - it’s bigger than my heart!