Music got to Jude Evans early.
He is just 10 years old, but he has been to the Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival six times.
Every year for Christmas and his birthday, he asks for records. Over the years, Jude has built a 100-title collection that he hopes will someday fill an entire room.
He plays in three bands, loves the Beastie Boys and has just published his first book, “Bands,” an ABC book for children. On the cover, it’s called “an alphabet book for music lovers,” so it could be for anyone, really.
“Back then, it was for myself,” Jude said the other day from his home in Bremerton. “But now it’s for other little kids to read and enjoy and learn their ABCs. But with bands.”
His father, Marq, is a filmmaker who directed and produced “The Glamour and the Squalor,” the 2015 documentary about Marco Collins, the influential Seattle deejay who was the first to broadcast bands like Nirvana. His mother, Angela, is a lifestyle photographer.
Theirs is a house of creativity, so when Jude told his father a couple of years ago that he wished there was an ABC book that featured bands, it gave Marq Evans pause. They had been reading a book by Seattle author Kobi Yamada called “What Do You Do With An Idea?” and this fit the bill.
“He had this idea, and we were like, well, ‘What do we do with it?'” Marq said. “We encouraged him, as you would anything. It wasn’t ‘You’re going to do this.’ He can be shy sometimes.”
They started small, just putting names of bands together with the alphabet.
“We would think of bands sometimes at dinner or in the car,” Jude said, “and go down all the letters and find out what a good band would be.”
They decided to stick with indie bands, but that didn’t make their choices any easier. Would A be for Arctic Monkeys or Arcade Fire?
The idea “really took off,” Marq Evans said, when they connected with illustrator Chloe Becky, who, with Jude, decided to feature animals inside each letter, along with some hint of the city the band was from, and something from one of their albums.
The Arctic Monkeys won out for A. B went to Band of Horses. And so on, all the way to Z, which is for the Toronto-based band Zeus. (“I picked it because it sounded like 70s music.”)
They hit a few snags. Jude wanted The Orwells to represent the letter O, but did some research and found “MeToo stuff,” Marq said. “So they got canceled.”
They got offers from a few publishers that Marq later found were “empty promises,” so they decided to self-publish through their studio, called The McCaw (Angela’s maiden name), with a first run of 2,000 books. (The book sells for $16.99).
“It was a great moment to finally see it,” Jude said. “It was one of the best moments ever.”
He plans to follow up with another ABC book, this one focusing on Nineties bands, “except maybe for older kids because of the bad words” used in songs such as Blink 182’s “What’s My Age Again?”
“That’s a song I need everyone to know,” Jude said. “But it has bad words in it.”
He’s pretty stuck on Nineties music. Blink 182, Green Day and the Beastie Boys. Mention artists like The Wknd, though, and Jude doesn’t have much to say.
“Hmm,” he said. “Pop. And I don’t like pop. It’s taking over the world.”
It isn’t all about music, though. He loves “The Simpsons,” skateboarding, swimming and “going on the swings.”
He told his friends that he wrote a book, but they were more impressed that, one time while fishing with his grandfather, a commercial salmon fisherman, he caught a baby shark.
His plans beyond the next book and finishing fifth grade are those of any 10-year-old boy raised by two artists and two turntables.
He wants to make a punk record. Write for “The Simpsons.” And buy his own house.
“A house with a huge room with a bunch of records in it and a room with a bunch of TVs,” Jude said. “No bathroom. I’ll go outside.”
Hang on. He’s not finished.
“And a skateboard ramp and an area for people to play live concerts,” he continued. “And no kitchen. We’re going to cook on a barbecue every night.”
Sounds a like a life to be lived like Coachella. And you can’t blame him, really. He knows what he knows.
“It’s really cool there, because they have an awesome Ferris wheel and every year there’s a theme, and one year there were these giant hippos from space.”
But then, it always goes back to the music.
“Every morning, we would look at the lineup and pick all the bands we wanted to see,” he said. “I remember that. Have you heard of The Violent Femmes?”