The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Local hard-rock band Two Canes: from inception to latest single

Two band members reflect on the band’s history, from its creation to their latest single, “Mouth Shut,” released on June 23.
Cody Blissett
Mars Hojilla lead singer of the band Two Canes performs during the 2023 Pride Parade & Festival in downtown Iowa City on Saturday, June 17, 2023.

Chloe Weidl started learning instruments, particularly the drums, at the School of Rock in Marion, Iowa. She and her brother, Evan Weidl, a skilled guitarist, were consistent solo and ensemble performers, but after COVID struck, the Weidls wanted to start a project together: an epic hard-rock band. 

*Editor’s note: Evan Weidl and Jack Moore have been employed by *The Daily Iowan.**

With the potential of a Halloween-themed open mic night at Trumpet Blossom Cafe last year, the Weidls were desperate to find members. The first recruitment was guitar player Eddie Svoboda, Evan Weidl’s roommate. Next was bassist and coworker at The School of Rock in Marion, Iowa with Chloe Weidl, Jack Moore. With solid musicians, all the band needed was a charismatic vocalist.

Myles Evangelista, better known by his solo stage name Mars Hojilla, was starting his own music career in the Iowa City live music scene when he started hearing Chloe Weidl’s name everywhere. 

Evangelista was involved with a University of Iowa student organization, SCOPE, during his undergrad. During a Battle of the Bands competition hosted by the student org, Evangelista’s friends asked if they could invite the elusive Chloe Weidl. 

“Some of my friends had come out and they were like, ‘Oh, we’re going to invite Chloe Weidl to come out here. Do you know her?’ I was like, ‘ No, but I feel like at this point, I probably should,’” Evangelista said. “I absolutely needed to get on a show with this girl.” 

After a Snapchat message, Evangelista became the front man of Two Canes for a night. Evangelista was a part of indie bands in high school, making him hesitant to join a hard rock band. 

“But I said yes because she was cool. I wanted to see what she was about,” Evangelista said. 

Two Canes’ first concert at Trumpet Blossom Cafe was a hit, according to the band: blasting Black Sabbath, Muse, and Idols covers, Two Canes became cemented as a local must-see. 

RELATED: The Englert unveils first concert series in nearly a decade

Evangelista is an openly transgender performer and often takes his shirt off onstage to reveal his chest-binding trans tape. “Being an openly trans performer has been overwhelmingly positive. I think that is a testament to the Iowa City music scene,” Evangelista said. “The queer community, and the community in general in Iowa City here are the folks who are with ‘it,’ and support me fully.”

This April, Two Canes was invited to open for Thelma and The Sleaze, a Nashville rock band, in Des Moines at xBk Live. This memory is a collective band favorite. 

“We carpooled there, and we were just goofing around. It was one of the first times that we’d really hung out as a band, outside of a venue and outside of writing and rehearsing,” Chloe Weidl said. “We were all goofing around and making jokes, kind of getting to know each other better.”

Evangelista said they got a speeding ticket on the way to the venue, but the crowd donated enough money during the show to pay for it in full. The experience brought the band closer together as friends. 

“Our energy was so high. We were so excited that we’ve just done this,” Chloe Weidl said. “It was just a great, great time with a band, where we all felt really accomplished and proud of ourselves and of each other. So that was really fun.”

Audio engineered by Dan Miller at his studio in Iowa City, “Mouth Shut” was first released on BandCamp, a music-sharing platform for artists, on June 23, 2023, then on all other streaming platforms a week later. With punchy lyrics like “Danger, I’d have to wager that all the girls cover their cups at your ragers,” the single is a solid debut single that establishes the Two Canes sound. 

Two Canes’ other originals — “Ace,” “Eddie OG,” and “Ex Catholic Rager” — are often played at live shows and are part of a potential extended play in the making. The band is hopeful to tour in other states, but with Evangelista finishing up his master’s degree at the UI, Evan Weidl finishing undergraduate, and Chloe Weidl having just finished hers, the future is unclear. 

After five weekends playing at Gabe’s, the band is taking a short break to write more songs, but for now, Two Canes will continue to say they “just can’t keep their mouths shut.”

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Zhenya Loughney
Zhenya Loughney, Arts Reporter
Zhenya is a fourth year theatre design and journalism double major at UI. They are passionate about artistry and creativity. They are from Lebanon, KY.
Cody Blissett
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.