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EVILE Lineup Changes, OL Drake Takes Helm as Frontman, New Album News

Discussion in 'EVILE Discussion' started by Darkofeden, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. Darkofeden

    Darkofeden 12 Kermit the Frogs in a Denny's parking lot

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    "It's been 7 years since Evile's last release (Skull, 2013) but they are back with a brand new line-up and a fully-written 5th album. Vocalist and lead guitarist, OL Drake had the following to say: "You may notice one large difference in the new Evile lineup, and that is that my brother, Matt, unfortunately left the band a while ago. He will release a statement shortly. We're sad to see him go, but we're excited about the new road. As you can probably guess, this is why there hasn't been a 5th Evile album yet, and for that we apologise. The new album is fully written, we're ready to hit the studio, and we are currently working on a record deal. I will be taking over as the band's frontman/vocalist while also staying on lead guitar. We're also happy to announce our new member and rhythm guitarist is Adam Smith from RiptlTide; a band and friends local to us. Please give him a warm welcome!

    OL continues: "The new material is in a much more aggressive vein as it feels like the natural progression for Evile; my vocal style is a much less melodic approach. We have the song titles, album title, and art confirmed and there will be an announcement soon!"
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Podgie

    Podgie Young Man, Old Soul

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    We'll, how wrong we all were haha

    Not sure how I feel about all this. Of course sad to hear Matt's left the band, but a little concerned it could be due to health issues. Remember that was a big part of the why the Manchester show was cancelled, Matt had been suffering from some kind of health issue.... So first of all let's hope that's nothing serious...!

    Knowing the new album is meant to be heavier, boarderring on the death side of thrash Ol performing the vocals doesn't bother me too much. Though of course the old stuff will be weird hearing live without Matt's voice accompanying it. Not to mention it's going to be a tougher gig for Ol singing and playing lead at the same time (of course it can be done, Dave Mustaine, Ihsahn etc. etc.)
     
  3. Keenan

    Keenan Crippling Self Doubt

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    I don't know what to feel to be honest. On the one hand, I am extremely excited to hear a heavier Evile with death vocals. On the other hand, I am really sad to see Matt leave the band. The health issues thing also worries me. Does anyone know if he's posted anything about that yet? I hope he's okay...
     
  4. Podgie

    Podgie Young Man, Old Soul

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    Matt's statement, taken from his facebook page;

    "This is an incredibly difficult statement to write, but I have to announce that I am stepping down as the frontman of Evile and leaving the world of live music.

    I want to make sure I explain this decision fully and effectively, as fans of the band, especially the people who have followed Evile from the beginning, deserve so much more than just a slapped together, generic, easily press digestible ‘band member leaves band’ paragraph. Evile has been a very large part of my life, something I have given a huge amount of energy and time to, and this is a decision which I have agonised over for a long time as it’s something I care about deeply, but it’s a decision I have to make. So, please allow me to explain it as best I can.

    There are two main reasons for this decision, firstly there is family. Since starting Evile, I had very few commitments, allowing me to sink as much time as possible into the band, but in the past several years that has changed. I became a stepfather to two young girls around a very traumatic time for them, and very shortly after became a father to my own daughter. The time that I have had available to pursue music has been vastly cut down, and considering the future when live music becomes possible again, the demands of a touring band lifestyle are not as viable and realistic for me anymore, as my duties as a father to three children outweigh anything else. I don’t want to be away from my family for large amounts of time, and outside of my full time employment I don’t want to divide 50% effort and time to the band and 50% to my family as I feel like I would be giving each side half of the time they really deserve, and if I have to choose which one I want to give priority and 100% to, it is my family. I don’t want to go out as a frontman who is only half prepared, half practised and half ready, as Evile and its wonderful followers deserve better than that - and on the other side of that, I don’t want to be away from home for long periods of time and not be around to help my children grow up, they deserve better than that, and I don’t want to miss out on any part of their lives.

    The other reason is my health. I’ve always said that I would do Evile for as long as possible, either until I’m dead or until I can physically no longer manage performing on stage. I have come close to the former, but the latter is now where things are (when compared to the former, a relief). Over the past couple of years I have had a non-stop run of health problems, mostly chest related, including costochondritis, several chest infections, a spontaneous collapsed lung (which I stupidly thought was another chest infection) and then kidney stones and a few other health detours. This all relates to singing, which is something that is nowhere near a natural ability or talent of mine, it’s something that I have had to work incredibly hard on to get to where I managed, which let’s face it, isn’t exactly anywhere spectacular, I’m never going to end up on anybody’s favourite vocalist list (although there is one thing I’ll mention later). But, the amount of upkeep it takes to maintain what vocal range/power/lung capacity I have/had to a usable standard is ridiculous, and my annoying health issues make that obstacle ever harder to overcome, made even more difficult by my limited available time to do so, it comes down to me accepting that I can’t do everything and I certainly can’t do everything and stay healthy. A singing voice is a muscle and I always had the time to spend training it so I could keep it in a decent place for getting through a tour. Now, my health issues of late have destroyed what singing voice I had, and in the past several months of starting vocal training all over again, getting somewhere, getting ill, starting all over again, getting ill, starting all over again, and so on - I have come to realise that I just don’t enjoy singing anymore and I’ve had to be very harsh with myself to realise that truth. I was never the best frontman, or the best singer, and Evile deserve to have a frontman who can give 100% to that craft, and I am fully confident that person is out there and can help take them to that next level where I hope and believe they can go, nothing would make me happier than to see the band be a real success.

    For twenty years I have had the great pleasure of writing and performing music with my brother Ol, Ben, Mike, Joel and Piers in Evile. It has taken us to places I never imagined, locations I never thought I would get to visit, let alone go to these places to play music for people who were willing to hear it. I’m proud of the band’s achievements so far, touring with some incredible bands such as Megadeth, Exodus, Kreator, Overkill, Voivod, Sepultura, Three Inches of Blood, Entombed, Forbidden, Machine Head, Amon Amarth, Satyricon, Gama Bomb, Warbringer, Dr. Living Dead, Lightning Swords of Death, Sanctity, Mutant, Pitiful Reign, Seregon, Onslaught and more, then getting to see pretty much all of America, Canada and a vast majority of Europe, living in Copenhagen for a month recording a debut album with Flemming Rasmussen and using some of the same gear used to record Lightning/Puppets, recording three albums with Russ Russell, releasing four albums with Earache Records, having songs featured on Rock Band, having a song in a Neil Jordan film (Ondine), getting into the UK charts, having original album artwork created by Michael Whelan (did you know the band members are hidden on that cover?), being on the front cover of Terrorizer magazine, playing at some amazing festivals and meeting some incredible people from all walks of life. There are plenty more to mention, plus all the brilliant things I’m grateful to have seen, which I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t in the band, like a small ‘up close and personal’ acoustic Skunk Anansie set in the press tent at Sonisphere (Paranoid and Sunburnt is one of my desert island discs, I had the chance to chat to them after their set but completely bottled it and will forever regret it), but I want to mention just a couple of other things while I have chance to do so.

    I’m proud of my contributions to Evile’s music, whether it’s riffs or sections here and there, or entire songs (Burned Alive, Plague to End All Plagues, Long Live New Flesh, The Naked Sun) but i’m proudest of the lyrics and vocal lines I contributed, which is roughly half of Enter the Grave, most of Nations, most of Five Serpent’s Teeth (for those two records however, Ol and Russ deserve a lot of credit for guiding me through parts I intended to sing, telling me it was nonsense after I tried it, and helping me find the correct choices, that was invaluable in making the albums as good as they could be) and nearly all of Skull - which is where I want to point back to what I mentioned about singing earlier, as while I acknowledge it isn’t a natural ability and I’m not the strongest or even that impressive of a vocalist, I will always be glad that my performance of Tomb exists on that album, it was a hugely personal thing to perform and record and I’ll be forever proud that I got to do that and do it as well as I possibly could, that is my favourite album of the four I got to be part of. I also want to quickly mention that I’m proud of being connected to Jackson Guitars for so many years, it’s an honour to have been in their catalogue too, I’ve played Jacksons for as long as I’ve been playing guitar, so I would like to thank them for being so kind to me for the 14 years I’ve been associated with them.

    This is a lot to read, but I want to get all of this written down as I’m trying to process my twenty years of experiences and thoughts on so many things connected to playing music, into several paragraphs, there’s a lot I would love to say, but I’m not one to outstay my welcome. I want to finish with a couple of things, one of them being a big regret I will have about leaving the band, that I never got to play a show with Metallica, that was my biggest personal goal in playing live music, not fame or anything material, I just wanted to play a show with the band that changed my life. Even just meeting James Hetfield would have been enough for me, but I guess that’s one personal goal I’ll have to live with missing the chance on.

    More important than the personal things I’ve just written about though, is one of my main areas of pride, and that is Evile’s fans, I’ve always been so proud to be able to say that Evile has such wonderful and dedicated fans, it has been a pleasure to meet so many of you, to stand on a stage and play music for you, to see and hear you singing lyrics and vocal lines that I’ve written, to see all that headbanging madness, I will truly miss getting on a stage to play those songs, so I would like to say a real thank you to everyone who has spent time listening to these first four albums and come to shows to see us play live while I got the chance to do it, I will miss your headbanging and energy like you wouldn’t believe, but I will never forget it.

    Lastly, and very importantly, I want to mention Mike. A person I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for being part of this band, one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met, a true heavy metal soul and a gentleman. This is one of the biggest things I’ve struggled with in my decision, I’m so sorry to him, that I can’t do my bit in continuing his legacy as a part it anymore. It breaks my heart to leave something that he was such a big part of, and that I was a part of with him, something that he was doing when we lost him. My hope is that, as a father himself, he would understand the decision I’m making. I’m taking all of my memories of Mike with me, and every year will always have a glass ready to raise on the day he entered this world, and on the day he left it.

    Thank you to everyone for reading this, hopefully I’ve written it well enough so you understand my reasoning. Please continue to support Evile as much as you ever have done, I wish the band all the success possible on their future journey, it’s been twenty years of extreme highs and lows, and everything in-between, I’m proud to be able to say I was part of it and I’ll be following where it goes from here with great interest, as a lifelong fan.

    My intention is to still play the Enter the Grave/Mike Alexander tribute show, whenever that may happen, as it would mean a tremendous amount to me to be able to pay tribute to Mike in a proper way, by playing the album he contributed the most to. But as of now, I am no longer part of the band.

    Please can I ask that people do not message me directly, I won’t be able to respond. Instead, please leave a comment below if you wish to say anything, positive or negative. The only thing I ask with that, is that you please remain respectful, whatever you want to say, good or bad, as the world has enough problems at the moment, and one of the things it needs is for people to think about what they say and care about how they say it.

    Thank you all again for your time in reading this, and thank you all for your time and energy given to Evile while I’ve been part of it.
    For the penultimate time (the last time will be the Enter the Grave/Mike show)...

    I salute you all."
     
    #4 Podgie, Aug 12, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  5. Darkofeden

    Darkofeden 12 Kermit the Frogs in a Denny's parking lot

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    That was one hell of a statement and I'm insanely glad he wrote it all. I am really skeptical of a future without him because despite what Matt says I LOVE his voice and the bit in the first statement of "my vocal style is a much less melodic approach" has me really worried because to me a big part of the uniqueness of the band is his melodic approach. I will still 100% give it a completely fair chance since i've loved this band since like... 2008? but i'm still skeptical. I really hope Matt the best, given his health problems and I 100% respect his choice to be a family man instead of try to survive in the current climate of music which is absolutely fuckin awful even pre COVID.
     
  6. Podgie

    Podgie Young Man, Old Soul

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    A lot to read and a lot to take in, but after doing so of course I understand and support his decision 100%.

    What a class guy to take the time to explain his decision so in depth (when so many often don't), a testament to him and to how much he cares for his and the band's fans. He'll be missed, no doubt. But I wish him and his family all the health, happiness and success possible.

    P.S. Man, do I need a ticket for that show...
     
  7. ThatOneDude

    ThatOneDude Member

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    Jesus christ. Obviously with such a laid out reason like so, I don't blame him and he's got my support in full. He was practically crippling himself for the band, while trying to raise a big family and be a regular joe. Not gonna lie though, reading this made me feel far more depressed than I imagined. I feel so bad for the circumstances.

    That's another thing about it - he didn't owe us an explanation but yet he was able to offer detailed reason for whats going on. He has a ton of my respect and I will always thank him for his work.

    With Ol taking the reigns, I'm personally excited for a more darker, eviler album. I think they do the melodic approach well but if it means more riffs like the fast part in Words of the Dead, I'm all game. I hope Ol can keep up with the vocal parts.

    A side note: guess that means no more possibilities of solo battles between brothers. :(
     
    #7 ThatOneDude, Aug 12, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  8. Podgie

    Podgie Young Man, Old Soul

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    Yeah, I'm totally down for that too, Words of the Dead being one of my favourites. I think this whole situation kind of solidifies that the new album is going to be more death / thrash anyway, along with the fact Ol's said so.

    One thing I'm wondering about is a while back Ol played a snippet (the first 20 seconds or so) of a new track on his Twitch, he let it play a second or so longer than he intended I think and you could hear a couple of words from Matt... can't remember exactly what they were but they were something sick like "blood in the church" or something, wish I remembered! I wonder if those "demos" (I'm guessing they were demos?) will see the light of day...

    Also, maybe looking into this too much but Matt says he's "leaving the world of live music" does that mean he's on the new album, or no? I'm assuming no and Ol will handle the vocals on the new one, but I was under the impression the album was already recorded... probably me getting the wrong idea when Ol said it's done (probably just meant "pre-production done")
     
  9. Darkofeden

    Darkofeden 12 Kermit the Frogs in a Denny's parking lot

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    The fact that Ol specifically already mentions his vocal style definitely has me convinced that Matt won't do any of the studio stuff. I do wish however that was the case, kind of like how Periphery doesn't have a bassist but the bass on their albums is done by their old bassist.
     
  10. Keenan

    Keenan Crippling Self Doubt

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    Man, that was a tough read.

    Firstly, thanks, Podgie, for reposting that. I would never have seen it if you hadn't. I hate Facebook.

    Secondly, tremendous respect for Matt for writing that entire thing. Most of the time when this kind of thing happens, it's just like "decided to part ways blahblahblah future endeavors etc". Writing something that personal in a public space demands some kind of respect, especially when it was totally voluntary.

    Thirdly, the topic at hand. I don't think that anyone (at least, I hope not. It'd be shameful if they did) can give Matt crap about deciding to focus on his family. I completely and totally understand the reasoning behind it and fully support it, especially with the way the world is right now. I knew he had health issues lately, but it seems that they were more pronounced than I thought. Again, with the way the world is right now, I totally agree with it as another reason to decide to walk away. However, I do disagree with the fact that he considers himself a bad singer. That argument could (if you wanna be that way) be made for Enter the Grave, as that was really just shouting with not much in the way of range, but I feel like the vocals was one of the things that always improved with each album. Tomb is incredible. Probably my favorite song from Skull, alongside New Truths Old Lies. For what it's worth, I always thought Matt was a great singer and perfect for what the band needed.

    This. 100% this. Evile was the first band that I really started listening to outside of "Mainstream" metal like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth. I found Thrasher on Rock Band and was like "What the fuck is this ridiculous shit! It's so fast! This song is so dumb and not fun to play!" Needless to say, I downloaded it and played it a bunch of times anyway. :lol: To me, Evile will always be my little "shit band with no fans" that expanded my musical horizons and showed me that there is so much good music outside of the big names and the shit on the radio. It's so fucking crazy... like, without Evile, I never would've come here. Without this place (RIP Dave), I never would've found, no joke, like 90% of the music I listen to. Evile quite literally changed my life. That's not an exaggeration. That's not a joke. That is 100% fact. To see the band change like this, has me feeling that "End of an era" feeling and I do not lke it.

    Focusing on the future, though, I am incredibly excited to see a meaner, darker Evile with some harsher vocals. Wonder the lyrics will be like... or the solos... Can Ol sing and shred like a madman at the same time? Live shows are gonna be interesting (when this damn virus is gone).
    Hopefully we don't have to wait too long to hear some new stuff and hopefully the record deal gets finalized soon so we can get some pre-order stuff up. I'm absolutely pre-ordering the most expensive bundle I can get. Anyone remember the "Get your name in the credits" Five Serpent's Teeth bundle? I'm in there. I even still have the little medallion necklace thing that came with it. :lol:

    <3 Evile
    <3 you guys on here
     
  11. Podgie

    Podgie Young Man, Old Soul

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    Oh, so do I! I only went on there to find that haha

    You're dead right, the man has mad respect from, I imagine, all of us for the way he's handled it. Similarly, I think we all disagree with him to an extent (I do know where he's coming from) regarding his voice, but we're all biased haha Regardless! I agree with you Keenan, his voice was perfect for Evile (because it IS the voice of Evile!) and I think it got better and better over the years. Skull is a brilliant album, Matt is right to be proud of that performance.

    You know, Matt would probably be stoked if he read that.

    I've been thinking about this too. I'm guessing Ol is will be putting in a lot of practice playing and singing at the same time from now on haha of course it can be done, off the top of my head Ihsahn, Dave Mustaine, Jeff Waters and Matt Heafy do it. Front a band and play a bunch of solos. Guess it just comes down to practice...
     
  12. ThatOneDude

    ThatOneDude Member

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    If you seen that old performance of the 2009 memorial show for Mike, Ol held his own on vocals during Mass Hypnosis. For someone whos been shredding as long as he has, I think he can handle that. Its his endurance thats Im concerned about. I don't wanna imagine Ol getting a collapsed lung as well.
     
  13. Keenan

    Keenan Crippling Self Doubt

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    Literally any video from that Mike memorial show gives me chills. I really wish that was released as a DVD.
     
  14. zerostatic

    zerostatic Damned in Flames

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    Surprising news but I am grateful that Matt took the time to explain and I understand his reasons. Thanks for four great albums!:kickass: I look forward to hearing new Evile tunes with Ol on vocals!
     
  15. Caveman Ninja

    Caveman Ninja It's a carnival... of monsters!

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    Ah, what the fuck! This blows all. Evile without Ol wasn't really Evile, and Evile without Matt definitely isn't really Evile... I don't want a more aggressive Evile with harsher vocals! They'll just sound like everyone else :( Beyond gutted...
     
  16. Caveman Ninja

    Caveman Ninja It's a carnival... of monsters!

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    Totally understand the circumstances by the way. And hopefully I'm wrong and will like the new sound. But I just want old Evile back! They were very important to me...
     
  17. vMETALLICAv

    vMETALLICAv Member

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    It's sad matt has left but it's a new start for Evile. We all know Ol will be great on Vox and lead guitar
     
  18. Podgie

    Podgie Young Man, Old Soul

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    [​IMG]

    Very happy to announce our signing to the excellent Napalm Records!

    We enter the studio TOMORROW with producer/engineer Chris Clancy, recording at Andy Sneap's Backstage Studios. Something great coming early 2021 #Evile

    Vocalist/Lead Guitarist OL Drake:
    "We're extremely excited to announce our signing to Napalm Records! We'd heard a lot of great things about Napalm over the years and it's an honor to join the ranks of some excellent bands. EVILE haven't released any music since 2013 so we promise to deliver a crushing thrash metal classic which I believe will surprise everyone; even the die-hard "Grave" fans. As previously announced, Matt is unfortunately no longer a part of the band, so I've taken over on vocal duties while remaining on lead guitar too. Also, please welcome our newest member, Adam Smith of RipTide, on rhythm guitar. We begin recording with producer and engineer Chris Clancy on September 17 at Andy Sneap's Backstage Studios. We can't wait for you to hear what we have in store!"
     
  19. Darkofeden

    Darkofeden 12 Kermit the Frogs in a Denny's parking lot

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    Was just about to come on here and post about that, exciting news. Hope they post studio videos or something so we can get an idea of what they'll sound like, still a little bit apprehensive about the vocal change
     
  20. Keenan

    Keenan Crippling Self Doubt

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    Damn. Was hoping for a new single. This is still good news, though. Early next year sounds good. New label sounds good. Hopefully the put out some sick merch when the time comes.

    In hindsight, I guess wanting a new single was a bit unrealistic. :lol:
     

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