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Evile - We Who Are About to Thrash

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by circus_brimstone, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. circus_brimstone

    circus_brimstone Forest: Sold Out

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    [IMGLEFT]http://www.russell.ultimatemetal.com/Interview/evile.jpg[/IMGLEFT]By Jason Jordan
    Photos by Lucy Swift

    Having recently signed with Earache Records, the United Kingdom’s Evile will soon unleash their debut full-length on the worldwide masses. Enter the Grave is a 10-course serving of old-school thrash metal that furthers everything heard on prior installments All Hallows Eve EP and Hell Demo. I conversed with lead guitarist Ol Drake about Evile’s deal with Earache, what it was like to work with famed producer Flemming Rasmussen (Metallica), and their tour plans for 2008.


    Hey guys. Thanks for the interview. How are things going for you these days?

    Hey Jason. Things are going cool at the moment, busy as hell. Got a lot going on.

    How did the record deal with Earache come about? What did you do in order to get signed, and how many albums are you required to put out through them?

    We played an awesome festival over here called Bloodstock Open Air in 2006. We headlined the second stage there and it was a great show. When we got back we started corresponding with Digby who was apparently at the show and loved what we were doing. He just basically asked if we’d be interested in signing with Earache. We obviously said, “No, what a stupid idea. Go away.” That was a lie. We said yes. Maybe 4 albums?

    There have been a few bands (Bolt Thrower, Ewigkeit, those formerly signed with the now-defunct Elitist Records sub-label) that have expressed extreme distaste for Earache due to the way in which they allegedly handle business sometimes (ignoring correspondence, dropping bands without contacting them, etc.). Are you aware of the controversy that surrounds the label, and if so, did you have any misgivings about signing with them? What sealed the deal for Evile in the end?

    We’ve heard pretty much all the stories about Earache. People jump on us saying, “Oooooh Earache, oh you know, watch out for that Digby.” Even though we’re only a small portion of the way into our relations with Earache, we’ve found them to be cool with us if we’re cool with them. I take some of the stories with a pinch of salt, as I wasn’t there. I don’t know what kind of relationship certain bands had with the label. Maybe some bands expected to have to do nothing once signed, who knows? All I know is we’re keeping an eye out for anything that could be construed as suspicious or wrong, but I’m not expecting it, as we have a cool relationship between ourselves and the label. I admit it did interfere with our decision to sign, but at the end of the day (UK Chav saying) we wanted to get our music out there. We aren’t expecting riches from playing thrash as we aren’t Slayer. We’re just chuffed to be getting our music out to so many places with an excellent label that really pushes the product (or at least are for us).

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    Before we get in-depth with Enter the Grave, will your previous installments All Hallows Eve EP and Hell Demo ever be repressed? Would you consider reissuing them in the future perhaps as a two-for-one, package deal?

    Nah. The only thing that might happen is re-working old songs. The EP and demo represented where we were at those times. The material on AHE EP isn’t what we’re all about. All the stuff on there was us experimenting, trying to find a “sound.” It was basically a collection of songs showing our progression of writing. The Hell CD was the same, but we feel we found the basics of our style then.

    Also, speaking of Evile’s previous endeavors, those familiar with your work will recognize the return of ‘Killer from the Deep’ from All Hallows Eve EP and ‘Enter the Grave,’ ‘Thrasher,’ and ‘We Who Are About to Die’ from Hell Demo. Why’d you choose those particular songs to rerecord? I know it’s early to discuss your sophomore effort, but do you have any idea if other songs from your EP and/or demo will appear on the follow-up, or do you envision it containing only new material?

    Those songs summed up a few things about us. ‘Killer from the Deep’ was the first song we ever wrote. We sat down and thought, “Right, let’s write a thrash metal song,” and that’s what came out. The three Hell tracks were included due to their over-whelming response at shows. ‘Enter the Grave’ would get people banging their heads and moshing. People just went insane for ‘Thrasher,’ and ‘WWAAtD’ would get people pretending to be gladiators, and lions would appear and Ridley Scott would start directing it. There are plans to re-work some older tracks that just didn’t cut it for us. Some verses and choruses here and there were just awful, but the songs themselves weren’t that bad. There are some things in there that we wouldn’t mind including. So yes, maybe.

    It’s no secret that acclaimed producer Flemming Rasmussen, who produced Metallica’s finest albums, turned the knobs on Enter the Grave. Did Rasmussen exercise any creative control over your arrangements like Steven Wilson did with Opeth? If not, what was he like as a producer? Did he tell you anything interesting about Metallica that the average metalhead may not know?

    Flemming flew over to go through pre-production with us a few weeks before recording. He first came to one of our shows at glamorous Bradford. The next day he visited our rehearsal space (rundown warehouse with carpet) and we sat down and played through our 10 proposed songs. He sat and watched/listened. After each song he’d go through the good and bad parts of the songs. Funnily enough he liked pretty much all of it. I think there were only three or four things in all the 10 songs he made changes to for the better. As a producer he’s brilliant. I’ve said it before but he’s such a laidback, cool guy. It’s hard to not get on with him. His vision for the album was 95% exactly the same as ours. Things about Metallica the average metalhead may not know? Yes. Lars actually played ‘Dyers Eve’ so shut the fuck up already!

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    Evile seems to be a band that doesn’t hide their influences. In other words, your music can easily be compared to thrash bands of yore. Still, Enter the Grave has loads of personality, so does it bother you when critics accuse you of being unoriginal? How does originality factor into what you play?

    We can’t hide our influences because we blatantly play old thrash metal. We’ve been listening to those bands for years upon years so anything we try to write will be in the vein of what we love to hear. We don’t sit down and listen to a Testament riff and think how we can change it for ourselves. We just write what comes out. It’s hard (almost impossible) to be original when playing such an old style of music. Our basic aim in the band is to add to people’s thrash needs. If they’ve listened to all the Slayer they can in one day, Evile is there. We aren’t trying to take over or be “The next *insert band name*.” We just want to play for metalheads’ and thrashers’ needs. It doesn’t bother me when critics accuse us of being unoriginal because we’re playing thrash metal. Look at Oasis; they blatantly rip The Beatles off but people love them, and they write popular songs. So what?

    How would you say the thrash scene differs from other scenes such as death, black, etc.? How is the UK metal scene different from others since you’ve had some experience playing out of the country?

    I think the thrash scene is different because it’s more about having a good time. Not to say the other scenes aren’t. I’m actually a big death metal fan myself, so I know what that’s all about too. The UK metal scene is different in a way that there are so many good bands that a lot of people don’t know about. Mutant, for example (they’re good buddies of ours and help us out a lot).

    On that note, there’s healthy competition for Evile coming from your labelmates and fellow countrymen SSS and the US-based Municipal Waste. Is there a friendly rivalry going on there in any way, shape, or form? Do you think Enter the Grave has a chance at outselling Short Sharp Shock and The Art of Partying?

    As for SSS and Municipal Waste, there’s no competing, at least not on our part. We played with both bands the other week and we just hung out and chatted shit. I sat with Ryan (Municipal Waste) just talking about metal in general and what we were both up to. There was no feelings of “God, I’m so better than you. My band is mega super better than yours.” It’s not about that. SSS and Municipal Waste are both great bands and cool guys. I think Enter the Grave has a chance of outselling both if you’re only counting purchases by undertakers, as they’ll be more interested in entering graves than shocks or beer.

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    What’s on the horizon for Evile as far as touring is concerned? You’ve said that you’ll make it to the States in 2008. Will it be your first time visiting the US? If so, which cities are you especially looking forward to visiting? Do you have a month or two tentatively set aside for the US tour? Any clues in regards to tourmates?

    We’ll definitely be hitting the US in ‘08. It’ll be our first time there. Personally I’m looking forward to visiting as many places as possible: NYC, Florida, CA, The Bay Area etc. We have no set dates but it’s being worked on. There’s no definite tourmates planned but there are a few in mind that no one will complain about.

    Lastly, at the 3:30 mark of ‘First Blood,’ I swear the line is “ice cream beret,” which could be the best misheard lyric ever. Are you proud?

    Hahaha, we missed that one! We’re very proud now, thank you. There are a few misheard lyrics we discovered over the years: “Natasha’s dreams are now complete,” “Philip hunt, Philip kill,” “Money changes hats,” “Midget blast upon this place.”

    Again, thanks for the interview, and best of luck with the new record. Parting words are yours!

    Cheers Jason. We hope all thrashers and metalheads take the time to check out our shit. Not our actual shit, our album Enter the Grave. And we hope people can be honest and respectful enough in this day and age to give something back to a band by buying a thrash album if they like it. Hope to see you thrashin’ at an Evile show.

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    UM’s Review of Evile – Enter the Grave
    Official Evile MySpace
    Official Evile Website
    Official Earache Records Website
     

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