Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Chances are that if you get distracted, you start to miss things happening. Bands appear overnight, grow to what seem immense proportions and win a placing halfway up the bill of a festival you don’t give a shit about.
Evile are not one of those bands, and Bloodstock is not that festival (but they are halfway up the bill).
Most festivals have one or two bands with whom they’ve grown together, and most bands can name a festival appearance that ‘made them’. Huddersfield thrash upstarts Evile have played Bloodstock twice before. Their debut visit was ‘THAT’ show.
A show which saw them headline the unsigned tent.
A show which was witnessed by the head of Earache Records.
Which led to them being signed.
Which led to a recording session with Flemming Rasmussen. Who just happened to produce ‘Ride the Lightning’, ‘Master of Puppets’ and ‘…And Justice for All’, so, you know, no-one special. No one who’d know ANYTHING about recording a thrash band. Oh, no…..
Oh, I did mention that the artwork for their second album ‘Infected Nations’, is painted by Michael Whelan? The artist behind Sepultura’s ‘Arise’ and ‘Beneath the Remains’, or ‘Bat out of Hell II’, or virtually every book cover in the Sci-Fi and horror section in Waterstones. I didn’t? Well, yeah, it’s by him. And it looks frickin’ AWESOME…. Like a thrash album should be…..
Now, that should all add up to make you think Evile are a bunch of chancers with enough lucky breaks to get the career ball rolling. But you’d only be half right.
Sorry, I had a point going there…..
Oh yeah, – Evile have worked to get here – its not all PR drivel: Evile can play, Evile can write. Oh, and they’re REALLY nice. That always helps.
So, on an August afternoon with mixed weather, we caught up with them after a storming mid afternoon set:
Sonic Abuse – Did you feel any pressure when you recorded your debut album with Flemming (Rasmussen, Metallica producer)?
Ben Carter (Drums) – I don’t think there was anything BUT pressure!
Ol Drake (Lead Guitar) – It was really daunting: it was our first time in the studio, we were flying to Denmark, we walked in, and there were Metallica gold discs all down the hallway, and we were just like “Shiiiiiiiitttttt”!!
BC – Yeah, it was hard because the few weeks before, we’d just been on tour with Onslaught, so we were all knackered. I think we had 3 hours sleep before we got the flights over to Denmark, and when we got over there the realisation kind of dawned – “Oh No – what are we doing?”
SA – Since then you guys have been really widely hailed as being one of the spearheads in bringing back thrash to the popular consciousness – how do you feel about that? Its quite an accolade to have.
OD – It’s an honour to be given that – but thrash has always been there: Destruction have been doing it for years or Kreator. I guess we did in the “media” way like when people start going “ oooh thrash, yeah, cool Evile!” In that sense people do see us as bringing it back, but it’s always been there.
BC – I think a lot of its down to where we’re from in England: the thrash scene took a nose dive a little bit and got kicked underground, whereas in Europe it stayed strong, so a lot of people were saying “ whadya mean, y’know “bringing thrash back”? It never went away”. Well, in England it did, but its always been bubbling under.
SA – How do you think that thrash has developed over the years? Obviously, from the first wave of thrash bands through to you guys, how do you think it’s progressed?
BC – A lot of it’s like the technical aspect and how it’s recorded: you can listen to the old recordings and it’s just a bunch of guys in a studio just hammering it out. Whereas now, in the age of pro tools and everything’s gotta be really tight and dead precise and crisp. I don’t think that that’s what thrash used to be about- it was just about getting your rocks off, trying to play as fast as you can.
SA – Is that how you started?
BC – Oooooohhaahhhwelllahhhhyeah……
OD – I think it got to the point where thrash metal and death metal met, and you had all these other options: thrash went ‘ooh, cool, I have a bit of that – a bit of death metal’, like Sepultura’s “death metal gone thrash” – perfect!. And I think over the years its incorporated so many different things: even the new Metallica album – it’s just like it’s gone back to their roots..
BC – It just goes in cycles – heavy metal always eats and gets bigger.
SA – You got a massive reaction for your cover of ‘cemetery gates’. Were you surprised at how well that was received?
OD – Er, yes – it’s just a cover! We just copied it!
BC – Obviously there were a lot of circumstances around that song – so maybe a lot of people can empathise with why we did that song. I don’t think we could have covered a better Pantera song – there was a lot of meaning to it.
OD – As soon as we got asked to cover Pantera, it was a case of “Cemetery gates” Straightaway. We had to do it, and Mike, our old bassist, (after Dime died) he never listened to that song because he loved it so much – if it was on in the car, he’d be always ‘skip it, I don’t wanna hear it”, so for him to do that was a bit ‘ooeerrr”. But we’re glad he did it.
SA – We understand that you’re in the process of doing a third album now, what sort of themes do you think you’ll be exploring?
BC- It’s still in the very early stages – we’re just kinda hashing ideas around, and we’ve not really got together collectively to bang our heads together yet. We’ve just got our own ideas – making our own little headway in our own way. And when we get ‘forced’ to actually collaborate and say ‘What have you got, and what have you got”, I think it’ll start coming together quite a lot.
OD – I think it’ll be quite angry, in a way…
BC – Yeah, definitely
OD – A lot’s happened, so we’re not gonna be ‘dehhh dehhhhhde deh dehhhhh’, it’s gonna be quite ballsy..and (growls) fuck-you….
SA – Obviously you’ve had some horrific experiences, over the last couple of years, and over the last year certainly, how do you think you’ve developed as musicians and songwriters through these experiences?
OD – I think in the case of Mike, it’s made ME strive more to be better, make sure we don’t do him an injustice, by just going downhill. So – to just try our best to get up and do the best we can…
BC– I think that’s a collective thing – if we did take a nose dive, and faded into obscurity, then we’d be doing his memory a massive disservice. So, just lookin’ onwards and upwards, and just being the best band we can be now it’s… changed a bit
OD– It’s like this – if we were to get worse at playing, I just imagine him at the side of the stage goin’ (bows head and shakes it)
(As an aside, lead guitarist Ol is making a charity Bungee jump next month to raise money for the British Lung Foundation, details can be found here: http://www.justgiving.com/ol-jump4metal)
SA – So, obviously Bloodstock really important place for you?
BC – Playing Bloodstock for us is always like comin’ home: it’s like where our careers started, you know? For Evile, well, professionally anyway. So, I don’t think we’d be here without Bloodstock – we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing for a living with out (Onslaught walk past) and… er … sorry – just getting some love from Onslaught there!
SA – Don’t worry about it – it’s always a good thing to have!
BC – I think we’ll always treasure playing at Bloodstock, because for us, we’ve got some happy memories here. It’s where it all started.
SA – Is there any part of the world you particularly identify with, or has really embraced you?
Both – SPAIN!
BC – Yeah, Spain’s great – we always go down well in Spain, and the Germans are crazy as hell. We’ve not actually gone to the other side of the globe yet – we’d love to go to Australia or Japan. Even India – We’ve had a lot of response from India, well from everywhere really – it’s a mixed bag, but generally it’s always good, thank god, so, but I think out of everyone we’ve played in front of so far, the Spanish – they don’t care really do they? They WILL hurt people …….
SA – Any other sort of ambitions for the future, anything else – what are you aiming for now?
OD – For me, I’d like to get into music production and engineering: whenever we’re in the studio, I’m always going ‘oooh, ooh, oooh ‘
BC – It’s always been a massive ambition of mine to get our music used as entrance music for wrestlers or something – we’re all stupid WWE fans, so that’d be awesome. In terms of professionalism, it’s onwards and upwards for us, we’ve just got to put the time in, keep playing as tight as we can and keep writing good music.