Evile – Ol Drake (lead guitar), Mike Alexander (bass)
Recently, SMNnews ran down to the US Earache Records office to catch up with Ol (lead guitar) and Mike (bass) of UK shred masters EVILE. After tipping a few back, the fun began! Check in with us as EVILE lets us in on their latest, Infected Nations, as well as some upcoming tour plans, attractions in the UK, Ol’s custom Moser guitar in the makings [such killer designs], and our favorite thing to ask, who the band would choose to create a dream tour. These guys can truly thrash, so make sure you check them out immediately.
So, Infected Nations is about to be out. On your myspace you have 2 news songs up in “Now Demolition” and “Infected Nations”. How has the responses been for that so far?
Ol: It’s really cool! A lot of people seem to dig the new direction and such. I think a few people might have a mixed opinion, but I think it will turn out really well. We tried a lot of new things with the guitar.
They do sound killer, and a great musical direction. Also noticed the vocals have some darker tones. Anything else new in the direction of EVILE?
Mike: Yeah we can play!
Ol: We? You can’t.
Mike: I can [laughter].
You have some tours coming up on the way. Care to share?
Ol: Yes, we have the European tour with Amon Amarth and Entombed, and then we’ll look to be over in the states.
Nice, cheers to that for sure! So influentially on this new album, are there any influences you looked up to on recording the new album?
Mike: I don’t think any direct influences. We all listen to the same kind of music like old Sepultura, Death, some prog rock so it’s all kind of bleeded into one. It’s not like, “oh, we want to sound like Sepultura or anything but…
Sound like EVILE
Mike: Yes. We want to sound the way we want to sound.
When playing live, are there any particular songs you like to play out of your catalog?
Ol: I like the faster stuff because I like to see people moving around, stage diving, and stuff like that. If that’s not moving them then that doesn’t seem to work for me.
You guys can shred for sure, though I did catch the clip of you guys attempting the Rock Band song [“Thrasher” off of EVILE’s Enter The Grave]. Cheers to that, that is a whole media outlet of its own. How did you like seeing at first that “Thrasher” was on Rock Band?
Ol: It’s great! We’ve been fans of video games for years, so to have our own song on the game that we can just play without programming itselves, it’s really cool. It’s great that they stepped forward to put thrash on a game like that. It’s cool.
Playing in Europe, the UK and Germany are the 2 most broadcasted places for metal, though really everywhere has a scene of its own. Any places in Europe you especially like playing?
Ol: Spain and Germany. Spain and Germany have the craziest fans, and it always seems like there is something mental going on.
You guys have a great team behind you with Earache Records, and Infected Nations on the way. How excited are you guys to getting that out there, and what’s to come?
Ol: We worked so much on the album, are really proud of it, and there’s nothing I’d want to change or anything personally. I just can’t wait for people to hear it, and from now it’s just gigging as much as we can.
Mike: I’m excited to get back out on the road and talk to people.
So when we come down to the UK, what are some places you recommend to eat, check out some concerts, etc. etc.?
Ol: A good place in London is the Camden Underworld because when there is a great band in there, it’s just a mental show. People get into it, and it’s cool.
Mike: Camden Underworld, an awesome place to play. I’d say London in general is a great place to play, it just goes crazy.
The New York of Europe huh? Ol, you play Moser Guitars. They sure have some wicked designs! If you were to design your own custom guitar, what kind of wicked design would you like it to look like?
Ol: Well . . .
Mike: I think a flower [laughter]. A Hello Kitty one. [more laughter]
Ol: It might just be a rip off one of a Moser one. I’m actually getting a custom one done with him at the moment, so just waiting on that; should be cool.
So there’s been a resurgence of thrash lately, and I think we can definitely classify you guys [EVILE] towards the top of the pack. I hear it both ways: the rebirth of thrash, or creating a gateway for today’s youth who might not have been exposed to the roots in the first place. Your thoughts?
Ol: I also think there are 2 ways of looking at it. You have the kids who have never heard of thrash, so maybe Trivium or something, who might have screwed off the old bands like Metallica and stuff. On the other hand, there’s all those old bands where thrash never went away for them, like all the dudes back in the 80’s.
Thrash never died at all.
Here’s a fun and tricky question. If you were to create your own dream tour or dream festival, who would be on it?
Ol: Dead or alive?
Ol: For me it’d be: Death, old Sepultura lineup, original Testament lineup, old Megadeth with Marty Friedman…
Mike: Well wait, I like the new lineup [Megadeth].
Ol: Oh yeah, it’s a great one. [back to Ol’s dream tour] And Metallica with Cliff [Burton], or with Jason [Newstead] because he’s just as good. What about you Mike?
Mike: I can’t really answer that because all the band’s I grew up listening to looking at the lineups they have now, are equally as good as the first time I’ve seen them. Like Exodus has some great lineups…
We can let the time machine go in on this one.
Mike: Well then, I’d like to have all 3 lineups go in the tour if that was possible [laughter].
So you guys will be in the US soon, so we’ll definitely catch you around that end. So how about some places you’ve never played yet. Any certain places you’d like to play as a band?
Mike: Argentina. I’ve seen crazy footage of band’s playing there. Australia, too.
So we might as well get EVILE touring the world, Antarctica as well.
Mike: Yes! Australia I know we’ll get chased by a crocodile or something [laughter].
So on Infected Nations, what are your favorite songs off of it, or is it more of the whole package deal?
Ol: I’m proud of all of it, but the second to last track “Metamorphesis”, there’s so many things going on in it. Like this doom metal with this fast kind of thrash metal, and heavy metal, and just really stoked on that.
Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it. Any last words you guys would like to add?
Mike: Drink beer
Ol: Buy our album
And drink more beer
Ol: [laughter] Yes, exactly!
Label: Earache Records
By Alex Gilbert