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Does the following date have any significance to you - 6th October 1985? Didn't think so. But it's a special date for me as it was the start of a love affair that has burned just as passionately to this day. You see that particular date was the first time I'd seen a thrash band live – Exodus on the “Bonded By Blood” tour, supporting (the truly awful) Venom. And, in a round about way, it was the first time I was guest listed...

Fast forward to another date – Wednesday 15th April 2009. Ring a bell? Well over two decades later another thrash band is poised to rip a venue to shreds. On this particular occasion, it's Evile, about to launch their “We Who Are About To Tour” rampage around the UK. Shortly after sound checking at the Birmingham Barfly on the first leg of the tour, Pink and Chop from Chopmusic spent a madcap time on the tour bus, and Evile gave us an insight into what makes them tick....

Chopmusic - Thank you all for agreeing to the interview – we appreciate it. First date of the tour – so what are your main hopes?
Matt - That we get through it without blowing up any more equipment! (Matt's amp had just blown during sound check). Joking aside I just hope we get through the tour. We seem to have been cursed over the years... (thrown brick at first gig, vehicle breaking down in France to name but a few).
Chopmusic - There's a real sense of irony here. Warpath's misfortune is reminiscent of your tour with Satyricon last year...
Matt – It was unfortunate but these things happen.
Chopmusic – So Ol – are you back to full health now?
Ol – Near enough. All healed up on the outside, although the jaw hasn't quite healed straight. I have most problems now trying to sleep.
Ben – Yeah at least you haven't got the chin-gina any more!
Matt – Kept him quiet for a bit though... (lengthy piss-taking session and general mayhem followed...)

Chopmusic Back to the tour, any dates you're particularly looking forward to? And which do you consider your home town gig?Matt, Ben and Mike
Ben – We're just hoping people turn up!
Mike – Can't wait for London..
Matt – Well there's not a Huddersfield gig – don't know if there's a venue that would be suitable. We've always had a great reaction from Birmingham fans to be honest..
Chopmusic – The look on your faces when the “Evile, Evile” chant started at the Academy when you supported Megadeth was quite something!
Matt – We weren't expecting it. We were the support act on tour with Megadeth. That was the first time that that had really happened.

Chopmusic - Mentioning Megadeth, you've supported some big names. Exodus also spring to mind. Who's your favourite band you've toured with?
Evile as one – Megadeth!
Matt – Dave Mustaine was so cool with us, and treated us well.. He could have been up himself, but he wasn't.

Chopmusic - Tonight's the fifth time I will have seen you and at the fifth different venue, which is unusual - you seem to have a knack of coming up with different venues – is this intentional, or is it down to the tour managers?
Ben
– It's just because the venue doesn't want us to play there again! After we've blown up equipment, or some other disaster...! Missile strike....
MattMatt – It's not intentional on our part, it's just the way it happens. It's just a question of where we end up. Most of the time we've been supporting, so we've had no choice, we play where we're sent. I think this is the first time where we've kind of had a choice. I think our choice would be “England”!

Chopmusic – Looking at the forthcoming album...
Ben – What's that, new album?!
Matt – Are we?!
Chopmusic - I can't help but notice the change of location and personnel?
Matt – We were originally going to record with Flemming Rasmussen again, but cutting a very long story short he was double booked. We're looking forward to working with Russ Russell though.


Chopmusic -What's the general writing process with you?
Ol – For the first album, because we had so much time, and we actually had jobs, and we could get places, it was just us in a rehearsal room jamming out a riff, “oh that sounds good, what can we do next? Oh that sounds good...” But this time we haven't got much money, we can't get to practice a lot, a lot of the time it's just me on my computer writing a lot of riffs. And then Matt will come in and say “that's good, that's crap”, and then we'll write a basic song. And then we'll take it to all four of us. “Oh I've written this song – what do you think?” and we'll play through it. Mike will go “that bit's shit, I'm not playing that” - and then we'll either get rid of it, or just work on it until Mike's happy.
Chopmusic - (chuckling reacting to Mike's facial expression) Are you the final quality control?Ol, Ben and Matt
Mike – I'm the guru!
Matt – If everyone's generally happy we do like a voting thing – if three of us say something's good, tough luck to the one person who doesn't think it's good, because no-one's always going to like the same things.
Ben – Otherwise you'd end up re-writing stuff for the rest of your life.
Chopmusic – So with the new stuff tonight we've got to look out for one of you going “shit, this doesn't work”.. (everyone points at Mike!! - much laughter)
Matt – If we can play it right...(much chuckling again)

Matt!Chopmusic - Who's the main lyricist?
Matt – That's me. Last time it was a collective thing, we all contributed. But this time it's all me. I think you prefer singing what you've written as well. You can be more creative. I've been looking more into how other people do it as well
Ben – That's good seeing as you're the frontman! (hysterical laughter for long time...)
Matt – Isn't it funny how that's worked out! First album's lyrics were all like “Black! Fire! Death! Die! Woargh!”You look back at them and you think “I can do better than that”. And you learn how to do it and be more creative with it, and more metaphorical. I've been trying different things and really enjoying doing it actually. So I'm going to be writing the next two weeks and scribbling down just as much as I can.
Ben – In all fairness there's always going to be that one knob sat at home who says “that's shit – rip off”!!
Matt – So I'm trying to get more than the generic war/skull/kill/death. Trying to write about things that you can actually read about. And one or two of them have more of a personal slant as well, which is a brave step I think. But you'll obviously tell the one's they are.. obviously not about war..!
Ben – Are you going to tell the story about “how I'm gay?”!!
Matt – That's the next album...
Ben – The song called “My Lost Glasses”?!
Matt - “My Blown Up Fucking Amp”!

At this point the curse reared it's ugly head as the voice recorder died....and so after a swift change of batteries...

MikeChopmusic - Quite a thrash resurgence going on at the moment, I know Kerrang had a classic quote...
Matt and Ben together... “Genre revival on our shoulders”.
Matt – I thought of writing to them and saying “it's always been there”... Maybe not.. Has been there but we didn't care about it until.. oh you're in a thrash band. Ben - I think it was a case of being in the right place at the right time, and they had to pick one of the bands, and it just happened to be us.
Chopmusic – Nice to be championed though?
Matt
– I don't know if it was championing – I just think we had the same ideas as a few other people at the same time.
Ben – Maybe we've been doing it just a little bit longer than some of the other bands.
Matt – I think it's just one of those things we had the same idea at the same time, and a lot of bands just came out doing it.
Ol – We're not really a band to say “oh we're the first – we're the first new one”.
Matt – It just ended up being a UK scene that kind of happened. All these bands that knew each other, and got on. I mean some of those bands have disappeared now, some have carried on, and we've done what we've done. Shocked as hell with it.
Chopmusic – You've obviously got Mutant tonight, who will rip the place apart.
Ben – We've wanted to play with Mutant for such a long time. And we took Tom on the road with Megadeth with us.
Matt – He was our bitch on that tour..

Chopmusic - Going back a while there's a couple of demos (All Hallows Eve and Hell) – any plans to re-release?
Matt – Do I have plans? I wouldn't want to. There's certain things in old tracks that are really good, but overall the tracks are pretty weak. There's a few riffs where I think “that might work well in a song” but they're like Ladybird books - you know “My First...” - in this case my first song. If we were to use anything from the older songs it would be almost like taking a step backwards. You keep doing that then you go around in circles, and end up re-writing the same material. You still can't deny a good riff though.
Ben – A good riff's a good riff. But we're playing a genre from the 80s, so you can't really afford to step back!

Chopmusic – Before we get any more involved can you clear up an urban myth please? What are the origins of the Evile name?
Matt – Well I was drawing some ideas for logos. Originally I'd come up with Exile, but found there were several hundred bands of that name when I did the searches. So I thought “what else would work?” and Evile seemed to work. I put it to the rest of the band and they seemed to like it so Evile it was. When we were in France we became “E-ver-lee” which was an unusual pronunciation!

OlChopmusic - Something we were talking about a while ago on MySpace Matt – the conception is that you're signed to a label now, Earache, but I understand you're all still holding down your 9 to 5's?
Ben – Yeah. You've got to. I don't think the music scene's what it was twenty years ago, where people would come round with massive suitcases full of cash, and flash it, and you're set for life.
Matt – It's overdraft city!
Ol – Exactly!
Ben – Fans especially seem to have this misconception that once you're signed that's it. And you're a millionaire...
Matt – Keep the magic! We are!!
Chopmusic – Don't worry we'll doctor this...
Evile (all together) – We are rich!!
Matt – I've got the keys to my Rolls here!
Chopmusic – We're sipping Cristal in here then..
Matt – Not free beer..
Ol – I prefer expensive beer!
Matt – It just tastes better doesn't it? Free beer!
Matt – It's hard to get a job. I used to work for the Council – they were really cool with me because they'd just let me come and go. I'd say “I've got a tour this week” and they'd be cool. See you in two or three weeks. “Great come back when you want”. That was great. I had to quit for the Satyricon tour..
Ol – Sorry!
Matt – I couldn't go back because I'd fully quit and they'd actually got someone else to do the job I was doing. Looking for a job when you're in a band is quite hard. I couldn't do stuff like bar work because I'd be rubbish at it. It's hard to find a job with someone who will take you on knowing you're not going to be there for two months at a time. Or a month at a time. I'm off in about a month – why would they bother hiring you? It's really hard to find someone to employ you.

Chopmusic (as time was getting on) – Time to wrap things up. As far as influences go it's clearly stated that the Big Four and various thrash bands, and I think there's a death metal influence with Death and Obituary I believe; anybody on the current circuit that you particularly admire?
Matt – Any kind of music? I'm really into Gojira..
Chopmusic – They were awesome here recently..
Matt – The new Mastodon album is a stunner as well. Cool. Bosh. It's a good album. Other than that .. did I just say “bosh”?! .. Creedence Clearwater, old rock stuff...is all I've been listening to. I haven't really been listening to that much.. probably should.

Chopmusic – Quick final question – best thrash album ever?
Ol – Arise
Ben – For me – Beneath The Remains..
Chopmusic - I'm going to say thank you once again..
Evile as one – You're more than welcome...
Chop – It would be good if you didn't fall down the stairwell! You alright love? (As Pink very nearly hurtles headlong off the tour bus).
Matt – The curse strikes again...

Just time for one last group photo shot – and oddly enough the camera doesn't work – the jinx strikes again... !!

Hopefully this will give you an idea of the thoroughly enjoyable time we had. Thanks to Evile for agreeing to the interview, and for their warmth and humour. It was a pleasure chatting with them. Thanks also to the tour manager, Andy, for looking after us so well. Last but not least a huge thank you to Earache Records, and especially Talita, for setting this up for us. Of course Evile went out and ripped the Barfly to shreds with one of the best performances I've seen this year. And I got to see them unleash their mayhem at Hammerfest too – tough life....

 

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