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Spann Talk: Evile vocalist Matt Drake

by Chris Spann on 18 January, 2010 | 2 comments

Evile, with vocalist Matt Drake second from the left

Our man Chris Spann takes some time out with Evile vocalist Matt Drake during the soundcheck ahead of their show at Central Station in Wrexham.

You and guys like (Liverpool Thrash Band) Short Sharp Shock seem to be leading a resurgence in Thrash Metal – What do you think has bought this revival about?
I think there was a need for it! I think people wanted that kind of music again, I really do. I mean, we wanted it – That’s why we started the band.

I suppose it’s all the people who grew up listening to Metallica and Megadeth coming of age?
Exactly, I mean we grew up listening to all that – Well I didn’t get into the whole eighties thing because I was like… 9, I was listening to Queen and Zeppelin at the time because of my Dad, so I missed it the first time round. I mean, I didn’t get into Metallica until I was 13, so I missed the whole thing in the first place – Which meant that by the time I got into it the bands who made the music I loved just weren’t really around any more, just modern nu-metal. People who are into music like this just don’t really get catered for, and we decided to cater for ourselves.

So you’re touring to promote the new album – how long did it take to write and record, and how hard a process was it?
It was different from the first album – the first album took… Well, forever to write, because we weren’t trying to get signed – This time we had to write to a deadline! Ol (Drake, guitar) had been writing ‘Hundred Wrathful Deities’, that took him two years to write, but he got stuck about two thirds of the way through so I just jumped in and went ‘do this, do that, wahey!’ and helped him out with it, but the rest of it took between… Pretty much as soon as we finished ‘Enter the Grave’ (Their first album), so about a year and a half.

You’ve worked with some big names over the last three years – have you had chance to work with any heroes?
Yeah – Dave Mustaine! (Megadeth front man) I’ve met Robb Flynn from Machine Head, We’ve toured with Exodus, Bobby Blitz from Overkill – We’re touring with them in America, which’ll be cool – But I’m still dying to meet Metallica.

The new album has a different sound to the first – has reception been as good?
Erm, it’s been slower, this album’s more of a grower. It’s taken a lot longer to sink into people’s heads. Enter the Grave was very “Bang! Fast! Metal!”, and if you’re looking for Enter the Grave II you’re not going to get it. It’s certainly more ballsy, we had to be to not just copy what made us successful. Even people who hated it initially come back to a few weeks later going ‘it’s the best album I’ve ever heard!’

Is touring like all the stories – is it all girls and drinking?
Is it hell, it’s all laptops nowadays. Speaking for myself, because I’m learning how to sing, I’ve become completely anti-social, so as soon as we’ve played I go straight to bed and leave it to everyone else. Last night was the first night of the tour, and all the other guys were up until 6am, drinking. I just leave them to it and go to sleep.

Have you ever been to Wrexham or North Wales before? Anything about the area you particularly like?
I used to come to Rhyl on holiday caravanning as a kid, yeah. This is the first time as a band, Normally when we play in Wales it’s Newport or Cardiff.

What’s the tour been like since Mike (Alexander, previous bassist’s) death in October?
God, I can’t even think of the right word to use… It’s been… It’s gotten easier over the last few months. When it first happened, we weren’t sure… I think separately we all thought about quitting. We never said it to each other, but I think we all thought “I don’t wanna do this anymore.” It was always meant to be just the four of us doing it together, and if it wasn’t us four it wouldn’t be fun. If we had of quit though, it would have been the worst thing we could have done, because we onl knew Mike because of this band. We started it with him, and if we’d given up it would have been the worst insult. The thing that keeps getting me though, is that one of his favourite bands was Overkill, and later this year we get to go to America and tour with them. We did a raffle to raise money for his family, and some of the people sending us stuff to raffle was unbelievable – I mean Metallica and Slayer sent stuff, Ozzy sent us things and Iron Maiden sent us all these bottles of wine, it’s incredible. We raised so much money for his family, and a really good thing came out of something awful.

How does it feel, being suddenly mentioned in the same breath as Metallica, Anthrax and Testament?
It was… I couldn’t say it was a dream come true, because we never intended for this to happen. We never even planned on getting signed, we were just playing music we wanted to hear. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved – I was going to say by accident, but we’ve worked very hard and put the time in, so if people want to talk about us like that… Brilliant!

What’s next after the tour?
More tour! The European tour finishes on the 20th of February in Essen in Germany, then we have eight days off, then we go to America to two months – One month with Kreator, then a month with Overkill. We’ve played with Kreator before, and the day after that show, we were in the paper because of all the outrageous things Miland Petrozza says about the devil and that – The article didn’t actually mention us at all, but the picture was of us, so I’d imagine when we go back to Germany, all the Christians are going to kill us.

Matt, thanks very much for your time.
Thank you.

Read Chris’ review of the Evile gig at Central Station: wrexhammusic.co.uk/spann-report-evile-at-central-station

Posted by:

Chris Spann

Email: spann.chris@googlemail.com

Chris is a freelance writer and a guest author on wrexhammusic.co.uk. View Chris' blog here: www.chris-spann.co.uk
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  1. […] Read Chris’ interview with Evile frontman Matt Drake: wrexhammusic.co.uk/spann-talk-evile-vocalist-matt-drake […]

  2. Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brhitegned my day!

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