Brit thrashers Evile have just released their crushing fifth album, Hell Unleashed, through Napalm Records. Following the release of the record, we spoke to Ol Drake, guitarist with the thrash outfit about the genre, his favourite thrash bands, thrash fashion and much more.
Thanks for your time. How is life with Evile today?
Ol Drake: “It’s going great! We’re just eager to get back out there and promote the album.”
Let’s talk thrash then. If you had to describe the music to an outsider how would you describe it in a few sentences?
“I’d say it’s a form of music that captures aggression in a controlled and meaningful matter. The influences within thrash range from punk to classical so it’s a very diverse form of music.”
Who was the thrash band that turned you on to the genre and what was it about them?
“Metallica were the band that did it for me at first. Everything from their songwriting, instrumentation, passion, and energy drew me to them. That’s what made me want to do what they do. Beyond that was Sepultura, Annihilator, and Testament. They all gave me the drive to want to do what they were doing.”
If Evile had formed back in the heyday of the thrash genre, which bands would you have loved to tour with?
“Even though we toured with them in 2008, Megadeth would have been great. Slayer in the old days, Metallica with Cliff (Burton), Sepultura, with Max and Igor, Death… So many bands we’d love to tour with.”
Pick your top three thrash albums and tell us about them?
“Reign in Blood by Slayer. To me, it is the perfect thrash album. The production is fierce and the songs are perfect. Metallica …And Justice For All I love because it is the album that I worshipped in my teens. It made me want to play drums, guitar, vocals; everything. Lastly, I’d say Sepultura’s Arise. I remember lying on my bed looking through the digipak CD package while listening to it, taking all of it in and being completely blown away by it all.”
The ’80s saw thrash scenes from all over the world. Where was your favourite “thrash scene?”
“Undeniably the Bay Area scene. I love the German four, and I love Sepultura, but the beginnings of the Big Four lit a fire under me that’s still alight now.”
Britain had its own thrash scene in the ‘90s. Why do you think it wasn’t as successful as say the Bay Area thrash scene?
“I think it could have been bad timing; a little too late back then. I’m not sure. Onslaught’s debut was in 1985, so very early, but maybe something was lost in translation with the U.S. scene being so huge.”
Tell us your thoughts on the thrash scene, the fashion, the slam-dancing, the iconic songs…
“I love the thrash scene’s community and music, but the fashion is a weird one for me. The bands from back in the day wore that’s the clothes they had. Speaking about posers being lame but wearing a ‘uniform’ and posing in it while saying ‘death to posers’ is mega hypocrisy. I love the music, the mosh pits; all that.”
Thrash made a return with bands like yourselves championing the genre. What are your thoughts on the modern thrash scene?
“I think the scene is doing great. I’ve admittedly been out of the scene since 2013, but there are still thrash bands forming and thriving so it has to be healthy. We have Havok, Warbringer, Lich King and so many more.”
You’ve got your new album coming out Hell Unleashed. What can us diehard thrashers expect from it?
“Pure aggression and anger. We wanted to make a statement of intent with this album; that we’re back and mean business. No nonsense thrash metal.”
Apart from Bloodstock in August, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
“We have a few more shows booked in the UK, we’re just crossing our fingers they’re going to happen. It’s looking unlikely anything else in 2021 will be allowed to happen, but we’re hopeful!”
The thrash scene has some great bands, albums, and stories, can you tell us your story just to finish off?
“We formed in 1999 as a covers band but after a few years of touring, we got tired of playing other people’s songs. We wrote some of our own music and started incorporating it into our set. Our songs went down better than the cover songs, so since then, we’ve been dedicated to getting Evile out there and do what we love. We’ve released five albums now, and we have no intention of stopping as long as we’re physically and financially able.”
Thanks for your time and good luck with the album. Over to you for the final words…
“Thank you so much for the support! We urge people to support their favourite bands by buying the physical product as it helps in ways most people don’t know. See you on the road!”