Our editor in chief Owais ‘Vitek’ Nabi (along with assistance from correspondent Achintya Venkatesh for the line of questioning) recently had a chat with Ben Carter, founding member and drummer of Evile and discussed a variety of topics including the nature of their new album ‘Skull‘, Ol Drake‘s departure, upcoming tours and future plans, amongst others. Select excerpts from the chat follow below —
Owais: For the readers and listeners who might be chartering new territory with your band, could you explain the origin of the band’s name?
Ben: Yeah sure, Evile started really between myself and Matt Drake we were at school together, we spent a lot of time playing and rehearsing and just jamming songs, we had a popular interest between the two of us for heavy metal songs, for thrash songs and that kind of thing and that progressed to finding more musicians who are like minded and share the same interests and turn things forward and forming a band and writing our own material and at that time we were a Metallica cover band so we spent a lot of time going out as “Metal Militia” doing shows in pubs and clubs across the country and touring is just impossible with that name and then we also wanted to do our own material and so we needed a separate title and we started “Evile” and at first we came up with a name “Exiled” and then we googled it and realized that there are nearly two hundred bands in the world that were called “Exiled” so we then changed “X” into a “V” and threw the “D” and that’s how “Evile” was born.
Owais:You guys are definitely unique in the sense that you avoid the generic crossover thrash route, but does your past as a Metallica tribute band and comparisons to Metallica even in your original material put pressure on the band to further hone a unique sound to your name?
Ben: Yeah, I mean we are fully in the mind set that everything is been done before and for a genre like thrash you have to redesign the wheel a little bit, you either stick to the same element that all the other thrash bands have or you have to find a way to make yourself unique and make your mark and in the early days it was pretty generic it was about zombies and war and that kind of things where as you get older with the band, you get more mature and you do tend to try to do new things apart from all the thrash bands of our era and we are not afraid to try something different, we are not afraid to put a progressive section in our song, do a little acoustic bit, much vocal techniques very clean just on parts in direct contrast to smaller bands. We also have that unique ability to try and further things musically, we will try and change time signatures and sometimes come on the pace to make things heavier rather than going two hundred miles an hour for each song, we are not afraid to change down gears to be able to then change back up to up gears.
Owais: How important do you think musical progression is for a band, and do you think you’ve achieved this across Evile’s career?
Ben: Definitely! If you listen to our early material, certainly the demos and then leaning forward to our debut release there was so much adolescence involved in the song writing and like I said we were all a lot younger then. I think that element when you first start out as a thrash band is what your primarily trying to do because that’s how you get noticed “Look how fast we can play, look how technical we can be” but then at some point we have to kind of put your material head on and think right, we have actually have got it right and have created our own identity to set yourself apart from whats gone before and I think its fine to look back at the 80’s and then go “That was cool!” and that had an influence, but don’t do it again because it has been done so why try and redo it because you are not going to be able to do it like Exodus or Kreator or Metallica or Slayer in their early days, that argument is already been and gone so do something a little bit different and get your own uniqueness and your own viability and that’s how you go forward, its safe to do the whole hundred and eighty miles an hour thrash thing till you can’t play the end of the note as long as you live but I would like to think that we got a little bit more longevity and we creatively think to just keep our head above the water.
Owais: What are the prospects of a band playing in a country like India, given this side of the world is somewhat unexplored for Evile?
Ben: Oh absolutely, we’d love to! There are so many place Evile has not been to yet like South America, Brazil obviously India, we would love to get to Indonesia, Australia, we’d love to get to Japan and so many places that we haven’t even tried to get to and its purely due to financial reasons really so hopefully when we get a new guitarist we will set some more tours up and go a bit further up-field and people in India will see us pretty soon I hope.
The rest of the chat can be streamed at the YouTube link posted above.