OL DRAKE (Evile) – I’m a perfectionist to the point of panic attacks
Det britiske thrashbandet Evile kom med sin debutskive i 2007, ei skive som satte spor etter seg både her og der, og da benyttet jeg muligheten til å dra inn brødrene Matt og Ol Drake til hvert deres G-String intervju. Nå viste det seg at Ol var den kjappeste av de to til å sende inn sine svar og mens vi venter på at Matt også skal få ut fingeren, kan vi kose oss med disse opplysningene fra Ol Drake, lead gitarist i Evile, som mange fikk gleden av å oppleve på Sentrum Scene som supportband til selveste Megadeth for noen dager siden.
When did you start playing the guitar? In what age and which band was actually the one that made you wanting to grab a guitar and start playing?
I've actually forgotten how old I was exactly. I concentrated so much on playing that I just lost count of how long I'd been playing because that doesn't really matter. The band that REALLY made me dedicate myself to the guitar was Annihilator/Jeff Waters. I loved his playing and writing technique on Alice in Hell and Never, Neverland.
What actually makes a guitarist unique? Feeling or technique? Many people for example cannot stand Satriani…who is absolutely a master when it comes to technique!
I think it's down to a matter of opinion. Some people LOVE technical stuff without soul, because it's impressive. Some people love 1 note instead of 100. Personally I think it's useful to find a happy medium. There's thousands of guitarists who can play scales really fast or whatever. There's not thousands who can say something with the guitar, or concentrate on a melodic statement. Marty Friedman for example. He's a technical master on the guitar, but he really believes in himself and his playing and really says something. You remember what he's saying/playing.
What was your first guitar? Do you still have it?
My first guitar was an ESP Explorer LTD. I loved hetfield at the time (well I still do) and just wanted the explorer. I don't have it anymore, as I just didn't like it. I can only feel really comfortable playing Flying Vs stood up.
Do you think that the guitarist is making the quality or maybe the equipment can do magic?
You could have £3,000 worth of gear and be an awful player, and you could hate yourself and not be confident in what's going to come out of your instrument. Eric Clapton can make something shitty sound brilliant, as can Santana. I think it's entirely down to the player.
What kind of equipment do you use? Guitars…pick ups…amps…? Do you use different equipment in the studio and different while playing live? If yes then what is the reason?
I use a Moser Custom Shop Flying V, it's actually called a Bastard V. That and the shape attracted me to it. It just happened to play well too. I use a Bill Lawrence L500XL at the moment, through a Randall V2 amp with a few pedals for boost, delay etc. We were using different gear at the time of the album, so we used different amps (JCM900, MESA etc). The studio was pretty much whatever we can get to Copenhagen. The next time I can see us using only Randall, with us being worldwide endorsees now! Such an honour for us!
Construct the guitar of your dreams…brand, pick ups, strings..everything!
I'm a perfectionist to the point of panic attacks (haha) so if the guitar I have isn't perfect for me I'll be worrying non-stop. So my dream guitar is pretty much what I've got. I would change a few things here and there, but they can't be done without damaging the neck, body etc. in 08/09 I may get Neal Moser to make a Custom.
Now form the band of your dreams…with you participating of course…Which individuals you think would fit like a glove to your style?
Still Alive? Me, Jeff Waters, Alex Skolnick, Alex Webster (cannibal corpse bassist), Paul Bostaph, Ronnie James Dio on vocals haha. If I could bring anyone back, Chuck Schuldiner would be the first choice. He was an absolute legend and genius.
Are you participating in the composing of your bands material or you're just a performer? How important is it for an artist to be able to express himself? I mean, if for example you were in a band only for performing someone else's musical themes…would you handle it not participating…not being able to express yourself?
All 4 of us contribute to the material equally. We all have an open say about everything. If someone doesn't speak up we could have missed out on an important aspect of the song. I wouldn't be able to not express myself. That's what being in a band is about isn't it? I don't want to be like a violinist playing from sheet music, unable to deviate from that at all.
Have you ever run out of ideas while composing a new album? How did you fight it? What was the solution?
We do run into problems when writing. Every different situation happens differently. We'll get absolutely pissed off with it, and then we'll leave it a week, then we'll play the song up to the stuck part, and someone will say or play something for a joke, and it will just fit into place. We try to ‘fight' it by making sure we ALL feel inspired or in the mood to contribute to a song, ideas always flow. If we obviously aren't inspired or we don't really care, we'll just say "let's leave it for now".
Do you have endorsements? Do you think endorsements are important for an artist?
Endorsements are important and helpful to an artist, especially for a touring artist. We're currently official endorsees of Randall Amplification, Hartke Bass amplification, Mapex Drums, Jackson Guitars (Matt), MCS guitars (me), Ernie Ball Strings, Zildjian Cymbals, Seymour Duncan Pickups (Matt). If we're going to play a show in another country, most bands arrange gear in that country. It's impossible to fly backlines overseas unless you're Metallica (although they might do the same?)
In all the years that you've been playing did something go totally wrong during a concert of yours? If yes, what was it? Please go ahead!
A boring story here. We were playing a show in our home town. I broke a string. I stated "I broke a string" in a musical fashion to the "crowd". But luckily enough I had a backup. I strapped the backup on and started playing again. Then I broke a string on that. I felt like kicking a dog. So we took a 15 minute interlude and my friend Rob drove me home to get another guitar. I got home to re-string it, and whilst tuning up the last string, it broke. The whole guitar went out of tune, my friend was laughing at me, and I was laughing because of this stupid situation. I can't even remember what I did next, I probably just hid under something.
Ok then…thank you for answering these questions. One last thing now! Who is the guitarist that you admire or that you would like to "punish" by have this person answering these same questions?
Hahaha. The guitarist I most admire is probably Alex Skolnick, or maybe even Kirk Hammett or Marty Friedman.