EVILE – II/II – Third Time For The Serpent’s Thrash Charm?

EVILE – II/II – Third Time For The Serpent’s Thrash Charm?

(…this article is in English…)

EVILE released their third album entitled "Five Serpent’s Teeth" late last year and to support this album, Eternal Terror did two interviews with lead guitarist Ol Drake. The first was conducted by Matt Coe and was published in October last year. The second one, conducted by our man on the other side of the globe, Ole-Kristian Solberg, was somewhat delayed. But Ol came up with his answers just a couple of weeks ago, and here it is.

Every metal head has that one song or that one band that pushed them into the metal genre. What would you say was your first encounter with metal and how did it all progress into joining/forming a thrash metal band?

I’d say my first encounter with Metal was through my brother, Matt (rhythm guitarist/vocalist). He got into Metallica through our drummer Ben in school, and I’d hear it whenever he played it. I can’t remember which song exactly spurred me on to Metal, but "Fade to Black" and "Master of Puppets" stand out. After that I got into Sepultura, which changed everything. The track "Beneath the Remains" was insane to me, and I just had to get more of THAT. When I picked up the guitar that’s all I wanted to do from then on.


What can people expect from the new album? Could you indulge us with a track by track rundown of the album?

They can expect a great Metal album. A mix of anger, aggression, joy and loss. We put a lot into "Five Serpent’s Teeth" and we’ve been through a lot running up to it’s creation. "Five Serpent’s Teeth" is an all-out Thrash track; we just wanted a punch straight to the face. "In Dreams of Terror" is our perfect mix of speed, complexity, melody and heaviness; a very diverse track. "Cult" is THE stomping track. We wrote it with the vision to have a song to play at festivals that will get everyone jumping and headbanging; we love playing this one. "Eternal Empire" was an exercise in dynamics; we really wanted to build moods within the song and grab people with great hooks and riffs. "Xaraya" is one of the more "epic" tracks on the album; we aimed for a wide open, chugging riff-o-rama.  "Origin of Oblivion" is the most complex on the album, technically speaking. One of the hardest songs to play on the guitar; a must-hear for Thrash fans. "Centurion" is our dedication to the UK’s Bloodstock Festival. When writing it, the vibe just screamed about the fans and feel at that festival; a Heavy as hell journey through many changes. "In Memoriam" has a long story to it; but I’ll shorten it. After we lost Mike, we felt we had to include something "for him". Once we started playing a guitar part Matt had previously written, it made complete sense to us to use it and create a mellow track dedicated to him, and ultimately dedicated to anyone who’s lost anyone close to them. "Descent into Madness" is insanity in musical form; Thrash Metal. "Long Live New Flesh" is the closer of the album and simply an intense ride. A must for guitar fans!

Could you also take us through the recording process and how it was to reunite with producer Russ Russell?

The recording process this time was very relaxed and had a great mood. For "Infected Nations" we were getting to know Russ, and he us, so there was some "boundaries"; and I think you can hear that on the album; but this time around we knew each other so well we could fully discuss/question everything about every song. It really brought out the best in all of us. We go into the studio with songs written and rehearsed, but that always changes once we’re in there. It’s basically just a process of trial and error with what feels right and wrong.

You’ve come a long way since bursting onto the metal scene with "Enter the Grave" back in 2007 and subsequent touring in 07/08. Have you felt any kind of obligation to carry on with a certain sound for "Infected Nations" and then with "Five Serpent’s Teeth"?

We don’t ever want to repeat ourselves, so we don’t feel any kind of obligation to past albums. We always want to try different and interesting ideas as artists, otherwise we would get bored really fast. If we released "Enter the Grave" 3 times in a row I think we would be bored by now. We have to keep experimenting.

One can quite easily draw comparisons between your music and various other metal bands, but would you say you have been influenced by any artists/bands outside the metal world?  If yes, whichones?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I definitely have personally. Matt and my parents brought us up well musically. From Queen to Led Zeppelin. I’m inspired by bands like Gentle Giant, Camel, Greenslade; Prog Rock bands, but also some Jazz and Classical.


During your career you’ve played a lot of different venues/festivals, and you’ve shared a stage with some pretty huge names. Are there any venues/festivals you personally would like to play in the future?

I’d love to headline Brixton Academy in London; that would be an achievement for me. To play the mainstage at Download Festival would be amazing also. 

As a follow up to the previous question, if you could go on tour with any three bands of your choosing, which would it be and why?

Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Because they’re simply the reason why we’re doing this, and to share the stage with them would be an amazing night of Metal.

How does the preparation that goes into a show vary if it’s a festival or a club event?

If it’s our own show in a club, it’s very relaxed. We don’t have to rush too much, we know everything (hopefully) works and all is well. If we’re supporting it becomes a little more hectic; but simply for the fact we have to get our gear on stage, possibly not sound check (maybe quick line check as we start) and then rush our gear off the stage/out of the venue. At a festival you can never, ever tell. One festival can be run really well and be set out great for the artists. You can get on stage, set your gear up and be ready to go for your set. Some festivals aren’t run as well, and you’re rushing at the last minute with everything going wrong and all you can do is simply ride it out. It’s the audience that makes it worth while, even if everything on stage/back stage is a little hectic.

Do you or any of the band members have any particular rituals before going on stage?

Matt warms his vocals up now (he blew his voice doing the Grave album) – Joel and I just warm up playing, and ben just physically warms up. Then we just do our super hero wishing each other luck and go for it.

The atmosphere and surroundings offered by a festival sometimes differ quite a lot from what a venue can offer, which type of event do you prefer?

The only reason I sometimes dislike festivals is the distance between the band and the audience; other than that I love them. I tend to prefer club shows, indoors in the dark. That’s just perfect for metal for me. Saying that, we’ve had some of our best shows at festivals!


How would you describe an average day on tour with Evile?

We take it pretty easy until after we play. The few times I’ve got wasted before playing turned out fucking awful. It’s become an un-said rule to not party too hard before playing, or at least make sure you’re sober enough to play from the night before.

There have been a few metal tracks featured on various movie soundtracks throughout history, one of the most famous ones in the last few years would probably be Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls in the opening credits of Zombieland. If one of your tracks were to be featured in a movie, what type of movie would it be and which song would you personally like to see be immortalised in a big screen feature?

It was! "Bathe in Blood" was featured in Ondine with Colin Farrell. I’d love for a track to be featured in a horror or action film, or even a Manga anime.

If you were to do a cover of a children’s song, which one would it be and why?

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star; because it’s Metal.

As a closing segment, is there anything you haven’t covered yet that you would like to get off your chest? Any final wordsofwisdom?

I’d just like to encourage Metal fans to SUPPORT THE BANDS THEY LIKE. I’m not speaking about just Evile. Metal bands these days can NOT survive without the support of their fans. Buy their music, go to their shows, buy merchandise at those shows. SUPPORT METAL.