UK thrashers Evile were plucked from the womband signed to Earache in 2006, offered before the world as not only the saviors of UK thrash, heir apparent to Sabbat, but the more frenzied quarters of society were proffering them to be the next Metallica. Like, yeah, let’s not burden four kids form Huddersfield, a reasonably drab, ordinary pocket of northern England, with too much expectation. So when they first gamboled onto the stage and fired through the debut album Enter the Grave they were already being cross-examined, dissected. That must have been weird. Back then, they were just caning it, taking it for what it was worth. But it got serious. The death of bassist Mike Alexander was the sort of horrible tragedy that put everything into perspective. From there on, guitarist Ol Drake, his brother and Evile frontman/guitarist Matt, and drummer Ben Carter had to decide whether this was it or whether they should push on.
They chose the latter, recruiting Joel Graham on bass and jetting off to hit clubs and dives across the States for the best part of a year, before returning to the Parlour studios to record album number three, Five Serpent’s Teeth with Russ Russell, and get on with being a band again. The Deciblog caught up with Ol Drake just before Damnation festival to talk awkward grammar and why being the next Metallica is totally redundant, and kinda unrealistic for anybody.
You’re on holiday, for like a week, but you’ve been on the road for ages.
OD: Yeah, we kinda know what we want to play now; we know the songs that get everybody moving and the ones which have everyone standing.
What’s going with the grammar—Five Serpent’s Teeth? You’re making life difficult here.
OD: No, it is right! Plus it’s a literary reference—if it’s wrong, blame the author of the book. It’s the Demolished Man by Alfred Bester, and I’m not sure because I’ve not read it, I’m not sure what it means, but I know it’s not about serpents. I think it’s about bullets, so that when he says “these five serpent’s teeth” he’s talkin’ about bullets. And in the context he says it it’s correct… T apostrophe S, but if you don’t know the context or the meaning it looks like it should be “Serpents’”.
No matter, the title sounds pretty kung-fu, though, I thought you’d gone all Wu-Tang. Is there a concept to the album?
OD: There is—but I don’t even know it! Matt (Drake) won’t even tell us. Especially this time round, he doesn’t want to reveal anything because he hates how everything’s so available, like you can go on Wikipedia, type Evile… blah blah blah and find something out. He just likes the listeners to make their own interpretations. It’s like David Lynch’s films; he’ll never reveal what they’re about and that’s what makes him so intriguing and interesting, and it’ll be an ongoing debate as to the meaning. But as soon as you tell someone what it’s about there won’t be a debate anymore. I think you’ve got to leave it open to what you think it’s about.