1)First of all thanks for your time. Could you introduce your band a little bit?
You’re welcome, sorry this has taken quite some time to get back to you. My name is Matt Riley-Drake and I’m part of UK thrash metal band Evile. We started out in 2001 as a Metallica covers band called Metal Militia, we started writing our own songs and putting them into the set, we then decided to only do our own songs and changed our name to Evile and self-released our first EP in 2004 called All Hallows’ Eve. We then released the Hell Demo in 2006, which helped us to get signed to Earache Records that same year, we released our debut full length album Enter The Grave in 2007.
2)If you have to describe your kind of music, which is your genre?
We’re a thrash metal band, but I have always preferred to just be called a heavy metal band. Something close to what would happen if you mixed Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura and Death together. I’m not too interested in over describing or pigeon-holing bands in to tightly specific genres - my main goal for Evile is just to be known as a great heavy metal band.
3)Let's talk about your last work!
We released Skull in 2013 (7 years is a long time!!) and it was the last album of our Earache Records deal. We recorded it with Russ Russell and it’s the album I’m most proud of, I think it’s our best written album, personally I’m proudest of my vocals on this album. Track 5, Tomb, is an incredibly personal song and I wanted to make sure that if I never got to song on another album ever again, that I could be proudest of the vocals on that song as the last thing I did. When it was released it got very little press, compared to our first album in 2007 I must have done something close to 150 interviews for that - for Skull in 2013 I think I did 4. Unfortunately it went undiscovered, as at the same time we were unable to tour for it, my brother Ol left the band (he has since rejoined) and things just went quiet. It may not be our ‘best’ album but it’s the one I’m proudest of.
4)Do you have a particular moment or memories that you want to share with us?
Unfortunately I have the worst memory in the history of shitty memories, I’m sure I’ve done plenty of things to be proud of, I just can’t remember them haha. Things that stand out are getting to tour with Megadeth around Europe in 2008, listening to Dave Mustaine telling stories, hanging around with Chris Broderick, Shawn Drover and James Lomenzo - all absolutely wonderful people. We played Sonisphere Festival in the UK in 2011 and I got to see a small private acoustic set by Skunk Anansie with about 30 people, that was incredible. We toured America and Canada for nearly 6 months in 2010 with several great bands, Kreator, Overkill, Vader, Lightning Swords of Death, Bonded by Blood, Gama Bomb, God Dethroned and a few more, and that was an amazing time as we got to see so many things - mostly film related for me as I’m a movie guy - we saw the Ghostbusters firehouse, we went to Astoria to see all the Goonies stuff, we saw Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard and loads more. We met some great people and had a great time living in a van for several months.
5)I see you in a lot of festival how is playin in a huge festival? Do you prefer small gig or huge one?
I don’t think I have a preference, as they both have good sides and bad sides. At festivals you have to work quicker and be on schedule and do what you’re told, but you’re playing to more people. In smaller venues you have slightly more control over things as there are less bands involved, but you don’t get the space of a huge stage (you certainly don’t at our level anyway haha). I’m just happy to be out playing live, we’re a live band and always have been, we like getting out there and surprising people.
6). For the people who don't know you, could you advice a song or album that identify you most?
I would say to give one song from each album a listen, as we’ve progressed from album to album, from Enter the Grave listen to Thrasher, from Infected Nations listen to Metamorphosis, from Five Serpent’s Teeth listen to In Dreams of Terror, from Skull listen to Underworld.
7)Which are your musical inspirations?
As a band we are heavily inspired by Metallica, Slayer, Sepultura, Kreator, Death and others. Personally my inspirations are the bands listed above plus Queen, Alice in Chains, Entombed, Paradise Lost, Soundgarden and a few others. My favourite vocalists are Freddie Mercury, Layne Staley and Chris Cornell.
8)Last question, do you know Italian metal scene? And if it yes, what do you think about?
I’m more familiar with older bands, the top Italian band for me being Goblin, scoring so many awesome films. I know of other bands such as Bulldozer, Ephel Duath (who we played with in 2006!!) and of course Rhapsody. But since having children and working full time I’m so out of touch with current bands in the UK, that I have no chance of keeping up with metal bands around the world, I would love to have the time to devote to discovering newer bands, it’s a huge shame that I just don’t have that time anymore. I
9). A quick hello for our readers, thanks for your time!
Hello to everyone during this absolutely bizarre time of lockdown, I wish you all the best and to stay safe, take comfort in music, take comfort in the family and friends you’re sharing your confinement with, be good to one another and always, always, ALWAYS, have red wine ready. Look after yourselves.
Thanks for your time Ada, look after yourself \m/