EVIL INVADERS – Razor-Sharp Thrash
September 27, 2017, a year ago
Retro thrash, or whatever you want to call it these days, is alive and well in the bloodline of bands such as Belgium’s Evil Invaders. If you love ’80s-style thrash in general, then Evil Invaders is guaranteed to scratch that itch. The band — vocalist/guitarist Joe, guitarist Max, bassist Joeri and drummer Senne Jacobs — unashamedly borrow classic elements from the Bay area, NWOBHM and traditional metal to create their modern brand of thrash. On its sophomore release, Feed Me Violence, the foursome are back to doing what it did on its debut album Pulses Of Pleasure, but only ratcheted up with even more intensity. BraveWords writer Kelley Simms spoke with vocalist/guitarist Joe through e-mail about the band’s new album, the intense video shoot for first single “Mental Penitentiary” and what an Evil Invaders concert experience is like.
BraveWords: Your new sophomore release Feed Me Violence continues the thrashing path of debut Pulses Of Pleasure yet it’s more cohesive and dare I say more mature? In your opinion, how have you progressed your sound from your debut?
Joe: “The sound of the new album and the songs are definitely more mature. This album is a good follow up to Pulses Of Pleasure. It shows different sides of the band. We have more tempo variation and unexpected changes throughout the record. We experimented with the over-all sound of the instruments and it feels like we found a nice way to make all instruments sound cool as a whole. Something that was still missing with Pulses. The sound of the vocals was something that was bothering me on the previous full length, but now it feels like we really gave it the 'fist in your face' feeling that we needed. In general, we found the right sound for this album.”
BraveWords: Album opener “Mental Penitentiary” immediately explodes. Was this the clear-cut lead off track?
Joe: “For me personally it was obvious to use this one since it's one of my favourites on the record and it immediately draws the attention of the listener. We put the order of the songs in a way that the entire album keeps you curious to hear the next song. There is a lot of different stuff happening and that's what keeps it interesting.”
BraveWords: What was it like singing hanging upside down for the “Mental Penitentiary” video? Who’s idea was to do it this way and what concoction were you spitting out?
Joe: “It was fucking intense! I had this idea in my head and I knew it would look cool. I would never force anyone else to do it though. We just went to the venue and started improvising with the gear that was available. I found a rope and just tied my feet to the light truss. I saw a lot of worried faces that day since there was always a risk that the knot would come loose and I would smack down to the floor. We just brought some toothpaste for the foam. Most of it ended up over the cameraman in the end. The next day I had a shitload of popped blood vessels around my eyes and my ankles were soar as fuck, but it was totally worth it. The most annoying thing was actually not being able to taste anything for almost four days because of all the toothpaste.”
BraveWords: I hear a lot of influences in your music such as Metallica, Megadeth, Overkill, Exodus and Slayer to name a few. A lot of Bay Area thrash for sure. You’re not afraid to wear your influences on your sleeves. I still don’t get tired of the retro thrash or retread or whatever you want to call it, this crushes skulls!
Joe: “We get our influences from all sides. Bay Area of course, but we like to approach this music like bands did back in the day. They got inspiration from heavy metal and hard rock bands and put that on steroids. That's what we do, too. Because making thrash just based on thrash gets monotone very quickly if you ask me.”
BraveWords: I love your Steve “Zetro” Souza meets Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth banshee shrieks. Not that I’m saying you’re intentionally copying either, but they had to have a major influence on you right?
Joe: “They definitely had. But my favourite singers are Dio, Midnight, King Diamond and Jon Oliva. Heavy metal bands seem to inspire me more than the thrash bands.”
BraveWords: Mario Lopez is the same cover artist as all your other releases. What direction did you give him? He even added those same evil red eyes as previous releases.
Joe: “Yep, we came up with the idea and he brought it to life. I really like the fact that he added a lot of small details to the artwork. It really gets cool if you zoom in on it. Since the vibe of the album is pretty dark and violent, I think the artwork suits it quite well.”
BraveWords: What’s an Evil Invaders show like? I looked at a few live clips on YouTube and it looks like high energy and nostalgic. It reminds me of a classic ’80s thrash concert revisited.
Joe: “Thanks man! We often hear older dudes saying that we remind 'em of Metallica in their early years, which is really cool. We always give ourselves for the full 100 percent and the energy gets projected onto the crowd as well. We spent a lot of time on our stage setup as well lately. We try to give a real show with cool lights and stuff as much as we can. And not just be four dudes on a stage. There has to be some action going on. And we always do whatever we can to give the fans the maximum for their money.”
BraveWords: Any plans to head to the States or Canada with this album? I see you’re doing quite a few European festivals.
Joe: “No plans yet. But we would definitely be interested. Quite a busy summer. Right now we're on the plane flying to Sweden for the first time to play the Geffle Metal Fest. The day after we play Bang Your Head (Germany) and then Zwarte Cross (Netherlands). And the upcoming weeks we have another bunch of festivals coming up. So yeah, our summer is quite busy.”
BraveWords: Have you ever played here before and if so, what did you enjoy the most about North America and its fans?
Joe: “We tried to play Milwaukee Spring Bash, but unfortunately we got sent back after spending 22 hours in jail! But I hope we will be able to get on a cool tour over there soon.”