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EVIL INVADERS - Interview with Joe
By Wojtek Gabriel,
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Evil Invaders speed metal band
How many traditional metal bands coming from Belgium do you actually know? Well, there's the old-school guard with acts such as Ostrogoth, Crossfire, Killer or Acid, but this corner of the world seems to have never produced many internationally-known heavy metal artists. So, I'm sure the Belgian old-school freaks welcomed Evil Invaders to the scene and they now have a quality speed metal export product they can be proud of. The quartet have actually been around for 10 years now, but they debuted as late as 2013 and last year they spat out another fast, angry and (pun intended) violent release called "Feed Me Violence", which we talked about with Joe.
"Feed Me Violence" seems to sound a bit more aggressive than the previous album. Was it something you planned on or did the tunes just come out this way?
It's just something that happened. We don't think too much about what a song should sound like when we start writing. We just write what we feel like and then see how it sounds. Since there was a lot of anger and frustration present in our personal lives at that moment, this is what came out.
How much did the line-up changes influence the sound of the album?
The biggest part our previous album "Pulses of Pleasure" was written by me. With the line-up changes we had since then it seems like the song-writing got more divided over all band members and you can clearly hear that the songs have more different influences because the songs were written together. This album sounds more mature and has more diversity throughout its entire play-length than anything we have ever done before.
You guys recorded most of the album at home, basically everything apart from the drums if I'm not mistaken?
We recorded the DI tracks of our guitars and bass at home and re-amped the tracks in the studio. That way we could just go there and use the time we had to look for the right sound. That way we could save money and use our time in the studio more efficiently.
The album was supposed to be mixed and mastered by Daniel Bergstrand, who's worked with bands like Behemoth, In Flames, Soilwork or Dimmu Borgir, but I heard it didn't work out...
Initially we wanted to work with Daniel Bergstrand indeed but due to major fuckups of some incompetent people in the drum recording process we didn't have the time to finish the mixing process with him. We started over from scratch and chose to work with our live mixer Koen Keijers from Waveshape Audio who had also mixed and mastered our debut album. In the end it seemed like this was the right thing to do. We could physically sit together again and put a lot of time and effort in the mixing and really make the songs come alive. To me, adding the right effects and sounds into the mix is really important to get the right vibe.
The album is filled with mostly up-tempo tunes, but you guys are not afraid to write more complex and slower stuff too and you seem to enjoy composing instrumental motives...
I like albums where every song sounds unique. Tempo-wise, there are a lot of ups and downs in this record and that's what makes it so special. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns that draw your attention. And it's mixed in a way that this is a record you can listen to a few times in a row without getting a headache. I love contrasts in music and we really managed to blend fast aggression and melancholic and touching parts into one album. A perfect example of this combination is the song "Broken Dreams in Isolation" which is the slowest song we've ever written and my personal favourite on the record. It steps away from what you would have expected from a band that has always been seen as a pure speed thrash or heavy metal act. It is still Evil Invaders but it shows the fact that this band keeps on evolving. We like to think out of the box during the song-writing and the idea is to keep on extending our boundaries for the upcoming releases as well.
The album has been out for some three months now. Looking at it from the perspective of three months, would you want to improve anything?
Sound-wise we still see room for improvement. With all the problems we had with the recordings of the drums we were under pressure to finish the mixing and mastering in time. We're already discussing on how to improve our sound for the next record and I'm pretty confident on the fact that we will succeed to do that. For the next record I would like to have a bigger and wider sound in general. Without it becoming tiring to listen to.
You've named the band after a Razor album. Are you fans of them or was it just a cool sounding name?
They have some really cool songs in my opinion but I don't think their music has had a big impact on what we're doing. I just remember checking out the videoclip of their song "Evil Invaders" and it just sounded so cool that I had to use it as a band name.
Your live video was out on VHS. You do realise there's very few people around who can still play a VHS, don't you?
Indeed! That's what makes it so great. Everybody was asking for the DVD version. And we're like, "What DVD version?" You should have seen the looks on their faces. Priceless! We see it more as a limited collectors item. No one gives a damn about a DVD. But VHS is just cool to have. I have a ton of old VHS tapes with Dio, Iron Maiden, etc. gigs that I got from a friend of mine. I just love this old school stuff and often that VHS is one of those items that people see from a distance and it attracts them to come and check out our other merch.
You were supposed to tour the USA earlier this year, but you landed in jail instead...
It seemed like our own personal version of "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America". Basically, we flew for 13 hours to be in jail for 22 hours to then fly back home for 13 hours. Great weekend! When they take away all your belongings and leave you with nothing to do but to challenge your bandmates for a game of noughts (water bottles) and crosses (pieces of toilet paper) on the floor tiles, you're happy to be back on the plane home. Especially when you have tasted a full 5 seconds of fresh Chicago air in the land of the free while being promised to get free beers all weekend right before they call you back and lock you up. Damn, I wish we could have played that show. So much for our first time in the US of A! But nothing's gonna stop us from getting in one day, ha-ha! Just you wait and see!
I've read you're a qualified luthier. Have you made any guitars for the band?
All guitars you see on stage are made by me, yes! After secondary school I studied lutherie for 6 years. I did violins, steel string and archtop guitars. I started my own custom guitar company about 2 years ago called JAXE Guitars. I design and build guitars from scratch. Check it out on facebook!
I think you're finishing your promo activities for the album now. What's next for Evil Invaders?
We'll be flying over to Colombia this month to play the Metal Millennium festival! After that we'll be playing some headlining shows and festivals all over Europe. In March we're playing a headline show in a real castle here in Belgium and in April we'll do a headline tour through Eastern Europe, Finland and Russia. After that quite some summer festivals are confirmed in Europe! Since we've been improving our live show in the last year, we're gonna do a big ass DVD show (not VHS this time) at Trix in Antwerp, Belgium. With a 1100-capacity this will be our biggest headline club show so far. Production-wise everything will be taken to a new level so it's gonna be a unique experience! After that we're planning a European headline tour in fall and in the meantime, we're working on new songs.
Interview by Wojtek Gabriel
Photos by Tim Tronckoe

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Tags: Evil Invaders, speed metal, Feed me Violence
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Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations or corporations without the prior written permission.
© 1997-2019 Wojtek Gabriel. All rights reserved.
Unauthorised use of any works published on this website is prohibited.
Materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by persons, organisations
or corporations without the prior written permission.