Thrash metal has returned in a big way in recent years, and in no small part thanks to the UK band Evile, who, according to “Kerrang!,” are “carrying the genre’s whole revival on their shoulders.”
Thrash metal has returned in a big way in recent years, and in no small part thanks to the UK band Evile, who, according to “Kerrang!,” are “carrying the genre’s whole revival on their shoulders.” Evile has drawn comparisons to metal giants like Slayer, Metallica and British metal legends Onslaught. Dying for a thrash-fix following a somewhat disappointing Megadeth/Slayer show (a small handful of deranged, wasted Slayer fans with home-drawn swastika tattoos is all it takes to ruin my evening), Portland should be very excited that Evile will be gracing Dante’s this Friday night.
On Tuesday, I caught up with 29-year-old rhythm guitarist and vocalist Matt Drake. Being the nervous fanboy that I am, one of the first things that came out of my mouth was a suggestion that Matt walk across the street after the Dante’s show for one of Voodoo Doughnuts’ famous Cock-n-Balls. (Great first impression, doofus.) Thankfully, Matt quickly grasped the concept of a phallus-shaped pastry and said with a laugh, “Oh…I’ll have to give that a go!”
It’s a good thing donuts are fast food, because Evile doesn’t usually have the luxury of spending much time in town following a show.
“We usually go right out of the venue and on to the next town. We’ve driven 14 and 19 hours at time. Once, we had a 25-hour drive from somewhere up north—I think Chicago—all the way down to Texas.”
Yikes. If that doesn’t sound miserable enough, their tour didn’t get off to a very good start. Matt tells me of a bit of bad luck the band encountered at the beginning of their current tour.
“On the way to the airport in England, we got stuck in traffic for two hours and missed our flight to Atlanta. We missed the first show. On the way to the second show, our van broke down and we missed that one too. Then, on the way to the third show, we got pulled over by the cops for speeding, and then we had a [tire] blowout. We made it to the venue with five minutes to spare.”
When asked about Evile’s role in the thrash revival, Matt said, “We never planned to be part of it. We were just writing songs that we thought no one else was writing anymore. Just so happens other bands around the world were doing it at the same time.”
He then expressed that Evile is trying to expand its horizons and “think outside the box,” because the members know that the revival could end at any time.
By the end of our conversation, I wanted Matt to know that, despite my Cock-n-Balls talk earlier, I was indeed a serious and mature journalist. I meant to ask him about the band’s future musical direction, but instead I wound up letting him know that Dante’s wasn’t just a music venue, but also one of Portland’s premier locales for cabaret and burlesque.
“Fantastic! We’ll have to request a show!” Drake said.
On that note, Matt and I said our goodbyes. After hanging up, I couldn’t help but feel bad, because I highly doubt Dante’s would have girls and live music going on at the same time. Sorry, Matt. I owe you. Tell you what: Your Cock-n-Balls is on me. ?