Thrash outfit Evile are far from happy with the state of the world.
Despite being signed to British metal label Earache, releasing their second album Infected Nations last Monday and getting a three-page spread in the current issue of top rock magazine Metal Hammer, Huddersfield brothers Matt and Ol Drake still don’t feel like they’ve made it.
When I point out that they are probably the most famous band from the region they seem genuinely taken-a-back by the notion.
But as they leaf through the Metal Hammer feature, which declares they are ‘the most worthy standard bearers for thrash metal in the 21st century’ and their new album is a ‘supremely confident record that deserves to make the difference between a flash in the pan and a substantial career,’ frontman Matt Drake lets a little “wow” slip out as it starts to dawn on him that maybe they are bigger than he realised.
“It’s really good to see, actually getting treated like a band that people have actually heard of,” he admits.
“It’s weird seeing a magazine you used to read and all of a sudden you’re in it.”
Guitarist Ol add: “It’s an honour to be in that magazine, we’re just four guys from Huddersfield having a laugh in a band.”
But despite being signed and having toured with American thrash legends Megadeth in 2007, Matt said their lives were far from glamorous and they still had to work day jobs.
“It does shock people,” he said, “I’m working full time at the moment.
“We just about get paid enough to cover the food and the petrol on a tour.
“We generally work in blocks, because we’re quite a small band we don’t have hundreds of offers for tours coming in all the time.
“We have to pretty much take what we can get. Three months here and there to earn some money then two months to tour.
“You pretty much quit your job and find another one when you come back.
“You do have preconceptions about what it would be like to be signed, the limousines and the women and so on...that’s the dream but when it actually happens you’re like ‘so that’s what it’s like’.
“No limousines just sweaty men.
“But the label have been really good for us, I can’t imagine them doing anything any better.”
Although their debut album Enter The Grave shifted 30,000 units the Huddersfield brothers were determined to improve their lyrics and shed the 80s nostalgia tag.
Singer Matt said he took the decision to have singing lessons – an unusual move in a genre more known for growling.
While hardcore Evile fans are divided over whether or not Matt’s voice now sounds like Max Cavalera’s, the man himself said he was over the moon with this new vocal abilities.
He said: “When we did the first album I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to doing vocals.
“We’d been playing live for a few years and I was basically just shouting as loud as I could, I pushed it a bit too much and I wrecked my throat.
“I contacted a girl called Talina Smith, she’s an extreme vocal coach in Manchester.
“She taught me how to sing so that I wouldn’t need to rest for a week between gigs. It’s mostly controlling your breathing and all of sudden when it came to doing the album it just came out – bang, there you go, new voice.
“It’s so beneficial because now I can gig for an hour or more and not need a massive amount of rest.”
As for the “Infected Nations” thing, Matt said it came from seeing that society in general was in trouble.
“We all know it,” he said, “there’s something not quite right with the way things are going.
“That song is a social commentary in a way. It came from my ideas of the way it’s going.
“The second verse is an indication of that.
“Another song’s about racism and I actually got brave with one and did a personal one.
“When I was younger I used to have huge confidence problems and I had to write something to remind myself, ‘come on just get out there, you’re in a band now, do your thing’.”
The brothers did confess that linking up with Megadeth legend Dave Mustaine had been a confidence booster and not just for their musical egos.
“He gave all of us some awesome hair care tips,” Matt remarked.
Ol said: “One time he put his hand on my head and said, ‘what’s that **** you’ve got in your hair?’
“He said ‘follow me’ and I was like ‘oh wow, what’s he going to do?’
“He went ‘try this’ and he gave me some of his hair product which he said costed $100 a tub, and it was really good.
“He also told us how to go about doing press stuff, how you run a band on the road, we learned a lot on that tour.”
Evile are now heading out on a two month European tour as support to Amon Amarth and Entombed.
They play Manchester Academy 2 on October 31.