With the foresight of an awesome release show later that evening, RMP took the time to talk to Joe (vocals/guitar), Sam (lead guitar) and Senne (drums) of the Belgian metal band Evil Invaders. We met in the record store a two-minute walk away from the venue and had a nice chat about their new album 'Pulses of Pleasure', their recording adventures and Japanese schoolgirls.
- I remember that a couple of years ago I frequently heard the name ‘Evil Invaders’ during shows in local youth clubs. How long are you guys already known as a band?
Joe: Our first gig must have been somewhere in the beginning of 2009, but with a totally different line-up. I am the only one left of the original line-up, they (Sam and Senne, rev.) joined later on.
- So how long have you been playing with this line-up?
Sam: Like this? Six months or so.
Senne: Yes, we recently got a new bass player so…
Joe: Indeed, but us three. We’ve been playing since 2012.
Sam: Didn’t you (Senne, rev.) join in 2011?
Senne: Yes indeed, at end of 2011.
- How did you come up with the band name ‘Evil Invaders’? Has it something to do with Razor’s second album with the same name?
Joe: Yes, that’s exactly what it is! We were looking for a good band name for over a year and one time I stumbled upon that album and I thought ‘that sounds pretty cool’. And of course it immediately fitted our music genre.
- During the last two years you became more popular as a band, especially after the release of your first EP “Evil Invaders”. Do you know how this could happen? Did you expect this?
Sam: We didn’t really expect it, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we played a lot of gigs in the last two years. Since the EP came out, we were gigging almost constantly and that’s how you reach a lot of people.
Senne: And you need to continue working for it because nothing comes for nothing. We all have to give 100%.
Joe: We also had a lot of luck with countries abroad. At one moment the shows kept coming and of course we got a deal with Napalm Records. That all just happened to us and we know those were big opportunities.
- Was there a big difference between the making and recording of your new album ‘Pulse Of Pleasure’ and your first EP?
Joe: In the making and recording of both albums we ran the show, but we recorded for example the EP in a bedroom with our guitars plugged in directly in our computer. That really was a trial-and-error process. And now, for our full album, we knew more what we were doing. We also went to the studio of our sound engineer to record everything more decently and after that we did the mixing and mastering ourselves so we could determine our own sound even more.
Sam: Recording the album went indeed a lot smoother than with the EP. [laughing] This time the stupid laptop didn’t constantly break down.
- The artwork of our EP as well as that for the new album was made by Mario Lopez. Does the image on the album cover represent your song “Stairway to Insanity”?
Joe: It’s actually a combination of a lot of things. There are lots of references to the lyrics in the album cover so if you read the lyrics and you look at the cover you’ll be able to connect little pieces of text with parts of the image. We put a lot of different references in there on purpose and we tried to include mystery to it all also. You can’t clearly see what’s going on in the cover, but if you read the lyrics you’ll think “Of course, that’s what they intended with the artwork!”
- Today you’ll play the release party of your very first full album “Pulses of Pleasure”. What do you expect of the new album?
Sam: I think it’ll depend on the crowd. Of course we hope they’ll like it very much and that it’ll bring us even further because that’s the purpose of releasing an album: going forward and not standing still, isn’t it?
Joe: We’re really working to go further and we sincerely hope we will be able to grow as a band and I think this album is a step in the right direction. It’s of a much higher level than our EP if you ask me and we also try to work harder on our show. This album has definitely more depth to it and it sounds a little bit more mature.
Sam: ‘A little bit…’ [laughs]
Joe: Yes, indeed. We just try to reach as many people as we can while playing the same style of music.
- On March, 7 you’ve played at Up The Belgians! Fest in De Kreun (Kortijk, BE) as part of a double release show for on the one hand your new album “Pulses Of Pleasure” and on the other hand the new album “Last Tribe Standing” by the old bastards from Ghent, Ostrogoth. Did you have fun during this evening full of metal violence?
Sam: Yes, certainly!
Joe: Of course, without a doubt! We already knew the people of Ostrogoth because we already did a club tour with them two years ago when they had announced their reunion.
Sam: And at Graspop Metal Meeting we also performed together.
Joe: They’re really cool dudes and also their fans and our fans fit perfectly together! Old and young metal fans banging their heads like brothers.
- In the meantime you were signed by Napalm Records, known through bands likeAlestorm, Legion of the damned and The Cavalera Conspiracy. How do you experience the cooperation between you guys and the label?
Joe: It’s very laidback actually. In the beginning you expect that a label as famous as Napalm Records is going to push you in one direction or another but that didn’t seem the case! We’re really keen on our freedom, musically speaking, and they respect that without any doubt. They also don’t give us some sort of time limit, but they do give us advice for when to or not to release our music for example while a big promo stunt is about to happen and we also notice that the music video Napalm posted on their Youtube page got a lot of views and that of course is awesome too!
- You’ve played in a lot of countries like Japan, Spain and Lithuania. How was performing in those countries compared to playing Belgian shows? And which show did leave the biggest impression on you guys?
Joe: Japan was different, but mostly it’s more or less the same during shows: there are always some mosh pits and stage dives. But in Japan you have some weird situations like people with mouth masks in the crowd and that make you wonder “Where did I end up?”.
Sam: Our we had some girls in school outfits!
Joe: Yeah, those kind of anime costumes! [laughing]. Really strange things like during the soundcheck: generally speaking when you raise your thumb here in Europe to the sound guy he knows the sound is okay. And over there in Japan the sound guy thought a raised thumb meant he had to raise the volume so when we entered the stage and we started playing everything went “Boom!”.
Senne: But in general the crowd was very cool! It was really awesome!
Joe: And they couldn’t stop making pictures and asking for autographs.
Sam: They’re very respectful nonetheless.
Joe: But crazy!
- Next to gigs abroad you also played for the first time at Graspop and Pukkelpop. These are festivals at which you’ve probably wandered around yourselves as fans. What was it like to be there, at those festivals, as a performing band?
Joe: It was really cool, especially Graspop; so many people came to see us there! At Pukkelpop we had to play very early but all things considered the tent was pretty crowded. We didn’t expect so many people that early on the last day of a festival. Isn’t the last day the day where everyone sleeps of their debauch? [laughs]
Sam: I was secretly hoping for rain that day so the crowd had to come inside the tent for shelter so they had to see us.
- It’s kind of obvious that, musically speaking, you’re influenced by the early thrash metal bands. Which bands are the biggest influences on you guys?
Joe: We actually have a bunch of influences and they’re also differents between band members. Me for example, I listen a lot to Motörhead, Savatage, King Diamond and Merciful Fate.
Senne: And I’m very much intro Iron Maiden, so I’ve got a lot of heavy metal influences.Sam: And I’m really fond of Rush for example. I personally think it’s very important as a band to have lots of different influences.
Joe: You of course can’t deny that you’re influenced by bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. So we’re kind of a mix of all bands from the 80’s.
- Als your outfits reflect your preference for the eighties. Do you deliberately choose your outfit before a gig?
Senne: I just take what’s on top in my wardrobe! [laughs].
Joe: I always walk around like this. I don’t have anything else!
- So you don’t have special outfits for playing live?
Sam: Not really, but you have to make sure that you don’t wear shoes that could be slippery or it’ll be possible that you end up face down on the stage.
Joe: You just have to wear comfortable clothes. And of course it comes in handy that you can hang your guitar strap over your shoulder.
Sam: I’ll also never wear a tongue anymore!
- Not anymore?
Sam: Yeah well… No comment. [laughs]
- I really wish you the best of luck for the release of “Pulses Of Pleasure”. Is there anything you want to say to our readers?
Joe: That’s something Senne will do!
Senne: I’d to say that that have to check out our new album and maybe we’ll meet the next time during a show! That’ll be awesome because then we can all party together and drink a whole lot of beer!
– Frederik Geuvens