Evil are a total crushing death/thrash metal band and here is an interview with band members Ryo and Masaharu:
What is the current line-up of the band and did any of you come from any other bands?
Ryo "Asura" Kitamura / Vocals
Masaharu "Bishamonten" Takahashi / Guitars
Gou "Rasetsuten" Takeuchi / Guitars (ex: Significant Point, Barbatos)
Kengo "enmaten" Amemiya / Bass
Ryo "Yaksa" Ito / Drums (ex: Significant Point, Lurking Fear)
When the band began did you begin to write original songs right away or did that come later on?
We began "Evil" in later 2011. We firstly began covering some thrash metal songs such as Celtic Frost, Sodom, Overkill, and etc. After that, we started writing our original songs.
What were some of the early practices for the band like? How does a song come together for the band? Who writes the music and the lyrics?
We gathered in a studio and played some cover songs and original songs. Speaking honestly, Ryo was a beginner of guitar, so his skill was a little poor. We started from playing cover songs.
Mainly, Ryo and Masaharu write almost songs, but there are some songs written by Kengo(Ba.) and Mizuki(Dr.). Song titles are decided by all members, and most lyrics are written by Masaharu and Ryo arranges lyrics in order to improve their touch.
There are some lyrics written by Ryo and Kengo.
In Japan is there a healthy or big underground music scene? Are there any music stores to buy underground music or is it all through the internet now?
To be honest, Japanese metal scene is very small. There are sometimes just around 20 audiences in underground metal gigs.
The most famous record shop where we can buy underground music CDs or LPs is "disk UNION". Almost other record shops have their own online shops, so we can easily buy underground music.
You have released 2 demos and a split CD. I want to talk about demo # 1 first. How did it go for you in the recording studio for the 1st time? How many songs are on this demo?
This first demo includes 14 tracks. The first 7 tracks are live recordings at our first gig in "Shinjuku Urga". Later 7 tracks are recorded at home of Mizuki (who is previous drummer).
Did you sell this demo and did you send it to any record companies or web zines to get reviewed? What are your thoughts on this demo these days?
We made this demo in order to spread our music and name, so we let this demo distributed free. We made over 500 demos at that time. We brought this demo to many record shops and asked them to stay the demo on their shelves. Since the tracks recorded at our first gig includes our fervor and the initial impulse, we really like this first demo.
How did you come up with the name Evil? Where any other names considered?
We determined our band name after our first practice. Maybe we determined it in the bar without thinking. Later, we noticed that many same name band are around the world such as early Slayer, early Sabbat and so on.
We do not remember clearly, but Mizuki suggested "Mountain" as the band name. We denied it by return.
Onto demo # 2. Do you feel you made a bring improvement from demo # 1 to demo # 2? Did you use the same studio? Was it easier this time around because you had already been in the studio once before?
We consider that there is no especial improvement, but we spent more time to make second demo than first demo. This is because we pressed CDs and would sell this second demo (JPY500). We recorded only drum tracks in the studio where we usually practiced, and other tracks were recorded at home of Mizuki as first demo.
Yes, it was easier than first demo because of the experience of recording first demo.
What are your thoughts on this demo these days? Again did you send it out to any record companies and/or fanzines/webzines and if so what was the feedback like?
We would like to make the sounds of this second demo like ones of Bathory's "Bathory". However, we made the sounds worse too much than first demo.
The first demo was distributed only domestic and streamed in Sound Cloud, but we sent this second demo overseas or to foreign labels.
Now tell me a bit about the split CD that came out prior to your debut full album? Who was the other band and what label put it out? Is it still for sale? Did this have new songs or did it have some songs from your 2 demos on it?
This split CD was with Lurking Fear, who is Japanese grind band, and was released from Obliteration Records Japan. This split is still for sale. This split includes only one new song, and other songs were from the first and second demo (recorded newly).
Does the band get to play live much and if so what are the crowds like for live shows? Are there many clubs for the band to play and have you played outside Japan yet?
We do not play live so much, once per three months. We make the crowds insane, we think…. haha.
Yes, there are many clubs to play lives in Japan, but almost clubs are small.
We have never played live outside Japan, but we really would like to do, so please invite us if you are interested in us.
Onto your brand new release on Nuclear War Productions called "Rites of Evil", which I totally loved. How did you hook up with NWP and how easy was it for the songs on this release to come together? What studio did you use and how long were you in the studio for?
First, we really appreciate you love our new album "Rites of Evil". We firstly send our pre-production to NWN! Prods during our recording of this album and the owner of NWN!, Yosuke showed us his interest in our music. We had him listen to our songs such as the first demo or second demo, and he determined to release our album as LP format from NWN!. Almost songs in this album are included in the demos, so it is not hard to make songs. We started recording from May. 2016, to Nov. 2016 at “Void))) lab” in Tokyo.
How did the cover for the release and how did you come up with the "Rites of Evil" title for the album?
The cover is totally awesome!!! We are really grad that Chris Moyen created our new logo and cover art. We firstly determined Japanese title "邪悪を讃えよ(Jāku-o-tataeyo)", we discussed with Yosuke regarding English title.
How has the response been to it so far? I think the release is one of the best releases of the year so far myself.
Thanks. The response is very better than we expected.
Do you hope to maybe play over here in the US one day?
We really desire to do. We would like to play world tour if it is possible.
How would you describe what the band sounds like to someone who has never heard the band before?
We are Evil. Evil Japan. That's it. You can easily feel our power from hell if you listen to our evil music.
Any last words horns up for the interview?
Thank you very much for reading our interview. Please look forward to our next more Evil album.
Interview by Chris Forbes