Interview with Evil Drive, Finland’s next big thing

Evil Drive

I’ve been following Evil Drive since the release of their 2016 debut album The Land of the Dead, it’s the kind of band that the more you listen to, the more you enjoy it. In 2018 Evil Drive released their second full-length Ragemaker and they gained more of my interest because the music got more melodic and now in 2021 a new album is on its way, Demons Within shall be released on April 2 by Reaper Entertainment and it shows a band that improved themselves even further.

New album on its way, exited?

J-P: Yes. Really anxious to see how it will be received.

Demons Within will be released in April and two songs so far have been released, can we expect another single or must we wait till April?

J-P: Yes, the title track of the album is released as a single and music video in March.

Ville: We choose 3 different songs for singles. Choosing singles was really difficult at this time because album is so strong and there is lots of good opinions

The two songs show a more melodic Evil Drive what seems like a logical path for a band like Evil Drive and I also think the sound improves with each album. Who is responsible for the direction the band takes and the creative process?

J-P: Ville and I do most of the composing of new song ideas. There is not really a conscious decision, for me at least, to take the music to a certain direction. For me most of the stuff I write comes out very intuitively. Of course you have to keep in mind the general musical framework the band operates in. But generally I would describe it as a natural progression.

Ville : J-P and I write most of the stuff on this album, but when Antti and Matti joining at band they give their lots of new variations at some parts and they are really skilled players, our songs get much more boost when they play. 

Recording an album with two new members, did that have any effect on the recordings?

Viktoria-There were big changes in the band last year. Our drummer didn’t have the time anymore, and our bass player had to be let go because he wasn’t the kind of heavy metal bass player that this style requires. Thankfully we were lucky to find very skilled guys to replace them and now the band sounds better than ever. You can hear the bass and drums working together well and the band’s team spirit is excellent. Also while making the songs, we don’t have to think of who is skilled to play what.

J-P: Absolutely. It was a learning curve to see what to expect from the new guys in the studio but on the other hand, it also gave freedom to do some new things also.

The artwork on the album looks really nice, who created it and is there a special meaning behind it?

Antti: It was created by Jarkko Vanhalakka, and it kinda follows the themes from the lyrics.

Ville: Jarkko Vanhalakka is our cover artist, he is totally talented man, Viktoria give to him the idea of the cover picture and then he gets free hands to do what he wants. I trust Jarkko he make always perfect work and I hope we can continue work with him always.

Who is responsible for the lyrics? And I noticed a song on the new album called Payback and now I’m curious, who’s getting the Payback?

Antti: Viktoria and Ville wrote the lyrics, but mostly Viktoria. That song is about Catholic priests.

Viktoria: It’s most often me who writes them all. As for the subjects, I am always sort of digging deep regarding the subject matters for our lyrics…

For me, each song is somehow special. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that when I write lyrics for our songs, every piece that I write is like a little story, making each song very special to me. They are mostly based on whatever happens in life.

Life is full of all kinds of bad and ugly things that one gets inspired by very easily, causing all kinds of different feelings that tempt you to write about them.

Ville: Yes, she does. Every album from us should always contain a mandatory song with religion-related lyrics…

Like “Payback”, the opening track off your new album, which deals with the Catholic church and its pedophile priests who are all sent to hell and are confronted by Satan himself, who has something reserved for them…

Releasing an album in current times must be though as most likely there cant be a tour around the release or are there plans and hoping for the best?

Antti: Of course we hope for the best. Everything seems very uncertain at these times.

Viktoria- We have a great record label Reaper Entertainment Europe and Universal Music as distributor so the bases are well covered. We are already writing songs for the next album. In this work there’s no time to slow down, you just have to keep pushing forward.

It was a very difficult time for everyone, it felt like you lost the freedom to do things. The album was supposed to be published already in July, and we were supposed to have gigs before that in Finland, Sweden, Russia, and Estonia but all were canceled. The album publishing was drastically postponed. But the good side has been that we have had time to make songs for the next album.

Ville : Actually we write now songs to the 4th album, and we have really much new stuff coming because all of us write songs now, not only guitar players like before, now is coming really strong material.

Evil Drive is often compared to Arch Enemy, do you see that as a compliment or gets it annoying after some years? I think probably the latter am I right?

J-P: With such similarities in vocals it is hard not to run into that particular comparison. It’s something we have gotten used to.

Ville : I think we are both melodic metal bands and we have many same influences with them. But I think if someone compared us to AE it’s really great band.

Last one, if you could have only five songs on your phone, which five would it be?

Antti: Dream Theater – A Change of Seasons, Anaal Nathrakh – Endarkenment, Eluveitie – Deathwalker, Korpiklaani – Sumussa Hämärän Aamun, Demon Hunter – I Am A Stone

Ville : Slayer – Seasons in the abyss, WASP – Hellion, Iron Maiden – Aces High, Sepultura – Dead Embryonic Cells, Carcass – Heartwork

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