Malevolents talk about their upcoming album, the current Rock music scene and much more.
From: Nanaimo, Canada
Sounds like: Hard Rock/Metal
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Malevolents” and is there any meaning behind it?
Liam - I was first introduced to Rock music through my father when he showed me Queen. I was about 5 at the time. At age 6, I had heard Megadeth for the first time on the radio. It blew my little mind away and since that day, I knew music was my path. Megadeth still is my all time favourite band to this day and I owe them everything, including our band name! I wanted a name that started with 'M' because of them. Also, Motörhead and Metallica happen to be 2 of my other favourite bands ever, so it just had to be an 'M' name. Saw the word "Malevolent" in the dictionary, read the definition: "having or showing a wish to do evil to others". Thought "wow! So metal! That's a wicked band name!" And so it was! Ironically, we're the nicest guys around lol.
2. What do you want listeners to take away from the new record?
Liam - We took a melodic approach sort of to Harken back to the 80s style we all grew up with. The whole Death Metal scene is sort of huge where we live and we wanted to stray away from that simply to try something a bit different. As much as we respect all types of Rock genres, Death Metal wasn't for us. There's nothing like a catchy, melodic chorus to draw someone in and hook them that way. We know Rock and Metal is alive and well, and we intend to continue proving this along with our brothers and sisters who both listen to and play this type of music today.
3. What can people expect from your live show?
Liam - high energy! That's pretty much what we're known for. We get the crowd involved as much as possible and people really seem to genuinely like us. It's very humbling. Also, LOTS of guitar solos...
4. What's your favorite track to play live?
Liam - I think unanimously, 'Requiem for the Gods', our instrumental, is our personal favourite. Although when it comes to playing live, our drummer Jon Holden absolutely loses his mind on "Out of Sight". As soon as that bass solo kicks in, that song kind of takes a life of its own until it ends! For me, 'Drown In Yourself' has become my favourite on the record, and is the main song to develop its own following thus far. So that's always a blast. Austen Vandale (our lead guitarist) really loves our album opener 'Dead to Rights'. It's such a jam! And of course, our show ender 'Alive and Well'. That song is our ender for a reason. We had no idea when writing it that it would get the reaction it gets during live shows but... well, you'd have to see it to really understand. It's awesome to witness the crowd from our perspective during that song.
5. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?
Liam - well, Megadeth, first and foremost. Dave Mustaine is a tribute to guitar playing and is the soul reason I ever bought a guitar in the first place as originally i just wanted to be a singer until Mustaine changed my mind one day and I said "screw that, I want both" lol. Metallica would be great, but that goes without saying for any musician I think. And I'm German, so Rammstein happens to be in my top 3 favourite bands. However, they don't tour, so Avenged Sevenfold would be amazing. As far as sheer musical and artistic views, I feel like them and us share a lot in common and would compliment each other greatly on stage. Plus what an honour it would be to open for one of my biggest singing inspirations in M. Shadows!
As for Austen, I know he cited Lamb Of God and Black Sabbath as well as Metallica.
And Jon wanted Anthrax, Metallica, and in fact a local band we've played with before that we're close with, whomever that may be (there are several).
6. Any crazy show stories?
Liam - Not a crazy story, but definitely one that irked me immensely lol. At our last show we played the Queens Hotel in our hometown. The sound guy we had was brilliant, and a good friend of ours. But me being the moron I am decided to stand directly in front of the vocal monitor the whole show and as far away from my guitar amp as humanly possible. Couldn't hear my guitar, could barely hear Austen's guitar, could barely hear the bass guitar, so I was singing kind of blind. During a few of our songs, I thought "man... I'm totally singing out of key...". Watched footage of the show a few nights later, and sure enough, I was singing off key like an idiot. People came up to me after the show and said "man you guys sounded great, etc". But I was just happy, knowing that I totally bombed, that we were the 3rd band to go on stage that night. Meaning everyone was pretty much too drunk to notice by that time. Sweet! Never doing another show without ear monitors again, though. Lol
7. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?
Liam - It's alive, it's just been sleeping. I feel like the 2010s have really brought forth a new outlook on Rock. It's re-energized, and we intend to keep it that way.
8. What’s the current music scene like there in Canada both locally and country wide?
Liam - Where we live (Nanaimo, BC), it's decent. A local band like us usually plays to a decent sized crowd considering some of the ghost town shows I've witnessed. We do alright. Further eastern/central Canada, it starts to trail off and become less active. Once you hit Manitoba though, it explodes again and continues on through Ontario. Canada has quite a massive metal following all around, I think. I just wish Megadeth would come to Vancouver more often!
9. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?
Liam - It is what it is. There's no money in record sales anymore. You wanna make money through your music? You had better learn business, marketing tactics, develop a following through those skills, and then you better tour your ass off! And of course the most important element: Writing good and hopefully memorable music. A record for a smaller band is really just a way to get your name out there faster. If people like what they hear, you'll go somewhere. Illegal downloading is honestly just a quicker way to get a band's music out there even faster, though I do feel for the old timers who aren't making money from their records these days like they used to. It is a damn shame, but that's the world these days.
10. What’s next for Malevolents?
Liam - We are currently label shopping so that we can release this new record through a label that believes in what we believe in and shares our vision. Everyone warns bands about "not signing their life away and doing things themselves", and I respect that. But why are bands still signing with labels, then? Because it's a mutual partnership designed to promote both parties equally. We only want to do this for a living so we can quit our day jobs and pursue music full time. Some musicians want to be rich, some want to be famous, we just want to play and make enough to support a family through our craft. We feel like the more people we reach with our music, the easier a goal that will be to attain. I think everyone everywhere should pursue their dream. Never give up on your goals until you're where you want to be. That's what next for us.
11. Any shoutouts?
Liam - To our favourite bands! Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, Avenged Sevenfold, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, Motörhead (rip Lemmy!), Judas Priest, Disturbed, Behemoth, Mastodon, Boston, Queen, Red Fang!
To our friends, family, and fan(s?) haha.
To our local bands we love playing with who deserve a mention: Chunkasaurus, Under The Mountain, As Ash Fell, Ravensun, Evilocity, Wise Youngblood, Forever Frost, The Innocent Truth, The Distributors, Deep Space Burnout, Sunshine & Shadows, Battlesworn, and I'm sorry if I missed anyone!
To local band Smokeout Canada!
To Junk House Productions, our drummer Jon's company!
To our photographers Peter and Chadwick, you guys rule!
To our model and friend Veronica Jacobs! Check her out!
And to all the metalheads everywhere, stay alive and well our friends. We'll see you all soon!
And Thanks to "From The Depths Entertainment" for this interview!