The 24th of April 2020 will see the release of Malevolence’s latest offering, ‘The Other Side’. With just 3 tracks, Malevolence have made no effort to water down their unique brand of hardcore inspired metal. Taking influence from a wide range of sub-genres.
Carl from Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life spoke with frontman/vocalist Alex Taylor on the phone. Here are a few snippets from the conversation with full interview available at the bottom of this article.
You can read our review of the new EP, The Other Side here.
On releasing new music during a turbulent period for the industry
Alex: I know I’ve seen a lot of bands who have postponed their releases because they’re struggling to get vinyls made and stuff like that and we’ve definitely had our fair share of that but it feels like we’ve come this far now and we’re almost there. I’m just so excited for people to finally hear this, especially this last tune. It’s been a lot of hard work and we’re still working hard on it now.
On how ‘Keep Your Distance’ has become an anthem for the current times
Alex: It’s almost a bit eerie how relevant the three songs have become during this current global climate. I think it just drives home the relevance and the messages behind each song. Obviously we wrote these songs, maybe a year ago now, so we’ve had them finished for quite a while and it is just an eerie coincidence that it happens to have come about at the same time.
I think that the music, from what I’ve seen, kids are using it to really motivate themselves, finding a comparison with the ‘keep you distance’ thing and the ‘remain unbeaten’ thing. The message is there and I think music is a very important tool which a lot of people will use to overcome the challenges they face over however long this goes on for.
About how the collaboration with Bryan Garris came about
Alex: We’ve been friends with the Knocked Loose guys for quite a few years now. I was listening to Knocked Loose probably 5 years ago when they put out their first EP. Some of the guys came out to our show when we were touring the US in 2016 and we just hung out there. Got to chatting and over the years, since then we’ve played various festivals and shows and little tours with them. We flew them over for our last big hometown show in Sheffield.
We’ve just been really good friends and it was kind of really organic how it came about. It was just a case of hitting up Bryan on Instagram one day and saying, I only want to have one guest vocalist on this EP, are you interested? And he was like “yeah, I’m down” and that was it. There was no management or anything, just a simple case of an Instagram message.
About the variation in tracks on the EP and the more melodic title track
Alex: The whole concept of this EP was to push ourselves out of our comfort zone but also keep an element of Malevolence. Just try and push the boundaries of what we’ve done so far, what we’ve created so far and see what else we can do with it. I think we’ve found a nice balance on this EP. I see it more of a showcase of our capabilities, I guess. Especially with The Other Side, that was a really big step out of our comfort zone.
We’ve never written a song as melodic as that even though we’ve dabbled with it before on previous albums, we’ve never taken the full plunge.
One of the best things about it (the EP) is whether you’ve been listening to Malevolence for the past 10 years or you’re picking up the record new, there’s something for everyone on there and it really shows the progression we want to do as a band. Where we can and want to go with it.
On sub-genres and pigeon-holing Malevolence
Alex: I really try to avoid the whole pigeon-holing of sub-genres and stuff, I mean it wouldn’t really be fair to ourselves to start saying, oh, we’re a hardcore band or a death metal band. It’s that kind of vibe and to me it’s heavy music, it’s fast, it’s aggressive but it’s also got the more melodic ballad sides. To me it’s just metal and then I kind of leave it up to people. If people want to argue about what genre we are then I’ll leave it to them.
Writing and working on the next album
Alex: It’s going well. We’ve got quite a few songs in the works. I think we’ve got about 8 or 9 at the minute.
What we really want to do with this next record is really just really nail it on the song writing ability. For me personally, lyrics, I really want to try and push myself away and challenge myself to maybe address topics I haven’t necessarily done before.
It’s one of those things as well, because we’ve been doing this for 10 years now, obviously we’ve matured a lot since the first album. So I’m not necessarily wanting to sing about the same things we were singing about on the first album.
We just want to carry on challenging ourselves, pushing the boundaries and seeing what we can do but also making good songs, really good songs!
On fledgling/self-released bands who may be tempted to give up during this difficult period
Alex: This is your opportunity to graft and write. There is no better opportunity now, I think, for bands to really get their heads down and just write, write, write. Even if it doesn’t end up being totally productive. Everybody has their days where they can’t be arsed or they don’t want to be productive, that’s totally understandable. You’re bound to feel like that in this climate but if you are in the mood and you want to do it, you should totally take this opportunity.
Our industry is effectively on pause right now. So use it to your advantage and get them hits stacked up.
You can check out full interview below.