Interview with drummer Freddie Wolf
Interview conducted by Luxi Lahtinen
Date online: February 14, 2015
Danish Heavy Metal troops Evil were a short-lived act that only got their 5-track EP Evil's Message released on the small Dutch label Rave-On Records back in 1984. Coincidentally, this is the same label that was responsible for releasing Mercyful Fate's legendary self-titled EP (known as Nuns Have No Fun or A Corpse Without a Soul among fans due to the cover artwork) two years earlier.
Years passed by and many people forgot who Evil was until the band crawled out of the darkness in 2008 to perform at a famous German festival that specializes in old school Metal. Evil was back.
The band signed to long-running Danish label Mighty Music and started preparing songs for their debut album, Shoot the Messenger, due to be released in March 2015.
The Metal Crypt got in touch with one of the founding members of Evil, drummer Freddie Wolf, to talk more about Evil's new lease on life and if the rumors about King Diamond being in Evil's early line-up are true or not
Luxi: How's life Freddie?
Freddie: I am happy that I'm still alive and healthy. :o)
Luxi: Isn't it amazing how life's twists and turns cannot be predicted? Evil is back in town. Can you tell us when you started seriously thinking it would be time to bring more evil to this world, i.e. reforming this semi-legendary Danish Heavy Metal act after so many years on hiatus?
Freddie: Kim Xmas gave me a phone call after 25 years. I thought he was dead and I was surprised when he suggested that Evil should play at the Keep It True XI festival in 2008. That festival was focused on old school Metal. We started with the original lineup. Unfortunately, after just one rehearsal session, our original vocalist Pearl (Angel) never showed up again and six months after that, our original bass player Pete (Hurricane) told us he couldn't play gigs. Luckily we found a new bass player, a guy who had run our fan club back in 1984 and whom guitarist Kim knew personally.
Luxi: Did either you or Kim have any other bands going on during Evil's long hiatus or did you concentrate on other careers in your life besides music?
Freddie: I did some recordings with one established Danish Rock band in the 90's and also did music for some Danish movies. I have a fulltime job as a traffic manager in my civil life.
Luxi: Half of the members from the original Evil line-up, Kim Xmas on guitar and you on drums, from the recording of the legendary Evil's Message EP, are in this current version of the band. Can I ask what happened to original vocalist Pearl Angel and guitarist Pete Hurricane and why they aren't a part of Evil in 2015?
Freddie: In 2007, after a very short time, neither of them showed up at our rehearsals. They weren't that motivated to play in Evil, I believe.
Luxi: I have ask where all the totally lovable yet somewhat hilarious stage names, Pete Hurricane, Pearl Angel, Kim Xmas and Freddie Wolf, came from? Were they products of some wild, booze-filled parties when you were in your twenties or something? ;o)
Freddie: In the 80's in Denmark it was normal to have artist names that people could remember; the kind of names that would sound more attractive to people compared to common Danish names at that time like Pedersen or Jørgensen, you know. Every Metal band in Copenhagen back in those days did it.
Luxi: The first full-length studio album from the Evil camp, Shoot the Messenger, should be out by the end of March 2015. Can you tell us when you started putting the songs together for it and if you believe they follow the same musical and conceptual style that you basically "invented" on Evil's Message?
Freddie: I started to write the first song for the album around 2012. At that point the other band members didn't have any ideas to contribute. Claus, the other singer, liked it and recorded his vocals on the tracks. My idea was not to copy our record from 1984; it would be unnatural. When we recorded the Evil's Message EP all was new and that's the spirit I like because Shoot the Messenger is also new and it's natural for Evil to move on.
Luxi: How much did each member take part in the actual songwriting? Did each of you support it equally or was it basically you and Kim who directed the musical direction for Shoot the Messenger?
Freddie: Some members would only play the old Evil stuff while other members couldn't play the new Evil stuff. We spent four years coming up with just four new songs that really did not lead us anywhere. I remember one journalist from Germany who wrote about us when we played in Germany; "let the old dog sleep..." Suddenly, there was only me left and I didn't want to stop Evil the same way as back in 1986. I simply moved on and did more new songs for Evil and the Shoot the Messenger album in particular. I made everything myself but the vocalist Klaus couldn't move on with me because of his family life. It would have been a shame to let Evil get killed at that point.
Luxi: How did Mighty Music get interested in Evil? Did you send out demos of new Evil music to labels, hoping to impress them?
Freddie: Michael from Mighty Music listened to my recordings with the old singer and gave me some good advice. One year later we had a new singer named Søren Nico Adamsen in the band. He is an old friend that we have known since 1996 and Mighty Music told us he sounded cool. Frank Pitters from Wien, Austria, mixed all the new Evil songs at that time.
Luxi: In 2009 you recorded a 3-track demo titled Ain't Dead Yet. I am curious to know if this demo was recorded with the current line-up that you have today and, if not, what happened with the line-up on that particular demo?
Freddie: Kim Xmas was sick all the time and was so when we did that demo. No record labels were interested in this demo and the rest of the line-up began getting tired because nobody was really able to contribute their ideas for songwriting. My ideas at that time were not optimal for Evil and I was not inspired enough either, I am afraid.
Luxi: The title of that demo, Ain't Dead Yet, was a strong statement that evil can never be killed, not this Danish one anyway, eh?
Freddie: I think the name of the demo should have been "almost dead" at that time, but it was a start for us nevertheless. It's true that Evil can never be killed completely as long as it moves on and thinks positively.
Luxi: There's a song called "Keep It True" on your forthcoming record. I guess that implies loud and clear that Evil does not want to flirt with any musical trends but just wants to sound like Evil, as that's what people are expecting. You can sell your soul to the devil and keep things true to yourself but you cannot sell it in the name of fancy trends, right?
Freddie: I'm glad you picked that song off the record, as it's my favorite on Shoot the Messenger actually. The lyrics are about getting older and trying to copy your youthful and successful past. If you think of money all the time, you can forget the music as well. "People will forget you after you are gone, I couldn't care less - I'm still going strong". This line in the song is what it is all about.
Luxi: What are you trying to say with the album title, Shoot the Messenger? You should know by now that it's never a good idea to shoot the messenger... ;o)
Freddie: A messenger is not always telling the truth these days. The messenger on this very album is a virus that is trying to invade your computer. So nuke the fuckin' messenger, ha ha!
Luxi: Do you have any plans to shoot a video for one of the songs off Shoot the Messenger?
Freddie: No video plans at the moment, but perhaps we'll do one later.
Luxi: How about Evil's gigging plans? Will you be able to do any 2-3 week tours between your families and jobs or do you think you'll just try to stick to some well-selected one-off shows?
Freddie: The band will play live and we are already preparing Evil for those forthcoming shows by rehearsing and shaping up set for a perfect strike.
Luxi: Back to the year 1984 for just a couple of questions. How has Evil's Message stood the test of time, in your honest opinion? Also, are there some specific memories and/or thoughts that it still brings to your mind whenever you listen to it?
Freddie: A few weeks after coming home from Eindhoven, Holland in 1984, it was my darkest hour because my first girlfriend was leaving me and I was sick at a hospital in Denmark. I'm glad people still like that old record though. The new album Shoot the Messenger is not the same, but I still hope you'll enjoy it for years to come because it's a very strong recording from us.
Luxi: Nowadays the Evil's Message EP is considered an underrated and "cult" Heavy Metal release among the Metal community so I need to ask what makes this record such a highly appreciated record?
Freddie: There are two kinds of music; good and bad. There are so many talented bands out there and if some of them get inspired by Evil's message, it makes me very proud. And when they get older I hope they will try to look forward and follow the same feeling they had since the beginning, never losing faith and believing in what they are doing. That is what I'm doing and I am having a good time doing it.
Luxi: The last song on Evil's Message is called "Take Good Care (of Your Balls)". Can you still recall the circumstances under which this song was born? Have you managed to live up to your principles in life the way as that song title suggests? ;o)
Freddie: Sorry, but it is impossible for me to remember how we came up with such a hilarious song title but I think it must have been very fun.
Luxi: Evil also played this song live at Keep It True Festival XI in Germany on November 15th, 2008, in which you also incorporated a part of Accept's "Balls to the Wall". Quite a combination of two very "ballsy" songs indeed. How did you get the idea to combine these songs? Do you still do them live from time to time or have these two songs become a mandatory part of Evil's live set?
Freddie: We tried to salute our heroes Accept when we were in Germany and hoped it was okay, even if my wife hated it, ha ha!!
Luxi: Back in those days when you released the Evil's Message EP you also shot a video for "The Devil Wants Me" off that record. Does watching this clip cause nostalgic or hilarious thoughts to spring to mind? Where did all that make-up stuff come from, by the way? From your band mate, the one and only Mr. King Diamond, maybe?
Freddie: My ex-girlfriend loved to do cosmetic things and the other guitar player on that video loved the style. We went in for using make-up in that particular video.
Luxi: Finally, just to address false rumors and hopefully this time for good, what's this true story behind the early Evil line-up with some people saying King Diamond once played guitar in the band?
Freddie: It's not true. Both he and our guitar player have the same forename Kim, so perhaps for that reason some of these rumors started spreading back in the day.
Luxi: Thank you so much for your time Freddie and all the best with your future endeavors with Evil. Let there be evil; all the way! Any closing comments/jokes/whatever, just to close this chat properly?
Freddie: The world is f** ked up, but sometimes it's our own fault.
|Other information about Evil on this site|
|Review: Evil's Message|
|Review: Shoot the Messenger|
Copyright © 1999-2017, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt. All Rights Reserved.