Having just released the excellent ‘Songbook of Filth’ retrospective via Cherry Red/Hear No Evil Recordings. RPM’s Johnny H caught up for a brief chat with Evo, drummer and singer with UK punk metallers Warfare to discuss the songs that helped inspire the total armageddon his band unleashed on the rock world, initially back in the early eighties.
Hi Evo thanks for chatting with me today so let’s start at the beginning. What initially gained your interest is listening to music?
“When I was only a kid, I dreamed about making records and being on stage and ‘Turn It Down’ by The Sweet (from 1974’s Desolation Boulevard album) sounds amazing if played very loud with the bass up. I may one day even do a cover of it only noisier.”
You’ve always called Warfare “metal punk” but what bands from the halcyon days of both those genres initially inspired you?
“It has to be UFO and ‘Let it Roll’ but the version from the Paris Theatre BBC in Concert 11th December 1975 (available in the UFO – At The BBC box set) that track really was a forerunner along with the Ramones ‘Commando’ live at the Rainbow Theatre on New Year’s Eve 1977 (from the ‘It’s Alive’ album). The aggression in both tracks is superb.”
Was there a song from those early days that made you think “I can do that”?
“I was always very anti conformist and raised hell in school but when I first heard ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ by Eddie and the Hot Rods (from the 1977 album ‘Life On The Line) my destiny became clear and indeed the guy who played bass on it, Paul Gray, also plays on the new Warfare album.”
There is something about that era of music here in the UK that just oozes class and attitude and when you look back at the charts from late 1978 to around 1981 its like a mini masterclass in how to write great tunes, would you agree?
“I just love rock ‘n’ roll period and there are many songs to choose from but for charisma and attitude and good lyrics I like ‘No Time To Be 21’ by the Adverts (from their 1978 album ‘Crossing the Red Sea with The Adverts’), ‘Ugly’ by The Stranglers (from their 1977 album ‘Rattus Norvegicus’ and ‘Over the Top’ (originally the B-side from the Bomber 7” released in 1979) by my mate Lemmy and Motorhead.”
You got to work with Lemmy when he produced your Metal Anarchy album and more recently you also worked with Lem’s old pal Pete Way (who plays bass on ‘Misanthropy’ from Songbook Of Filth). What was it like working with him?
“His bass sound is unreal and for that reason I’ll add ‘Fortune Town’ by Mogg/Way (from their 1997 album ‘Edge Of The World) which has the same sound Pete got for the WARFARE stuff. The legendary Thunderbird bass through an Ampeg amp. This is another song if cranked right up is great stuff.”
Finally, as you’ve included tracks from your bands prior to Warfare (Major Accident, The Blood and Angelic Upstarts) on the new album what track has really stuck with you?
“An album that should have been much bigger, which I actually played on, was the Blood’s 1983 debut ‘False Gestures for a Devious Public’. the song ‘Degenerate’ is a belter and I would love to re-master the full album and get it released.”
Thank you, Evo, it’s been great chatting with you and discussing your influences. I wish you all the best with ‘Songbook Of Filth’, and here’s the video for Misanthropy for all our readers to get a taste of what Warfare sounds like in 2021.
You can read Johnny’s review of ‘Songbook Of Filth’ right here on RPM and you can pick up your own copy direct from Cherry Red Records via the following link.
Author: Johnny Hayward