Interview by Alan Daly
© Olga Kuzmenko
Photos by Olga Kuzmenko
Evil Scarecrow played their debut Irish show in the Voodoo Lounge, Dublin on April 11th 2015. We spoke with Doctor Hell (DH) and Brother Pain (BP) about their incredible performance at Bloodstock 2014, their upcoming slot at Download 2015, the recording of their cheekily titled album “Galactic Hunt”, cartoons and drugs. They even gave us an exclusive performance of some potentially new songs, which we have tentatively titled “Tops-Off” and “Thunderdogs”. Check out the Video below and read more in the transcript…
Alan: Last Year at Bloodstock was incredible. How did it feel to have such a big crowd come out so early to see your set?
BP: It was 11am, wasn’t it?
DH: Yeah. Well, I don’t know if I’ve ever made it into the area that early.
BP: I don’t think I ever have!
DH: We always miss the first bands. We’re shit! So we weren’t expecting anybody really.
BP: I was expecting more. I was disappointed. What a rubbish time I had here.
DH: So asking how we felt; I was overwhelmed and Brother Pain was enormously disappointed. There was just not enough people. So we averaged “Pretty Happy”. Hahaha. It was amazing. We were stoked. It was really good.
Alan: How would you rate that in terms of your best gigs?
BP: It’s in the top thousand.
DH: We have done some great stuff, but that was the best. We were a bit green when we did the main stage the first time around. We didn’t really know what the fuck was going on, and we didn’t really feel like we could kick people around and get our shit sorted. We were just sort of guests and had won a competition…
BP: We were all backstage feeling nervous except for Kraven Morrdeth… And we were like “Shut up… Just be nervous and quiet like we are. Stop talking.”
DH: But yes, the last time we did it, it was phenomenal. It was really good. We were great!
Alan: You’re playing at Download this year. How would you compare Download to Bloodstock?
DH: Well, Bloodstock’s brilliant. It’s our favourite festival, because of the size, it’s just really good. Download we love, but it is sprawling. As a punter, just going for a piss and getting a beer can take you half an hour, can’t it? But it’s fucking Castle Donington! It’s historic for us really. It’s going to be amazing.
BH: I’ve worked there for the last five years as well; a little known fact there! I worked there on second stage.
Alan: And what stage will you be performing on?
DH: Main stage.
BP: We’re headlining the main stage every night.
DH: They’re re-naming it “Evil Scarecrow, and friends festival”.
BP: Evil Scarecrow Fest.
DH: It’s just us. Constantly. We’re going on as a Muse cover band on Saturday evening.
BP: Putting all our Muse make-up on. And Slipknot make-up.
DH: Basically they save a lot of money if they get us to do it all. We’re that talented. We can just knock that shit out.
BP: We’re on the third stage really. I’ve never actually seen the third stage in real life, because I’ve always been working on the second stage.
Alan: Cool. Good luck with your first performance at Download then! So, how do you guys all get on outside band-life?
BP: Dr. Hell and I went to the same school, but there’s an age gap between us. I don’t think I knew you at school really, did I?
DH: Not really, no. It was when you left school really, and we knew each other from a local rock bar.
BP: And I knew Princess Luxury.
DH: We get on with each other really well. We see other bands and they can be fractious, but we’re just like a silly little family. It makes life a lot easier. In fact, before Kraven and Monty joined the band, we never really auditioned anybody. We just used to get friends in to play instruments: “You! Play keyboards for us!”, “I don’t know how to play keyboards”, “Doesn’t matter! None of us can really play anything. You’ll learn; it’s easy!”. But yeah, Kraven and Monty did both audition, but they’re our mates now.
Alan: So, your latest album; Galactic Hunt… [Dr. Hell & Brother pain giggle]… That sounds a bit rude. Who came up with that name?
BP: He did.
DH: I did. You like it now. I don’t know what everyone’s problem is with it. It’s just two words. It’s a pun on Star Trek, isn’t it? It’s got a Star Trek font, we’re all on the Starship Enterprise. I don’t hear what the problem is. It’s like one of them weird magic picture things where you can see a sailboat in a load of dots. I can’t see them. Nor can I hear anything rude about Galacti-cunt.
Alan: Well, back to the actual recording of the album; You hooked up with Russ Russell who produced Napalm Death and Dimmu Borgir, among others. How did that come about?
DH: Beer and Bullying, I think! We bumped into him at a couple of festivals and we sort of got to know him. And he said to us “Why don’t I do your live sound for you?”, and that was at the 2013 Bloodstock; the one we filmed for the DVD. He said “I’ll do your sound for you there. Chuck us some money, and a pass, and I’ll do it for you.” And we were like “Fuck me. Brilliant. Totally up for that.” And he loved it. That show blew him away. He came up to us afterward, and he was a bit teary-eyed, and he said “That was just magical”. Russ is such a fucking lovely guy. He really is, and he gets us and our sense of humour, and we had a nice big drink and a cuddle afterwards and that’s when I said “Come on, are you going to do our album?”. And he said “Yeah, send us some demos”. And he like them, and he jumped on board. So it was a real honour.
BP: I suppose it was a real risk for him in a way. Because we’re not very good.
DH: Hahaha… Yeah. But I think he got it, and he saw the crowd got it, and he just wanted to be part of it which was a real honour for us. And he was fucking brilliant to work with. It was the first studio work we’ve done that we actually half enjoyed even though we hate studios.
Alan: Why do you hate being in the studio so much?
BP: Because it’s horrible. For the last few albums I’ve been “Oh I’ll just play this”, and Dr. Hell is going “You’re rubbish! Try Harder!”. And that goes on for ages, and I just hate it. But Russ Russell was just like “Oh, that’ll do! That’ll be fine”.
DH: He was still saying “That’s rubbish” now and again, but there was less having to do it again, because he’s got some magic digital glue to make everything work. But we worked it out… We’re sort of musicians, kind of, in the looser sense of the word, and we love heavy metal and we love playing music and we love doing live stuff. Why don’t we like being in the studio? Why does it fucking suck, so much? We worked it out: It’s because, when you do a live show, you come off stage and everyone’s like “Oh, you’re brilliant you are. Have some beer. Can I buy your album? Oh, you’re great. Can I touch you there? Do you mind if I put this bit up here?” and we’re like “Yeah, whatever you want!”. But in the studio, it’s the entire opposite. It’s the exact polar opposite. You play some stuff and you’ve got someone going “No, that wasn’t very good, was it? No, do that again.” No-one’s there going “You’re amazing! You played that amazingly well!”.
BP: It’s like a really really long gig that lasts days and no-ones there to watch you or applaud you.
DH: Nobody offers to suck anything or put anything anywhere!
Alan: I was looking at some of your videos on YouTube, and I saw in the comments on one of them somebody called you “The Saturday morning cartoons of heavy metal”. What do you make of that comparison?
DH: Hahaha! I’ll take that! I used to love Saturday morning cartoons!
BP: Thundercats. We do that.
DH: We do do Thundercats. That’s a Saturday morning thing. We could play Thundercats tonight, but I don’t know if Ireland know what Thundercats is.
Alan. They will. Although tonight is an all-ages gig, so the crowd might be quite young and might be too young for Thundercats.
BP: But do they have a new rebooted version of Thundercats now?
DH: No, not yet. But maybe they’re cool and watch it because it’s cult. This happened in Stinkley, didn’t it?
BP: Stinkley. It’s called Hinkley, but we call it Stinkley because it’s rubbish.
DH: I think we can say that. We’re not going back there. It was just shit. There were just loads of kids there, and most of our stuff was utterly lost on them. They just did not get it at all. So I’m a bit worried about tonight, because they’re all quite young. I wonder if they’re just going to be looking at us going “What are you old men rambling about? Thundercats? What the fuck is a Thundercat? You can’t get a Thundercat. That doesn’t make any sense.”
BP: I just realised… There’s Thundercats. There’s also Thunderbirds. Is there Thunderdogs? No. Let’s make Thunderdogs.
DH: We should write a song called Thunderdogs. It’s about an underdog, isn’t it? You can rhyme underdog and Thunderdog. This shit’s writing itself… Lalalalalala He was an underdog… Lalalalalalala Thunderdog. [Laughs]
Alan: Seeing as you mentioned Thunderbirds, let’s talk about your video for ‘Space Dementia’. Who’s idea was that?
Alan: So are you a Thunderbirds fan? Or a Team America fan, maybe?
DH: It was a bit of both. Actually I think it was me and Kraven came up with the idea. And we got our mate Dean to build the puppets, and he did the most phenomenal job on them. They were fucking freaky. He made all the instruments and everything. He was sending us pictures of the pictures. He sent us a picture of the keyboard that he made, and we showed it to Princess, and she was going “What? What’s that? Why are you showing me a picture of my keyboard?”. It’s a model of your keyboard! He was just brilliant. And it’s up for an award with Metal Hammer Golden Gods. So we may get a best video.
BP: So you tell everybody who listens, or watches, or reads this interview to vote for us.
DH: Please vote for us! Because we’re like in a sea of real bands. There’s Evil Scarecrow, and then there’s these other bands…
BP: Body Count, Northlane…
DH: Silent something-or-other. I can’t remember what they’re called. But our humble little Space Dementia video, I think has eight thousand views. One of the other videos, the Indiana Jones style one… Four and a half million! Hahaha! So we don’t really think we’re going to win. But, you never know.
Alan: Are you ever concerned that your musical talent may not be taken seriously because of your antics? [all laugh]
BP: I think it’s the opposite in a way. Our musical talent isn’t that great. People think it sort of might be. But it’s not that good. I think because we do all this other stuff, people like us.
DH: It’s hard to know though, isn’t it. Let’s just pretend that we are really talented… Would we care if people didn’t notice that, and just liked us because we do silly crab dancing? No, I don’t think we’d really care. It’s just about having a good time, isn’t it. Who gives a fuck? When I see live bands, I hate it when everyone fucks off and you just have a guitarist there wanking through a solo for fucking days…
BP: I disagree. I love that.
DH: I can’t be arsed. I don’t like that sort of show-boating nonsense. Some people might enjoy it. Drum solos are the worst. So we don’t do any of that. We’re not out to showcase ourselves as musicians, and I’d be more pissed off if people thought we were showcasing ourselves as musicians, than if they thought we were a gimmicky stupid band. We really don’t give a fuck!
Alan: Do you see yourselves going even more ridiculous or toning it down a bit?
DH: I don’t know that we would consciously say “Oh, let’s be more serious” or “Let’s me more ridiculous”. We’ll just do what we’ve always done which is do stuff that entertains us, and hope to God that some people will do as they’ve done in the past and enjoy it as well. I think if you start prescribing which direction you should go in, you’ve lost the point. You should do stuff for yourself.
BP: Well we have to start writing a new album soon. Because we spent five years on the last one…
DH: We’ll get moaned at, won’t we. Bastards like you will say “When’s your next album?”
Alan: That was my next question…
DH: Oh not already. You mother-fucker! We’ve just literally done one. You can’t ask us that for another three years at least!
BP: Do we have any songs written for the next album?
DH: We’ve got some riffs.
BP: We should get on with it really. Because everyone’s going to be asking us soon.
DH: Just download… You can’t even buy our old albums. We’ve run out and can’t be bothered to get them re-done. Just illegally download them and leave us alone. Get off our case. We haven’t really played many of the songs live off this album. About four or five. We could milk this album to death for a while. Surely there’s plenty of milk left in that album cow?
Alan: Psykosis, the band on stage just before you tonight. They have a similar jovial outlook on metal to yourselves, and they caused a bit of a stir at Bloodstock as well last year, drumming up a lot of support, and giving out free beer from the stage. Have you seen them yet?
DH: I haven’t seen them. I did hear loads of people talking about them, so we’ll hopefully get to see a bit of them tonight. Unfortunately, when we have bands that are on just before us, we’re busy putting our stupid slap on, so more often than not, we miss them. But we always try to catch their opening bit.
Alan: It’s an unusually early gig tonight…
DH: We’ve heard all sorts. We heard it’s because somebody did ketamine, the police have told them off, and said that they can’t run so late. Because apparently you can only do ketamine after 8:30 at night in Ireland. There’s some law in Ireland. So if they stop the show at 8:30, then no-one can do ketamine. Because you can’t get ketamine anywhere in Dublin until after 8:30, and it goes off overnight.
BP: I can see how they got around it, yeah.
DH: Well… We won’t have people on ketamine if we move everything down an hour. Yeah… It’s ridiculously early! Half past seven!
Alan: Tell us what is the last album you bought or downloaded.
DH: Mines really bad. Mine’s Rev It Up by Vixen. Hahaha. Eighties classic girl rock. Because I used to listen to it as a teenager. I used to go to draw the town from up top of the church during my art lesson. I used to listen to Vixen on my way up on my ghetto blaster. I’m really old!
BP: I haven’t really downloaded or bought anything for a while. However, I play a lot of scrabble, and as part of the scrabble thing I do, me and my friend listen to the whole back-catalogue of a certain artist. So at the moment I’ve been listening to all of Black Sabbath and I’ve got up to the nineties, and it goes a bit rubbish.
Voice from the background: Shirehorses!
BP: What’s that noise? Shirehorses! You’re right! Well done! For my birthday I got the Shirehorses album which is the album with Mark Radcliffe and Mark Riley from Radio Six and they just do parody songs like we do.
DH: What’s Ade Edmondson’s band called?
BP: The… Bad Shepherds.
DH: We really wanted Ade Edmondson to come on stage with us at Download, but his agent hasn’t replied to me. I must be a nobody.
BP: Doesn’t he know who we are? We’ll just keep badgering him. He’ll come.
Alan: When you mentioned ketamine it reminded me about what happened here in Ireland a couple of months ago where it turned out that the law banning possession of Ketamine, Ecstasy, and those types of drugs turned out to be unconstitutional, and there were a few days when it was technically legal to possess them. So if you guys could legalise any drug for a day, what one would you choose?
DH: Hahaha… See? That’s a great question!
BP: Are you a policeman?
DH: I’ve not really ever done any drugs. So I wouldn’t know. All drugs are very naughty. Bad people take drugs! Like the Italian mobsters… Rappers… Eh… What drug would we legalise?
BP: Broccoli. I would force everyone to take broccoli intravenously until they somehow tripped out.
DH: Yeah, that’s good. Distil it down into little green broccoli pills. Really strong; makes your piss smell funny. Asparagus drugs. All of the greens.
DH: I don’t think he’s even recording any more!
Alan: I think we’ve run out of time anyway, and we should end on that note! Thanks for the laughs!
DH: No problem!