I love old school thrash. Be it the originals from back in the days or the new bands. EVIL SHEPHERD might be young in body but they sure are old at heart. Anders Ekdahl ©2013
What in your opinion does a great thrash metal band make?
Tömmy: In short; fast riffing, aggressive rhythms and a general atmosphere of violence.
What is old school in comparison to contemporary thrash metal? Wherein lays the old school parts?
T: The main difference is that contemporary thrash metal is a watered down version of the real thing. Sure there are bands who have the skills to copy older bands in every detail, but I don’t see the point in that. The ‘old school’ (I can’t stand that term) was authentic, it was a bunch of young snotty kids who were angry and pissed off and wanted to play metal but lacked the skill of bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden; so they made up for that lack of skill with aggression and speed. What we have now is a bunch of young (and old) kids who really like the feel of those albums and just copy it. But it’s not authentic, it’s not real.
Is there an aesthetic to playing thrash that you have to adhere to?
T: If you want to play typical old school thrash then yes, you have to make sure you copy all the others that have gone before you and make sure that you don’t try to be original. If you want to learn from the past and take elements from different genres to create something of your own, then no, you fuse critical elements you like with other influences.
How important is it that it looks right? How much time have you spent on choosing the right cover? To get the promo shots right?
T: I believe that of this is very important. The entire package should fit, though with retaining a certain amount of personality. Some of the metal clichés (inverted crosses etc…) can’t be avoided since our entire concept lies in anti-religiousness and atheistic Satanism, but I think (and hope) we still have our own style, our own voice.
What kind of thrash scene is there locally and nationally for you to take part in?
T: I really don’t like ‘scenes’ and I just wish that every band and individual just does what they want to do instead of relying on similarities with other bands that happen to live nearby just to advance their popularity. That said, the metal community as a whole in Belgium has a few very cool and dedicated people who do a lot of work just for the love of the music.
What kind of thrash pedigree do you have to look up to? What kind of national bands has set the
T: Well back when I was really into thrash two of my absolute favorites were Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends and Sodom’s In The Sign of Evil, they still are really good albums.
How much do you think about being cool? When you write music and how much comes natural? How much of a thought process is it to write songs?
T: We don’t, obviously.
Thrash metal had a dip when death metal came but it still survived and is much stronger now. What is it about thrash that hasn’t killed it off completely?
T: Death metal is an evolution of thrash, that just happens. After a few years of the same old bands and their copycats the newer generation wants to go further, they need music that is more extreme. I really don’t see it as killing and surviving, there’s no reason why these genres can’t co-exist, and crossbreed even.
What do you expect to get out of having a new album out? What kind of reactions have you had and what kind of reception do you expect?
T: We expect to do some gigs and spread the evil. So far all of the reviews have been very good, and to be honest that’s what we expected/hoped for. There’s a very clear evolution in our music which hasn’t gone unnoticed, and I’m grateful for that.
What lies in the future?
T: We’re going into the studio soon to record some songs for a split with the awesome guys of Slaughter Messiah. We’re also planning to release a 7” single and we’re appearing on a compilation vinyl that will feature bands like Desaster,Gospel of the Horns,Die Hard,Satanika,Slaughter Messiah, Goat Perversör, Maleficence, …; this will all be released through Empire Records. Other than that we’re also looking into touring, but that won’t be for anytime soon.