Evil Shepherd are the hooligans from your neighbourhood who dress in tight
jeans, consider high top sneakers the height of fashionable footwear, and
worship Megadeth. They also happen to play blistering Thrash Metal and have a
thing for milkmaids. Don’t you love them already? The band has a crude demo out
called “A History of Violence” and it’s rawer than the meat in your freezer.
Sodomizing Extreminal’s questions: The thrash legends of the future, Evil
Shepherd, getting their groove on about last Christmas, Hellgium, and Terminator.
Shepherd? Belgian Thrash Metal right? Hope you didn’t wait too long for this
interview to finally happen. How did you start the New Year?
De Maes (guitars): The holidays were great for me. I had to work on New
Year’s Eve though but I partied later that night. I also had to work on
Christmas Eve and I had a great meal later.
Wesley (vocals): Hahahahaha! Yeah, fuckin’ Hellgium Thrash Metal from
Terjoden!!! My holiday? Ugh! Too short I think, but it’s better than nothing!!!
And nope, no new drum kit under the Christmas tree for me, just normal shit like
Tömmy (bass): Evil Shepherd is True Kult Denderbay-Thrash from Hellgium!
Personally I was sick during the holidays, I had the flu. So they weren't
exactly very fun for me. But I'll probably be treating myself to some beers and
maybe a new effects pedal for my bass.
Your latest, “A History of Violence,” is named after that movie adaptation of
a graphic novel. Am I right in making this connection? What kind of violent
history is Evil Shepherd sharing through its music?
Jonah (guitars): The song “Till Death” was actually first named “Religion
Is Terror,” the title changed but the lyrics remained and that says it all,
right? “Ritual” is just plain butcher stuff, evil and satanic, hahahaha!
“Apathy” has a little bit more meaning, it’s about no-one sticking their necks
out for anybody these days. As for “Evil Shepherd: The Cult of the Evil Messiah
and Total War”… well, no comments on this one! Mix this shit all together and
the outcome is “A History of Violence”!
Wesley: I’ve never seen that movie! It’s a song from us, but it isn’t
recorded on the demo. On the next demo you will hear the song and other shit.
Old school violent Thrash Metal and Death Metal is the fucking shit and I think
that’s the main influence for us.
Tömmy: To be honest I have never seen that movie apart from the trailer.
The demo doesn't have anything to do with it at all; we just thought it sounded
was responsible for the lyrics and music? Was it a group effort where all of you
gave each other headaches or is there just one Dave Mustaine in the band making
the hard decisions?
Tömmy: The music is always written by our guitarist Glen “De Maes.” He
then takes the basic song to rehearsal and from there I'll write a blasphemous
bass line and Wesley will bang the shit out of his drums for it. In the mean
time Jonah has a shitload of evil satanic scriptures ready to scream upon our
tunes of torture.
Wesley: Yep, that’s right!!
Where was “A History of Violence” recorded? And why is the production so
Tömmy: “A History of Violence” was recorded in our rehearsal space “De
Kleine Melker.” It's a pub with a big room in the back where they sometimes have
schlager shows. And concerning the production...well, we're just filthy, raw
How far does Evil Shepherd have to go before getting everything together to
write and record a first album?
Tömmy: We're actually writing and playing songs constantly. Right now we've
got about 10 or 11 songs that are completely finished.
One of you is named “Terminator.” Is the band looking forward to the new
Terminator movie starring Christian Bale? What makes terminator’s bass playing
Tömmy: Actually, it’s “The Tömminator” and I am a bass playing robot from
the future, here to destroy humanity with my four strings of sodomy so us robots
can rule the world!
Wesley: Yeah, he’s the best bass player I have ever played with! I’m the
drummer and we are one in the band!
each of you add up all the hours you’ve individually spent practicing on your
instruments and doing all sorts of rehearsals, how much time has the band
dedicated to improving its musicianship?
Tömmy: I really can’t give a concrete answer to that. But let’s just say
that there’s always room for improvement.
How many pairs of tight jeans does each member have? How about denim jackets?
Sneakers? Bullet belts?
Tömmy: Most of the time I just look like a regular guy in the street—fuck
fashion! But I must say I used to have my patch-covered denim jacket, white
sneakers and bullet belt myself.
Wesley: I have two pairs of tight jeans and three pairs of white sneakers.
My denim jacket is covered with patches and buttons and I have one bullet belt
and of course a leather jacket.
What do your parents think about Evil Shepherd?
Tömmy: My dad enjoys visiting our shows and getting drunk, my mom doesn't
mind that I play evil Thrash; but they all hate the music.
De Maes: My parents think we’re really good. On our first gig my dad
almost started moshing and he might join the pit at our next gig.
Wesley: My parents don’t say too much, they are just glad I love Metal
and Rock n’ Roll and not all the other crap in the world.
Are all of you working already? What else keeps the band busy aside from,
well, the band?
Tömmy: I had a job interview earlier today and I just got a phone call about
30 minutes ago that they're going to hire me, so hurray for me!
De Maes: I work at Securitas, it’s a security company.
Jonah: I’ve been working for three years because Evil Shepherd won’t pay
the bills for just now!
Wesley: I’m searching!
Where do you live
and what is the local scene like? Played any shows recently? How long has Evil
Shepherd been paying its dues?
Tömmy: We're all from various towns near the Denderstreek. Thus the name
“Denderbay Thrash” since there's been quite a few Thrash bands emerging from
this region lately. Right now we've only done one show; which was very awesome.
It was my first gig ever and I had a lot of fun. There's something about seeing
people crowd surf during your sound check that makes you feel good. We've been
together since September 2008; so that’s nine months now. We're doing pretty
good for being together for such a short time.
Wesley: I live in Nieuwerkerken, a part of Aalst. We just play the songs
we have and we can bring a great show like big bands do but if the public
doesn’t go crazy we can do nothing, but I think when we play on some fucking
great gigs there will be no problem. Of course we aren’t standing there like
frozen sperm heads, well, I’m the drummer so yeah, but the other band members
there are moving around. I think the music is more important than the show.
Does the band already have a substantial following, with a dedicated group (or
groups) of people showing up for your gigs regularly?
Jonah: Yeah, a couple dudes that follow us if its possible for them to
get there, but no die hard fans who keep following us everywhere…Yet.
So when did Thrash metal come into your lives? Care to name favourite albums?
De Maes: Thrash became part of my life when I was 15 years old. But I also
listen to a lot of Brutal and Old-school Death Metal. My favorite Thrash bands
are Razor, Dark Angel, Sodom, Kreator, Witchtrap, Exodus, Tankard and Pandemonic.
Favorite Death Metal bands are Possessed, Pestilence, Grave, Entombed,
Malevolent Creation, Krisiun, Suffocation, Nile, Necrophagist, Monstrosity and
Terrorizer. I’m also a big country fan; some of my favorites include Carl Smith,
Kevin Fowler, Brooks and Dunn, Lynn Anderson, br549, Moe Bandley and Joe
Tömmy: I think I started listening to Thrash when I was about 16 years
old or something. Some of my favorite bands are Megadeth, Whiplash, Forbidden,
Deströyer 666, and Sodom. Though I don't listen to thrash as much as I used to,
I really enjoy playing it. Right now I tend to listen to a lot of punk, rock 'n
roll, free jazz, blues, stone, doom, and drone.
Jonah: when I was about 17 I think, I discovered my all time favorite
album by Whiplash, “Power and Pain: Ticket to Mayhem.” Other bands I like are
Sacrifice, Massacre, Autopsy, Hallows Eve, etc.
Wesley: Hahahahaha! My favourite group is AC/DC and it will always be AC/DC.
I started listening to Black Metal and after that it was Hair Metal like Motley
Crüe, Britney Fox, Dokken, and then I began listen to Thrash Metal: Megadeth,
Overkill, Whiplash… But I still love some good old school Hair Metal!!!
Let’s move to gear now. What kind of amps, guitars, effects, cymbals and
torture instruments are found in the Evil Shepherd arsenal?
Tömmy: I use a Fender Jazz Bass (Mexican) and a Roland Cube-100. But since
I've got a job now I'll be buying a Traynor YBA-200 head and an Ampeg cabinet.
Jonah: for rehearsals I use a PA from Peavey and a Mic from Samson, but
for gigs I never have to take something with me.
Wesley: I use a Sonor Force 2001 drum kit with Paiste and Sabian cymbals. My
bass pedal is a Janus Ergo Pedal from Mapex Industrie.
How much is a pint in Belgium? And what kind of atmosphere do your pubs usually
have? Would there happen to be any metal pubs you’d recommend?
Tömmy: If you're lucky it's 1.50€ but mostly it's between 1.60 and 1.80.
Sometimes 2€. Where we live we often go to den Negasonic or de Rocks.
They are the primary metal and rock bars in Aalst. They have the best music,
regular gigs and it's always a lot of fun.
Do you go to concerts often? How much do tickets usually cost?
Tömmy: The next shows I'll be visiting is The Supersuckers and Nashville
Pussy, then The Eagles of Death Metal and Testament with Megadeth and Judas
Priest. Prices vary but mostly it's about 25€ on average. There's nothing like
bangin your head off or getting bruised in the pit with other mad maniacs!
Evil Shepherd…hmmm…you guys like farming and hot milkmaids?
Jonah: If she’s willing, always! Hahahahaha!
Wesley: We like ‘Frieten’ and beer and ‘Pitta’ and ‘Pizza.’ Basically all
the shit that isn’t good for our liver and cholesterol.
Is there a World War 1 monument near the place you live? Ever visited it?
Tömmy: Most of the World War One monuments are located in Ieper, which I
have visited quite a few times when I was younger.
Alas, this interview must end. Thanks for subjecting yourself to this
interrogation. How soon is the next band practice?
Tömmy: I believe it's tomorrow actually! And thank you for doing this
interview. It has been a pleasure answering your questions.
Wesley: The next practice happens when the other guys call me, hehehehehe…
Normally we practice two times a week on Tuesday and Saturday. And yeah, thank
you for the interview. It was great to answer these fucking questions!