Paul Evo (Warfare): «Let the Noise, Filth and Fury start»

A mixture of metal in punk in the 80’s sometimes led to eye-popping results. In the USA this mixture gave birth to thrash metal and in the UK it produced something loud, unbearable and horrible — a pure filth! This was the band Warfare and its drummer / frontman Paul Evo. After 25 years he returned to pierce your ears with his new release! 

First off, congrats with the new album! What have you done all these years? What made it possible after such a long break? Did you feel it’s a right time for some message to people or did it just happen? Did it take a long time to write and lay down the songs? 

It all just happened in a dream and for the last 25 years I have constantly been asked to re-record Warfare music, play with name bands, produce etc etc, then I picked up my old rusty bass and took it to my friends studio Fred Purser, plugged it into one of his Marshall amps, turned it up to number 12, hit the first chord albeit a little rusty and shook the pens off the office desk, then it was back into my blood, let the Noise, Filth and Fury start.

I hadn’t a chance to check it out so can you say a few words about it? Does the album contain any surprises for your fans? 

The album although based on the first four Warfare albums is more relevant now than it was back then, the album is original, filthy and fucking loud and has many friends playing on it.

As far as I understand you recorded all instruments yourself. Did you try to get any of your ex-band mates involved or is it easier for you to do everything alone?  

I have had that many musicians playing with me over the years and I was always at the helm as Warfare was my concept, so I chose the musicians for this album very carefully.

There are some really cool guests on the album like Lips, Fast Eddie Clarke, Fred Purser and some others. Can you say a couple of words about their contribution? What did they bring to the album?  

Fast Eddie Clarke is synonymous with hard hitting metal anthems from the Motorhead days and put simply in my opinion he is the best fucking guitar player in the world, Lips is also very underrated and is fantastic guitar player, he plays on the song This Man Bleeds Hate and lifts the song to another dimension for me.

Some sources already included the album to the Warfare’s discography. So is it your solo album or do you view it as a continuation of Warfare?

Although it is labeled as a sole album it really is just a brand new Warfare album the first one for twenty five years.

What about live shows? Do you have any intention to play on stage or did you abandon this idea after that idea with Blitzallica show in Sheldon? Did the scene in UK become any better since that time? 

The UK for this kind of music fucking sucks and the main fan base for Warfare is in Europe and the United States and now in Russia so watch out you cunts.

You started your career as punk rocker playing in such bands like The Blood, Major Accident and Angelic Upstarts. Can you say a few words about your time with these bands?  Angelic Upstarts were very radical, for example. Did you share their ideology?  

The first three name bands that I played in were all very different and I treat them all as a stepping stone and kind of serving my apprenticeship in hard rock, but always wanted to be the front man in my own creation, which was Warfare, there are many references on the internet to Warfare and I have a facebook page which is Evo Evans which keeps all the fans up to date.

I guess you explained your decision to play heavy metal  in the beginning of the song “Death Charge” but was it just because of music or were you disappointed with the whole punk movement and its ethos?  

I have never been disappointed in punk or metal but I play it louder and faster than anybody in this genre.

Original line-up or Warfare included you, Gunner and Falken but some sources mention Bomber Z as well. Can you tell me about him? Did this guy really exist?

When I came back from London after leaving the Upstarts I recruited Falken and Gunner to my creation but had many members play in my creation over the years.  I have never heard of Bomber Z.

Was it natural for you to be a drummer and a singer in the same time? I heard that the guy Ged Wolf played drums at some of your live shows.  

Ged Wolf never played any live shows with Warfare and the only reason I became the singer was that I couldn’t find any fucker else to do it not in the same angry style as myself.

You signed a deal with Neat Records and stuck with it for 4 years. Did they support you as much they did with Venom? 

Although Warfare sold a lot of records obviously Venom sold more, the three main bands on the Neat label were Venom, Raven and Warfare, the support from Neat was very good but Venom had their own manager Eric Cooke who sadly passed away this year aged just 56.

In 1984 you released 2 singles with none-album tracks. Can you tell me a story behind the song “Burn Down The King’s Road”? Was it a kind of political statement? And who came up with idea to record Frankie Goes To Hollywood cover of “Two Tribes”? 

“Burn Down the Kings Road” was written when I was with The Blood and is a song that reflects my many walks around the city and the corruption of fashion designers like Vivienne Westwood, the idea behind “Two Tribe” was mine.

You also had some insane covers outside “Two Tribes”. One of them is your version of Robert Palmer’s song “Addicted To Love” but you changed it to “Addicted To Drugs”. Were there any troubles with Robert or his record company?

All the crazy ideas were mine, however “Addicted to Love” only made it to white label status as Robert Palmers record company put an injunction on it saying it was disgusting and completely over the top.

You had all the musicians from classic Venom’s line-up as guests on your first album “Pure Filth” and Algy Ward of Tank produced that record. Did it help to promote the band? How substantial was Algy’s contribution as a producer? Weren’t you bothering that press always compared you with Venom and Motorhead?

To be truthful before I signed to Neat Records I had never heard Venom so why people compare us is a total mystery, Motorhead on the other hand influenced all heavy metal bands and without Motorhead there wouldn’t be a scene.

What was your idea with such title like “Pure Filth”? Was it a kind of self-irony or did you try to offense as many people as possible? 

The title “Pure Filth” reflects the music contained in the album and if I offended people I couldn’t give a fuck.

As far as I know the band didn’t tour too much but once you mentioned that you played some gig in the States. Can you tell me more about it? What was a typical show of Warfare? 

A typical show was mayhem, anarchy, habitually spitting on the audience and throwing vats of pigs blood at many shows and it was a good job I was sponsored by Premier Drums as I set most of my kits on fire, all in a days work and a gleeful task.

Your second album “Metal Anarchy” was produced by Lemmy and Guy Bidmead. I heard you weren’t satisfied with their job. What was wrong with them?  

Lemmy was fantastic and I have never said I wasn’t satisfied. Lemmy did a fantastic job and the production still stands up today.  Guy Bidmead was only the engineer Lemmy did all the production.

I guess that the story with your performance from a lorry during Metallica’s show at “Hammersmith Odeon” happened around the time of “Metal Mayhem”. Can you tell me what exactly happened?  

Police chases, smashed cars, bloody noses, court cases, ear deafening fuckin mayhem, it was a wonderful day out and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Falken left the band after “Metal Anarchy” and I heard that you kicked him out because he felt in love and started to listen to softer kind of music. Do you still stay in touch with him? 

No I don’t stay in touch with him and I had many musicians in the creation including name musicians so I was in a position to hire and fire.

“Mayhem Fuckin’ Mayhem” got some good response (it got 96 out of 100 in Metal Forces). Would you agree that this album was your best from your first three records? This LP also has another connection to Venom as Cronos played half of bass lines on the album and was a producer. Can you compare him as a producer with Algy Ward, Lemmy and Keith Nichol with whom you used to work as well?

Cronos played all the bass on the third album. I can’t compare him to Lemmy or Algy because everyone has a different approach to production but I was really pleased with his input

How did you find the new bass player Zlaughter? Once you said that he is even better than Lemmy. What let you claim this? 

He was a very good bass player but looking back now it maybe was a misconception because obviously Lemmy is the best bass player in the world

On the next album “A Conflict Of Hatred” you decided to develop your style and add some new influences here and there like keyboards, saxophone and violin. What were the reasons of these changes? Was it because your ambitions (I hardly can imagine that it was done by label’s demand!) and will to prove that Warfare is something more than just a punkish metal band? By the way, does this album have a kind of concept? 

All the albums if you listen very carefully to the lyrics are all concepts in their own right, on each album I was trying different musical approaches so that I didn’t get bored with any same formula, eventually running out of ideas and then that was the death of Warfare until now.

You also done the video “A Concept Of Hatred” to promote the album and I heard it was filmed in some church. How did it become possible? Wasn’t that church destroyed by your powerful music? 

Of course the church was destroyed by the powerful music I told the authorities that we were a folk band and there was mass disapproval after the performance by most of the community which in turn sold shit loads of albums, which was my intention in the first place, the people who matter don’t mind and the people who mind don’t matter so fuck ‘em.

Your release “Hammer Horror” became the most ambitious project of Warfare in my opinion. Although it sounds a bit different and even opposite to your previous albums I really love it. I guess it sounds like a prototype of gothic metal which became popular later in 2000’s. But didn’t you want to put it out as your solo album or something else?

Looking back I maybe should have put it out as a solo album and I realize now that it was a forerunner as was Pure Filth as all my albums have been very original Night Wish for example were very influenced by Hammer Horror and have said so in many interviews also the early albums have influenced many bands over the years thus the new album was created because of demand.

Why did you re-record “Hammer Horror” with Fred Purser? What was wrong with the original recordings? 

We had a court case with Revolver Records which we won and the new record Silver Screen wanted the record badly and I thought I would beef it up and make it much more heavier, Algy’s contribution helped with this immensely and the second version if far superior.

“Hammer Horror” supposed to be a sound track for some horror movie. Did it really happen? Can you tell me a few words about this movie? 

The track Vlad the Impaler which I co wrote with Fred Purser was going to be a sound track to a movie of the same name but the company couldn’t get the finance to do the same and it took them years to gather this necessity and recently released the Woman in Black but at that point I had totally lost interest.

Before Warfare called it quit you released a live album “Deathcharge” and Algy Ward played on it. Why did Gunnar leave the band? And what was the reason behind you decision to take a break from playing music?

Algy Ward didn’t play on Deathcharge the guitarist JJ did.  As I have mentioned previously I got writers block and having played rock music from leaving school up to the age of 30 I just got completely tired with the scene and found the songs just wouldn’t come about  until now of course 25 years later, thus the brand new album Warfare.

Many people considered Warfare as a thrash metal band. Would you agree with them? What would you call as your main achievements with Warfare?  

The term thrash wasn’t invented when I formed Warfare as I have said I have influenced many many bands so the achievements speak for themselves until this day the Warfare records still sell very well, fans should check out the High Roller label www.hrrecords.de

Please say a few words for your Russian readers.

I would urge all the readers to buy physical copies of my brand new album, the songs will absolutely blow you away and melt your ugly faces as it is played with great passion and anger and played loud would make buildings crumble, it is available now on the High Roller Records label and can be ordered on line just check out Evo-Warfare and listen to the most aggressive album of 2017.

Konstantin,
June 2017