Terrorizer Speaks To Warfare’s Paul Evo

By on 19 September 2014

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Evo, the ex drummer/vocalist of North East England metal/punk legends Warfare, is putting on a gig in his hometown of Shildon in County Durham which will feature the likes of NWOBHM royalty Diamond Head and cult north east speed/thrash metallers Holosade (featuring ex-Sabbat guitarist Simon Jones) amongst others. I thought it would be a great opportunity to contact the man behind this night of metallic mayhem and find out more, as well as throw some obligatory Warfare questions his way and this is what he had to say:-

WORDS: Kat Gillham

Hi Evo, when did the initial idea for the Blitzallica gig come about? Had it been something you’d thought about doing for a while?
Evo: “I have already promoted sell out gigs at this venue with Wilko Johnson and Bruce Foxton from The Jam,and this is my first show in over three years and I wanted a crossover theme that suited most tastes of rock music.”

The festival is in Shildon, a small town in County Durham and your hometown, why did you decide to host this gig there and not in Newcastle for example, which might draw in more people due to it’s more accessible location?
Evo: “This is true,but this venue has to be seen to be believed, it has a really good acoustic, big stage but I’ve been all over the world and I like to bring a coup to my home town once in a while.”

You have managed to get NWOBHM legends Diamond Head (who were also a major influence on Metallica when they started) to headline the gig which is quite a coup and a big deal for such a small town, was it easy to convince them to come and play a small town like Shildon?
Evo: “Having a rich history in the Rock genre its kind of much easier to pick up the phone and say “it’s Evo”, I go directly to the bands most of whom I know, I cant stand fucking ego tripping agents with all their bullshit! I digress, yes it was easy to book the bands, and if the north east rockers support me and its a sell out I’m already talking to much bigger bands.”

What can people expect from the Diamond Head set in general? Do you know what the setlist will contain?
Evo: “The set will contain all the classics ‘AM I Evil’, ‘Helpless’ etc with Brian giving it full throttle.”

You also have local cult thrashers Holosade on the bill – what can we expect from their set? It’s quite a special one, playing their whole legendary ‘Hellhouse’ album if I am correct?
Evo: “Yes the singer and I go back fuckin’ years, we even were in the same band when we started playing as kids, and I produced the demo that got them a record deal. They’ll be playing ‘Hellhouse’ at great speed and intensity.”

Please tell us about the rest of the bands on the bill and what people can expect from the gig/night in general? What do you hope to achieve with Blitzallica?
Evo: “I always back a local charity and this time around its The Great North Air Ambulance. I’ ve got the bikers and angels number one favourite Dumpys Rusty Nuts doing their 1st and only north east show in almost ten years, they really rock out, reminds me of ZZ Top meets Motorhead at a bikers rally! Then there’ The Amourettes, an all female 3 piece who have just signed a major deal, they dish out handfuls of classic rock. Added to that The Side Project, a heavy noisy set of north east bruisers who kick out the jams like Arctic Monkeys with a good spoonful of Hawkwind .Old Corpse Road, fresh from their massive acclaimed Bloodstock Open Air performance, you’ll find them in St Johns graveyard before the gig, its haunted by railway creator Timothy Hackworth so god knows what they’ll bring back… I’ve also booked the loudest, most dangerous P.A. System in the whole country, its gonna be pushed up so much I’m hoping the windows will crack…FUCKIN AWSOME!!!”

How has the response/interest been so far from people regarding this gig, It’s not everyday you have a band like Diamond Head booked to play Shildon Civic Hall! Where can people buy tickets from for this gig? If it is a success will you make it an annual event?
Evo: “The response has been really good but people need to get their tickets bought ASAP. At my Last show with Wilko Johnson, people had to be turned away cos the place was oozing rock n roll sweat. You can get tickets direct from the Civic Hall every night by walking in or by post sending a SAE to SHILDON CIVIC HALL, CIVIC SQUARE, SHILDON, DL4 1AH. Make sure you make cheques payable to SHILDON TOWN COUNCIL, the civic phone no is 01388 772902 – ask to speak to the manager Paul.”

Why did you choose the name Blitzallica for the gig?
Evo:” It just came out in a dream one night so I got up had a brandy and wrote the fucker down,I think its gotta nice ring to it.”

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I can’t resist asking this question: you are a founding member of the legendary Warfare, were you not tempted to pull out a reunion of your own for this gig? Have you considered firing up a Warfare reunion, I’m sure there would be a lot of happy people out there if you did! Or is a Warfare reunion in general out of the question?
Evo: “If I did, which I wont, Warfare would be playing somewhere much bigger ie Wacken or Sweden Rocks etc. As I’ve said many times before there was a time, and its gone, I keep getting asked but always refuse. I’ve been approached to do a solo album, but really haven’t the time. However there is a double album coming out which will feature all the Warfare demos, these have never been heard before and include performances with Wurzel, Cronos, Algy etc and as bonus tracks a studio out take with me playing with The Blood along with a Blood rehearsal and my good self drumming with Tank on the demo ‘When All Hell Freeze Over’.

You have been active yourself musically in recent years doing a collaboration with Algy Ward (Tank), how did that come about? Please tell us a bit about this collaboration?
Evo: “We go back years and have been best friends since The Damned and Angelic Upstarts. I was approached by a long time Warfare nut who used to write to me every week, and lo and behold he phoned and said he was the boss of his own label Godreah, and would I reform a band to play on a split EP. Algy was coming up this way anyway to stay for a few days so we decided to do a follow up track to the one we did the year before (‘Know Your Product’) and demolish a Status Quo cover. The Godreah boss,who is also the singer for The Meads Of Asphodel, threw a cheque at us to keep us in curries and lager for quite some time, so the studio was booked and we blasted it out in true Evo/Algy mayhemic style, the punters loved it!”

Any other musical plans in the pipeline or are you mostly concentrating on gig promoting and other aspects of life and the music scene? I know you have veered off on different paths since the demise of Warfare in the early ’90s.
Evo: “I own and run my own very successful Travelling Fun Fair business and I put together corporate events, I’m not opposed to doing the odd bit of vocals or drumming for anyone, at the moment my focus is on Blitzallica and selling it out to absorb the noise with human flesh!!”

You have been involved in the music scene for over 30 years but still come across as very enthusiastic and extremely passionate about music and you still have that fire in your attitude, what has kept that musical passion burning in you over the years? You surely have encountered some musical ups and downs of your own over the years!
Evo: “I only have enthusiasm and passion for things that interest me, and so far I’ve followed my dreams to avoid the mundane bullshit… I have days when I don’t always have the fire and yes there have certainly been ups and downs. But nobody said it was gonna be easy and I try to give 110% and hopefully that has paid off, it’s A PASSION not just a FASHION.”

In relation to the Metallica / Blitzallica theme and having a passionate anarchic metal attitude, Warfare apparently got invited to support Metallica at the Hammersmith Odeon in the mid ’80s but something happened which resulted in Warfare turning up on the back of a truck playing an impromptu gig outside of the venue and some criminal damage/arrests ensued. Please tell us about this whole infamous story in your own words.
Evo: “FUCKIN’ ANARCHY…TOTAL ANARCHY… CARS SMASHED UP…NOSES BUST…POLICE EVERYWHERE….TRUCK WINDOWS PUT OUT..GOD IT WAS FUCKIN’ WONDERFUL!!”

Do you manage to keep tabs on the local heavy music scene here in the north east? Are there any significant differences you have noticed in the local scene between the ’80s when Warfare was at it’s peak musically to the modern time/age? The local heavy/ extreme music scene from my point of view seems to be the healthiest it’s been for years with plenty of new and young bands popping up across the region playing thrash, death, punk etc..
Evo: “I don’t really keep tabs on what’s happening, I never did as I was mostly working from London when I played professionally. I wish any band all the best, but man its fuckin’ hard to front your own band. Push, struggle and it’s not about the playing its about THE ATTITUDE so I hope some of them will push through and kick my arse. I still have the credit of recording and playing on the most albums for a north east metal/punk musician and I’ve been retired 20 years.”

What and who personally made you want to be pro active in the music scene in general and what advice have you got for aspiring musicians and gig promoters out there?
Evo: “Seeing The Ramones when I was a kid and not wanting to work 9 to 5, my advice is BELIEF IS ALL!”

Thank you very much for answering this short interview Evo, we here at Terrorizer wish you the best of luck with this gig! What are your last words for the readers?
Evo: “I’d love to see you all at my Blitzallica concert on the 25th of October, I promise you it will be the loudest rock event in the whole north east this year! Remember to get your tickets well in advance, they are on sale now from the Civic Hall, telephone 01388 772902….

About Kez Whelan

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