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Evildead's Phil Flores: "I believe that there is only one race, and that is the human race. I think everyone should be treated equally and give and earn respect"

Interview with Phil Flores from Evildead
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 12 October 2020, 1:46 PM

It would appear that the collective memory is either flawed or simply there is a mutual decision to ignore what is going on around us. Whether it is world leaders, corruption or the relations between mankind and its environment, actions are made because it looks good, photographed good either than being a necessity. Returning after decades of studio silence, the US Thrash Metal exports, Evildead, return to the scene and as it turns out, barely anything changed. Due to the release of their new album, “United States Of Anarchy”, there is the pessimistic lookout, yet also with enough room for hope. Steinmetal talked to vocalist Phil Flores about getting back at it, the writing of new material, signing with an old partner, a little philosophy and more…

Hello Phil, it is an immense honor to have you for this interview for Metal Temple online Magazine, how have you been doing in these rather challenging times?

I think like most everyone else in the world I am eager to get back to a normal way of life. But overall I am good thanks.

With Evildead being back, which I hope will be for a full tenure without any stop signs, I would like to know from you personally, what paved the road for your return to the band earlier on? Any particular reason why you didn’t make a comeback with the band back in the reunion shows last decade?

I think what sparked my return back to the band was a birthday party for our drummer Rob Alaniz a few years back where I came down and did a few songs with the guys. It felt really good and kinda got the ball rolling for our reunion. After the complete break up of EvilDead in the early nineties I had joined a band called Killingfield, and did a, indie recording and a small U.S. tour before the birth of my daughter 2001 when I became a full time dad and left it all behind to raise my beautiful amazing daughter. I am happy to say she has turned into an independent little woman and inspire me every day.

What would you say motivated the band to write fresh material for a new release? When did you guys know that it was the right time to do so?

I think the motivation to write new music is always there, but what really got us fired up was the overwhelming love and support we got at the live shows it was like we never left the scene. Just awesome fans both new and old.

Even though it is quite obvious, yet I have to ask, how did it feel to record a full length album with Evildead once again? Did the process have the same excitement as back in the band’s earlier days?

It felt great to be back in the studio with the guys and the great Bill Metoyer. It was a cool experience, unfortunately when the pandemic hit it delayed a lot of tracking and work we needed to do because everyone had to take care of their families and figure out how we could finish this record but we got it done and we’re happy with it.

After years of not being part of the label, you came back to Steamhammer Records for the release of your comeback album, “United States Of Anarchy”. How did it feel with the same label that hosted your two classic albums? Have you stayed in touch with the Steamhammer people all these years?

I think Juan has always kept great relationships with people in the industry. We had a few other offers and interest, but the guys at SPV gave us the best deal and it is great to get that support and promotion overseas that you might not get with an U.S. label.

Reflecting pretty much of what has been happening in the US in the last couple of years, perhaps even since 2016 when Trump’s administration rose to power, “United States Of Anarchy”s right there on the spot. In light of the rather aggressive approach, what do you see within the American society that others don’t, or simply don’t care?

I see and surround myself with a lot of good people in society. Unfortunately, I think the biggest problem with society is the influence of the bias corrupt media they cause a lot of division and hate and have fueled most of the turmoil you see in our counrty.

Since “United States Of Anarchy” pretty much charges everything that has been ailing within social order in America, whether politics, religion and belief etc., I wonder, what do you believe in?

I believe that there is only one race, and that is the human race. I think everyone should be treated equally and give and earn respect. I am a proud American but I am not happy with the current climate of my country.

Other than the rather excessive in your face attitude of showing the main issues to the listeners, what in your view are the solutions to all this gigantic mess that the American folk are in?

I don’t want to come off as a pessimist, but I don't think there is a solution. We need a miracle. There is far too much greed, corruption, hate and evil along with over population in this world to be conquered by anything. But I hope I am wrong.

Ever since I listened to your debut, “Annihilation of Civilization”, crossing your sophomore, that joint force, well blend of Thrash Metal with Hardcore, which in that time became strong the US, has become a favorite. “United States Of Anarchy” may as well be a continuation of that wave, however, in your view, would you say that Evildead remained true to its past or rather this new record has several elements that are fairly new?

I think this record has definitely got overtones and influences from our previous stuff, but it captures the sound and vibe we were looking for. We definitely didn’t stray too far from our roots.

The direct form of the songwriting is the album’s most powerful aspect, converged with the lyrical concepts; it is a total bashing party. What would you say challenged you while the songwriting process was taking place? Have you thought perhaps of other ways to channel the songs’ anger through the music?

I myself didn't face any challenges writing lyrics for this record.  And I can't speak for the rest of the guys about writing the music, but I know they put a lot of heart and effort into it and we are our own biggest critics.

“Word Of God”, at least from what I could tell, is a short story told by God himself and how he actually sees his beloved creation mankind. What is your appreciation of this track both musically and lyrically? How were you able to connect the dots between the furies of God, as it can be noticed to the skull bashing music?

You definitely got the message of the song correct.  However, I can't take credit for the lyrics to the song; lyrics to this track were written by Bob Rangel (co-writer friend of the band) who contributed to this album.

“Blasphemy Divine”, yet another sort of an anti-religious tune, was originally recorded back in 2011, with the band’s ex-vocalist. How did it feel to re-record the vocals? How would you say you captured the essence of the song vocally through your version?

This is not an anti-religious song, this is a song speaking of the corruption in religion and the terrible molestation of altar boys and the corrupt evangelist taking advantage of the elderly and things of that nature. We are not anti-religion at all. As for re-recording the track Steve Nelson did an excellent job on the original, and I just went in and belted it out with his version in mind.

“Greenhouse” is where Evildead shows its worries and trouble in regards to the environment. Whether it was in the late 80s or in the present, do you feel that anything changed in the attitude of the leaders towards the could be a massive global catastrophe?

Ironic and interesting question since we actually wrote this song in the late eighties and it never made it on to the first two records And here we are 30 some years later, and nothing has changed; the lyrics of the song still apply today. No matter what side of climate change you stand on, the government is always telling us every decade that we are going to die if we don't change this or that. So we hope everyone is conscious and does their part.

Furthermore, musically, this song has twists and turns, bringing in additional Hardcore features to the Thrash emblem of the band. What is your take on that? Would you say that Evildead has been keeping the balance?

We just start creating whatever comes natural if it is labeled as thrash that's fine. We are all metal heads at heart but fans of all types of music also.

Along with the mentioned tracks, which of the songs in question became a totem for you? The ones that you believe made a difference? Please elaborate on your picks

I love the aggressive riffing of “Word of God” and “Greenhouse” I think those songs represent us well, I could hear those song being played on the radio, or in a club, and having some subtle head banging and air guitarring going on.

I am positive that you had various plans to go live, yet without the ability to do so, there are there other ways. One of them is going live on stream. What is your opinion about this whole phenomenon? Is it worth doing so in order to keep in touch with the fans?

We are dying to go out and play live like every other band in the world I'm sure. Streaming music is definitely in the works right now; we just want it to be worthy and something that the fans will enjoy but keep an eye out for the official release on 30-October 2020.

Phil, it was a great honor sir, thank you for your time for this interview. You made some strong points on the new album, and along with the bashing music, it is close to being divine. Cheers sir.

It was my pleasure thank you for your interests and support It is greatly appreciated. CHEERS!


 



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