It’s been quite a year so far for Sheffield’s finest Malevolence. An extensive European tour under their belt, culminating in a triumphant appearance at Belgium’s Ieper Fest, along with the release of their latest album “Self Supremacy.” It’s a good time to be in Malevolence. We caught up with vocalist Alex Taylor to find out just how good.
Interview by Chris Andrews
MM: Your new album “Self Supremacy” is out now. How do you think it differs from your previous work?
AT: If you’re looking for the next chapter of Malevolence, this is it. It’s a more mature sounding album and builds on what Malevolence does best, not sticking to trends and is us writing the metal that we want to here. We worked a lot harder on the lyrical content on this album as well as the delivery. We wrote Reign of Suffering 5 years ago now and I think it’s clear to see how the band has developed and matured on Self Supremacy. We also thought a lot more about the delivery of the vocals too, bringing Konan’s cleaner vocals in more and experimenting with melodies and different ideas.
MM: You did a video for the track “Slave to Satisfaction”, which paints a pretty bleak picture of the U.K. What was the inspiration behind that?
AT: This was our first video for the new album and I wanted to create something visually gripping but also something different from every other music video. The song is about vice and its effects so it felt right that we portrayed this in the video.
MM: I gather the video was directed by you. Is this your first work as a director and is that something you might pursue in the future?
AT: I’ve never really given it much thought to be honest, but I really enjoyed it so I wouldn’t mind doing it again! I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted in the video before we started filming and how I wanted it to look but it wasn’t until we started filming it that we could get a proper idea of how it would piece together. There is an underlying story throughout the video and I didn’t want to make too obvious, but the general idea is that the bag is robbed from the dealer’s house, the contents sold on and passed around the estate, and the same bag is brought back to us full of cash, and then the cycle repeats.
MM: You’ve clearly got both metal and hardcore influences in your sound. What came first-what was the first album that really got you in to heavy music?
AT: Malevolence have always been, and will always be, a metal band in my eyes. We do definitely draw from hardcore influences on the mosh parts and I suppose we approach our live shows with the same stage presence a hardcore band might have, but we’ve always just done what we wanted to do. When I joined Malevolence, they were playing melodeath with hardly any breakdowns, which is cool but a bit boring live!
The first album that got in me into heavy music was probably Hybrid Theory, the album had a resounding effect on me and made me want to join a band. It’s a timeless classic that gets plenty of air time in the van to this day.
MM: Who are your biggest influences as a vocalist?
AT: That’s a tough one, probably Jamey Jasta in terms of content of lyrics. Everyone knows Hatebreed have the best lyrics and the delivery is solid.
MM: In recent years there seems to be an uprising of crossover influenced bands in the U.K scene. Why do you think that is?
AT: I think people are realizing that to be different, the bridges between genres have to be crossed sometimes. If you’re one of those bands that can sit back and churn out the same shit year in year out then cool good for you, but to me the best bands will draw influence from every aspect of heavy music and mix it up. That’s what we’ve always been about.
MM:-You guys are from Sheffield. I remember going to some pretty good hardcore gigs there in the mid 90’s.Whats the scene like there these days?
AT: Sheffield in terms of local bands is pretty good! We have some good local talent, Rough Justice being the one name that stands out. We have some cool DIY venues as well as larger venues. The problem with Sheffield is the location. Because we are in between Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham, national tours will often skip Sheffield and go to one of them places. So it still has room to grow, I’d like to see more heavy bands coming out! Outside of the heavy music spectrum, its one of the most musically diverse cities in the north, people are making moves in their own lines everywhere and it’s great to see!
MM: Tell us about Malevolence’s best /craziest ever show?
AT: We have had too many to pick one individual show, pretty much any home town show is always mental! One that stands out recently though was Resurrection Festival in Spain. Thousands of kids, all singing along, HUGE circle pit and all in the boiling sunshine! I love playing Spain, it’s always madness!
MM: What are your plans after this European tour? What does the rest of 2017 have in store for Malevolence?
AT: We are working on our touring schedule for 2018 at the moment; we may even do a short run at the end of the year. We also plan to hit festival season hard next year. Other than that I want to see the rest of the world, we are discussing ideas for Australia, Asia, America as well as Europe so keep your eyes peeled, we’ll be fucking up a stage near you soon!
Self-Supremacy is out now