Interview: Evil Scarecrow

Interview: Paul Klotschkow
Tuesday 09 April 2013
reading time: min, words

It’s often a good thing to not take your work too seriously. But Nottingham’s Evil Scarecrow take their unique brand of heavy metal parody to Pythonesque proportions. Dr Rabid Hell (guitar and vocals) and  (guitars) go through their dirty laundry in public...

How did the band get together?

Dr Rabid Hell: Brother Pain and I were in another band called Thor’s Children, who were the best Thor-based band to ever exist. We wore fake beards and helmets... sorry, real beards and helmets. We were genuine vikings. We then bullied some other people to start a new band with us. They’ve all gone, we now have new people.

Why have you been through so many different band members?
DRH: We are just horrible people. 

Brother Dimitri Pain: It’s only been about five or six...

DRH: There were a few at the start like Hymen The UnBreakable. Frenzy, he left because he didn’t like driving and liked World of Warcraft. Nemesis left because he was scared. Bongo went to live in the jungle and grow a beard.

You call yourself a “parody metal band”. Are you worried about not being taken seriously as an actual band?
BDP: I lose a lot of sleep at night over it.

DRH: We used to call ourselves “comedy black metal opera,” but that was perhaps a little bit too weird. I don’t even think we are parody. We are more like “just have a laugh metal.”

BDP: The thing is, everyone else who is in a band and takes themselves too seriously is doing it wrong. Every band should be like us.

There is a lot about the metal genre that is quite easy to sendup and spoof...
DRH: Any genre is easy to take the mick out of. But people who are into metal just have a better sense of humour than ‘normal’ people. Possibly.

How well do you go down on bills with bands who are taking it more ‘seriously’?
DRH: I don’t think we ever get a bad reaction. Even when people are there to see a serious prog band, at least we get them in a jolly mood beforehand. But more often than not we are top of the bill nowadays.

BDP: Sometimes you get bands and they are playing awesome music, blazing all over the fretboard and doing all kinds of crazy stuff. You look at them and think, “we are going to go on in a minute to just jump around and wave our hands.”

DRH: Because we are taking the mick out of ourselves, it’s fine. It’s more difficult when there are other comedy bands as it’s like, “how do we stand out from this?” Then we have to rely on being comedy and good. 

Where did the idea of dressing up come from?
BDP: We had a transitional band called Scream Badger and Dr Rabid Hell didn’t want to be known by his real persona so he had to wear a costume. It’s easier to have a costume. You don’t have to worry about looking cool or not.

How gross do your costumes get after a show?

DRH: Beyond anything you have ever smelt. It’s completely disgusting. When we got our costumes out of the bag once, Brother Pain said that they smelt like dead things. Happily
Princess Luxury does the laundry.

BDP: It’s good that the girl in the band does the cleaning.

DRH: They were going mouldy.

BDP: The worst thing is when I’m playing guitar and he’s stood next to me sweating and I accidently brush up against him. Urgh.

DRH: In the same respect, if Brother Pain has been for a curry, his bottom is saying lots of hellos.

There’s a great metal heritage in Nottingham, but it often gets overlooked in the local press. Why would this be?
DRH: Well, we are correcting that right now, aren’t we? That’s like a proper intelligent question, we don’t usually get those, it’s normally, “Who makes your costumes?”

BDP: It’s weird because Nottingham has a great music scene, and I’m sure everyone who lives in Nottingham thinks the same thing. Since Jake Bugg was Number One for a bit everyone is
like, “Oh yeah, Nottingham, it’s a bit of an unknown city.” No, it’s not an unknown city, it’s great.

At your shows you get hundreds, even thousands, of people through the doors with very little press. What is it about the metal community then?
DRH: I think they are very loyal. Rob Zombie, or someone, said you never just get a Slayer fan for the summer, which is true. People who get into metal stay and follow it. It has a much more
loyal fanbase than a lot of other genres.

It’s a lifestyle thing as well...
DRH: It’s got its own subculture. This interview has become very serious. Usually we just get our pants out - I feel like we should rein it back and become more ludicrous.

BDP: Most people who are into metal are also into murder and drugs.

DRH: We like killing goats in our spare time. With that you have to stick together because you can’t just do it out in the open. 

Okay, silly question. What’s the most evil thing you’ve ever done?
DRH: Silly question, serious answer. We are not very evil as a band.

BDP: I’m trying to think of evil things that I’ve done...

DRH: You had a wank behind the counter at Oldrids where you used to work, didn’t you?

BDP: I can’t show this to my mum now.

How did you get the idea for starting up your own festival, Damaged Stock?
DRH: We’ve played with so many bands that we like and they would often ask us if they could play with us in Nottingham. But it was always very difficult as we don’t often play our hometown, maybe only once a year. For us to say that they could play a gig with us, it would take about twenty or thirty years to put them all on, so that was the real reason behind starting it.

How hard is it to put an event like Damaged Stock together?
DRH: If you ask us now, it’s horrible. We are never doing it again. But by the end of it when we are all drunk, it’s like, “yeah, that was good, let’s do it again.” The footfall through the door surprises us and makes a massive difference. If we did it and only twelve people turned up, it would make us feel that we were wasting our time.

You are literally hands-on with the event even during the day...
DRH: Craven DJs throughout the day, and myself and Brother Pain stage manage, handing out wristbands and even working on the door. It’s a whole Evil Scare-crew event.

What have you learnt from being in the band?
BDP: What I’ve learnt, and this applies to everything in life, is that if you want anything you have got to work really hard for it to be just about enjoyable. Sometimes it’s awful, then you have a
great gig and you forget all about the rubbish stuff.

DRH: I’ve learnt that after one gig my costume needs to be washed.

Damaged Stock, the charity heavy metal all-dayer, takes place at Rock City on Saturday 13 April 2013.

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