Interview by Rusty Conner
Photos by Crystal Conner
Live Video by Derek Norman
From the ashes of San Antonio based industrial Metal act, Pitbull Daycare, rise a Metal band that blur the boundaries between old and new, Evil United. This five piece feature some great talent from bands such as; Pitbull Daycare, Riot, Broken Teeth, Watchtower, and S.A. Slayer. Evil United are on a mission to bring the spirit of the traditional Metal scene from Britain to a new generation by blending it with the new vibe of modern American Metal…admirable aspirations. Lone Star Metal, by print time, will have had the honor of hosting this juggernaut for their first performance at the 2011 Austin showcase in February at The Dirty Dog Bar. Editor, Rusty Conner, had a chance to pick founding member, bassist Don Van Stavern’s (DVS), brain on the creation of the band and its future.
LSM: How long has this band been in the works?
DVS: “A couple years actually. After our former band, PB/DC [Pitbull Daycare], called it quits, we decided to go back to our Metal roots and start writing and recording music that we grew up on and loved to play. What started off as a ‘few’ song demo project enviably turned into a full fledged band. I think Jason McMaster had a lot to do with that. Once he laid the vocals, the songs started to take shape and we kind of felt like we might be onto something here. Myself and TC knew he was the only choice for the vocal position, and since I had been a long time friend and worked with Jason back in the day, I gave him a call and he was down. We didn’t call or consider anyone else. We knew he was the missing ‘evil’ link”
DVS: “We’re trying to capture and bring the old “NWOBHM” (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) feel to the modern day metal. We tried to combine elements of old school metal like Slayer and Mercyful Fate and new stuff like AX7, Lamb of God and so forth, and not sacrifice the integrity of the music for commercial purpose. Texas has always flown the Heavy Metal flag. Myself and Jason McMaster were a part of the Texas wave being in Watchtower and the Texas [S.A.] Slayer, so its important for us to bring something relative and great to the scene. There’s still a hand full of metal bands out there…some good, some not so, but after 20 years we decided to finally work together and feel we have something that represents what Texas Metal is hungering for and hopefully were flying the flag.”
LSM: How does your roster’s past experiences and musical entities shape the sound of the band?
LSM: You officially released two songs through your websites. Break down the song, “Dawn of Armageddon” both musically and lyrically.
Jason: “’D.O.A’ deals with war breeding to the youth, and the youth not having a job so they join, learn to kill, and teach sons and daughters religious beliefs with clouded reasoning. It’s all a bit fantastic, as well as a song about the world selling fear. Yes, true terrorism and world news being bought and sold and believed by the world. I can also say, this is just a fun heavy metal song about war death and evil.”
LSM: You also have a Thin Lizzy cover of the song, “Massacre.” What does this song represent for the band?
DVS: “Were all fans of Thin Lizzy to start, but actually we had been doing an ‘early metal tunes’ cover project with our bro’ Dave McClain from Machine Head. [We] had recorded several songs like ‘Fast as a Shark,’ ’22 Acacia Ave,’ ‘Bastille Day,’ ‘Atomic Punk,’ ‘Rocket Ride’ and ‘Massacre’ to name a few. We liked the way it came out, and thought we would put it on our CD. I also thought ‘…Shark’ was a good one, and don’t be surprised if it shows up somewhere in the near future with Dave on drums!”
LSM: When can we expect a CD from you guys?
DVS: “Hopefully, it will be out when you’re reading this! We finished up the last stages of mastering, and Tony Jungweber, a friend of Jason’s and a great artist from Austin, is currently finishing up the artwork and graphics at this time of writing. Bryan Scott, gold record producer and Union Underground front-man, mixed and produced the CD. We will initially do a first run press on our own until we get a label to possibly pick it up, we’ve been talking to a few already.” [The disc is currently available through the band’s website http://www.evilunitedmusic.com/]
LSM: What are some other immediate goals for the band?
DVS: “Obviously we would like to move forward. Myself and Jason have commitments with Broken Teeth and Riot, but would like to see Evil United blossom into a contender in the metal field. Maybe after someone picks it up, some tours and European festivals would follow, they’ve already shown interest and contacted me, they really dig our music and this kind of music is still really big over there.”
LSM:What can we expect from Evil United on the stage?
DVS: “Loud, fast, headbanging, face melting metal! Lots of Marshall stacks and smoke in true metal fashion! Actually, we would like to deliver to the people a great metal performance and bring back that camaraderie and support that we had back in the early metal scene, and once again reclaim the title of the Heavy Metal Capitol of the World! We will performing songs from our debut release and maybe a couple of song surprises as well. You will definitely see five guys giving it their all, and making sure everyone in attendance leaves with a sore neck.”
LSM: Last comments…
DVS: “Evil United represent what people expect from the Lone Star state! Pantera, Rigor Mortis, The Sword, Watchtower, S.A. Slayer, Helstar and Drowning Pool just to name a few examples and now…We are Evil United! All Hail (or maybe Hell) the Lone Star state!”