Breed 77: Letting Out The Evil Inside

“It would be perfect for us to tour the world with this album!” Breed 77 bassist Stuart Cavilla wants to give birth to The Evil Inside across the whole planet.

“I think all in all, it’s been worth it. The album is speaking for itself.”

Gibraltar-born metal band Breed 77 have finally released their sixth album, The Evil Inside. Originally pencilled in for a summer 2012 release but put back thanks to, among other things, signing a new record deal, it’s been a long wait to hear the full release from the London-based boys.

Bald-headed and hairy-faced bassist Stuart Cavilla is happy the wait has been worth it. It is, in truth, hard to argue with him. Besides being one of the nicest and funniest people in the world of metal, Cavilla is right that The Evil Inside has earned the glowing reviews.

A striking, stirring, staggering exhibition of Breed’s own brand of latino-influenced alternative metal, the cry from all corners is that this is possibly the band’s heaviest album yet. A fact Cavilla takes as a huge compliment. “It is heavy, it’s passionate,” he says. “We used some different tunings we haven’t used or not that much on our other albums. Some of the songs are more downtuned, but the vocals are more melodic on this one so it’s a good contrast.”

Written over a period of two years, the songs which would become The Evil Inside were funded through a PledgeMusic campaign, a concept we have all become familiar with: Fans are given a chance to buy special one-off items and in the same exchange chip away at the total allowing one of their favourite bands to record their latest album. It’s been done by musicians and bands like Flotsam and Jetsam, Ginger Wildheart (whose phenomenally successful fan-funding project for album 555% was awarded Classic Rock magazine’s 2012 Event Of The Year in their annual awards) and Apocalyptica; Is fan funding the way forward for bands?

“I don’t know,” Cavilla ponders. “The scene is changing so fast that by the time we come to do the next album God knows what we could do to do it! But for the moment it is the ideal way of doing albums. It definitely works. Initially when pledge got in contact with us we were a bit sceptical about doing it but after investigating it, it definitely is worth doing. It certainly made it easier for us to make the album.”

Laid back and friendly even in the grip of a stinking cold brought on most likely by the notoriously crap British springtime weather, Cavilla was still in good spirits. An “old dog” at this bass playing lark, he started after a school playground conversation with guitarist Danny Felice, Cavilla and his Breed brothers have been around for well over a decade now. Pessimists may suggest the band peaked early after the release of the superb second album Cultura when single The River went blinking into the mainstream UK Top 40 in 2004. But this would be doing the band a huge disservice.

Now six albums in with countless tours under their belt, Breed 77 has never really stopped and their fanbase has continued to grow. This strong bond between the band and its fans has not gone unnoticed. The pledge campaign gave them creative freedom, but it wouldn’t have happened without the fans.

“We went in to do the album, obviously the campaign hadn’t finished on it yet, but at least we knew that we were getting help from our fanbase finance-wise,” Cavilla says. “Because record labels these days don’t really give you any advances or anything to do albums, so in that sense the fans made it possible that we could record this next album. It’s a big debt we owe to them.”

Upon listening to The Evil Inside it seems obvious to these ears that it is the heaviest Breed 77 album yet. “Obviously it’s got the heaviness and I think what sent it back to what our fans are calling our more classic stuff I think Paul [Isola] is singing again, it’s not so growly, the vocals, on this one, it’s more melodic,” Cavilla says. But it was never a calculated risk. “They just came out like that. That's the way the album came out there was not really any plan of we’re going to make this heavier or more melodic. The Spainish guitars I guess are not that prominent on this one. They’re still there but it's just the way it came out, the way we were feeling at the time and the vibes we were getting when we were rehearsing and the writing process.”

Thanks to the straight forward heaviness and possibly because of the lessened effect of the Spanish guitars, some have already claimed this to be Breed 77’s most accessible album, but Stuart Cavilla is not so sure. “I don’t know. I mean, what’s the definition of accessible?! I think our most accessible album was In My Blood in the sense of the songs on there. But who am I to say that? I think it’s just for the fans to decide that. The heaviness and the melodic sense from the vocal maybe that makes it more accessible, which is always a good thing. It’s always better to have great melodies that people can hum along to rather than just downright raw heaviness for the sake of it. There’s always a right time for everything in it. It’s probably up to the people to decide.”

The Evil Inside is the first chance we have to hear drummer Andre Joyzi on an album proper, and he’s quite good. “He’s very good!” Cavilla states. “Really compliments me nicely because he’s got a slightly different style of playing music to our previous drummers, he’s more of a metalhead!”

Impossible to disagree when songs like 2Face pound the living daylights out of you thanks to Joyzi’s hammering attack. “Any rhythm section has to have a good relationship, it’s a must...we’re always watching out for each other [on stage]. Any drum thing he does and he wants me to compliment him with the bass or vice versa. We kind of throw things around with each other so we do work good together definitely.”

Coming off the back of a headline tour of the UK, the band relished the chance to spread their stage wings again. “It was great,” Cavilla says. “It was nice to be back out headlining, it’s been a while since we’ve been out on the road and able to present our full show which is always an hour plus...the last two tours, apart from an acoustic one, have been supporting...it felt good, we can’t wait for the next one.” We might not have to wait too long before they head out on the road again. “We’re looking at doing a few odds and sods before the summer, try and get to places we haven’t played...we’re going to try and book a full [UK] tour for the end of September.” Although, he adds, excited at the thought of playing further afield, “it would be perfect for us to tour the world with this album!”

The secret to a long working relationship within bands has never been found. A good starting point is for everyone in the band to pull in the same direction. “We sit down between the five of us and always come to an agreement on stuff. That’s why we’re a band at the end of the day, we always try to control our own destiny and artistic direction. It’s a must with us, we always insist on that.” Beyond that it’s really up to the band. Stuart Cavilla has an idea of what has made Breed 77 continue to thrive as The Evil Inside is birthed to the world: “it’s new songs, a new album, a new face for us. We love to keep it fresh...you always have to. I don’t think reinvent yourself is the right word but keep it fresh and try not to stagnate. It’s good for the persons [within the band]. I think that’s part of our longevity.”

The Evil Inside is available now.

 

Photo: Ester Segarra