Envenomed's Anthony Mavrikis on the unseen evils of being an unsigned band

MaF chats to the Melbourne thrashers about their new album.

Envenomed is a band that’s set to start making waves within the Australian scene. With their fantastic debut album Evil Unseen having recently been unleashed, the band has been gaining some traction as the eyes of the Australian metal media have turned on this melodic thrash four-piece from Melbourne. MaF got onto the phone with vocalist/guitarist Anthony Mavrikis to find out a bit more about what his band is all about.

I’d like to start off by asking you about the style of metal you play. Melodic thrash metal isn’t a kind of music many bands can claim to play. Where do you draw your influences from to craft this sound? "I’ve always been an old-school fan of NWOBHM bands, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Testament and that sort of stuff. I don’t really mind Slayer and Anthrax, but out of the Big 4 Megadeth and Metallica always had the more melodic stuff in there, so they were always my favourites. That style of metal is what I was really keen on growing up."

Evil Unseen is your debut album; can you tell us a bit about the making of it? "The majority of Evil Unseen was written over the last 5 years or so. It took so long because I put Envenomed onto the shelf for a while and went into Eye of the Enemy for a bit. We were crafting those five songs and then we wrote another five between Adam [Bartleson, Drums], Brendan [Farrigua, Guitars] and myself. Liam [Wagener] the bass player jumped on board after we had finished the album. All throughout last year we had the electronic drum kit set out in my bungalow along with practice amps and a dropbox account and did it all on programs where you can record drums, drum loops and record straight onto your computer. We just kept bouncing ideas off each other and putting stuff on the dropbox having a listen and refining things. That took the good part of the beginning of 2013 and about halfway through the year we started recording it. We recorded at home actually, we made a drum room and sound treated the place and tracked all the drums in the drummer’s garage. I set up a vocal booth and recorded in my bungalow out the back and tracked all the guitars at home on my computer and Brendan did the same with all of his lead guitar stuff. He actually tracked the bass on the album too. So we did it all ourselves."

Obviously, a debut album is a band’s first real chance to show the world what they’re all about. How did you want to present Envenomed on Evil Unseen? "I was hoping that it was right out there on our sleeves. It’s pretty balls out stuff but it’s got the melody there too.  We’ve got one of the tracks where I’ve got Christopher (Themelco) from Orpheus Omega doing the growly stuff but it’s for the most part pretty melodic vocals. I hope the world receives it as a catchy, heavy album that’s memorable for the most part. You can be the most technical band on the planet but if you can’t write a tune you’re not going to get anywhere without an album of well written songs. So yeah, I’m pretty proud of that."

Let’s talk about lyrics. What are some of the themes that colour the lyrics on the album? "It’s a bit of a mixed bag actually to tell you the truth. Some of the stuff on the album is just from personal experience, day to day life and stuff you feel going about every day. One of the songs on the album, The Shadowland, Brendan wrote all those lyrics after seeing the movie Insidious. It’s a horror flick about a guy who gets stuck in the spirit world. So, there was no specific influence behind all of the lyrics but three of the songs, Will of Man, Demonocracy and Global Deception have got this anti-authoritarian and government corruption feel about them. We felt that was the most common theme throughout the album, so that’s why we called it Evil Unseen. The evil men behind the curtain pulling the strings while everybody else was getting screwed [laughs]. That’s the concept between the cover and the title."

What’s the reaction to the album been like so far? "Yeah, really good. We’ve been getting reviews from all over the world and the film clip we’ve done for one of our song has been getting a steady stream of plays up on Youtube and we’ve been getting orders for physical copies from places as far off as Brazil and Spain and other parts of Europe as well as the US. So yeah, it’s coming along great."

As an unsigned band, what have you found to be the best ways to get your name out there? "Your social media is always going to be your bread and butter. Twitter I hear is a lot better than Facebook these days, after Facebook changed their rules when they started making money and getting paid for posts and all of your posts didn’t go to your whole friends list. I hear Twitter’s got a much broader range when you put up a post, it hits everybody on your list so I’d say that’s a little bit better than wasting your time on Facebook these days." 

What are your plans for the near future? "We’ve got a gig on September 20th, we’re playing at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood with Eye of the Enemy, In Malice’s Wake and Cryptic Abyss. After that on October 11th is the next booked one and we’re doing that with Dead City Ruins and Harlott at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne. We’ve actually got a date for November 1st booked in Brisbane, but I haven’t gotten the venue or the bands we’re playing with confirmed yet so can’t tell you that. So yeah, they’re the next couple coming up."

Where can people find your stuff? "You can find us on Facebook, which is https://www.facebook.com/EnvenomedOfficial?fref=ts ,we’re just about to launch a website at www.Envenomed.com, which is looking really good we’ve got everything sewn up nicely. That’ll be up in the next week or so and it’ll have links to download our music as well as an online store where you can get t-shirts, our old EP and the CD and all the rest of it. Those are the best places to find us."

Anything else you’d like to say to the readers while you have the chance? "Well, what can I say? “Stay metal gang!” [laughs]. Quite honestly though, the Australian scene, especially in Melbourne is looking really, really healthy and it’s fucking great. It’s almost like the 80s’ again in the 2010’s."