2014 in Review: Evil Eye's Pete Saunders - "PLEASE, if you like a band and you would like independent music to survive, you must support them financially"

The Brisbane outfit made a quite a few waves this year...

Welcome to Metal as Fuck, and thanks for taking part in our review of 2014! Please be so kind as to let us know who you are and what you do. "Pete Saunders, Evil Eye, founder, guitarist, song writer".

Good to have you involved! Has it been a good year for the band? What have you spent the year doing? "It’s been a great year, supporting bands like Bound for Ruin, and touring with The Black Swamp, playing Metal Heart Festival 2 at Brisbane’s premier venue The Tivoli, recording and releasing our debut self titled EP, hitting a high of #2 on the national reverb nation metal charts behind the mighty King Parrot and sitting consistently on the #1 spot for Brisbane. In our first year as a band we’ve made a big stamp on the scene locally and we’re seeing some great support from down South as well".  

Busy, busy busy! When you look back on 2014 personally, what things stand out for you as highs and lows? "Having the opportunity to play at a venue like The Tivoli was a great experience so early on. The positive response we’ve had for the EP has been overwhelming. The only lows would be the costs associated with trying to promote our music as an independent act".  

And how was 2014 for you musically, aside from any projects you’re involved in? "Musically it’s been fantastic. Our sound has matured and we’ve developed a tight and reliable roadworthy set. Equipment upgrades have meant we now feel we have a live sound to match and rival any international metal act. Toot toot!"  

And what about outside of the world of Evil Eye? Best album(s) of the year? "Some GREAT albums this year. Exit Wounds by The Haunted is a real standout and return to form. Hopefully they tour and we get a look in for support!  Carcass, At The Gates, Mastodon!  So many fantastic releases this year".

We’re not going to ask for your worst album of the year, as people always say they try and stay away from bad music, but did you feel disappointed by any album that came out this year that you were looking forward to? "Machine Head was perhaps a little disappointing".

I like the album, but it doesn't seem to have had the impact of it's predecessor. Back to Evil Eye - What does 2015 hold in store for the band? "We will finish touting this EP with a few more shows, perhaps a trip down to Melbourne and Bendigo early in the year. Then we will take a break and finish writing our first full length LP and hopefully release by the end of the year. The release will likely be a digital release and a limited press vinyl only".

On a wider note, how healthy do you think the extreme music scene is where you are from, looking towards 2015? Any bands we should be looking out for next year that we might not already know about? "There are some great bands around at the moment in Brisbane, the scene is developing and there is an expectation to produce songs and a sound that can compete on an international stage.  If you can’t then step aside".

Fighting talk! Now, to more broad matters; the last couple of years have seen almost every band from the eighties and nineties that were even half decent (and many not even that good) reforming for another go at stardom. Is this a reflection on the state of the music industry as it stands, with labels unable or unwilling to nurture young talent and punters forced into going out and watching something more tried and trusted? Or is it simply a reflection on the laziness of those same punters who’d rather watch a bunch of old blokes performing in their own tribute acts rather than risking a tenner on new music? "I think it’s probably more likely the fact that no one is buying music anymore and that bands from that era who were semi-retired and living happily off sales and royalties now have to work for their supper. It’s bad in a way because these poor guys must now tour endlessly to make a living or go broke, but it’s great for punters because we get to see our favourite bands from that era repeatedly touring".  

Is there anyone who hasn’t reformed that you might like a sneaky look at should they get back together? "I never had a chance to catch At the Drive In live. Apparently they were one of the greatest live shows around. It would be good to be able to judge that for myself".

And talking of old farts for a bit longer – what did you make of the U2/Apple business? Great piece of marketing or appalling imposition on individual privacy? "It’s a great piece of marketing either way you look at it.  If any band could manage to do that themselves I’m sure they wouldn’t knock back the chance to FORCE everyone to listen to their music, regardless of how god-awful it is".

Important lifestyle question – vinyl, cd or mp3? "Vinyl. No question.  CD’s are dying, no one buys them. They are disposable and I have hundreds of them I never listen to. NO mp3’s!  I use a wireless DAC (digital to analogue converter) streaming from my laptop direct to my enormous stereo from Spotify.  But more often than not, if I don’t have it on vinyl I probably won’t listen to it at home".

Anything else you’d like to bring to the attention of the MaF readership? "All I can say is PLEASE, if you like a band and you would like independent music to survive, you must support them financially. Don’t be a tight arse. You probably spend $100 or more on alcohol at a gig, buy the band’s merch. It’s the ONLY way they can recoup’ the massive personal financial outlay to produce records. If you want a band to make music for your listening pleasure, pay for it, buy their CD’s, buy their tshirt at their shows, get on bandcamp and search for them so you can buy their product.  If punters don’t get over this whole expectation that music should be free then GOOD music, independent metal, alternative music, will all eventually disappear and only mainstream, commercially viable, mass produced, offensive tripe will survive.   Support local.  Support your favourite bands".