Bassist Wilkie Robinson and guitarist Josh Baines breakdown the band’s evolving sound, their hands-on approach to everything, and how their third album is generating comparisons to legends like Pantera.
The return of the award-winning podcast in The Downbeat with Stray from the Path drummer Craig Reynolds makes it’s return to Knotfest.com and for the first show back in following a pause due to touring, Reynolds welcomes Sheffield’s very own, Malevolence.
Speaking with bassist Wilkie Robinson and guitarist Josh Baines, Reynolds tries to get a handle on the timeline of the band and recalls how 2013 was not only when they all played some shows together, but it was also when Malevolence first kicked a hold in the scene with Reign of Suffering.
Speaking rather candidly, Wilkie and Josh explained that they likely waited too long to record a follow up, losing out on the momentum of that first record. In fact, in 2017, when the band finally opted to record again and release Self Supremacy, they did so with zero label interest, zero management and completely on their own.
Rather than play the victim however, Wilkie and Josh explained that striking out on their own really gave the band a better perspective of the business of being a band. Championed for their DIY ethos and now diligent work ethic, the band would go onto release an EP in 2020 and began the process for their third, pending full length Malicious Intent on their own. Malevolence began filming music videos and financing the album themselves before eventually signing with Nuclear Blast Records for the highly-anticipated release.
The guys spoke about their current touring itinerary that pairs Malevolence with two of the UK’s biggest names at the moment, supporting Sleep Token and arena headliners Architects. They talked about how incredible the tour has been, how receptive the fans have been and how Architects have been able to arrange so that Malevolence isn’t going on too early, to capitalize on playing in front of and smashing more bodies during their set.
The conversation dissected the workload of the guys as well, detailing how Josh handles a hefty portion of the songwriting for the band. The ongoing joke about no one caring about the bassist was turned on it’s head as the guys also discussed how Wilkie’s role as the man behind the band’s especially strong merch game. He confided that on a day where the band sells a ton of merch, there is a rush he gets from that kind of run.
The conversation then turned back to the new album, Malicious Intent and how unique Malevolence is in the current landscape of heavy music. Drawing comparisons from Reynolds to 90’s era Machinehead and Pantera, the guys spoke about adding song dynamics, clean vocals, and stylistic variety to the album to ensure they didn’t make 12 of the same songs. While they professed their love for the heavy stuff in the way of beatdown and blast beats, both Josh and Wilkie explained referenced an artist like Drake in that he makes an album with all types of songs for the sake of not repeating himself. Malevolence embraces that same approach.
The episode touches on the band’s touring plans that include a run in the U.S. with The Acacia Strain (The last time Malevolence was in the United States was in 2016 with Kublai Khan TX and Jesus Piece), the band’s thriving online store in MLVLTD, and how their dream festival would include headlining performances from Monsters of Rock in Moscow-era Pantera and Drake performing at the after party.
Stream the complete episode of The Downbeat with host Craig Reynolds featuring Wilkie Robinson and Josh Baines of Malevolence below.