How A Facebook Group Helped Crowdfund Against Evil’s Europe Debut
The Visakhapatnam metal band will play 18 shows in Germany, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland
When Visakhapatnam heavy metal band Against Evil released their first full-length album All Hail the King last year, they got a decent response in India, but the rest of the world was just starting to pick up on it.
Whether it was aspects like the fist-pumping old-school yet polished sonic approach or star collaborations like guitar ace Jeff Loomis performing on “Sentenced To Death,” the band is not entirely sure. Their 2015 debut EP Fatal Assault, released via Transcending Obscurity, was modestly received in Europe, but guitarist Shasank Venkat says All Hail the King was received very well, leading to distribution deals with record labels in Brazil (Nomade) and Switzerland (Flat Disc, Doc Gator). Venkat recalls that Doc Gator even released All Hail the King on vinyl, which led to demand increasing “hundred fold.” He adds, “That’s when the big question started, ‘We like this music, when are we going to hear these songs live?’”
After a year of planning around one festival date in Germany, Against Evil will kick off their debut European sojourn – the Sentenced To Death tour across 16 cities in Germany, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland – on August 2nd. They even have an acoustic show, all put together by Doc Gator’s C.E.O. Oliver Rix. Their record label head added the members of Against Evil to a private Facebook group called Heavy Metal Fans, with over 4,000 members based mostly in and around Germany. Venkat recalls, “Oliver shared our music and said, ‘The boys from India want to perform in Europe. How many of you are ready? Give me a hell yeah!’ We got over a thousand ‘Hell yeahs’.”
Watch the video for “Sentenced to Death” ft Jeff Loomis below.
Handling all the accounts and planning expenses for travel to and within Europe, Rix and friends in the Heavy Metal Fans group crowdfunded over thousands of Euros to ensure Against Evil had their flight cost covered, plus rent for a tour van. “At the same time, Oliver was contacting venues in and around Germany asking them if they wanted a band to play since they’re coming from India. That’s how one gig became five, five became 10 and it kept on adding up and now we’re doing an 18 gig tour.”
The crowdfunding took place over the Facebook group, with members starting #ProjectCurry and auctioning off CDs and vinyl to contribute to the band corpus. It had no intentional racist undertones, as Venkat says with a laugh. “It might sound very typical, but in Germany, I guess the first thing that comes to mind when they hear about Indians is probably curry. We just went with it,” the guitarist says. Members from the Facebook group have even offered their homes as a crash pad for the band at stops along the tour.
Venkat says they reached out to Bengaluru metallers Kryptos for advice on visas and documentation, which frontman Nolan Lewis was helpful about. Most of all, they’re happy that majority of their costs are covered at this point. The guitarist adds, “Performing Europe and playing your music to your fans, that is a rush. I really don’t care if I’m making money just yet. We’re happy that we found people who really liked our music and respect us for what we did.”
Get tour details of Against Evil’s Sentenced to Death Europe Tour 2019 here. Stream ‘All Hail the King’ below.