|Born on: 28.03.1984
Ol Drake (born Oliver Michael Drake, 28 March 1984, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, England) is the lead guitarist of English thrash metal group, Evile.
Drake and his brother, Matt Drake, were brought up in a musical environment, with the sound of Camel, Guns N' Roses and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Drake's father, Tony, played guitar from a young age and played in many local bands (Rudy and the Zipps), sharing bills with early incarnations of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. Drake and friends would ask Tony to play tunes for them, like the Batman theme tune, and he could make the guitar cry, which intrigued Ol. Matt Drake, having received classical guitar lessons when young, obtained a Fender copy electric guitar for a birthday. With Ben Carter visiting the house, and also being a fan of Metallica and the guitar, Ol Drake was intrigued by the songs and the guitar. Matt started Ol on the path of heavy metal by introducing him to the music of Metallica. Drake, then aged 16, picked up Matt's guitar when possible and taught himself from then on. His parents being supportive would go on to support him in buying an instrument.
Drake also started to play the drums, inspired by a visit to guitar virtuoso Maurizio Mielle's store in Milnsbridge. He would spend a full day playing on a kit, set up directly above a hairdressers. Drake would play in a few bands on the drums, but his heart was always with the guitar.
When Drake reached music college, he developed an interest in music theory, jazz and classical music, which opened up his playing and progress on the guitar. He also developed an interest and skill in playing drums.
After Evile was formed, Drake spent all of his personal time on the guitar. A friend would buy him Testament's Practice What You Preach which got him heavily into Thrash, though he had already discovered Metallica and Sepultura. Matt bought Ol Annihilator's Never, Neverland for his birthday, as their father owned Annihilator's Alice in Hell. Drake was fascinated with Jeff Waters' playing and Drake learned Waters' guitar work.
Drake would eventually go on to discover Moser Custom Shop guitars via the internet. He bought their "Bastard V", and has used this guitar for every concert since.
He spent several years notating guitar tablature for the majority of Annihilator's back catalogue. Waters, impressed by his work, dedicated a page on the Annihilator website to his tabs.
Drake made a guest appearance on The Berzerker bassist Sam Bean's solo project The Senseless, performing a guest solo on the track "Promise".
In December 2008, Drake paid tribute to the late Chuck Schuldiner, by posting a cover of Death's "Voice of the Soul" online, along with a video slideshow of Schuldiner related images.
In September 2009, Schmier from Destruction asked Drake to stand in for their guitarist, Mike Sifringer, who broke his fingers forcing Destruction to find a temporary replacement, for their performance at Portugal's Caos Emergente Festival.
At the UK's Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth in 2010 Ol joined comedian Tim Minchin on stage for his track "Rock N Roll Nerd"
Ol appeared as a guest on Destruction's 2011 album Day of Reckoning stating that it was "An experience I'll never forget"
In 2000, Matt Drake and Ben Carter got together to form a covers band. As Drake had advanced on the guitar by this time, they asked him to join the band. After bassist Mike Alexander joined, they played many shows together over the next few years.
After school Matt Drake and Carter would get together and jam their favourite Metal tracks, mostly being Metallica songs. A jam took place in an old church in Honley. Drake came along one day and was impressed with how loud and powerful it was, having never experienced live music before. After months of practicing, Drake had learned some Metallica solos, and asked if he could join in. From the first rehearsal together he was hooked on being in a band, and he knew what he wanted to do.
Inspired by James Hetfield, Drake's parents would drive him across the UK to locate an ESP Explorer guitar. He decided this was not the guitar for him, and settled for a BC Rich Jr V. He would use the BC Rich for every show from then on, borrowing his father's Ibanez guitars as a backup.
They would go on to play live in the local areas under the name Metal Militia, Drake taking on the role of lead guitarist, though after three or four years, this grew stale for the band, forcing them to eventually go on to form Evile in 2003. Original songs would feature in the live set, with positive results.
In 2004, they formed Evile. They recorded an EP All Hallows Eve in 2004 (which contained an instrumental track by Drake named "Torment") and a demo Hell Demo in 2006. Soon after, the band signed to Earache Records and recorded their debut album, Enter the Grave, produced by Flemming Rasmussen. He was also responsible for conceptualising the album art for Enter the Grave.
Drake plays and endorses Moser Custom Shop Guitars, Randall Amplifiers, Ernie Ball Strings and Homebrew Electronics Pedals.
He performs all guitar solos with Evile, with the exception of a solo in "We Who Are About to Die", which was played by his brother.
On 19 November 2008, while on tour in Europe with Satyricon, Drake collapsed due to health issues. His jaw was fractured and the underside of his chin was cut open. Evile were forced to cancel their appearances on the remainder of the tour. He then had to have his jaw wired shut for two weeks for healing.