Interview with Vesuvian

Interview with Vesuvian

- in Written interviews

Hi guys! How did you come up with the concept for your debut album, “Emergence,” and how does it relate to your overall musical vision as a band?
Hey there Stanley! The concept for Emergence is the first chapter of an overall concept that is working behind the music of the band! If the whole story was a book, Devotion to Infinity was basically the prologue and this album follows the unnamed character from the Devotion into the colorless post apocalyptic world in which these albums take place. The album itself follows their first adventures into the story that they follow and does a lot of basic world building for the concept as a whole.

Can you tell us about your songwriting process and how you approach creating music that is both aggressive and melodic with symphonic elements?
This album was a culmination of many years of songwriting coming together, some of the songs have been around for many years and a few of them were written for the album itself! Mostly our process is, our singer RJ gives the band the basic overview of what happens in the album conceptually, then the songs ideas are taken to our guitarists with the conceptual ideas in mind. They craft the framework of the song and once the framework is set the rest of us start adding our ideas and tweaks till the song is fully fleshed out. Next, the lyrics are written and several passes are done by the full band making it a group effort in both songwriting and lyric writing to make the songs a collective collaboration of us all!

The cover art for “Emergence” features striking imagery. Can you share the story behind the artwork and how it connects to the themes explored in the album?
Our artist Pedro Sena absolutely killed it with the cover art! The centerpiece of the art is the final big bad of the concept, her name is “The Siren Of The Void”, once a normal human through a failed ritual, she became possessed by a creature not of this reality! The otherworldly being possessing her was the creature that started the plague that overran the main land. The ship far in the background is the ship in which the main character resides, The “SS Vesuvius”. For this album art we decided to give the listener a hint of what the next album will be about with this scene as one can see she is bringing another one of her otherworldly creatures to this dimension to seek revenge on the ship’s hierarchy known as the Grief Drinkers.

How do you see Vesuvian‘s sound and style evolving as you continue to release music in the future?
Vesuvian has been around a long time, and in its long run we always had a bit of an identity crisis when it came to sound, and even metal subgenres! But this current iteration we have really found ourselves in the sound that we want to live in going forward! That being said, going forward we are not going to rest on our laurels and never want to set in a spot too long. We have our base in our sound but we all love experimenting with adding and blending other types of music and subgenres into that base sound. Our new guitarist Jax Larkin is really adding a very smooth and technical feel to our sound, and based around the stories in the concept each album has some ideas of what we will blend with that base! Where Emergence was very based in symphonic and power metal blended with our base sound, our next album looks to add a more blackened and tech feel! With the willingness to experiment with each album I feel we will be taking what we like from the genres we add in each album and add what we like to our base sound, doing our best to evolve and bring new tricks to each album!

The video for your lead single “On Cursed Sands” features a dystopian narrative. Can you tell us more about the storyline and how it ties into the album’s themes?
Our singer RJ’s eyes lit up when asked this as he could talk about the concept behind the music for hours, do not tempt him, if you don’t stop him he will! The storyline the albums fall under is earth in an alternate history where religion never really took hold and thus the gloves were off for scientific advancement at a very fast rate opposed to our own. While religion never really took hold, there were small cults within the society, though some might say before the fall the people worshiped corporations like gods but that is a story told in our Architects of Ruin songs!

This pseudo utopia fella apart once a plague was unleashed upon the world, through a cults ritual gone wrong, they brought an entity into existence known as the pestilent one who was fused with a human woman eventually creating the Siren Of The Void, whose zombie like sickness known to some as “The Scarlet Madness”, but to most “The Great Infection” spread throughout the mainland forcing the remaining humans to take to the sea on large retrofitted ships known as Arch ships (Brought to you by Archangel corp). It has been several generations since the fall, and humanity has taken to life on the sea, it is a hard work filled life where common folk are devoid of seeing color and physical sensation, living a gray existence as their bodies and souls are broken and drained by the upper crust of society known only as the grief drinkers. In the EP Devotion to infinity one of these humans on the ship wakes to this world from seemingly another lifetime to this one. And Emergence is this person seeing the world as it is and starting their adventure to bring back humanity to those who dwell on the ships and those who fester on the mainland.

You’ve played with some well-known names in the metal scene, such as Allegaeon and Ne Obliviscaris. What have you learned from those experiences, and how have they influenced your approach to live performances?
Playing with bands like this was a treat, getting to see how they operated before, during and around the shows was a very rewarding experience, and we definitely took notes on how they did everything. A big part was how a band like Allegaeon carried themselves on stage, as well as the overall stage production! This was so cool to see how they could really just turn on the metal, we try to model our live show after bands like these but also do our best to make it our own!

Your music features a balance of both harsh and clean vocals. Can you speak to the importance of incorporating both vocal styles into your music, and how you use them to convey different emotions or messages?
The approach we have always had to vocals is we have several people in the band with great and varied vocal talents, we basically take the stance of whose voice sounds best here, goes here and keeping a balance of the clean vocals in there for variety and to break up the constant harsh vocal attacks, for a moment to breath or really add the emotional power bomb like in the chorus of “In The Gallows At The Edge Of The World”.

“Emergence” explores themes of grief, exploitation, and individuality. How did you approach writing lyrics that tackle such heavy topics, and what message do you hope to convey to your listeners?
Living in the world we do and the collective experience of all of us with the band it wasn’t too hard to find empathy within these points and write about / within the headspace of them. Grief and loss were touched a lot in this album due to within the process of creating the album a lot of our members went through a ton, from multiple deaths in the family, to cancer diagnoses, to divorces and all with being locked down with nothing but ourselves and our thoughts for a year sprinkled on top!

The main ideas we had around these songs and our message to those listening is pretty simple in concept but can be so hard at times. Some of which are in dealing with loss, it is okay to be not okay, but in the mourning remember to celebrate that you had someone in your life so special that it hurts this bad when they are gone, and a life like that should be celebrated. When you are at your lowest, you are not alone no matter how much you are beaten down, we as people are all in this together and it is okay to call out for help. Lastly and most of all, life is short and it can end so quickly, cherish it while you can and never forget to tell those you love them that you do, because you never know when it could be the last time.

With a unique blend of melodic death metal and symphonic elements, Vesuvian stands out in the metal scene. How do you see your music contributing to the larger metal community, and what impact do you hope to have on listeners?
We think all music is about this sort of conversation, where you’re constantly being inspired by all the artists you listen to and mixing your inspirations to create something new. So we don’t really have lofty goals for being super big or being the creators of some new subgenre, we just really want to be a part of the community and the exchange of musical ideas. We just hope that people who like music similar to us will dig our blend of different genres or discover something new, because that’s something we really love when we’re listening to other bands in the scene and it’s like “oh you can hear the Cynic influence here” or “This song has a Black Dahlia Murder vibe”.

You’ve been refining your style since 2015. How has your sound evolved over the years, and how do you see it continuing to evolve in the future?
With Devotion and Emergence I think we have finally found the sound we had wanted since we started, I think it is all blending other genres into our sound finding new tricks with in that sound and seeing where the story and riffs take us from here, we have a basic plan but we will also follow the evolution of our sound and it goes, it is a bit of an unknown outside of our base sound, and to us, that is exciting!

What are your plans for the future after the release of “Emergence”? Do you have any upcoming tours or other projects in the works? Thank you!
Currently we do not have any tours planned in the next few months but new shows and sets are coming soon! In the time between we are already starting on the follow up to Emergence and once that is done we will be taking Emergence on the road while that one is being mixed and mastered! Thank you for your time and to all those who read this far!

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