I caught up with guitarist/vocalist, W (short for Wraith) from Extreme Metal band, Vehement from the South East UK, ahead of their upcoming Festival appearance at Mammothfest Brighton on the 30th September (tonight!) to find out what to expect ahead of the event, as well as discussing their formation over a decade ago, debut album 'Collapse' and more.
So firstly can you tell us about your formation over a decade ago now?
Vehement first came together approximately ten years ago when Xysor, Andras and then bassist and guitarist Nybras & Vern were brought together by a mutual friend of ours. Said friend left and since then, it's been a four-piece.
How do you think your sound and band dynamics has changed since starting out?
I think our sound has changed a lot since the band started out, especially from the beginning. I joined in 2009 and since then, the music has developed and changed over the years from a deliberately experimental and "progressive" sound to a more straight forward effect with a lot more heaviness, atmosphere and groove.
Where do you draw you influences from both musically and personally to create your extreme metal sound?
There are lots of bands I could list whom we're all fans of, but none of which I would say we necessarily draw influences from musically. We lyrically deal with themes such as consciousness, human contradiction and duality, depression, addiction and moral decline. The inspiration we draw in order to create our style of black metal comes from both within and without and the best sounds, for us, come out of nowhere. Spontaneity is a good partner in crime.
How happy were you with how your full length album, ‘Collapse’ turned out and the response to this?
"Collapse" was our first professionally recorded release and we were very happy with the result. We did it with Chris Fielding at Foel Studios in Wales and he was able to give us our own identity on record and augment the atmosphere the songs already evoked. The response that followed has been nothing short of great and we're still getting praise for it. People come to our shows and say "you didn't play this song from Collapse", which is obviously a clear sign that people still really dig it.
As your last album was released three years ago now, are you scheming a new dark offering? If so, what can you tell us about the new release or is it too early to say?
We are in the process of our recording our second album, but it's taking longer than we expected, for a few reasons. We've played the songs many, many times live already, so it's just a matter of finally getting them down and released. The songs themselves are heavier, groovier and darker with a larger sense of atmosphere and emotion.
You played the new blood stage at Bloodstock this summer, which must have been a proud moment as a band, how did it go and what was the crowd response like?
Bloodstock was phenomenal and easily our highlight of our time as a band so far. The tent was absolutely ram packed from every side and the response was nothing that I've seen before. It was nigh on rabid. People were going crazy, so, naturally; so did we.
Your next festival appearance is at Brighton’s Mammothfest on the 30th September (Today!), how excited are you for this?
We're very excited for our set. We played last year, which was good fun, but this year we're on a stage that's catering specifically for black metal. It was really nice to be asked to come back.
Who are you most looking forward to sharing the stage with and seeing over the weekend of the festival?
I'm personally excited to be sharing the stage with The Infernal Sea and Eastern Front, but I'm also looking forward to see Venom (or Venom, Inc) again as well as Ascaris.
What can attending fans expect from your set on the day?
People can expect what Vehement normally bring; an honest, no nonsense black metal show that's full of energy and every intent to lay waste to the stage.
As a band that hails from the South, how important do you think Mammothfest is for representing the music scene in the area?
I think it's very important and Mammothfest does a great job with representing bands, especially local acts and getting them on the map. It's expanded a lot in the years it's been going, but it never forgets about the smaller and lesser known bands.
What else lies ahead for Vehement in the future?
We're going to focus on recording, so gigs may be somewhat sparse,but we're going to be completely idle in the live area. Hopefully a festival here and there and a few shows to tide us over until we get the second record out. That's priority one for us, right now.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Support the cause!
If you want to witness Vehement at Mammothfest, fear not there is still time, as some walk up tickets are available to collect on the door for 30th September (Today) at The Green Store Brighton although there are limited tickets, so come down early to avoid disappointment! Mammothfest is the bands last scheduled performance of the year!