Back when I was in college I went to a metal festival near where I live. Bands , promoters, labels they were handing out cd samplers left and right. I came across a 25 song sampler CD with a song by a band that would blow my mind. The Band was Vehemence and the song was ” I Must Not Live”. After listening to that song, I immediately bought their album ” God Was Created”, and it forever will be in my top ten best metal albums of all time. After that album they put out another titled “Helping The World To See” which was also a solid album. Then the unexpected happened, they split up. That was devastating news, one of my favorite metal bands breaking up.
Flash forward ten years later and they have gotten back together. They recently announced they are putting out a new album. With incredible news like that I made it a priority to get in touch with them and set up this interview.
Welcome back guys I first heard God was Created in college and it absolutely blew me away. That is one hell of a brutal metal album. And will always be in my top ten best metal albums. Every element about it, Andy on drums , the guitars were sick. I mean just the song writing for the guitars was incredible. I would say textbook in the sense that wish other bands had taken notes. Mark doing backing vocals while playing bass. And of course Nathan’s sinister brutal vocals. So, I am just pumped for the band to be back making new music.
- Since you guys split, years back it looks like now that you are back together you have a newer member to the group. Does he bring an element to the mix that was not there before?
Bjorn – Definitely! Kyle originally joined the band when we first regrouped, back in 2007. He left in 2009 but came back in 2012. He adds a new dimension for sure with his lead playing. He also wrote a track on the album called “It’s All My Fault”. He brings a more technical lead style to the fold. He is really a great player. Also was a major contributor the the recording process of this album.
- What brought you guys back together in the first place?
Bjorn – Well, basically we are all really good friends. We all live in the same city, and enjoy just hanging out and jammin songs. Why not you know? It was difficult carrying on when Nathan originally quit to focus on family. We tried to continue on, but just weren’t feeling it. For a while, we started focusing our energy on different projects, but eventually we got that itch again to continue.
- God was created always felt like (for lack of better words) a concept album, and it was just amazing. Is the new album going to have that same vibe/feel to it?
Bjorn – The new album is not a concept album, however it definitely has the Vehemence “vibe”, but I feel it just comes across as more refined this time. It has elements of all our albums I believe, with some new things brought to the table as well. It does not sound out of place in our catalog. Most of the material was written between 2007 and 2011, with the exception of 1 song, which was written during the Helping The World To See touring cycle.
- Mark had been doing backing vocals before I mean you can see that in the video for “ By your bedside” will Mark still be doing backing vocals?
Bjorn – Mark doesn’t do vocals on this album. His voice has changed over the years, and it was decided that Nathan would handle all the vocal duties on this album.
- I have to say his delivery and sound is just a perfect contrast between Nathans vocals, and his. It really adds another layer to the songs in my opinion.
Bjorn – I agree! But it wasn’t going to sound the same this time around. Age happens, and hitting those high screams aren’t easy!
- You guys were on Metal blade records before, now you guys are on Battleground Records. In the ten years that has passed, do you feel that Battleground has really gotten you guys where you want to be as a band coming back?
Bjorn – Absolutely! We are really happy with what Battleground has shown us so far. They really are like a 6th member of the band. This is such a simpler deal, less middle-man, if that makes sense. And we still own the rights to our music, which was very important to us in signing a new deal.
- What has the general (public/ fans) reaction been regarding the return of Vehemence?
Bjorn – So far, so good! We will see what they think of the new material! But overall, its amazing that we even still have fans after this much time off hah!
- Will we see Vehemence do any touring in the near future?
Bjorn – Hard to say. Lengthy touring, no. We all have families and jobs to keep. I’d like to think we can do a short run of dates, and some one-off shows for festivals and things like that. Time will tell!
- What’s the metal scene like out in Arizona, are you guys getting some good shows in?
Bjorn – Metal scene is great out here! Lots of great bands, and super talented musicians. Bands like Lago, Through The Earth, Sorrower all of which are playing our album release show. Its been a couple years since we have last played a show. We took time off from shows so we could focus on this record. It was hard to focus on getting this album finished when we were always playing shows and concentrating on practicing a set list. But we’re excited to get back out there, and finally have a new product to share!
- Will you be playing any of the new material at shows leading up to the release, or are you saving that until the album drops?
Bjorn – Nope, our next show is the album release on Oct 24th!
- What are the musical influences you guys have ( does not need to be just metal)?
Bjorn – Hmm. Well that can go from Black Sabbath, to Propagandhi, to Carcass, to Sunny Day Real Estate hah. We all love a variety of different music. Not strictly just death metal 24/7 ha.
- What are you listening to these days?
Bjorn – Honestly, its been a while since I’ve been totally captivated by a record. It bums me out! I need some goddamn new music! The next 2 albums I’m getting though are the new Cattle Decapitation and the new Faith No More.
- How did it feel to be back in the studio again as a band?
Bjorn – It was really good to be productive again. This time we approached the recording process in a completely different way. Home recording has come a long way since the last album we put out. We did the drums in a real recording studio, but everything else we did in our homes. We took our time getting it done, and spent countless hours tweaking it. Its one of the great things about home recording, however having all this unlimited time makes it hard to finally stop fucking with it and call it a day ha.
- In the past it seemed like Bjorn did the majority of the writing and Nathan Did the lyrics. Has the formula changed or is it still that winning combination of Bjorn’s musical talents, and Nathans brutal vocals and grizzly vocabulary?
Bjorn – For the most part, that formula hasn’t changed. There is a song on the album called, “It’s All My Fault” that Kyle wrote, but his influences are heard throughout the album. There is also a song written by our old guitarist Jake, who was in the band from 2010 – 2012 called “In The Shadows We Dwell”
- Going from huge label like Metalblade to a more independent label like Battleground records. DO you feel like with the small roster, that Battlegrounds is a more involved with you guys?
Bjorn – Bigtime. Metalblade obviously is a huge name, and has great distribution. But at this point in our lives, the expectations a label like that would have would not fit with our needs, or theirs. Battleground has been such a pleasure to work with, and David and Ryan (the guys who run the label) are so up front, and honest. Its very refreshing. They want the best for you. Its not about money. They have passion behind their bands. And another thing going into this, we wanted to own the rights to our music. That was very important to us. We don’t have goals of being a huge band. We just want to get this record out to the people that appreciate what we do. And we are so grateful that Battleground believes in us and this album.
- It looks like you guys are putting out a video later on this month, are we going to see other videos for this album in the future?
Bjorn – Not sure. Its not impossible. I’d like to do another one, but we will see!
- The new album is a long awaited album, would you compare it to God was Created, or Helping the world to see? Or both?
Bjorn – Definitely both. It seems like the natural progression, having elements of both albums along with something new. Some parts and some melodies will definitely stand out and sound like GWC era, or HTWTS era for sure.
- With the time that has passed since Helping The World To See was released. Would you say the music for the new album is a more mature in how it will sound?
Bjorn – Yes it is definitely a more mature effort. We scrutinized the fuck out of these songs ha. This is really the best that we could do. Of our entire catalog, this is the album I am most proud of. It is us firing on all cylinders, delivering the best performance and the best songs that we possibly could.
- something I like to ask all the bands I interview, especially with new music coming out. In five words ( if all members contribute I will take the top 5 used) describe the new album?
Bjorn – passionate, dark, diverse, evolved, melodic.
- And lastly is there anything you want to tell the fans, about the band, the album the future of Vehemence?
Bjorn – I just hope its well received by people that enjoy our previous efforts! We put a lot of hard work into getting this done. And it’s still hard to believe that we actually did it, because we talked about it forever hah. Hope you dig it! Out October 24th on Battleground Records!
It was great to talk to the Bjorn, I personally will be getting on that pre ordering asap. I can’t wait to hear the new album. It will be brutal.
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