Interviews: Varius

We have had the opportunity to interview the Metal band Varius from Canada. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

There’s no special story up-front about our band name, Varius, but we have since been able to build a unique identity around it. Our guitarist Patrick founded the band upon the idea that we could play anything that was heavy, or any sub-category of “metal” without limitation, and he wanted a name that would suggest variety. I suggested “Varius”, the Latin word for “varied, variegated”, to allude that we could be this kind of shapeshifting metal band. Blending metal subgenres is definitely nothing new, but we’ve been able to build some solid brand identity around the Varius concept. I once read of a Roman historian/poet called Varius, which influenced our artwork direction for our debut EP “Red Messenger”, using Roman imagery based on the story of Emperor Nero “fiddling while Rome burned”. “Varius” is also a species of moth, which is another symbol we’ve used to represent our band, including in our new artwork for our upcoming EP, Concordance – an EP that is all about blending heavy genres.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Everyone in the band is passionate about heavy music. We all have our own favourite metal bands that range across the entire spectrum. We wanted to play metal and we didn’t want to be limited to any single stylistic approach. We are open to interpreting metal in many ways as long as there are some heavy grooves and some catchy melodies!

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Not entirely. I personally was playing with our guitarist Patrick in another band before Varius. We played covers from all the traditional metal bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Metallica, and a whole bunch of others. Eventually when that band dissolved, Pat asked me if I was open to playing any of his own material. Those were early versions of some of the first Varius songs. We played with other drummers and guitarists for a bit but things didn’t really settle until we met our drummer Vladimir. Later on, a friend of the band directed us to our vocalist Joey, and that finalized our lineup.

4. Each band member favourite band?

As mentioned, everyone in the band loves a wide range of metal across the entire spectrum. Also, all of us listen to music outside of metal. But, we definitely have our favourites. I would say I love the traditional bands most, like Iron Maiden. Our guitarist Patrick loves Dream Theater and the progressive side of things. Vlad, our drummer, leans toward progressive as well and loves music like Devin Townsend, etc. Our vocalist Joey leans more on the extreme end of things and loves bands like Death and Meshuggah.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

We’ve written songs inspired by a few different themes so far, and are open to exploring others. In general, our songs are rooted in our interests in things like fantasy, horror, history, and science fiction. In a few cases, we’ve been inspired to create our own fictional stories based on extreme outcomes of real-life scenarios. For example, we’ve written several songs about hypothetical apocalyptic scenarios. Our song “Gut Shoveler” from the upcoming Concordance EP is a good example; it covers a hypothetical future in which Earth is so overpopulated that cannibalism becomes the norm. “Rape of Nature” and “Unity by Warfare” from our previous releases cover similar themes based on mankind’s over-consumption of resources. We have a lot of fun with these concepts, but aren’t limited to them!

6. Where was your last gig?

I believe it was at a place called Cherry Cola’s, in Toronto. 2019. Seems like so long ago now, given the pandemic and all.

7. Where would you like to act?

I would love to perform anywhere! It would be very exciting to build an audience at some of the major European and US festivals.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

There are so many bands that I would love to share the stage with or support as an opening act. We had the privilege of supporting Beyond Creation in St. Catharines (Canada) in 2019, it would be great to play with them again. I’d be honoured to take part in any major metal tour or show, really. If you mean who would we feature in one of our songs? Ozzy Osbourne could sing a verse? Maybe Alex Lifeson could take a solo on a trippy song? Why not? 

9. Whom not?

Anyone who’s got a bad attitude about anything, especially the freedom of music.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

I can only speak for myself, but yes I get a little nervous before performing. In my case, it doesn’t have anything to do with being in front of an audience. I want to play gigs, so that is all part of it. Instead, I might get a little nervous about things like technology or gear/sound limitations on stage. It comes from a healthy place, it’s only because I want things to run smoothly, have a good show, and not waste the audience’s time. My best advice for beating stage fright would be: make sure you come prepared. Knowing the songs inside and out, and having the resources or equipment needed to be comfortable on stage is very important. If you can be comfortable and confident in yourself, nothing can stop you. A few nerves are natural for wanting to do good for yourself and your audience, so it’s okay to acknowledge that you are nervous. Let it be a good thing, let it motivate you to perform your best.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

This is again difficult to answer in some ways because we take influence from so many bands. I am going to name a few for specific reasons. Black Sabbath, for setting the foundation of heavy metal of course. Iron Maiden, for their incredible attention to detail and commitment to doing only what they do best, in their own way, without care for what anyone else thinks. Their stage shows are absolutely brilliant, and their commitment to providing their fans with killer merchandise, amazing artwork, and great music is very inspiring to me. I am going to go off on a limb and also list the band Sabaton. I personally love their music but I believe every band in the whole world could learn a lot from them in every way aside from the music as well. Seriously, if you haven’t checked out this band, it won’t take long for you to realize how they are doing everything right. It’s almost like a Maiden 2.0, but it’s actually even more than that. I really think this band has the modern multimedia juggernaut thing nailed down, and they are completely self-managed. They’re a true testament to the value of hard work and doing everything it takes to follow your dreams. I find this very inspiring and I am thankful to have met with Sabaton many times over the years. It has been very motivating.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Admittedly I don’t have any crazy story here! But as a musician in an independent band, it sometimes surprises me when people ask even for simple things like a photo or signature. When that happens, I am glad that the music and performance touched that person enough to want to keep a memento of it.

13. What do you think of your fans?

We respect our fans and try to do our best to deliver good performances and quality physical products/merchandise. I am always humbled when I meet fans who appreciate our music, and I am thankful for those people. I have even met a few fans who travelled a fair distance to come and see our set. I am always pleasantly surprised by those fans and I love to see that we’ve reached those people.

14. What do you think of our site?

I think this site is doing great work to feature bands and their music and connect it to their fans and new audiences! Thanks for featuring us, you guys rule!

15. Something to add?

We would love for you to check out the new Varius EP, Concordance, when it’s released on November 5th! You’ll be able to hear it on all digital platforms (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) and will be able to grab a physical copy from our Bandcamp, Also, follow our social channels on Instagram @varius.official and on Facebook Thanks so much, cheers!

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