Interviews: VileDriver

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Death Metal band, VileDriver 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?

I wanted a band name that sounded like a metal band, y'know? Our previous band was Starring Janet Leigh and it's pretty unique, but vague as to what music we play. I wanted something powerful, evil, and also fast sounding like a drag racer. Originally it's an obvious play on the word "piledriver" but everything I wanted was in that perceived meaning.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

I was excited to use all the techniques I learned in the 90s that were kinda left behind for a while. Doing sweeping and finger tapping and using the whammy bar, all makes it fun. For the drummer Aaron and I, we like playing offbeat rhythms very much and just letting the song dictate how many repeats happen rather than saying we do this riff 4 times and that riff 4 times then back to the first one. I listen to a lot of different music and don't always "look the part", and I just tell people "this is what comes out" when I play the guitar tuned to B, and looks like the one I play (Ibanez STM1 Iceman).

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

Aaron (drummer) and I joined a tech metal band called Starring Janet Leigh in 2005 and it was disbanded in 2010. Aaron and I carried on playing some songs I had written for Starring Janet Leigh's next album, and one of them ended up on our first album Primary (the song is "Your Religion Has Failed You"). There's another one called "Hellstab" that hasn't been released yet, and may not have even been played live to be honest.....but we jammed it a few times and it sounds different now that we've come all this way from those days when we are feeling around trying to figure out what we sound like. I will probably be on an EP in the coming years. Dustin (vocalist) answered an ad we had put up for a singer so he was a complete stranger.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Aaron (drummer): Cryptopsy, Origin, Nile.

For me (Chris, guitarist): I think it is only fair to say overall it's Metallica and Mudvayne.

Dustin: Pig Destroyer.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I come up with the riffs which begin the songs, and I think many of them come from speed scales from when I am practicing. Sometimes I come up with something that exercises a weakness in my ability and I start catching a vibe from it, and the next thing you know I've made another riff to go with it, and it grows from there. I try not to go too far with it because when I bring it to Aaron (drummer), changes will be made. If I come with a chain of riffs and then a break in the chain is necessary, in my opinion, the trajectory of the song has changed and you have to start writing from there. For me, you can't just cut one part out and carry on with the next part. It's lobbed off and thrown away and the song will proceed in a new direction from that point forward. He argues about that, but that's not gonna be how a song tells you precisely what needs to be said.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last show was at the Atria in Oshawa, put on by Oshawa superstar Kenny from In The Act Of Violence.

7. Where would you like to act?

We would like to perform at The Opera House and Lee's Palace someday, and we haven't ended up on any big bills to play those venues.

8. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

I have stage fright all the time and am the only one that admits it hahaha. I would love to tell people I meditate or some shit but really I take a couple Valerian Root pills the night before a show, and then when I get up (eat a bunch of them and it's pretty much what people know as Valium). I do this because I will get out of bed with anxiety over the show already, not necessarily the performing but getting to the show on time and getting things on stage. I still haven't beaten it - I am shaking on stage and even once we've played, my nerves cause me to play at probably 60% of my at-home ability. But you gotta do it, you gotta play the shows and contribute to the scene, get your music out there. Aaron (drummer) plays the songs too fast and will have to be told to slow down because the rest of us can't keep up, but I'm not sure if he acknowledges that as a manifestation of nervousness. Most times I'm so out-of-my-fuckin-mind I don't even notice until we listen to recordings later, and then I realize why I find it so hard to play live. 

9. What bands have inspired you the most?

The most inspirational musicians for me are Lenny Kravitz and Prince - two guys that started by writing music they performed and recorded themselves. They have so much to say and it's expressed by the varied styles in each song. Being mature enough to decide if they want to play drums on one song but want a drum machine line on another. Their choices in guitar tones, that they sing each and every vocal harmony, that the bass line isn't basic root notes and also adds to the syncopation (did you know Prince's "When Doves Cry" actually had a bassline at one point? He felt it was "too conventional" with it and muted it. That's a bold move). And also knowing when to step back and when to flaunt. With our band, this comes into play sometimes when you'll hear me hit some open chords and rest the listener's ear for a few moments before the pummeling continues.

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

Maybe a ride somewhere?

11. What do you think of your fans?

I always see the excitement in their eyes and the fact that we've done that to them is very flattering since we're just as excited about getting crazy with our songs and having people receptive to them. I love hearing which bands they thought of while listening to our set or our album. We're highly appreciative of our fans and they are definitely our people.

13. What do you think of our site?

I love your site and the articles make you realize how everyone around the world is with us in the metal bus, all releasing stuff distinct and often distinct to their country and so you're learning some culture along the way.

14. Something to add?

There are some intro/segue tracks on the album that I also created. Around 1997 I quit playing guitar for a couple years and started producing Drum n' Bass electronic music, which in my opinion really is the electronic version of metal. Although I don't do it anymore still go to Drum n' Bass shows, sometimes I open up the old dusty laptop and bring up the Fruity Loops program and make some music. Writing electronic music was very much like learning to orchestrate and I'm glad I took a break to focus on having a different voice and different rules to break. When you pick up a guitar and hit an E chord, you kinda know what it's going to sound like, but with electronic music, you start from the beginning sometimes with no idea what is going to happen. Sometimes you start with a drum sound and listening to that drum sound inspires you to start your first layer of sound over it, and you just keep on going.

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