If there’s one thing the Eighties Thrash scene taught us, it’s that if mankind were to ever be wiped out by a nuclear holocaust, then at least there would be a kick-ass soundtrack to help melt us into sticky, green radioactive goo. You simply couldn’t get out of bed during that decade for tripping over another relentlessly aggressive four-minute paranoia-filled song about nuclear explosions, toxic fallout, global chaos, and the total and utter destruction of the planet. God, the ’80s were fantastic! Continue reading
We have picked a winner in our ticket giveaway to the first ever Souled Out Fest, all day tomorrow at The Chance In Poughkeepsie, NY. Emilie Padnick and a friend will go to the show thanks to the sponsors of the show and Ghost Cult! Nearly100 people participated in our contest on Instagram and we thank you all! More details about the fest are below: Continue reading
Playing epic, classic heavy metal is not a road to travel if fame, glory and success is your goal. Visigoth front man Jake Rogers showed his warrior spirit by talking to Ghost Cult and defending the honour not just of his tribe, or their new album, The Revenant King (Metal Blade), but also their place in the metal world.
It’s been 25 – 30 years since most of your influences were at their peak, and while there is a lot of love and respect for bands like Manilla Road et al, but what makes Visigoth relevant at a time when heavy metal in that form has long moved on in style and sound?
We aren’t concerned with ‘relevance’, we are simply concerned with heavy metal music. True fans of heavy metal don’t care what is “hip” or “cool” or “in”, they simply enjoy what they enjoy and that’s that. I love all sorts of metal music, be it heavy metal, black metal, black thrash, death metal, doom metal, USPM, speed metal, thrash metal, etc.; if it’s real, I dig it! And of course we love plenty of non-metal music as well, because we’re music obsessives! But the type of music we wanted to do with Visigoth was powerful fist-raising, sword-weilding heavy metal, no more, no less.
Playing such a traditional style could be said to have its limitations. What can you do with Visigoth going forward that you haven’t already, or that metal in general hasn’t already done before?
We won’t be doing anything that hasn’t been done before. We are not interested in experimentation or progressive elements or trying to be “genre-defying” in any way. We are not a special snowflake band whatsoever, we are simply a heavy metal band. Some people will scoff at the notion, calling it quaint and regressive, and that’s fine – those aren’t the type of people we would want to talk music with anyway! We’re just a heavy metal band playing heavy metal music for people who love heavy metal music.
How do you balance the irony vs the seriousness with the band? I mean, at what point, (such as say during the writing of ‘Dungeon Master’?) do you think “Ah, this may be a bit close to the line”? I know these are tropes that have been prominent in traditional metal for years, but what’s the thinking around subjects, image, song titles, live presentation and balancing that with being concerned about being too cheesy?
Nothing we do is ironic. This band is passionately from the heart and 100% serious. I am completely against irony in heavy metal. If you think metal is a joke, you have no business playing it. Of course, there are some great bands that have a sense of humour about their music (take Metalucifer, for example), but their humour isn’t ironic, it is a humour born of affection and love for the genre, and they still take the music seriously.
The distinction is a very important one, in my opinion. Sure, some people will think a song like ‘Dungeon Master’ is “cheesy”, but I honestly wrote those lyrics because my experiences playing those table-top roleplaying games and computer games throughout my formative years were really important to what would later become my appreciation for heavy metal aesthetics. A lot of people who are into heavy metal music can relate to this – those who can’t, will call it cheesy and move on. That’s fine, because it’s not for them.
When writing lyrics, coming up with song titles, or devising concepts for artwork or general presentation, I never concern myself with whether or not some toughbro or cool-dude beardo on the internet is going to think it’s cheesy – they can look elsewhere for bands with the modern, up-to-date, hip, cool image that they’re interested in.
Actual metal people tend to understand and unironically enjoy fantasy/barbarian aesthetics and classic heavy metal imagery, and that’s our target audience.
What will make Visigoth stand tall for years to come?
Our dedication to heavy metal music, our passion for playing live gigs, and our drive to improve – we know we aren’t a great band yet, but we’ll keep trying until we get there!