Vattnet Viskar has only been around since 2010, and what they have accomplished in 3 short years is almost unheard of. In this time they have released a demo, a self-titled EP, signed with Centery Media Records, played the SXSW2013, went thru a small line-up change, and released Sky Swallower (9/3/13), which is being called one of the best metal albums of 2013.
In support of Sky Swallower, Vattnet Viskar joins forces with Intronaut for a quick tour which kicked off 9/12/13 in Tempe, Az. The Age of Metal could not pass up the opportunity to see these guys live, so down we headed to the Club Red/Red Owl.
Since Vattnet Viskar and Intronaut were the only two bands on the tour, it left room for a few lucky local to open. This line-up included; Column III, Sorxe, Abolish The Echelon, and Discordant. Each band put on a great performance, especially Sorxe and Abolish The Echelon. They made the Phoenix metal scene look strong.
Before the show began, The Age of Metal met up with Chris Alferi, Nick Thornbury, Seamus Menihane and Brett Boland. If the name, Brett Boland seems familiar to you, it probably is. Boland recorded Sky Swallower and the EP Vattnet Viskar at Universal Sound Storage. Boland is filling in as Vattnet Viskar‘s touring bassist, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that he becomes a full time member. The guys talked about life in and outside of Vattnet Viskar as well as future plans for the band.
Vattnet Viskar put on a quintessential performance, playing Sky Swallower in its entirety. They might just be better live than on CD, if that is even possible. Some of the comments said by people in the crowd were” They sound like if Thrice and early Emperor had a child,” and “I have never seen anything like these guys before, they have made black metal modern.”
Enjoy the interview below, make sure to read The Age of Metal‘s review of Sky Swallower, and most important…check out Vattnet Viskar!
TAoM:Today is the first day of the tour with Intronaut. You guys played a few shows on the way down here, can you tell us about that and how they were?
Nick:They’ve been pretty good, the first show was the Hopscotch fest and we got to play with Pig Destroyer and Gorguts which was amazing. The place was one in one out all night, it was great. Pig Destroyer definitely knows how to party after a show, so it was good fun. Other than that, just normal shows. Its nice to get out and play the new stuff.
TAoM: Congratulations on all of your success. How does it feel to know your new album is being called one of the best metal releases of 2013?
Chris: I don’t know…it feels good.
TAoM: Has it sunk in yet?
Chris: No, but it was something we were trying for to be honest with you. Not like when we were writing, but when we were plotting out the type of album. We wanted it to be a great overall metal album that people would want to listen to from start to finish. So, as long as we accomplished that, that was our main goal. If people want to review it well that will help us out a ton.
TAoM: How did you pick what songs you were going to release as single?
Nick: Uh…We didn’t. (laughs) They talk to us about everything. For us I think it’s best heard as one whole thing, so it they are going to release singles, I guess it doesn’t really matter very much. But it seems like the general consensus from them and people we were talking to that Breath Of The Almighty was their favorite. So, that is the one we did the video for.
TAoM: I had heard that you have played the new album in its entirety, is there any chance you will be doing that on this tour?
Chris: Yes, all of it.
TAoM: That is exciting. I also heard that you guys are going to be playing the CMJ showcase. How did that come about?
Nick: Century Media is great to us. They got us in touch with the Nachtmystium guys, and we began talking to the promoters, they needed a headliner and got Nachtmystium and they fit us on there too. We are really excited for that, it will be a good one. We love playing New York. Its an awesome line-up.
TAoM: I read in an interview with you Chris, that you want to tour at least 8 or 9 months out of the year. How are you guys right know keeping entertained or plan to keep yourselves entertained while on the road?
Chris: Our cell phones.
Nick: I drive the van, that’s all I do.
Seamus: Nick drives, and we all just sit on our cell phones.
TAoM: 5 hour energy drinks for you, or are you just good at driving?
Chris: We don’t have AC, so water, just lots of water.
Brett: Vitamin water.
TAoM: I have read that you (Nick) are a beer nerd. Is there anything else that you and all of you are (are into), since there is not a lot out there about what kind of hobbies you guys have.
Nick: Hockey. Sports in general, but I’m a huge hockey fan. I’m just a big nerd, video games, all the typical nerdy stuff.
TAoM: So, are you a Magic The Gathering fan?
Nick: Uh, years ago, but not really. I played World of Warcraft. I’m definitely a huge nerd.
TAoM: Sky Swallower is a MTG deck
Nick: Oh yeah! That’s right. We didn’t know that until after we had named the album that, and we just went with it any way.
(Chris and Nick had to explain to Brett what MTG was)
Chris: Brett and I are nerds about the Simpsons.
Brett: Yeah, I’m a big Seinfeld and Simpsons nerd.
Seamus: I like hockey too:
Chris: (To Seamus) and Travis Barker. Laughs
Seamus: Yeah, and Blink 182…no I’m just kidding.
TAoM: What hockey team?
Seamus and Nick: The Bruins
TAoM: (To Brett) What was yours again?
Brett: I’m a huge Simpsons fan.
Nick: He (Brett) recorded the album.
Brett: Yeah, I’m not actually in the bed. I’m just the touring bassist.
TAoM: Oh! Really, you are the guy from Universal Sound Storage! So are you planning on becoming a full-time member?
Brett: I’m not sure
Nick: We are in thoughts, we will see what happens.
Brett: I’ve always felt like I’m a member of the band.
TAoM: How did you guys meet Brett?
Seamus, Chris & Nick: He’s a friend of ours
Brett: I recorded their EP.
Nick: His other bands are amazing, we’ve played shows with them.
Chris: We’re a pretty tightly knit unit.
TAoM: This is your (Chris and Nick) first band together correct? I know you have been in bands that have toured together.
Nick: We were in one kinda side band together, it was like blotchy (Chris under his breath says it was stupid), Norma Jean-y type stuff. It was just fun but nothing serious.
Chris: We’re not traditional black metal. We get a lot of funny looks. We get on stage and they look at us differently. It’s funny.
TAoM: The album (Sky Swallower) is one of the best albums that I’ve heard in a long time. It is absolutely amazing.
Seamus: Thank you very much.
Nick: That really means a lot to us.
TAoM: I love the dynamics you guys have in it. The song Fog of Apathy gave me goosebumps.
Chris: The dude from Cult Nation totally didn’t get it. He was like, I don’t understand this album. I hope they do well.
TAoM: I like that you guys comment , or like, or repost stuff that others say on your facebook and twitter. Being a fan, I have to say that is really cool.
Nick: I drive the fan and he (Chris) does all of that.
Chris: If you’re friends with the band, then you’ll follow them around more than if they’re dicks to you. We’re nobodies, and we will feel like we are nobodies forever.
TAoM: Well, everyone knows who you guys are now.
Seamus: That’s weird.
Chris: That is weird. Now we can’t rob that convenience store, they know who we are.
TAoM: Just wear a mask.
Seamus: That’s what we usually do.
TAoM: Besides the CMJ Showcase what else do you guys have set in line ?
Nick: Nothing really. We have a local show back in New Hampshire, and I think that is pretty much it for now. We are trying to get onto something else, but booking is tough. It’s funny. We say it was way easier for us to get on a label than it is to get booking. It’s insane how hard we are tryin to get a good tour going. This Intronaut run is great for us.
TAoM: What would your dream tour be?
Nick: Probably Russian Circles,
TAoM: Are you joking?
Seamus: No, not at all. I love Metallica.
Nick: Like dream tour or a realistic tour we may actually end up on?
Seamus: Definitely Metallica and Deftones for sure…Blink 182.
TAoM: (to Seamus) I can’t tell if you are joking or not.
Chris: Slayer, us and Venom.
Seamus: Metallica, Deftones and Dillinger.
Nick: Dillinger is my hero man. They get it, they just get it completely. They have the right attitude, they’re all amazing musicians. They’re the complete package.
TAoM: Is there anything that you guys would like to add or anything that you would like to have fans know?
Seamus: Thanks for listening.
Chris: We appreciate the support.