''It was born of the sea, evolved to land and conquered the skies. Menacing and wicked. Brutal and unforgiving. A nightmare come true. Just one listen and you've become part of the breed. From pleasure to pain and back. When you've summoned the angel of death, it is then that you will come face to face with Vermithrax. A new type of judgement is here. You're just in time to enjoy the Feast.''
The band brings together former founding members of Nunslaughter, Reading Zero and Mercnary under the metallic wings of Vermithrax. Why did you all leave your previous bands? I believe Jer was in the military and left Nunslaughter then, but the other had just run their course at their time. We are still great friends with all of our past bandmates and wish them nothing but success.
How did you come together to form Vermithrax? Our drummer, Jer and I had spoken about our love for earlier thrash for the longest time and how not many bands do it like the bands that we grew up on. We had been talking for a while about putting something together, but once we found a guitarist that we knew that played similar music, we jumped at the chance. Soon after we ran ads on the Internet looking for a guitarist and bassist. The guitarist, Scott had turned out to be the guy in Jer’s last band and yet he could write in the exact style we were after. The bassist that we called had also been in that band years previous. At the time, he had just had an injury that required surgery, so he wasn’t able to commit. A year and several players later, Tom was healed up and able to play/write. We replaced the other guitar player and recently added Jon to the band. We are now a cohesive unit in constant writing mode. Let the Metal commence!
Has the experience from being in the metal scene for so long contributed to what you now do in Vermitharx and did being in bands prior teach you anything that has hepled you in Vermithrax? Considerably. We know exactly what we want and have a good idea on how to get there without having to repeat many of the same mistakes a newer or younger band make. We know when to say no and when to leave space. That is the biggest lessons that bands need to learn.
Why the name Vermithrax, who came up with the name and the classic logo? The band name was agreed upon by everyone and comes from the movie, Dragonslayer. We knew that musically we wanted to have a basic storyline and a powerful figure would be needed to convey our music visually. I had the basic logo idea and everyone had input to our graphic artist, Joe. He brought it to life.
The debut Ep is a perfect balance of thrashing metal fury, classic metal tendencies with a progressive edge. How did the songs for the Ep come about? Thank you! That’s a great compliment, since that is what we wanted more than anything to come from the debut to the listener. We wanted to show the different influences in the 19 minutes of the EP we put out. We also hoped that labels would see the potential of a band that doesn’t just deliver one dimensional metal. WE shall see, but many labels have put out very cookie cutter metal lately and the right ones will know when they hear us that we are a different breed. We wanted to treat the release like the old tape trading days as well, when you could find a new band for free from another friends sharing it with you. That is why we have intially released the digital download of the EP for free. We kind of thought of our giving it away as a, ‘Metal Pay Forward’ type thing, where they will hopefully feel encouraged as a fan to help us build our audience and share it with as many friends as possible.
The songs are fully realised and well put together which is unusual for a debut release, did you live with the songs for some time and constantly tweak them until they were just right? We demoed the songs before recording them and played out a few times before releasing the EP, so it gave us a little more time to find and build on their true potential. We do that with most of our songs and we wrote quite a few others during that same time that will appear on the full length that are working on in our studios now.
How has the response to the songs from fans been so far? Both live and on the studio recordings we have had an amazing response. It’s now in the hands of our friends and fans to help it reach the masses.
How about labels has anyone shown any interest in signing the band? We haven’t gone after labels as of yet, but we hope the right one has it’s eyes and ears on the scene and sees the potential that Vemrithrax can bring to the table. We have the means to do our studio recordings to major label standards, as well as worldwide distribution, but the right label can bring it’s marketing expertise and physical distribution to the fold and this beast could really grow.
Do you ever think about taking the independant route and using something like bandcamp to sell your music directly to the fans? That will certainly be an option to explore. We do enjoy having 100% of our artistic control. We may try crowdsourcing to get the money to put out a proper release.
How does it differ playing the songs to an audienece, do the songs come to life in the live setting?
Most people tell us that we are even better live. I remember always feeling that way about bands like Iron Maiden, Testament, Flotsam, Dio and Slayer, so we love that compliment and therefore have a very high standard for how we play live.
Do you prefer to play live or are you more of a studio band? I think overall most of the band would choose live, but both have their magic and their challanges. We look forward to taking our music to other countries, so once that happens, we might lean even more towards live.
Have you toured much in support of the Ep so far? A good amount of dates, but we are more focused right now on getting the full length out there.
Any plans to take the show over to Europe? That would be the plan. It takes the help of people like you and our fans to help create the demand for festivals to seek us out.
How strong is the metal scene in your country? The US will always have a very loyal metal scene, but it is spread out across a massive country, so it doesn’t always translate to audience attendence depending on where you play.
How do you think it differs from over here in Europe? Europe seems to appreciate diversity and bands that contain classic metal as well as the progressive edge that pushes the envelope a bit more. It doesn’t seem as segregated.
Who are the bands primary influences? The Bay Area Thrash Scene was a huge part of our influences, as well as classic metal like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, Ozzy and next generation like Fates Warning, Crimson Glory, etc.
What does metal mean to you? Metal is the flag for which many of us stand for, regardless of where we are located, age or race. To us, it’s a true family. When you have been abandoned by all others, metal will always be there.
If you could only bring five metals albums to a desert island with you what would they be? Slayer: Reign In Blood, Black Sabbath: Live Evil, Iron Maiden: Live After Death, Metallica: Master Of Puppets, Fates Warning: Awaken The Guardian
Finally anything you would like to say to the fans and our readers? We appeciate the amazing support we’ve been given, hope that they help us reach even more people, so that we may grow and stay metal! Please visit our pages and show your support! www.VermithraxMetal.com & www.facebook.com/VermithraxMetal