Interview – Visions

Categories: Interviews
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Published on: July 11, 2011

Home by UK-based progressive metallers Visions is one of the finer debut albums I’ve heard in some time. It offers a fresh take on the hyperactive branch of metal pioneered by bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan and Sikth. Guitarist Jake was more than happy to shed some light on the band’s origins, the writing and recording sessions of Home and the future touring plans..

Thank you for doing this interview. Home is quite a thrilling and mature debut album. Are you happy the way the record came out and what do you think of the feedback it gets?

I think as a whole we are pretty pleased with how the album turned out. It has a lot of material that we wrote quite a while ago, some of it up to five years ago so it was nice to recreate it. There were a few complications in the process of making it, which resulted in the album getting passed around a lot for mixing, but considering the consequences, we are definitely happy with it. We’ve already had a couple of awesome reviews from online press but we’re still waiting on the verdict from our fans, as mail orders only went out on the 4th of July!

Visions is relatively unknown. Can you introduce the band and shed some light on its origins?

We’re just a bunch of guys who want to write and play progressive music! We all met through having the same taste in music, not even necessarily progressive bands. I don’t think there’s one specific style that we are going for, we just want to have our own take on the type of music we all like and give it our own sound.

What I really like about Home is your fresh take on the style as pioneered by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Sikth. Your music is quite technical, however its accessible as well. Is this something you did on purpose?

I think most musicians will agree that it’s impossible to judge your own music. When we write music we have no idea what people are going to think of it, so it’s something we’re always wondering about. I wouldn’t say that we make it accessible on purpose, because quite truthfully I don’t think we really know what accessible is these days with the high level of bands on the scene, but if people like it and find it easy to listen to then we’re always going to be happier with the result.

In my review I called Visions the less savage cousin of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Sikth. What’s your take on this?

Again, we don’t really aim for a certain sound. I think in the older songs I mentioned like ‘Delete the Sky’ or ‘Into the Sun’, the influences are more obvious. Dillinger and Sikth are some of our favourite bands and we’re definitely influenced by them, but I think in the more recently written songs like Attentive: Continuum and Attentive: Reverie the influences are less obvious.

How did the writing and recording process for Home go? How does that work within the band?

I would be lying if I said recording the album went smoothly. The album was originally written and ready for recording around January 2010. We then went to record it the following June. Due to a million complications including a member change and shit load of re-recording, the album wasn’t ready for mixing until February this year. We got there in the end but we definitely broke more than a few sweats in the process.

The recording process was guided by members from Monuments and Chimp Spanner. What did they bring to the table? Are you going to work with them again?

We recorded most of the album with Neema and Browne from Monuments. They’re awesome guys to work with and I think they really brought out the best in our playing. Paul Ortiz (Chimp Spanner) was our knight in shining armour when it came to mixing the album. We sprung it on him out of nowhere and he took it in his hands like it was one of his own and he did a wicked job of it. One guy who hasn’t been mentioned much is our close friend Luke Martin, who mastered the album for us and did a great job too. I don’t think the album would even exist if it wasn’t for these awesome people!

After years of relative silence it seems the UK metal scene is back in full swing, especially in the technical/prog scene sphere. Bands like Tesseract, Monuments and Amplifier are cutting themselves a nice slice of the action. What is your explanation of this phenomenon?

I think maybe the growth in social networking has helped with it a lot but that still doesn’t really explain why the progressive side of things is getting more popular. It’s nice to see though because it’s giving some insanely talented musicians the chance to get their music noticed and receive the appreciation it deserves.

We live in interesting times. Internet turns out to be a blessing and a curse for bands. Illegal downloading diminished the revenue from cd sales, however social media gives bands unprecedented means to promote themselves. How does a band like Visions cope with the current situation?

We were never in it for money or anything like that, we wouldn’t be playing the type of music we do if that was the case. I think it’s a shame that music can be so easily leaked for people to download for free, because bands put a lot of time and money into recording it for people to hear. The less the bands make, the harder it is for them to carry on with what they’re doing. It’s definitely hard for us at times because most of us are in full time jobs, but we never expected to make any money off the band any way. The main goal for all of us is to make Visions a full time thing, simply because it’s what we enjoy doing, but we know it’s not going to be easy.

With a brand-new album under your belt there will probably a lot of touring in front of you. Where are you going to play and what funny tour stories can you share with our readers?

Our dream is to be able to constantly tour all around the world, only having breaks so that we can write more music. I don’t think there is one particular place we want to tour because we just want to go everywhere! We did our first official tour with Emmure this year in May and it just gave us a taste of what we want to do with our lives until we physically cant any more! There were some priceless moments including run-ins with the council, epileptic fits and plenty of drunken antics.

Thank you for time. Any final thoughts?

We hope you like the album! Expect to be hearing a lot from us within the next few months! Pick up a free track from our album from Basick Records – and keep an eye out for our video for Desinent which will be on various music channels including Scuzz and video outlets online

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