Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN - 24/3
Veil Of MayaPrevious Next
author AP date 29/06/12
Earlier this year Veil of Maya released their fourth album "Eclipse" to generally good critical and audience reception; and about a month and a half ago the band visited Copenhagen to allow their Danish fans to judge the live quality of the new material. We of course seized the opportunity to sit down with the band's guitarist Marc Okubo to find about the album, tour and more - the results of which you can read in the transcript below.
RF.net: Is everyone getting along on such a big tour?
Marc: Yeah. Actually four bands share this bus together - everybody but Vildhjarta - and we all get along really well.
RF.net: Has anything awful, strange, or funny happened as per yet?
Marc: Every day something happens - not necessarily awful though. Strange, funny things happen every day. Today it was the zombie crawl - it started right here where the venue is, so that was very interesting.
RF.net: Did you know about that beforehand?
Marc: No, we had no idea! We also went to Christiania on a tour, and that was really fun.
RF.net: What have been some of the highlights of the tour so far?
Marc: Today is actually pretty memorable. Paris was awesome, London was awesome. Every show has been surprisingly good considering that we've played a lot of these areas before, and this time the reception is much better.
RF.net: But it's your first time in Denmark, right?
Marc: We had a day off in Denmark last year, so we've walked around here before. But this will be our first show here.
RF.net: How would you personally describe your music?
Marc: Well, if it's someone that I just meet in the street who doesn't listen to metal, I would say we're a metal band. If it's someone that knows about metal, I would say that we're progressive and aggressive. Maybe death metal, Meshuggah-ish stuff.
RF.net: So you're planning to put out an EP or something?
Marc: Yeah. Well, that's what my goal is. I'd like to put something out this year, or very early next year.
RF.net: As far as I understand, he actually co-wrote the album with the rest of you. Was it your intention from the outset to involve him so deeply in the process?
Marc: Well, we did that song together first to see if we liked working with him. I didn't have a completely finished song at the time - I had all the parts - but he put it together because he wanted... He actually said that if we wanted to come there and put some parts together with him, that'd be awesome because that way he could be a part of it. We really liked working that way, so after that we planned to write the album so that I would just write as many parts as I could before we went into the studio - you know, like a riff bank or something. And then we just put the songs together as a team. He actually ended up writing tricks and transitional parts, and just generally helped with the writing a lot.
RF.net: It must have been an interesting experience to write the songs collaboratively?
Marc: I've written the majority of Veil of Maya's music by myself, so it was almost like having him in the band to bounce my ideas off of to get his feedback and get other ideas, and then mix it all together.
RF.net: I imagine a lot of the twin-harmonies and such that came out of it have to be cut out from your live set, or at least put through a loop or backing track?
Marc: We might do that. I've already been using a harmony pedal for our older stuff. But with some of the new songs, this is our first time using backing tracks with sampled keyboards and choirs. So on our new songs we play to a clicking track and with samples and stuff.
RF.net: Is it difficult to synchronize everything live, especially given the complex nature of your music?
Marc: Using the pedals is difficult, but playing to the click track is a lot easier on our drummer. And if it's easier for him, it's easier for all of us because we all play to him.
RF.net: Do you guys watch a lot of TV on the bus when your touring?
Marc: Not really on the tour bus. But yeah, sometimes. We have the shows that we all like, and it gives us something to do on the road.
RF.net: So what were some of the other influences that were behind this album?
Marc: A lot of our friends passed away last year, and that was one of the subjects that we talked about on the CD. Musically, I just wanted it to be over the top with everything and be very visual and colorful. Lyrically, every song is different. Some of them are about light-hearted things like "Game of Thrones", while some of them are about very personal things. We always try to make sure that the songs are open to interpretation so that we don't single anyone out. There's also a lot of things dealing with relationships and so on.