'The Ultimate Truth of Knowledge Is Upon Us All'
Vaeda - Ian Cole (guitar/vocals), Aristotle Dreher (bass), Oliver Williams (drums) — give their all when their STATE OF NATURE debut album drops August 22 on Playtyme Records.
While their music bridges the sonic gap between the power and absolution of progressive rock and the contemporary realm of pop-punk, the results do so in a manner that is fresh and spirited, dynamic and animated. Much like the band. “I think we blend punk and progressive very well, and we do it with three people,” says Cole. “We love throwing curveballs on the first pitch, and we’re not afraid of leading the listener astray, messing up the rhythm of their headbanging.”
Their music may lead the listeners astray, but they invariably find their way back to the band, who were the No. 1 unsigned band on MySpace in Sept./Oct. 2005 based on song plays on the band’s homepage (and who currently have over 105,000 MySpace friends).
STATE OF NATURE shines on two fronts: first as a collection of individually dynamic songs, and second as a gripping collective of songs, each playing a part in shaping a multi-faceted listening experience. “We’re three everyday dudes from New York,” says Oliver Williams. “We eat, sleep and bitch just like everyone else. We’ve had personnel changes, we’ve had our hearts broken, we’ve hit the road and, of course, we’ve had our chances to quit. But the power of rock compels us, and we’ve finally been given the opportunity to channel these things and present them to an audience.”
Chatting recently with all three members of the band, I first pay mention to the fact that their bio starts off stating that 'With great rock, comes great responsibility' ... please explain this further! Aristotle Dreher: "Well, it's blatantly stolen from the Spiderman comics, but in all sincere seriousness, it's a mantra that keeps us raising the bar on ourselves and rocking harder with each new song and successive performance. Our fans mean the world to us so we'll play with the same intensity for 2 people as we would for 200. The day that we stop getting better as a band and inspiring others is the day we should reevaluate what the hell we're doing. All we want to do is pass forth the goblet of rock bestowed upon us by our elders. With great rock, comes great responsibility."
Your album title 'State Of Nature' is very interesting, but I'm wondering if it originates from a more personal standpoint? Aristotle Dreher: "The State of Nature is the period before order is put in place in any given society. It is the natural state of being human, you know like when you run around outside in the woods naked listening to Slayer on your iPod. From our standpoint, the world is at a stage where there is so much tyranny and turmoil that one has to wonder when the clock will strike Midnight, thus providing for a fresh start."
Knowing that you downsized the band members of Vaeda, why did this feel something necessary to do? Oliver Williams: "In his epic metal dirge “Sweating Bullets,” Dave Mustaine said, “Hindsight is always 20/20, but looking back it’s still a bit fuzzy.” Later on that same album he also wrote “Liars’ anagram is lairs.” I guess nobody’s perfect. And so it was with our downsizing from four to three. Far from perfect, but completely necessary, even if it felt like desperation at the time. We’d just lost our second lead guitarist in six months and we were moving out to L.A. ostensibly to find a new one. We’d decided to help subsidize our move out west by playing a few shows and basically just divvied up the lead parts between guitar and bass. And by the time we got out to L.A. and started trying people out, we realized we didn’t really need anyone else in the band. Musically, we’d figured out how to get the same sound out of three people – we simply had to give 133%. Interpersonally everything just fell into place. Arguments became settled by simple, often logical 2-to-1 votes instead of who could create the most drama from the smallest situation. Eventually we’d forgotten what it was like to be a four-piece and we just became Vaeda."
If there was one track on this new album that truly encapsulated Vaeda at their musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? Ian Cole: "'Jesus Rides the Subway.' The way the guitar and bass lines intertwine in the verses remind me of what a DNA double-helix might sound like if it had a soundtrack. The lyrics also center around a political, turn-the-other-cheek metaphor, and speaks of our need as a race to be more compassionate and understanding. That and the title was inspired by “The Big Lebowski.” Nobody f**ks with the Jesus."
And whilst we're revealing things, just where did that band name originate ... and what else could you so easily have been called? Ian Cole: "VAEDA comes from the Sanskrit word for knowledge. No, we did not get the name from that girl in the movie “My Girl.” That girl was a total skank. The original Rig Vedas are the stories that are the basis for the Hindu religion, stories of human beings doing super human things. In that religion, the possession of knowledge brings people closer to the ultimate truth and that which is divine. Music is an art form that lives and dies in the moment; it is pure, honest, and the ultimate truth. Music is knowledge, and we try to encapsulate as much of the knowledge we possess as possible into our songs. It was either VAEDA or Fart MotherChocolate. We went with VAEDA."
Do you have a funny, possibly embarrassingly story you can tell us that may have happened to you on this road to stardom?! Ian Cole: "We’ve been beaten in a high-kick competition. It was embarrassing. Our buddies Kairos beat us 108 to 75 one night on tour. We had beaten them two nights in a row, so they got their revenge. It looked like a karate tournament that night. Legs were flying everywhere. I thought someone was going to get decapitated."
Please tell us more about these subliminal Spiderman references that seem to pop up within your life and works?! Does someone have a fascination with the webbed-one, perhaps?! Aristotle Dreher: "First of all Spiderman is the best superhero ever... here's why. I could always relate to Spiderman since he is an everyday dude from outskirts of NYC and has a proclivity for wearing multicolored spandex. Did I just write that out loud? We are just 3 guys who bang our heads to Metallica just like everyone else, but at the end of the day we get to strap on our unitards of rock on and try to save the world with total inner ear canal explosions of our own. How cool is that?!? As three we are one and as one we are unitarded."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! Oliver Williams: "A few years back we covered “Pure Energy” by Information Society. It allows for some serious wankage (something we’re not prone to on a regular basis), and it’s one of those songs everyone knows without knowing they know it. We might bust that out again down the line. Alternatively, we did see a guy in a convertible rocking out to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” the other day and thought, wait a minute, didn’t we just miss a total solar eclipse. And of course we had, on March 29. Because we were in Florida instead of Turkey, where you could get a better view. And Turkish delights. Mmm, mmm, powdered sugar."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! Oliver Williams: "We love penguins! But only if you saute’ them with baby seals and kittens!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Vaeda's new CD, just answer this easy question: According to the band themselves on their web site, which of their songs from this album pays homage to Maynard Keenan’s ethereal vocals and Tool’s textured depths?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before October 1st with your answer and the subject title 'VAEDA SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
To check out our new Vaeda giveaway that is now in Exclusive Magazine, just click here and be whisked away!
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