Previous Eighteen Visions Interviews
The Gauntlet: What's new in the land of Eighteen Visions?
Keith: We just got back from Europe where we did a bunch of festivals. We did Download, Rock Am Ring, Rack In Park, FlameFest in Italy. Then we did three shows on the main land when we came back. We are now gearing up for the Warped Tour and recently shot a new video for our single 'Victim' last week. We just finished editing that so it will be coming out soon.
The Gauntlet: So basically you are telling me the band has nothing going on.
Keith: Exactly, I'm just bored all the time. [laughs]
The Gauntlet: How were the Euro festivals?
Keith: They were awesome. Most of them we have never done so they were really cool. They were really big festivals. They were kinda MTV sponsored festivals. The headliners were Depeche Mode, Metallica, Placebo and stuff like that. Then others had Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Korn headlining. It was really cool.
The Gauntlet: That's cool. Did you try to hang out with Axl Rose?
Keith: No, we hung out with the Atreyu guys and Bleeding Through. We didn't get a chance to hang out with the headliners, but we got to watch Metallica, Depeche Mode, Guns N' Roses and Korn so that was cool.
The Gauntlet: Do you think they could pull off a festival like that in the US?
Keith: Definitely. I think it would probably do better on the East Coast than the West Coast. They could probably do it, but would be easy on the East Coast as the way the states are pushed together. Woodstock was the closest thing to it.
The Gauntlet: Did you guys sample any of the European drugs while out there?
Keith: The best drug was probably McDonalds. The McDonalds out there are way more legit. They only have a few fast food restaurants. It's really nice and everyone gets paid more. The lady that was helping me at the register had McDonalds pants on that were embroidered. They had a burger and the bun looked like a soccer ball. They go all out. The bad thing is they only have four drinks and no ice.
The Gauntlet: You looking forward to the Warped Tour?
Keith: Definitely. It will be our first tour here for our new record out. It comes out in the middle of the tour. We are definitely excited. It will be cool seeing kids show up with them.
The Gauntlet: Two songs have been released online. How has the reaction been from fans?
Keith: 'Victim' and 'Tonightless' were released and are way bigger for our fans. Our fans have taken to them really well. 'Victim' seems to be what our fans like more as that's a heavier song that is more what the album is like.
The Gauntlet: The new album seems a lot more focused in the vocals and guitars. What was done differently?
Keith: We do feel it is our best record. This time we spent way more time recording it and writing the songs. We also spent a lot of time planning out the songs. James is now ten times better of a singer than he was when we recorded 'Obsession'. That was the first album we recorded that was predominantly him singing. He had learned how to sing, he was just getting the hang of it. A lot of our ideas that came out on that record pretty much stuck right away. This time we tried everything under the sun. We also have an awesome producer for this record, Machine. He and James just nailed the vocals.
The Gauntlet: He actually sounds good singing now.
Keith: It takes time. It has been like years of touring and singing. He is way more comfortable and confident now.
The Gauntlet: Do you feel like you are a more rounded band now?
Keith: Oh definitely. On tour, recording, everywhere. We definitely stepped it up.
The Gauntlet: This album is a lot more rock influenced than the previous albums.
Keith: I kind of feel that it is kind of true. I feel "Obsession" was more of a rock album too. When we made the jump from "Vanity" to "Obsession", that was the bigger transformation. This is like "Obsession" but with new elements and ten times better. I don't know. Every record we have done, even when we were hardcore metal in our early days, each record was a step in another direction. We started off as a hardcore metal band, and the next step was adding weird time signatures, and then we added in more melody. Everything was an evolution. There wasn't any randomness. But the rock element has always been there. It is what we feel we are. We are a heavy rock band with metal influences and that's what we want to be.
The Gauntlet: Whenever a band goes from an underground label to a mainstream label the term sellout is used but a lot of the fans.
Keith: I think that the term sellout and the people asking the questions are the sellouts. The underground is so mainstream now. Independent sounding bands are on major labels. There are tons of bands on major labels that no one hears and that can't sell out a show. Us, Atreyu and other bands can hold our own. You have a band like TrustCompany who had some success for a while there, and then we heard they sold like four tickets to a show. The underground is basically becoming the mainstream. Kids at High School like that. It's not the total case. I think to me a sellout band is one that strays away from what they want to do as a band. One of my favorite bands is Hatebreed. Most all their records use the same kind of formula. Their songs are heavy as fuck. That's what they want to do as a band. They stay true to what they want. We want to evolve and push the envelope. I want to see what we can do. I wouldn't be happy as a musician if I kept doing the same shit over and over again.
The Gauntlet: When the band signed with Epic Records, did you get Shakira's number?
Keith: [laughs] No, we had to ask for it. The coolest thing besides getting a little money in your pocket is we get free CD's from other bands on the label.
The Gauntlet: Was signing with Epic the way you were able to spend more time in the studio?
Keith: Everything was that much cooler. A label is just a big bank. We had more money to work with. More money means more convenience and more time. Last year we did a US tour and we got to get a bus because we had more money. Since we had a bus, I could setup my laptop and some recording gear in the bus. I wrote like twenty songs on tour. We wrote a total of thirty five songs. We had more time at home to write, more time in the studio, more time everywhere. It is just much easier.
The Gauntlet: It leads to a more focused album.
Keith: Totally. We had time to really go over this record. Machine from the first time we talked knew what we had to do. He heard "Obsession" and said it was cool, but we didn't nail what we tried to do. Going over the songs with him, his ideas just came out really cool.
The Gauntlet: The video for "Victim" comes out soon. What is the video like?
Keith: It's not a live video, but a performance video. It's just like a dirty rock video. We shot it in a fuck up building where they shot a lot of the scenes in Fight Club. Also I think, I don't know for sure, but I think some of the shots inside that fucked up house they lived in were shot in the building. It just looks awesome. There were a lot of different setups. It is really dirty like the Nine Inch Nails 'Closer' video; just dirty and raw. We think it is our best video.
The Gauntlet: Any plans to release a DVD soon?
Keith: Yeah, we have been talking about that and hopefully will get to that around Fall. We have never done one except for the ones that come with the records. We have lots of footage though.