- Hello... who am I talking to ? How do you feel today ? Ready for a chat to let our readers know more about VICIOUS BLADE ?
This is Clarissa. I am the vocalist in Vicious Bade. I feel pretty good today.. yeah let's do it.
- A question I sometimes like to ask.. Do you remember the FIRST band or RECORD that hooked you and made you think "That's the MUSIC I wanna play" ? Is that band/record still important nowadays for you ? Something you still like to listen to ?
Yes. I remember coming across Arch Enemy in some music zine, and saw a picture of Angela Gossow. Fortunately, I had access to the internet when I was 13, so I was able to look up their videos on youtube. I knew at that moment that’s what I wanted to do…I wanted to be a singer like Angela. I soon bought Wages of Sin, Cannibal Corpse’s The Bleeding and Vile, and would sing along to those albums to develop my vocal range… I was also influenced by a German thrash band Holy Moses, whom I discovered when I was 15 All of these bands had singers that made me want to pursue doing this extreme vocal style.
- The band was formed in 2019 ... It seems that so far, the line-up has remained stable... How did you altogether team up ? Did you know you from before, from previous bands maybe ? Have some of you already played together before joining VICIOUS BLADE or is is a "first time" for all of you ?
Yeah fortunately it has been stable… we’re all good friends and all have known each other for some time because the scene in Pittsburgh is small, and you eventually meet everyone.. Back in November of 2019 my previous band Tartarus played a benefit show with Cold Mass and Hot Pink Satan. Erik ( from Cold Mass) had approached me at the bar and asked if I wanted to do a Sacrilege worship type of band… to which I enthusiastically responded with “fuck yeah”. I never anticipated it working out this well haha.
- Who got the initial idea to from the band and what were the motivations ? The band's style is for me more of a "back-to-the-roots" attitude... a rough mix of THRASH METAL, HARD-CORE, CROSSOVER... when lately the whole METAL scene has gone alot more diversified, am I right to think it was for you the will to get back to basics, with something more instinctive, rough & "in-your-face" ?
I think the initial idea was formed between Jeff and Erik. The idea was to form a band that sounded like old school thrash and crossover. We just want to stay true to that sound and style. We have no desire to be “original” or try to reinvent anything…. we just want to stay true to the old school sound. Rough and in yourface is what we all know best and its what we love. That’s what Vicious Blade is all about.
- Imagine a kid comes to you and asks "Hey - please I don't know your band.. What style is that ? What are the bands that are close to your music ?" Your answer ? SLAYER ? DISCHARGE ? GBH ? DETENTE maybe ? Who else ?
Anytime anyone asks me what style of music Vicious Blade is, I just say “thrash”. I really hate labels… I hate boxing ourselves into categorizes. We sound like whatever you think we sound like. But, Like I’ve stated, the original idea was to write old school thrash crossover.
- What about the lyrical inspirations ? What are the topics you like to deal with ? I guess there's nothing about Princesses, Dragons, Warriors of the World and stuff like that in your lyrics .. hehe.. Who writes the lyrics actually ?
I write the lyrics as well. Around the time I joined Vicious Blade I was in a really low point in my life. Most of the lyrics except for “Burning Visions” is about that difficult time. It was very cathartic for me to get all of that out and put it to music. I tried to make it fun though ya know? Almost like the Kill Bill or Lady Snowblood movies.. I tried to paint those scenes from my lyrics .
- You released an Ep in 2020 called "Vicious Blade" on CASSETTE format... Why this choice ? Are you nostalgic of these "little things" called "Cassettes" that are actually a "symbol" of the underground scene's early days.. that was a cheap format, and easy to send everywhere in the world .. good old "tape-trading" days.. remember this ?
We all decided that it would be the cheapest option, especially since Covid interfered with our opportunity to play live. We would have seen how people responded to us and if they were into us haha. That would have given us an idea if we should invest in vinyl since it is so expensive. Since no one had heard us yet, we decided to just pass out cassettes. It’s the easiest way to get your music out other than digital. For me its fun too because I missed out on the tape trading times.
- It seems it got sold-out pretty fast - right ? Is that something you expected or was it a BIG surprise ? What was the feedback too ? Did you get interest from underground medias and how was that EP welcomed ?
I didn’t. I had no expectations at all with this project. I was going through a lot in my personal life so it was hard for me to have any expectations at all about anything. I’m very happy with the feedback we have received. I’m very proud of our work. Everyone seems to be into it, and I’m really grateful for that. It was a big surprise for me for sure.
- It's also available as "DIGITAL" format... Well, i'm an old nag you know.. and when I listen to Music, I really need to have SOMETHING in my hands... I still enjoy discovering the lyrics, the artwork, band-pics, other infos while listening to the music.. That's not possible with that new "format"... See what I mean ? Your feelings about the "physical" and "digital" formats ?
I absolutely love and adore physical formats myself. I love pictures and lyrics. That’s what I prefer. However, we do live in a technological age that requires artists to be on Spotify and Bandcamp. Its helpful as long as you are still buying physical formats from bands or buying the albums on Bandcamp. Showing support is what matters.
- I know it has now become necessary for bands to spread their music "digitally" and there are alot of platforms for that.. how do you view those new ways to spread music ? What importance do you attach to this format ? Is it more of a "necessary evil" for you to do things this way or is it something you're totally ok with ?
Buy the albums. Just buy the albums and support the artists you are into.
- I see you re-released the EP - still on cassette - on a label called OUR ANCIENT FUTURE.. well... I have never heard of this label before.. Can you tell us more on them ? Are you pleased with that deal and the way things went between you & them ?
They are Pittsburgh based. They are super rad and have a solid catalog of bands.
- Any plans to have this EP released on vinyl format ? CD format maybe ?
Yes. Both if possible but definitely vinyl.
- So far, it's clear you made everything on your own.. DIY system.. is that something you're attached to ? Do you think it's still the best way to do things for an independant band like yours ? Or would you prefer to work with a label in the future ?
DIY is something that we all are used to. I myself, am very used to it from my previous band. There’s perks of doing it by yourself, however, having a label is really helpful. So ideally we prefer working with a label.
- So as said, the EP was released in October 2020 (Dude I realise it was released the day of my birthday - what a delicate attention haha !).. Shortly after .. the world got fucked up with that COVID19 pandemic... I guess it also ruined alot of your plans.. Did you got the time to perform live before the whole SHITuation went out of control ? Did you had gigs already planned ?
It for sure ruined our plans. We never got to play live because of Covid. Our first show was booked for March 17th, 2020 We definitely got screwed haha. But we did get to focus on recording and getting the EP done. That would have been hard to get done while squeezing in time for gigs so it kind of worked out.
- So what have you been doing during all this time.. ? Online promo maybe ? More time to rehearse, compose new songs ? How did you kept yourself busy ?
We have just been rehearsing a ton. We decided rehearsing a ton would help us be more sharp when we get to play shows again.
- Talking of new songs.. how many new songs do you have now ? What is your feeling about those new songs, how would you describe them compared to the Ep songs ? is the direction still the same or do you incorporate more stuff/influences in the band's sound ?
We have a whole other EP’s length worth of material written and being rehearsed. After recording the first EP we realized we sound very similar to Sodom, so that has been a big influence on the few tracks.
- I guess those new songs will be a for a new release... pretty logical hehe.. Can you tell us more on it ? Can we hope for a debut full-length album ? Did you get some offers from labels after the EP was released or do you plan to release it on your own ? DIY again ?
Wait and see...
- Alot of bands have released various videos during this pandemic - that was actually the right time to do some.. Never thought to do one as well ? Is that something planned in the future ?
Our main focus is playing live shows and recording, it would depend on our availability between those things.
- Now that the COVID19 SHITuation is more or less under control.. and gigs allowed again... I see you have a gig planned for September .. how do you feel about it ? I guess it was frustrating not being able to perform live.. so ready to BURN the stage ? What are the bands to play with you ?
We are very excited ! Our first show we're playing with our friends Lady Beast, Sweat, and Limousine Beach. They are all Pittsburgh bands, all our friends, its going to be a really good time!
- Talking about other bands.. some words on the PITTSBURGH/PA scene ? How is the situation there ? Is there a good spirit between the bands ? Willing to play together, cooperate, help each other.. or is it more of a "competition" spirit (which sucks !) ? Some bands you would like to recommend - worth to check out ?
Its not competitive, everyone has been supportive and cooperative in general. Being that the scene here is small, it would be unnecessary to be competitive. Were all friends and we all support each other. Some Pittsburgh based bands that I would recommend to people who aren’t familiar with our scene would be; Lady Beast, Cruces, Sweat, Limousine Beach, Eternal Sleep, Dream Death, Abysme, Derketa, Mower, Invalid, Aus Rotten, Valhalla, Eviction, Holocross, Deaths Vengeance… Check them all out.
- I think that's now time to say "good-bye".. Thanks SO MUCH for your time, patience & answers.. Last words are yours !!
Thank you so much! It was a pleasure. Thank you all for listening to Vicious Blade, Thank you for the support. It means the world to us.
Born 1969, grew up with the NWOBHM sounds, musically educated with cult french magazines that were ENFER and METAL ATTACK, definitely nailed to the style when "The Number Of The Beast" by IRON MAIDEN was released... From 1982, it was clear life would never be the same ! Young & getting wild to the HEAVY sounds of SAXON, VENOM, BLACK SABBATH, MOTORHEAD, Young Fab also discovered thanks to school mates the NOISE, FILTH & FURY of Hard-Core/Punk bands like G.B.H, DISCHARGE, BROKEN BONES but also CRO-MAGS, BAD BRAINS, FUGAZI... and later on, through the 90's, everything that was ALTERNATIVE, EXPERIMENTAL, GRUNGE, INDUSTRIAL (SONIC YOUTH, NINE INCH NAILS, SOUDGARDEN, ALICE IN CHAINS)... Passion & curiosity grew up as years went by ... Fate was SEALED... no turning back ! No Music = No Life !