Vehemence - John Chavez
30/05/04 || Global Domination
Old staff-member Josh Thorne interviewed John Chavez from Vehemence for the old GD-site and had this to say at the time:
“Vehemence is truly a band that defies the boundaries and standards of death metal, by engaging the listener in brutal music with honest storytelling and memorable melodies that definitely hit home at times. Guitarist, John Chavez, was cool enough to speak with me about the album, the band, and what lies ahead.”
Global Domination: Where does the title come from?
John: Basically, we have a bunch of issues we cover that affect the world in both positive and negative ways, and that’s what the album’s about. It includes political issues, terrorist issues, family disfuction, soldiers at war, religious T.V. networks, and true crime stories.
You just mentioned a subject that I’ve been wanting to touch on and that’s the song “Trinity Broadcasting”. It’s such a unique song for death metal. What made you guys decide to focus on this T.V. network for a death metal track?
I believe that everybody understands the channel exists. It’s about a Christian extremist network that’s there to gain support from their kind and also they make a lot of money off of it. It’s also extremely one sided. Personally, I’d like to see a network dedicated to showing all religions and not just one. This nation allows a lot of that to be one sided like that and it shows that the education here is so poor. People won’t understand other religions and therefore you get war over other religions. Nobody’s written a song about that channel and it’s very annoying to us.
That’s the one thing about you guys. It’s not all gore/satan, the songs touch on real-life issues.
Well, we probably did the satan thing before but we were never for it. We’re not for any religions at all, but it was probably just a metal thing to say something about Satan. Lyrically we’ve matured a lot since our first album and even since our previous one, “God Was Created”. I think it’s always a goal of ours to never repeat ourselves and instead, always try to do something new with our music.
Another difference between this album and “God Was Created” is the production. Were you pleased with the production this time around?
We got a lot more time with this record, as far as recording goes whereas on “God Was Created” we only got a few weeks. We recorded it with Will Solares, in a home studio and had a lot of time to record it.
The reason I’m asking is because there’s definitely a more organic or raw feel to this record, and it really works in it’s favor.
That’s also the songs in general. It was intended to be an album that had a more direct vocal approach and the drums also sound more natural. There aren’t any overused triggers and it all sounds very natural and very good.
Vocally, there’s more of a, dare I say, hardcore feel to the vocals.
Well, I don’t know about that because none of us really listen to that music nor are we fans of it, but yeah, he was definitely going for more of a mid-range vocal sound and Mark got a few more vocal lines as well. Nathan does his fair share of lows, but this time he got a little better with the pronunciation.
Who did the cover art for this one?
Wes Benscoter. All we did was give him the title and he did everything else himself. It basically covers the grim point of view and the title “Helping The World To See”.
My favorite track on this record is “You Don’t Have To Be Afraid Anymore”. What inspired the lyrics for this song?
That song is about a police officer that killed his family in the 90’s. We decided to cover it, thus helping the world to see all the realistic issues.
Do you have any touring plans so far?
Not yet, but we do intend to tour more for this album than we did for “God Was Created” since we now have the tools and knowledge to do so. We’ve got interest from Europe to go over there as well, and we’ll hit the U.S. and Canada about 4 times this year. We’ll definitely do those when we find out with who we’ll be touring.
You’ve also got a new site, right?
Yeah, it’s now just www.vehemence.com. We tried to get it before but the name was already bought. It was just a definition site but we’ve got it now and it’ll be a lot easier to promote the band that way.
Do you plan on doing any videos for the album?
Yeah, we actually did one for “By Your Bedside” and what happened was Metalblade sent it to MTV2 and Fuse and they said they couldn’t accept them at this time. They also didn’t accept the new Cannibal Corpse video. I don’t know if it has to do with quality or whether the band’s on tour, you never know. If anything, we’ll just release it on the internet.
To anyone who’s never heard you guys before, how would you describe your sound?
Melodic death metal. Our music, artwork, and lyrics change throughout each album. We know we have challenges from other countries who have bands from that genre, but we write what we write and we write for ourselves. If you’re smart enough, just respect the music for what it is…metal.
Your keyboardist also left the band recently.
Yeah, basically, out of 30 songs he was only on 3 and we never realized it before but even though he’s a good friend, if we did another album or tour, we couldn’t play the same set list all the time. He’s a good friend but it wasn’t worth it to have him come on tour to do only one song. It messed up the friendship a little bit, but sooner or later, it will mend.
Have you got any plans at all for the next album?
We’ve started writing about three songs already, but no lyrical content or anything like that is complete. It’s gonna have a lot of supercharged death metal riffs. No compromises.
What are your overall hopes for the future of this band?
The overall hope is to be successful and make a living from touring and making our music. You wanna be able to quit your job and be able to live off of what you do.
John, thank you for this interview brother. Hopefully see you on tour soon.