Thank you for taking the time to talk to us guys and Can you tell our readers who you are and what you play? Who is The Vision Ablaze?
The Vision Ablaze is a Melodic Metal act from Copenhagen,Denmark.There's a lot of clean singing and plenty of technical and progressive elements in our songs.You'll find elements of Death Metal in Göteborg style too - we represent some very Heavy and Hard stuff,while maintaining a focus on clean and great melodies.The one word to sum up what music we do? "Melody".
This year you released your first full album,Youtopia.Tell us a bit about this release.
Youtopia is really what we've been trying to achieve for years and It is the end result of a lot of effort blood,sweat and tears. We originally wrote 15 songs for the album and we recorded them at home,We tweaked the songs and spent a lot of time getting a feel about what the songs were about and if they were good enough to put on the album. We had already decided it was to be ten songs but if there were 11 really great songs,or only nine that's what would've ended up on Youtopia.
We recorded the album in two weeks with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Mercenary, Aborted) and many more.We went for a sound that was closer to Aborted than Volbeat because we have a grinding, death metal kind of distortion and a really sweet and bell-like clean sound on the album.
Thematically the album is a statement about truth and is about awareness and responsibility It is a critique of modern power structures and to be political or scientific or religious.The cover is showing a naked girl,reaching out with her eyes closed and her hand hovering over a jaw-trap. It symbolizes the absurdity of taking everything at face value and about making choices with your eyes closed.Inevitably this will have dire consequences and Utopia or Youtopia as we have put it is inside yourself and that perfect state of being and awareness is not about outside factors but about opening your eyes and realizing you have the power to make your life and the world better.
How has the reception been so far?
It's been overwhelming and So many people have listened to our album with open hearts.The reviews have been really great and we've been nominated for the best Danish Metal album in 2015.When you put out your first album and what you're really doing is going all in,will the audience hear us?will the critics? Will the scene respect our music and our craftsmanship? We've had a couple of poor reviews too but they've been few. Some of the really fine reviews touched us because someone out there felt that way about our music and the details and emotions they found on our record is really understanding our album.
To me, from the first notes of the album,Youtopia feels very different from your 2012 release “Reach for the stars”. How do you compare the current album to your earlier work?
As a musician you always grow and find new ways to express what you want through your music and "Reach for the Stars" was an EP we also did with Jacob Hansen and it's a stepping stone for us. We still love the songs and still love to play them but they simply represent a different (and earlier) stage in our development.Our first EP "Nova" is something else entirely But the main thing is that if you listen to Youtopia and then go back to the EP's and you'll find we're still about one thing,great melodies.
That's also the biggest development we've undergone as a band,becoming more skilled in the elusive art of songwriting.To us it doesn't matter if the song is extremely heavy or really soft and emotional but we care more about what's best for the song and Youtopia clearly shows that focus And of course we've become better playing our respective instruments.
Are you more of a studio or a live band?
We're both really but in our opinion a Metal band like ours often works best live and the energy and emotion that we want to convey works great live and we love connecting with the fans that care about our music.While there are always details lost in a live setting and there's a certain feeling of elation and sheer happiness at shows that we really love.We record albums to play live but our recordings are always filled with details that an alert listener will appreciate.
To me there’s a lot of energy to your music.How well does that translate to the stage?
It's a difficult question,we focus a lot on trying to convey everything in a live setting and We're active on the stage,lots of headbanging and movement,While we're not The Dillinger Escape Plan, we want to give our fans a good show. Energy seems to be contagious and when we move we mean it and so will our audience.Our music is technically challenging to play but never so much that we become introvert on the stage.
We have songs that we know work great with an audience both really Heavy headbanger friendly songs and slow and fragile clean stuff.Fear for example is such a great headbanger piece that it'll keep everyone moving throughout.Under The Killing Moon is intensive in a different way and the energy is a more groovy one.
But in truth only our audience can answer that question and it's their experience that dictates if we're successful on stage.
Which of the new tracks do you look forward to most to play live, and why?
We all love to play Fall From Grace and It always puts a smile on our faces.It's different from the other songs,it's fast and thrashy,weird and just full of energy.We also love playing Under The Killing Moon and Fear - simply because it seems our fans really dig those live and they represent extremes in our soundscape.We've begin hearing a lot of requests for Monster,which is our (power)ballad and We haven't played it live since writing it almost 2 years ago - it's extremely difficult to pull off live - but we're planning it for our next show!
What are your biggest influences,and your current favorite bands?
A huge question! We have vastly varying influences but when Pete,Christian and Marcus started the band,Killswitch Engage was a solid influence for the kind of style we were aiming for and We cannot really agree on a lot of music but here's a few that always appear our personal playlists (and we all like listening to): Killswitch Engage,Chris Cornell,Protest the Hero,Between the Buried and Me,Machine Head,Pantera,Decapitated,Solution .45,Lamb of God,The Black Dahlia Murder,Queen,Mercenary,Megadeth.
It'd be a long list to make in full and we have some Black Metal influences too but we never try to emulate.We love and respect other great musicians for their music - and we can relate to the way they write and play live but we are inspired more than we're influenced.
I’ve enjoyed your individual “top 10 highlights of 2015” lists on your Facebook page. If you had to make a top 10 as a band,what would it look like?
1) Releasing Youtopia with Mighty Music.
2) Receiving so many great and detailed reviews.
3) Being released in Japan in 2016 (it's quite difficult to gain access to that market).
4) Finding Lars - we've been short of a competent bass player for quite some time, and Lars is simply a great musician.
5) Sharing the stage with great bands and meeting some great people backstage.
6) Being aired in Denmark's premiere metal radio show: Sort Søndag.
7) Meeting fans that were so glad to see us - it's simply humbling to meet people that spent their time on listening to our music and caring about the band.
8) Making the music video for "Under the Killing Moon". Great people we worked with on that! Was shot in one night during a full moon in about 8 degrees Celsius! (Check the video why that's a feat - for the actors in particular!).
9) Finding new ways to become even better live and trying stuff that simply worked really great!
10) All the interest in our band - we're really grateful that you guys care!
What will 2016 look like for The Vision Ablaze? Any last words for our readers?
We're planning a small tour of Denmark in the Spring/early Summer and hopefully we'll land some festival jobs during the summer.We're looking for a new guitarist,so that's a top priority for us too. We'll be working really hard to promote this album and meet our fans,We'll also be shooting two music videos and plan to start writing some new material in late 2016.
And to all of you who reads this, thank you for taking the time.Time is our most valued resource and no one ever seems to have enough of it. We hope that the time you spend reading about us and listening to our music and seeing our videos and going to our shows is an experience you'll enjoy. We're really looking forward to sharing our efforts with you and hope to see you on the road,Feel free to drop us a line if you feel like it! Have a great 2016!
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Metal On Loud!