EMQ’s with VIATOREM
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London/Brighton, UK based Metal/Hardcore band, Viatorem. Huge thanks to them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
We are VIATOREM, based in South London/ Brighton, and we play aggressive politically-inspired metal/hardcore. Individually we are Ross (vocals, from London), Finn (drums, from London), Pip (guitar, from Guildford) Serge (guitar, from Moscow, Russia) and Rodrigo (bass, from Bogota, Colombia).
Rodrigo and Serge have been friends since childhood and founded the original project roughly two years ago, with Pip and Ross joining soon after, and Finn joining after the recording of our debut EP. After stumbling across him working on his blast beats in a practice room at university, Rodrigo and Pip popped in and asked if he wanted to audition and the rest is history.
How did you come up with your band name?
Rodrigo was trying to find an alternative language or dialect for the word ‘messenger,’ signifying the political themes and messages the band wants to convey. He ended up finding it in Latin: Viatorem.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are all currently based around London & Brighton, and the music scenes in both cities are amazing and healthily competitive. We are constantly excited and surprised to be a part of such a diverse, energetic scene, and can’t wait to earn our place on the live circuit as soon as things start to go back to normal!
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release was released on April 16th – ‘Bulls On Parade’, a cover of one of Rage Against the Machine’s most well-known (and still relevant) songs. As a B-side this single also features a re-recording and remaster of ‘Exalt’, one of our favourite tracks from our debut EP “No Saviours No Kings”.
‘Bulls On Parade’ (Official Video)
Who have been your greatest influences?
We actually made a public Spotify playlist for this exact reason, with all of us having such different influences that we wanted to let our audience enjoy them all the way we do. More specifically though:
Ross: Darkthrone, Terror
Finn: Gojira, Periphery
Pip: Brand of Sacrifice, Fit For An Autopsy
Serge: Malevolence, Thy Art Is Murder
Rodrigo: Verse, Vein
What first got you into music?
Rodrigo got a detention during a music lesson because he didn’t do his homework, and while staying after school he ended up hearing the school band practicing and loved it: He booked his first bass lessons the following day. Finn used to hit things around his room rhythmically as a kid, so his mom decided to buy him a drum kit to keep him busy. And Ross just makes a lot of weird noises generally, so he seemed like a good fit.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician, who would it be?
Will Putney joining in on the production of the record would be a dream come true. He’s worked on some of our favourite records by bands that have been a massive influence on us, so having his input on our tracks would be mind-blowing.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Wacken and Glastonbury, with them being both the biggest or the most awe-inspiring festivals for us while we were growing up.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
We’ll tell you when we actually manage to meet one after lockdown!
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Ross: Joe Strummer
Finn: Jimi Hendrix
Serge: Steve Ray Vaughn
Rodrigo: Bob Marley
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
The best part for us is that unspoken communication that happens when you play music in a room with other musicians, something non-musicians won’t ever be able to fully understand. When you nail that special moment in the practice room and the whole track comes together, there’s no feeling like it (except live shows). Currently our biggest hatred regarding music by far is not being able to play any shows, or connect with our audience in a live capacity. Metal has always been a genre that thrives on the live aspect, and losing that for the last year has been incredibly rough on everyone.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
You are simultaneously expected to try and join an elite hierarchy of labels (the big three) for any kind of mainstream recognition, all the while having to front the costs of merch and transport etc yourself and making literal pennies from streaming services. We’d definitely change the industry to be more inclusive and compensatory for all new upcoming bands and artists.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Ross: “Mirror Reaper” by Bell Witch
Finn: “From Mars to Sirius” by Gojira
Pip: “Odyssey To The West” by Slice The Cake
Serge: “Self Supremacy” by Malevolence
Rodrigo: “The Afterman: Ascension” by Coheed and Cambria
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
For practicality in day to day life, it’s definitely downloads. For personal use and enjoyment at home though, vinyl without a doubt. Digital will never beat physical!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
As a band, sadly none (our debut EP release unfortunately coincided with the first lockdown, perfect timing!), but the live ‘Bulls On Parade’ music video was insanely fun to film – we basically treated it as our first gig and went absolutely crazy for about 9 hours. You can find any future gigs we will be playing on the GIGS tab of our website www.viatoremuk.com/ and of course on all our socials.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Ross: Continuing his day job and political activism.
Pip: A ballet dancer (no, seriously).
Finn: Studying ancient history.
Serge: Film editor/photographer.
Rodrigo: Researching and writing political academic papers.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Emma Goldman, Marcus Aurelius, Dave Grohl, Lemmy, and Noam Chomsky. Just imagine the banter.
What’s next for the band?
We are currently working on our next EP, which will be hopefully coming out towards the end of the year, but there is indeed a full album on the horizon! You can look forward to our full-length release around summer 2022.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Links to all of our socials, streaming platforms, music and more is available on our website.
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Cake, although it took an entire band meeting to figure this one out.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
The government and systems that govern us will try to convince you that a just and fair society is a pipe dream. People will always have the power to topple systems of oppression imposed against us. Arm yourselves with facts, radicalise, and resist.
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