VAINGLORY Interview 4/26/2001

Interview by Julio Cesar - Editor Rock Connection
Rock Connection VAINGLORY interview

1. Tell me a little history, to brasilians fans that never know nothing about Vainglory ?

Vainglory was formed after I had began work as a Leviathan Records' Recording Artist. I first met David Chastain at a Savatage concert here in Atlanta a few years ago. At this time I was in the very beginning stages of my musical career. I kept in touch with him as I and my musical style developed into what its become now. Over this time I wrote all the music that is on '2050'. As things began to really come together David decided for us to go ahead and come up with a band and make this project a reality. As the final touches were being added to the music on my end, David started sending demos of the material to various people we could audition for members of Vainglory. This was a long process. I was very fortunate that I found Brian Harris and Kevin Kekes from the first audition. Brian had already done a Zanister and Kenziner recording at that time, so I think David knew he would be a great choice as the drummer. Kevin had also done some work with David on one of the Chastain albums, so again, he was a likely choice as the bassist. The long and tiring part was finding a singer. We must have gone through 5 guys before we found Ted. At last here we are!! I am very proud of this band and all the guys in it!

2. From where did you take the name Vainglory ?

The name Vainglory didn't come to me right away. I had been tossing around a few ideas that I had for the bandname, and David T. had a list of some he'd come up with. At last it was from one of his lists that the word Vainglory was written. The actual definition of the word is: excessive or ostentatious pride in one's achievements. This was a question if we'd use that name or not. None of the guys in this band are big ego types or anything, I just think that there is a certain amount of power behind the word. The band's music is very powerful, and I felt that a strong word like Vainglory really was right for the band's sound. Even though we are proud of what we've recorded, it's not so much about that, as it was just a cool name.

3. Are you satisfied with the final result of 2050 ?

I am very pleased with the finished product. I couldn't be more happy with the performances the guys gave. Brian Harris' drumming is simply amazing. He's definately the metal drummer I have always wanted in a band. Ted Brasier's vocals are emotional and very powerful. He has a very unique and original voice, something metal music has been needing in my opinion. Sometimes vocalists in power metal sound somewhat similar, Ted has stepped out of those boundaries. I also feel Kevin Kekes' bass lines really added a needed element to the songs. He added class to the intensity. When he wasn't playing lines right with me, he was playing melodically around what I was doing. I do feel very proud about this cd, I hope everyone can find something about it to enjoy as well.

4 . Describe your music to someone who has never heard it before ?

Well, we all have our various influences. Although currently I don't really listen to that much music, I have past influences from bands such as Testament, Helstar, Forbidden, Megadeth, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force, Jason Becker, and George Bellas. The band shares a few influences but, for the most part we have a pretty diverse list of names. If you had to list some that we had in common they would be Testament, early Metallica, Judas Priest, early Megadeth, and Death. You can hear traces of these bands from time to time but, I believe we create a new sound of power metal as well.

5. What do you think about all these thrashy power metal bands that we have in the US nowadays, such as Nevermore, Iced Earth, and Zanister for example?

To be quite honest I am not that familiar with the Nevermore or Iced Earth albums. I need to get some of their cds so I can check them out. I have heard good things about them. I do like the Zanister albums, especially what I've heard recently from their 'Fear No Man' cd. As I said before, I'm not listening to that much music at the moment. I try to keep it to a minimum especially when I'm writing. You'd probably be surprised at how many bands I've actually never heard!

6. Tell about the lyrics, why were written by David T. Chastain. ?

The concept behind '2050' was from a storyline that David had sent me. We were having such a difficult time finding a singer that we decided to take on the lyrics and melodies ourself. Although we would have preferred a singer come in and do it all himself, by the time we found Ted, David had already finished the lyrics. I am most comfortable with writing music. It comes naturally to me, and I wanted someone that was gifted lyrically to handle the words. This was something David was good at. He has written 20 some cds of lyrics over time, including all of the Kenziner release 'Timescape'. So naturally I felt comfortable with David being the lyricist for this cd. Ted is also a great writer. He wrote the lyrics to 3 of the songs on Zanister's latest cd 'Fear No Man'. You can definitely plan on Ted writing for the 2nd Vainglory recording. Most of all it was a time factor for this cd. The music was so far along into production we didn't really have time for a singer to start from scratch on the vocals.

7. David T. Chastain produced this album. What was it like to work with him, and did he bring anything special out of the band?

It was great! We had a good time doing all of this. I'm not saying it wasn't a lot of work, but it was very enjoyable I think. Chastain is a great guy. I felt comfortable with him doing the production and beng involved with the mixing. He has definitely done his share of recordings and knows what a metal album is supposed to sound like. I had heard these songs for so long during the making of this cd that we decided I not be at the mix down. My ears had a certain sound burnt in them and a fresh set of ears was needed to make sure we got the best mix. I think David kept us on our toes. He is a very hard worker and demands the best from everyone. I look forward to working with him again on the production of future Vainglory cds.

8. Tell me about the plans to 2050's tour ?

As of this moment there are no plans for a tour. There's a lot of things involved with this. I would say number one would be the money. I would also say that the response to the cd has a big effect on touring as well. If the cd goes over great, then most definitely we will be touring. On the other hand, around the time of a second release is perfect for touring. You simply have more material, press time, exposure, etc... These things all lead to a more successful tour. I would love to take Vainglory around the world, we're just waiting for when the time is right.

9. Woulb be possible to call Vainglory as a "new wave" between American's bands ?

I think it would be safe to call Vainglory a new wave of metal. To me Vainglory's music is a natural progression and continuation of the direction metal was heading before the dreaded "grunge" movement spread its feces on everything. Vainglory is ready to bring metal back to the USA!

10. What your influences in rhythmic and lead guitars ?

I have had many influences over time but, there are three main influences that have stuck with me and that I still get inspiration from. Yngwie Malmsteen, George Bellas, and Jason Becker. These guys are truely great musicians and incredible guitarists. I also was very much influenced by guys like Dave Mustaine, Alex Skolnick, and James Hetfield. I feel my rhythm style and heavy approach was instilled in me by these guys. I mean as far as the "modern" style of heavy metal rhythm playing goes, Mustaine and Hetfield had a lot to do with how heavy metal rhythm guitar is done. All in all there have been quite a few players that left some sort of mark on me, but these are the ones that come to me first when I'm asked this question.

11. How your influences have changed your way of playing guitar ?

I think the best way that all the people who have influenced me have changed my playing is, always making me want to keep playing and getting better. Anytime I get in a writing slump or have a hard time getting motivated with my guitar, all I need to do is to put in one of the many cds that keep the fire burning. I also love to go to concerts, or watch videos of my favorite players. There is definitley a certain passion that is evoked when you see a great live show.

12. What are your plans for the future, personal and with the band ?

Well, currently I am in the process of building my new studio at my house. I am in the middle of construction of the rooms and I'm just about to order all the equipment as well. This means that the next Vainglory and my other projects I have planned, will be done right here in the comfort of my home. We'll be able to do everything from recording to mixdown! Also, in the time between Vainglory cds I am working on another project which is more oriented around the guitar. Perhaps a heavier Rising Force type thing. Who knows what the future will bring?!?! I will stay busy though that's for sure!!!

13. Is there anything else that you want to say to the readers of Rock Connection ?

Yes! Thank you all so much for your interest in me and in Vainglory!! I hope to continue to write the best metal music I can for you!! I hope to see you all backstage real soon!!

Julio Cesar - Editor Rock Connection