Black: Please introduce
us to the members of Vehemence Realized. Who are the current members?
How long have they been playing together? What are their musical backgrounds
as far as musical training and involvement with other musical projects?
Hello. I am Nathan Roane. I've sung and played trumpet, flugelbone,
guitar, clarinet,djembe, and pump organ for Vehemence
Michael: I play bass, sing, sequence most of our songs, and have been
playing guitar a lot recently.
Nathan: We've been musically involved since May of '97, that's about
two years now.
Michael: Nathan is the one with the musical background. I'm mostly
self-taught. I do music because I love it, and I want to express myself.
I grew up
listening to music on the radio. There were always certain songs that
touched me. I want to make these songs for someone else. I learned
to play instruments when I couldn't find the right people to help or
right way to express myself.
My training has been mostly with voice and composition, with only
a few years of piano and private trumpet lessons. Everything else
I figured out on my own. Composition has been my love, especially
cappella choral music. I've been the music director for a
local Episcopal church
since October of '98, arranging music each week to fit our
ensembles and writing my own piece about once a month. With this
job, I can control
what each piece of mine sounds like from birth to performance.
I also get to bring in and fool around with each new instrument I
Black: To me, the music of Vehemence Realized is quite a unique blend of styles
and genres.... I sense that there must be several influences which inspire
the music of Vehemence Realized. Could you explain your influences, who you
to now and who affected you as you developed your creativity?
The biggest influences are the things that happen to us. A lot of
events and struggles from our past come to play in the
music of Vehemence
A lot of it is just learning how the events shape us, or things
that seem important. The music is just one way of expressing
all the ideas.
a painter paints
a moment, so do we. I hope the music comes off this way more
series of influences. Of course different music that I have heard
over the years
have taught me alot about how to express myself. I remember Don
End of the Innocence" had quite an effect on me. I loved its movement and
its nostalgia. I learned to sing by memorizing Depeche Mode and EMF songs. Nine
Inch Nails really opened a lot of doors for me, actually one of the first songs
I ever performed live was a version of "Something I Can Never Have" with
Danny Ingersonon piano and me singing. After that This Mortal
Coil's filigree and shadow completely changed me. It really opened
mind to the possibilities.
It was so beautiful; it still is. Since then I've listened to
a lot of different things that I've liked a lot. I've picked
there but nothing
that changed me the way This Mortal Coil did.
Nathan: Before joining VR, the only music I had heard that was remotely similar
to what we've come up with was Dead Can Dance. I've been involved with many
musical projects of varying genres, but this is my first time creating anything
this. My writing has always leaned more towards the more dynamic and introspective.
In each stage of my life, what I've listened to hasconcentrated on one or two
bands or composers. I've passed through spells of The Jesus Lizard, Black Sabbath,
Chopin, Eye Hate God, Mozart, Motorhead, John Tavener, and Fugazi. My most
recent spell has been with Neil Young's music, which I've had a steady diet
of for a
few years now. I think I'm about ready for something new, but I have no clue
what that could be.
Black: For those who are unfamiliar with your music, could you please describe
the sound, or the style, of the band? What is your goal with each new track
Nathan: "Intensely brooding" is
the general description I use. We've been accepted as darkwave, the
of gothic. That works
for me. We've been more accepted andappreciated by those
with a few years behind them, either adults with maturity
most. Our music isn't for people who like to just dance
and not think about toomuch.
Michael: We are dark and beautiful. I never know what else to say. As far as
goals for songs go, I just try to get another idea across with each new piece.
I like it when a song writes itself. Those feel the best.
I try to make each piece sound "right." It's
a feeling of completeness, a self judging perfection
that makes everything
songs that I've felt weren't yet complete, hoping that
just showing it to someone new would wake up whatever
it is inside
of me that
how it should change.
Michael: Some of those songs just never make it. We've lost a couple that just
never matured correctly. We're not here pumping out tunes, but making music
we feel good about.
Nathan: I never quite give up on the ones that haven't matured, thinking about
them periodically to try and figure out what needs changing.
Michael: I prefer to leave them behind.
Black: "Severe" is
your first full-length label release, correct? Have you released
any other tracks,
perhaps on compilations or self-releases?
there any new projects that Vehemence Realized
will be working on in the near future?
Yes, Severe is our first fully released album. Just prior to her,
we contributed a track to the i.D.
Records compilation, "of
passion and remembrance."
We're working on a song called "Temperance" for
the next Palace Of Worms compilation.
Nathan: So far, that's been Michael's project. When he's ready, I'm expecting
he'll invite me to join him so we can finish it together. We're likely to contribute
to a few compilations once the dust from Severe settles down, getting back
into the studio and producing more for others to hear. We've been working on
that's mostly guitar based and should have an even stronger intimacy. Though
I hate recording, the studio has been the best place for me to polish a song.
For Severe, I did a lot of experimenting with overdubbing different instruments
that I just can't do livewith this two-handed, one-mouth handicap.
Michael: I really liked the studio setting. It was nice to be able to focus
on one part of a song at a time, especially when recording vocals. Our friend
engineer Matt Wenninger got to know oursongs really well and it was nice to
get his ideas in there too.
Matt and I have been friends since all men's choir back in eighth
grade. We ended up going to the same university and eventually became
roommates. He's one of the best friends I've ever had, and I sincerely
enjoyed working with him. He was building his studio when we
firststarted working with him, so whenever we needed something special
for recording he'd go buy it and figure out how to use it. If you read
Severe's liner notes you'll see just how much he has done for us.
Without Matt, we could never have afforded the studio time to make her
as close to perfection as she is.
What is the meaning or reason behind the name "Vehemence Realized"?
Nathan: "Vehemence" is
an intense and furious emotion
similar to passion.
has an angry
it, but not always.
has been drifting further from
closer to despair.
Michael: The name felt right when I thought of it.
I couldn't think of a better description of what we intended to create.
Dance music and
worthless pop music has always made me nauseous. Lately,
I've taken to despising the whole
concept of music being "entertainment," and
less than art. None of projects
I was involved withbefore ever came close to the consistently
received from Vehemence
As a writer, I am very interested in the lyrical
of music. Could
you please share
with us some
of the topics
that guide your
titles and lyrics? I suspect
that some may be more private
since no lyric
sheet is provided with "Severe".
The titles of our songs usually just come to one of us. It might tell
you a little about it, but at the same time it's a name for the song.
Just as the name Michael is nice for me I hope thenames that we give
our songs are appropriate for them. Lyrics are usually guided by the
music itself. It might be an event from my life or something I felt
that is being portrayed, but it first goes through the music and then
into part of the song. Some of them are more personal than others, but
I don't have a problem with sharing them. It just seems unnecessary to
print the lyrics. I'd rather not have people reading along as they
listen to the CD, that seems like more of a distraction. Generally I
don't like to see lyrics printed in the albums I buy.
I'm usually more concerned with the music than the text of a song. Once
the text is established, assuming there are lyrics, they'll tell me how
they want to be set. From there, all of my attention is directed to
what I'd like to hear. The lyrics have a more direct way of describing
why the song was written, but I don't pay as much attention to that. We
discussed the no lyrics concept at length before deciding to print, and
have not yet regretted it. It's somewhat of a nuisance for people to
ask for the lyrics, but I just send them on to Michael and he takes
care of them. He's better at that kind of thing and wrote nearly all of
the words anyway.
A couple people have asked me for the
like the idea of
sitting down with the CD and
everything we sing.
just leave it.
I did talk
at length the
other evening with
my friend Devon about "Severin" and
where the lyrics
came from. It's about
girl I had fallen
whom had moved
to San Francisco
ending our romantic
the song I ride a
there to visit
On the trip I remember
when she had given
her cat Severin
much she loved
Severin, and it was
if she could give
away, she could certainly
away also. The lyrics
are not a detailed
I think the overall
emotion is expressed
well whether someone
knows the story or
lyrics when we were
house, but that was
more on a whim.
How did you discover the label "Palace of Worms"? Or, perhaps
the question should read "How did Palace of Worms discover you?".
Had you searched
a long time to
was it a
and easy process
In late 1997, I sent Palace Of Worms Records an old demo of Vehemence
Realized from before Nathan had joined. I heard about Palace Of Worms
from Conrad of Stay Frightened. We'd been communicating for some time.
I really liked Conrad's music and was excited when he found a label to
release his first CD. He suggested I send Guido Borghetti, owner of
Palace Of Worms Records, the demo. So I did. Guido became interested in
us and we were quite happy to release our CD with him. So I guess it
turned out an easy search.
Thankfully, Michael took care of all of that. Other than 4AD, I would
have been clueless to try and find someone willing to help promote her.
Once it was established that Severe was to be released by P.O.W, I took
over most of our communication with them. It's fortunate for us that
Guido has such a firm grasp of the English language. I hope to meet him
some day, or at least know what he looks like. He has been great to us,
patient while we struggled to finish the album and
His only suggestion
was that we
add one more
up making her
a full hour
be "Revere," a
to the album.
Black: What do you hope the listener interprets from your music? What feelings
or emotions do you wish to share with the listener?
I'd like for whoever listens to Severe reevaluates what in their life
is truly important. I hope someone will listen to her and know they are
Michael: I don't know Nathan, I think Severe is a lonely album.
Now that I think about it, I'm not too concerned what other people
get out of her. I think there's something in her for just about
end. I'd rather people feel ways they had forgotten
about, remembering experiences that
their lives. Everyone in the world
should hear "Source" at
least once. I still can't believe
how well that cameout. It's the most intense
Performing "Source" that
Nathan: It creeps me out.
What are your hopes and dreams for Vehemence Realized? Please explain
your long term goals as far as the level of success you'd like to
achieve with the band. Some artists reach for the stars while others
are content in the simple sharing of emotions with their listeners.
Nathan: Michael and I have been good friends for nearly five years now. We've
now only seen the beginnings of what we can accomplish as collaborating musicians.
Nathan has been great to work with. I'm looking forward to our next
album. It will be a lot of hard work. I'm not sure exactly what success
for a band means, but I'd like for as many people to hear our music as
We're both fairly complex people and that shows in our music. This is a
detriment in trying to market us broadly, but I hope we can find some
appreciation for what we're doing and continue to meet new people and
make new friends. I'm also hoping to use this project as an excuse to
When people show appreciation for what we're doing I feel successful.
When people come to shows and thank us for the experience it makes me
feel great. I love going out of town to play shows and am really
looking forward to playing in Europe some day. Nathan and I have been
talking a lot about that lately.
I love my cat Stripe. She has an orange stripe down the middle of her
face. Someone else named her. She's very loving except with other
animals. She's not the cat on the album cover,but I love her none the
less. It's really important to me to have loving relationships in my
life. I take my relationships with my cat, friends, and music very
After about a week of serious depression I come to realize that things
just aren't getting better. If I can gather the will, I'll change
something in my life that would otherwise be meaningless, like shifting
furniture around in my bedroom. A little change like my bed being
against a differentwall freshens my life by forcing a state of
transition. I'm at my best during times of change. I'm more alert,
happy, and get things accomplished.