Australia are pounding the table for more artists spanning into the modern, heavy style of music. Before you lose the final opportunities, check out the tickets that are still available for Dance Gavin Dance and Veil of Maya’s tour next month! I recently had a chat to Veil of Maya’s guitarist, Marc Okubo, to see what sort of attitude they’ll be smacking Australia with this coming February.
Hey Marc! Let’s give a quick lesson to those people might not know Veil Of Maya. You guys clearly have a kickass sound with the number of tickets sold so far for the tour next year. Could you sum up Veil Of Maya in a couple of words for us?
We’re metal, progressive, dynamic, melodic and… rhythmic.
That sums it up pretty darn well. How did the band respond to the number of tickets sold for February’s tour?
We haven’t even talked about that yet! I think a lot of that has to do with Dance Gavin Dance and their new album being so successful. But I’m excited to come back. We haven’t been to Australia for 4 years and by the time the tour hits it’ll be 5 years.
So, if you guys haven’t talked about the ticket success, what have you been up to?
We’re currently on break writing. Half the band lives across the country so we only see each other briefly in the studio or right before a tour starts. Everyone is at home doing regular life stuff right now while I’m starting to piece together riffs for a new album.
Where did the idea to tour with Dance Gavin Dance come from?
We started touring with them this year. We went to Europe with them and then we toured the states with them and Underoath. We got along with them quite well, so we took advantage of that and accept every tour we can get with them. We share management, so that makes it easier. It’s hard for both of our bands to find a good fit since we’re both a little different. Although we’re both weird enough to sit together perfectly. I’m kind of enjoying touring the world with them, it’s cool.
How does the crowd react to the bands being different?
Surprisingly well! Much better than we thought it was going to go. There weren’t really any walkouts or anything like that. The crowd has definitely been supportive to both bands in most of the places that we’ve gone to so far.
How do you think your music is different to Dance Gavin Dance’s?
We’re similar in a lot of ways but I wouldn’t really consider Dance Gavin Dance a metal band at all. I’d say they’re the most ‘not-metal’ band that we’ve toured with. Although I think because there’s a lot of interesting guitar work for both bands and there’s singing and screaming for both bands there are enough similarities. But yeah, I’d say the biggest difference is they’re straight up not metal at all.
Do you think it’s new or a different thing for a metal band to be touring with a non-metal band?
When growing up, I was doing a lot of shows that were mixed. Hardcore and death metal would be a common mix, but you don’t see that too often these days. I guess trends started to get in the way of that. Like our band could have been too emo to tour with this metal band or vice versa. I think we’re kind of getting past that again. Having your own sound is the cool thing right now instead of ‘every band is going to be emo this year’ or ‘every band is going to be deathcore.’ I think being unique is the cool thing so having unique tours like this suit everyone.
Did you just say you thought Veil Of Maya had a bit of an emo feel to them earlier on or was that another project you had?
We definitely went more in that direction with the last two records but before that we started out by touring pretty much strictly with death metal bands. We were on tour with Necrophagist, Dying Fetus and Cattle Decapitation, stuff like that. I guess with the switch of our vocalist means we tour with Dance Gavin Dance and Warp Tour, that kind of stuff.
False Idol came out last year but now that it’s has been digested by the world, how do you feel about that musical segment of your life?
It’s hard to tell because we haven’t really toured on the album as much as I would have liked to. It’s been our best-selling album amongst all of our releases so it’s cool to see that we can continue to push to genres as far as we have, and people still support it. It really makes me excited to write new music because we’ve passed the threshold of being judged for… writing the music we want to write… and everyone’s kind of on board with it.
On the last record, you worked with Brandon Paddock. He’s worked with Papa Roach, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Volumes and a whole lot of other artists. What was it like having him on board?
Oh he’s great! He was really, really helpful for thinking of vocal melodies. He’s a wizard at that. So yeah, I could definitely see us working with him for vocals in the future.
I’ve read that Lukas came in with a storyboard worth of lyrics and a scene-scape before you started writing. Did that make anyone feel out of their depth when writing?
It was cool since we had the basis of what the album was going to be about from the start. We could create a melodic theme for the record before diving head first into it. I guess it made it easier because we were almost providing a soundtrack for a movie.
Are you guys going to push any new music in the tour that’s coming up to Australia?
Ohhh that would be nice! Hopefully we have new material by then. We might sneak a little something in. You never know…
The last album you released went on the heavier and darker path. Are you going further down that path or are you going to try a bunch of new things?
Well I can’t say necessarily for all the songs, but at the moment I’m in a pretty heavy and dark mood. I’m itching to get back into technical, progressive music. But at the same time, I can’t forget the success of our last two albums. There are some elements that need to keep going. I definitely want to get more back into being a player and balance it out by writing cohesive music. I miss being a technical death metal band a little bit.
That pink guitar you’ve got needs to be shredded.
So what bands in the world are you listening to at the moment?
I guess in the last year or so I got into this band called The Midnight. They seem to be blowing up. I’ve also been into like a lot of jazz music too lately. It’s also fun to go back in time and listen to progressive music from the 70s like Yes and King Crimson.
A bit of everything! Thanks Marc for the chat. I can definitely guarantee Australia is keen with all of the sold-out shows!
Interview By Kurt Boldy @kurtboldy
Veil of Maya support Dance Gavin Dance in Feb/March
Dance Gavin Dance – 2019 Australian Tour
with Veil of Maya and belle haven
Tuesday 26 February – The Brightside, Brisbane 18+ – SOLD OUT Wednesday 27 February: The Brightside, Brisbane 18+ – SOLD OUT
Thursday 28 February: Factory Theatre, Sydney 18+ – VENUE UPGRADE
Friday 1 March: Small Ballroom, Newcastle 18+
Saturday 2 March: Corner Hotel, Melbourne 18+ – SOLD OUT Monday 4 March: Jive Bar, Adelaide 18+ – SOLD OUT
Tuesday 5 March: Amplifier Bar, Perth 18+