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Vektor - This Is Not An Exercise

By: David E. Gehlke

Blistering.com: Your vocals are one of Vektor's defining elements. They're quite different than most vocalists of your ilk...they're almost futuristic in a way. When did you stumble upon the fact you could sing in such a manner?

Thank you. I always used to sing along to music in my car like goofy teenagers do. My favorite albums to sing along to when I was 16 or so were Metallica's Kill em' All and Emperor's Prometheus. The thing I like about both of those albums are the multidimensional aspects to the vocals. Young Hetfield and Isahn both did this lower growl sound with a higher screechiness to it. I tried to emulate them in a way and ended up sounding the way I do. After that I got into Destruction and Kreator and Schmier and Mille both helped refine my vocal style. Playing sci-fi metal led to a lot of experimentation with my vocals and I started doing different things like the robotic sounding vocals in some of our slower parts. For the record, I don't use any effects on my voice to get those sounds (besides reverb and delay) and all of my screams are outward. People always think my screams are inward, but that just makes me cough, ha-ha.

Blistering.com: The science fiction angle of your lyrics presents a connection to someone like Agent Steel. Do you see it that way and/or were you influenced by them?

Nah, I just wanted to combine thrash with sci-fi because those were the things that interested me the most. I didn't even know about Voivod when I first started writing the riffs to “Destroying the Cosmos” back in 2000. I was unaware at the time that anyone had really brought sci-fi together with thrash, but I was obviously just a teen who hadn't heard it all. I was stoked when I found out about Agent Steel and Voivod because it filled a musical void for me that I had been looking for.

Blistering.com: In a way, science fiction is oftentimes associated with people with "nerd-like" qualities. Are people thrown off by the fact that you're interested in both sci-fi and metal?

I don't really care for overly judgmental people. I like what I like and that's all that matters to me. I think sci-fi and metal fit perfectly with each other, and it seems that most people see it that way too when they hear us.

Blistering.com: Because your logo bears some similarities to them, Voivod will always be a band in reference with you. However, you don't sound like them. Lazy journalism or guilt by (logo) association?

We're honored that people link us to Voivod because they're awesome, but we never thought it would be such a big deal because we sound pretty different. I made the logo to look like a sci-fi spaceship, and I wasn't consciously trying to go for the Voivod aesthetic. We wanted a logo that fit our sound, and that's what I tried to do when I made it. It's funny how a lot of death, black, and thrash metal bands all have very similar logos within their respective genres, but it wasn't a big deal until we came into the scene. There are also a ton of thrash bands with Nuclear Assault-style logos. It doesn't really bother me though. Once people hear us they realize that we're doing our own thing.

Blistering.com: What are your thoughts on the new version of Total Recall? From my standpoint, they should have left the original as-is...

I haven't had time to see it yet. I was pretty pissed when I first heard about it, but apparently it follows the book more than the original movie did. I'll have to wait to pass judgment until I see it, but the original will always be a classic. Any movie with Arnold in it should be left alone, ha-ha. About the new Total Recall... We met one of the best fans ever and now a good friend on our last West Coast tour in L.A. His name's Siavash and he's a stuntman in the new Total Recall. We got totally stoked to hear that he was such a diehard fan.

Blistering.com: Finally, what's on the agenda for the rest of 2012?

We'll be touring a lot. We're finishing up this U.S. tour in September, and then we're going back out on the road in late October with Exhumed, Napalm Death, and Municipal Waste. We so stoked for that! So, look for us and hopefully we'll be landing our shuttle in your town.

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