Vespers Descent recently launched their first EP “Three Faces of Eve” which has been accepted with much acclaim by fans and critics alike. This interview was done before the CD launch to be released as part of the Maim To Please newsletter so some of the questions / answers are not applicable now.
Interview done in October 2003 by Jon Killmachine with Mark Boeijen.
1. Tell us about the origins of Vespers Descent – how long has the band been
in existence and what led to the current line-up that you will have at your
The story about the origins of Vespers Descent is one of fate. Jack Wolski
and myself, years ago, used to play in band called Syntony. Now at that time
(1994-1996), it was a fully established, live gig committed band which had
its fair share of line-up problems. Sick to death of going by word of mouth
to find a guitarist who was willing to put in the effort and stay within
a band, we forked out all our spare pocket money to put a small shitty advertisement
in the classified section of the X-Press. The gods must have smiled upon
us that day because a week later we got a call from a small, curly haired
18 yo kid by the name of Grant Burns who had just flown in from Tasmania.
A few days later he joined Syntony. All was well for the next few months
until I had had enough of a couple of members in the band and without wanting
to go through another firing and replace intermission, I decided it was best
if I left and started a solo project on my own. 2 weeks later Jack left,
Syntony folded and Grant was left on his own.
Years passed. During this time, I had joined various other bands whilst writing
material for a couple demos still under the moniker of Syntony. Jack had
also established contact with Grant and the two of them began writing. They
thought about putting a proper band together and asked me to join but originally
I declined due to previous experiences. They persevered, jamming with a few
drummers but never finding the right one. Andrew Doepel had just met Jack
during this time and upon hearing a tape with a few of their songs, he demanded
that he play bass for them. About a week later, I gave in and joined.
We?ve had several second guitarists since then and we only now have settled
on a permanent. Shannon Over joined Vespers Descent in July and his debut
performance was last Saturday at the Enforce all ages/HQ Leederville.
2. Who came up with the name Vespers Descent? What exactly does it mean in
relation to your music?
This was the title to one of the songs Grant and Jack had written prior to
the band being formed. Vesper/s, according to Jack, is a star or many stars
and attached to the word Descent obviously means something to the effect
of ?Sun falling from the sky? or simply just ?Sunset?. It has many, many
interpretations. It?s also highly original and we couldn?t have wanted a
more cooler and representative name for the way we feel and write music.
It just rocks. Word.
3. You’ve played support for some cracking international bands in your short
career – (Mayhem and Opeth) – tell us about them and how great those experiences
must have been to play with bands of that calibre!
We couldn?t believe our ears when Glen Dyson (manager) met with us August
of last year and asked whether or not we wanted the support for Mayhem. At
the time, for us it just wasn?t fathomable for a band that had only done
say 6 or 7 gigs in their lifespan to be awarded with such a prestige experience.
The gig was great and later on in the night Hellhammer and Blasphemer came
back to our house (Andrew and myself lived in Woodlands for 6 months of last
year ) with a few crew and we stayed up till the wee hours and drunk ourselves
stupid. It was by far the best experience I?ve had since the guys were usually
cool and happy to talk about all things concerning metal.
The guys in Opeth were very tired when we met them but still they made the
effort to talk with us. Awesome people. Very polite and moreso than Mayhem,
eager to chat with the support bands and crew. To see them pull off a show
as amazing as it was in their condition was just monumental. Truly a professional
4. You’ve been in the Perth metal scene for longer than most and as you obviously
know you’ve played for some great local acts such as Syntony, Pathogen and
Samain. Are there any other projects that Vespers Descent members are involved
in? Can we see a possible resurgence of Syntony in the future?
There aren?t really any side projects outside of the band but Andrew does
play in ?D.A.M. Crazy?, a rock n? roll cover band that are doing pretty well
for themselves. They circuit the outside towns of Perth and up and down the
coast of W.A. Shannon used to have a project called Aeolian Sands. Kinda
Cynic inspired stuff. But as for Syntony being resurrected, at this point
I?d have to say no. I have tried many times to write material in that vein
but I don?t seem to be able to. I wrote those demos at a certain time in
my life and they are a reflection of that but the stuff I write these days
is much more suited for Vespers. It would be stupid to do another Syntony
demo with stuff that sounded like Vespers on there. I?d much rather keep
the two bands separate. If there any songs that I write and the guys in Vespers
don?t wish to use, then I?ll save them and do another demo. Originally I
did want to write 4 new songs for Syntony and release all three demos on
one cd but until that time comes, Syntony is on the back burner. I?m not
productive enough for that band to be able to get signed and to have a success
career anyway. The way I look at Syntony now is as a stepping-stone to what
I do now. Vespers is and will be greater than Syntony ever was. Syntony was
not that popular amongst the metal scene. It may have had some small cult
status but that?s it. It?s no great loss to anyone at the moment.
5. When I hear Vespers Descent, I can hear some Swedish melodic death metal
influence. What do you class as influences for Vespers Descent?
Well to be honest, really anything can be an influence for us. We?ve got
stuff in some of our songs that resemble 70?s prog rock but you couldn?t
pick it because of the way we?ve tampered with it. A lot of the chord progressions
we use are Jazz/blues influences simply because of the schooling that Grant
has had. But some of them are just your stock standard three chord melodic
thrash stuff that many Gothenburg bands use. As much as we are inspired by
that Swedish sound, we still have our own sound and the exciting thing for
us when we write new songs is our own style with new ideas we get from listening
to different music. ?Beyond the Pale? opens with a riff that sounds like
a famous Doobie Brothers song. The middle section of ?All that remains? along
with solo is reminiscent of a 12 bar blues lick. A lead in our new song ?A
Quantum Prayer? sounds like the melody to the 80?s disco remix of John Williams
Star Wars theme!!! Seriously, we get inspiration from anywhere as long as
it sounds cool. Swedish Death metal isn?t what we?re about. It has been our
template but we are the kind that develops on top of that. The new songs
prove so. And we aspire to up the ante on the previous written song.
6. How were your experiences of recording and producing your release with
the Whitlers Cave and Sovereign Studios?
It was great. We actually recorded the guts of it in about 7 hours over three
days. That was at Ross and Foden?s house in Northbridge. They had this huge
room built separately from the house out the back and decked out as a rehearsal
room, which we did use from time to time afterwards. The vocals and mix/mastering
was done at Aiden?s studio about 3 months later. The problem with this cd
was that it should have been out at least 12 months prior to its release.
A lot of fucking around happened that could?ve been avoided had we been more
organised but it?s a lesson we had to learn the hard way.
7. Do you have any plans at the moment to follow up the release of your EP
‘Three Faces of Eve’ with another EP or full length album? What other plans
do you have for the future?
Well first priority is to gig like hell for the rest of this year and next
year. The first Vespers Descent full length is on it?s way. Hopefully start
recording say March/ April of next year. We still have a few more songs to
write first. We also want to tour the east coast with Pathogen early next
year but that?s still in the pipeline. Glen is working on that for us at
the moment but it?s still to early to tell if it will happen or not. Really,
we hope to be over all these delays in this band. We have had our fair share
and we?re prepared to work our asses off for the next whatever months to
make up for lost time.
8. Best of luck with the CD launch and the future of Vespers Descent – anything
you want to add?
Thanks Jon!!!! The only thing I want to say is this?
COME DOWN TO THE VESPERS DESCENT EP LAUNCH ON NOVEMBER 7 AND EXPERIENCE THE
WRATH AND WIZARDRY OF 4 OF PERTH?S MIGHTIEST METAL BANDS!!!!!!! CELEBRATE
THE RELEASE OF ?THREE FACES OF EVE? WITH US AND HAVE THE CHANCE TO WIN ONE
OF MANY GIVEAWAYS FROM OUR SPONSERS: MILLENIUM, PRIMITVE, HYDROPHONIC WAREHOUSE,
MUSIC FINDER and PRIME CUTS!!!!!