Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: Hello guys! How are you doing?
V: Hey! Thanks for having us here! We’ve been doing fine. Keeping ourselves busy, keeping the engine rolling and working on some plans that for now need to remain unannounced.
PD: We really liked your new video clip “Nightrider”. We can call this “real music”. How do you feel on this?
V: First of all, thanks! It’s always rewarding to hear such comments! It also means that we managed to pass the message we wanted. That’s what we want to represent as a band and what we want our music to be. We don’t want to put any “rose-tinted” glasses on anything, we just want our music to be as honest, real, and raw as possible. Also, the video turned out to be quite special to us since it contains footage of the band since its inception in 2017 up until the time we started to record “Struggle Through Absurdity”.
Alex: Personally, it means that we did what we were meant to do when we were composing: being able to use the raw power that we have together and input it into the songs. That is why it feels like real music, it’s a “no bullshit” approach and it’s straight-to-the face.
PD: Tell us a few words about the band and the musicians that you have in the band.
V: António: Our story goes back to 2017 when Miguel, Eduardo and I started to jam together. Roughly one year later, Pedro joined as a bass player, and we kept that line-up for more than one year after that. By the end of 2019 it was when our lineup was complete with the arrival of Alex to handle the vocal duties, and a few months later we were starting to record “Struggle Through Absurdity”. We’ve all pretty much went DIY when it comes to learning our instruments. Some of us have musical studies, but those guys ended up not playing the instrument for which they’ve studied for (laughs)!
PD: Being from Portugal, makes you have a big tradition in music. What is your opinion about music in your country?
V: There are lots of talented musicians and really good bands from different music genres. Being more specific, we feel that the heavy scene is running strong with new bands coming in that add up to the already amazing roster of heavy bands that we have here. Despite the number of bands, our circuit is small and that brings a new layer of challenges/issues for everyone involved, from the guy that runs the venue to the promoters and ultimately to the bands themselves. We have bands here that are already well established, but it’s important that new bands have their chance to bring diversity and to help the scene to grow in both numbers and in quality. That will eventually help the circuit to grow as well and can actually make everything easier for everyone.
PD: How is your mood about Covid-19? Did this influence the band?
V: Right now, we’re hoping that everyone can slowly get back to their normal lives, while doing it in a responsible way so it doesn’t cause any more harm to anyone. We’ve recorded and released “Struggle Through Absurdity” during the pandemic and so we felt its impact and influence since the beginning of the process. It also ended up preventing any plans for live shows that might have existed, but we’re keeping ourselves focused and occupied and we will continue to push through all of this.
PD: Do you consider that being so unique as a band is an advantage or a disadvantage for you?
V: We’ve never thought about that (laughs), but we think it goes both ways. Also, it’s not that we see it as advantages or disadvantages. There is a common challenge for upcoming bands, independently of whether they’re more unique or less unique, which is the underlying difficulty that exists to be able to establish yourself in the scene and have people more aware of the band in general. And sometimes there’s a level of resistance from certain underground music scenes towards new bands. That said, and at least for us, it’s always good to have something unique since you end up contributing to keep things fresh, but we don’t consider that we have more challenges, or disadvantages, just for having something unique about our sound.
PD: Who writes the lyrics and what they are about?
V: Alex: I write the lyrics and then we as a band evaluate how the lyrics fit into each song. I always try to put my references (games, books, movies) on the lyrics, without being too straighforward. That’s how Nightrider was made, and Glorybringer. Most are cryptic and have kind of a “show-don’t-tell” approach about the meaning behind each theme.
PD: Are there any other musical projects for the members of VANENO?
V: No, currently everyone’s focus is with VANENO.
PD: What was your best live performance ever and how did you feel?
V: Funnily enough we haven’t played live yet (laughs). After recording “Struggle Through Absurdity” our plan was to have some live dates to promote the release, but due to the pandemic those plans had to be postponed. Now that everything is starting to slowly pick up again, we will work to jump on that boat and have ourselves some live dates when possible!
PD: What are your plans about VANENO? Do you feel this about a project or a full band that will last for years?
V: Even though we’ve only officially gone “public” when we released “Struggle Through Absurdity” 5 months ago, this band effectively exists since 2017! The beast has grown during that time and lurked beneath the music scene itself like so many other bands. We’ve been a band since the beginning with all the ups and downs, and we will continue being a band. We’ve come to stay!
PD: Keep up the nice work, guys! Metal on!
V: Thank you again for having us here! We’re looking forward to talk with you again soon. We hope to see you soon in a venue! Cheers!