Interview with Vic Stown Vocals/Rhythm Guitars/Songwriter with Vindicator and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
VS: I’m just a metalhead like anyone else in our community. My band isn’t concerned with reinventing the wheel. We simply write music we like and we keep the flame alive for future generations by doing so. We are Vindicator. We play thrash.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
VS: I live in a small town nestled nearly an hour outside of Cleveland. It’s farmland. It’s quiet. I grew up here and I’ve laid roots here. I come from a family of musicians. My Grandfather played rockabilly. My father played glam metal. My brother and I play thrash. They say music is something that’s ingrained in your DNA. I can’t refute such statements.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
VS: The world is my oyster and current times provide enough raw material to fuel many of my creative endeavours. Heavy metal and rock n roll continue to mold my sound as a musician. With Vindicator, no subject matter is off limits. While some folks turn their nose to socio-political subject matter, we find it to be our niche like many of our peers and the greats who paved the way for the genre as a whole.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
VS: To survive. The older I get, the less of a conqueror I want to become. I just want respect and recognition for my life’s work. Doing things my way of my own volition.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
VS: If I had to singularly pick one thing, it would probably be telling the current president of Earache Records he should seek employment elsewhere because he’s on a sinking ship, but really, it’s this moment right now. Today, tomorrow, and so on. My proudest moment is each day we’re still around.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
VS: The internet is a double edged sword, in this regard. While we have the most powerful tools at our fingertips, it’s harder than ever to stand out. We’re fortunate to have emerged when we did. In the early days of utilizing social media for exposure and accessing an untapped world of fans. For us, it’s going as well as it possibly could. It’s a struggle though. You have to dedicate more time to an online presence than you do to honing your skills and perfecting your craft. So we just keep doing what we do: making angry riffs and lyrics. It works well enough.
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
VS: Booking is easier than ever. Route your tour, look up venues or bands in those areas. Contact them. Simple. Promoting anything on social media is harder than it sounds. Endless sharing, maybe some ads. You have to hope that folks will “like”, “comment” and “share” the content you’re promoting, whether it’s a live show, new release, new merch, what have you. Because if those three things don’t happen, your post goes unnoticed. As for future performances, none this year. While the core of the band resides in Ohio, our lead player lives in Montana. So we have to coordinate accordingly. Planning shows and tours takes nearly six months of preparation or more due to logistics and scheduling on account of our sharing a bassist with Ringworm and Shed the Skin.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
VS: I’m a physical media guy. I’m a collector. But not everyone is into how much space this habit demands. So for those who prefer downloading albums from places like Amazon or Bandcamp, more power to you. I myself use Spotify, but the payout for a band the size of Vindicator is low. It is what it is. It’s almost worse not being on streaming platforms, but the pay scale seems skewed to me.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
VS: I don’t know. I’ve heard this question asked but I’ve never been asked. I wish I had written any of my favorite songs because I love those riffs. Maybe I’d be a little wealthier because of it? In the end I’m happy I’ve written the songs I’ve written because I wrote them. They’re mine. I know this seems like a cop out, but it’s how I feel.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
VS: I’d change a lot about contracts themselves. First and foremost, the wording. It’s extremely easy to get duped. If you can’t afford proper legal representation, there’s a good chance you will be screwed.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
VS: At the moment I’m gearing up for a very special year next year. I hate to be vague, but I can’t really comment any further as to what I am alluding to. All interested parties should follow Vindicator’s socials for updates.
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
VS: linktr.ee/vindicatormetal is the best means to find out more about us, our music, and our merch.
Thanks for the interview Pete! I greatly appreciate your time. Vic
Band/Artist location – Cleveland, Ohio
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