1. First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Before we really get rolling, please introduce yourself and can you please give us some information on your band and its background?
V.V. Vince Vatican ( Guitarist ) of the band Vatican. Vatican was formed in 1986 and from this period to 1992 we released 3 demo's ( Repent or Burn ), ( Power Is Obsession ) and ( Answer To The Master ) all independent releases. Appeared on a Cleveland Metal Compilation entitled Distant Thunder. Then split up. Reformed in 2011 and released a compilation for our demo's entitled (Metalmorphosis) in 2014 on CD with Cult Metal Classics Records of Greece. In 2016 signed a 3 record deal with Pure Steel Records of Germany and released ( March Of The Kings ) 2017.
VG. I am the Drummer for Vatican, Vic Gribouski. We are a 3 piece heavy metal band from Sandusky Ohio. We formed in 1986. We are on Pure Steel Record out of Germany
2. Please describe your band’s style. Genre, similar bands, etc. What should a potential new fan expect upon hearing your music for the first time?
V.V. Vatican is a power metal band that touches on speed metal. First time you hear the band, there is a comparison to Tyrant and Judas Priest.
VG. Our style if asked is Heavy/Speed Metal. Our style compares with Judist Priest or Wasp. Maybe a little Fates Warning and Nasty Savage included. Those are our hero artists.
3. What other bands have you played in previously?
V.V. Just mostly cover bands, in 1993 I release a e.p. entitled Vince Vatican ( Disturbing The Peace ) also independent.
VG. Other bands I have played in include Savitar and After Hours. My first band I was in was when I was 12 with my 2 brothers and a neighbor called Pasionate Purple.
4. What are some of your musical influences both in metal and maybe in other styles of music?
V.V. My metal influence's a Kiss, Malmsteen, Shok Paris, Dio. Other music styles I like a pop music.
VG My influences include Nasty Savage, Annihalator, and Grand Funk Railroad. Plus I like to practice to Luke Bryant to country also..
5. Can you please share with us your band's recording history and any interesting stories and experiences from the studio?
1986 Repent Or Burn
1989 Power Is Obsession
1990 Answer To The Master
2014 Metalmorphosis CD
2017 March Of The Kings
V.V. No real crazy things had gone on in studio while recording, just Drinking Vodka & OJ along with a lot of Porn..
VG Our first recordings were on Cassette players, progressing into reel to reel, then digital recording recently. Our first recording was at Brownwood studios in Gibsonburg Ohio. The engineer had at least 20 dogs that were everywhere in the studio, house, outside, bathroom, everywhere we went. I always had a dog by me the whole time we were there. good dogs though. The new album was recorded in Dayton and Brain was getting a scratchy voice so I went and got him a bottle of Vodka(throat coat as we call it) and he finished the singing great.
6. How about your bands live experiences? Any amusing or memorable shows you would like to share with us?
V.V.There was a time in 1988 my pants crotch ripped out and I was completely exposed, this also happend in 1990.
VG Back in the middle 80s our name used to really piss off the Religious community. Church groups used to Picket with signs walking in circles telling people not to go into the concert cause the Devil is in there and it was blasphemy what we were doing. If they only knew most of their kids were probably in the concert already. It was all ages with 8,9, sometimes 10 bands playing from all around Ohio. The Metal Bash's. 4 to 500 kids in there. Great shows.
7. We have all heard of the big 4 of thrash. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. It has been talked about in the past and critiqued quite often. In your mind, what are the Big 4? You don't have to just list thrash bands, lets open it up to all metal genres, past or present, what is the big 4 in your mind?
V.V Iron Maiden, Death, and Motorhead
VG Grand Funk Railroad, Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Queen.
8. What would be your dream supergroup? Again lets open it up to past or present musicians, what would be the dream band lineup?
V.V. Myself ( Guitar )
Dimebag Darrell ( Guitar )
Steve Harris ( Bass )
Micky Dee ( Drums )
Ronnie James Dio ( Vocals )
VG Me on Drums of coarse, Eric Clapton on Lead guitar, Jimmy Page on guitar, Getty Lee on Bass, And Freddy Mercury on vocals.
9. Now if you were to be a member of any band, who would you love to join up with?
V.V. Iron Maiden
10. Now it’s time to get philosophical. What IS heavy metal?
V.V. Heavy Metal is a life style, a true being in itself. Definitely a life style.
VG Heavy Metal is a form of music that encompasas screeching guitar work, fast drums, and monsterous singing.
11. What has heavy metal done for you thus far both in music and in your personal life?
V.V. Created a platform for myself to say what I feel needs to be said socially, politically, and domestically. As for personally, Divorce.
VG Heavy Metal has been a life savor in my life since my wife passed away in 1983. It is a platform to the soul. It gives a venue to express anger, love, sadness, joy, and life in general. It is a window to the minds way of looking at things.
12. If you were not playing in a metal band, what do you think you would be doing currently?
V.V. Selling cars of course.
VG Playing in a country and western band more than
likely. lol. Which is another venue to express a lot of feelings.
13. What is your heavy metal dream? I am not talking about goals here, I am talking about going to bed and dreaming...what is the dream you are having? Or is it a nightmare?
V.V. A nightmare, I'm lost in a country, that no one speaks my language, Jesus Christ..
VG My dream I have quite a bit is playing the Wacken festival. With so many people there it bogles the mind. Sitting behind the drums saying to myself,,look at all these fans here to see me. People as far as you can see. A sound system that is crazy loud and seeing all these people banging their heads to my beats. Then I wake up and say AW Shit, just a dream. Most of the time I can see the whole show happening.
14. What is your view on the current state of heavy metal?
V.V. Great if your in Europe! Not so great if your in the United States.
VG What I am seeing is a lot of Metal bands making it and going to Europe. Unless your Slayer or a really big band the crowds here in th on e US are not good unless at a festival of bands. The club scene is not what it used to be.
15. What are your thoughts concerning the digital era of metal. I am curious what you think of digital downloading, recording in the modern era and anything else that has changed since the early days of the industry.
V.V. When it comes to digital downloads, you should purchase them. Modern recording, just amazing!
VG We have stayed true to our roots by not using triggers, electronic fills, or electronic drums. We like our 80s sound and try to keep a live sound on our albums just like you would hear if you saw us.
16. Heavy metal has gone through some changes since the early days. New movements have come and gone as has its overall popularity. With that in mind, what direction do you see heavy metal going in the future?
V.V. I believe music in general, be it metal or punk make a circle and comes back around. I can see that right now, classic metal or what they call it now as " Old School Metal" is making a come back, and thank God, I don't really like the " Screamo Metal that has been so prominent in the last few years!
VG I am seeing Metal going into a different direction than I want it to. The Black metal, Screemo metal, Punk metal, Death metal in my book has no place in metal. They need to call it something else. If you cant understand a single word in it its not music, it is noise. Yes, Cult 80s metal is making a comeback and so it should.
17. Several musicians have gone on record to say that the full length album is dead. That with the digital age there is no need to produce a full length release. What are your thoughts, is the full length dead or still viable?
V.V. I do understand some musician's are saying full length albums are dead. For me, I still buy records and CD's and have never downloaded one piece of music. Myself, I like to read the liner notes an who played on the CD. So, I personally would have to disagree with the full length album is dead statements.
VG A full length album or cd is not dying at all. In fact a lot of my friends expect a Vinyl album by their bands so they can play them on their record player. Of coarse im talking old school people I Know. I cant speak for these kids and what they want.
18. Okay time to talk and promote your band some more. What is the current news coming from your camp. Any new music, tours, festivals or anything going on?
V.V. The new Vatican album was released this past March 24th in Europe and was met with very good reviews, and sales are going really well! April 22nd we play the Milwaukee Spring Bash Metal Fest along with Omen, Tyrant and Wrath. It's a 3 day event and looking forward to seeing some old friend from back in the day! Going back into the studio this September for record the follow up to March Of The Kings, no pressure there.. Hoping to go to Europe in 2018, it seems to be our biggest market and there is an incredible demand for Vatican.
VG The Milwalkee Spring Bash festival is this weekend, we play Saturday nite, the third day of the fest. Then working on new material till July 22 in which we play with Homicide Black and Savior from anger in Erie Pa. Then in August we work on more new tunes till we go back into the Studio to record our next record for Pure Steel records.
19. What are the immediate short range goals for your group?
V.V. To make the best sophomore record possible! You always hear from other artists and critics how hard it is to make a follow up record? I feel with the new material that has been written in the last few months, I don't believe this to be true.I go in studio and just have fun and make the best out of it..
VG Short range goal is to Duplicate the feeling on our last record into the next record. Work on getting a management company and booking agency to help free us up being us three do all that at this time, taking away previous time we could be working on music.
20. What about ultimately any long range goals?
V.V. You just can't bank on long term goals in this business. Your the biggest thing on Monday, by Friday your a has been, it's just the business of entertainment. Things change that are way out of an individuals scope,so to say long term, that could be anything from six months to a a few years, and believe me, anything can happen.
VG Our Long Range goal is to go to Europe, Poland, Japan, Argentina, and a few more countries that NEED to see us.. To eventually get another member to help out on guitar for live shows. A three piece works fine for the studio
21. Finally if you have any last words you wish to express to your fans and the metal community in general please do so here.
V.V Thank you to all of the Vatican fans that have supported this band since 1986 and continue to do so! There are not too many bands that come out of obscurity after 20 + yrs and make a come back as this band has, let alone get not 1 but 2 record deals after that long of an absences, we did what we did because of the demand for a new product. The fan's spoke, we listened as did our record labels! I thank you all once again for your support, otherwise I'd be panning for gold on top of Mount Lemmon in Tucson Arizona. Peace!
VG To the fans, friends, and the world I can say Thank you for the undying support, friendship, and a true love of music that keeps us grinding away to bring you all more quality music for your ears to cherish. Horns up and Metal on Brothers and Sisters of Metal. I have made hundred of new friends because of what we do that I will have for life. When my heart gets full from the fans it is all worth it in the end. We love you all