Updated: 07/20/02

The latest Metal Blade signing is a band based out of Arizona who goes by the name of Vehemence. Brutal as hell yet melodic (but to the extreme of course), this young band has just released a killer disc of tunes entitled God Was Created. About the embark on their first major US tour, we recently spoke with one of the members to find out more about this death metal creation named Vehemence.

Highwire Daze: Introduce yourself and tell me what you do in Vehemence.

John Chavez: My name is John Chavez, I'm the guitarist. I formally joined in January of 2000 after Scott Wiegand left the band for personal reasons. They started in high school - they all went to high school together and I knew them as a show goer. I went to a Suffocation show and saw them there. I just stuck by them and started going to their practice rehearsals all the time. I was in another band at the time called Brides Of Christ. After I found out Scott needed to leave, I joined the band immediately.

HD: Where is the band from and what is in the metal scene like there?

John: The metal scene in Phoenix, Arizona is pretty stagnant - it's not like New York or Southern California where there's 5000 people per show. If it's a good tour, it's not going to do well here - maybe 300 people or even less. It's a small scene. It used to be bigger in 1998 when there was a local band here called Excessive Bleeding. They were the leading death metal band for awhile until they vanished. Before that was Psychic Pond in the early 90's - they made a mark. And some other bands - Flotsam and Jetsam are from here, Sacred Rites and all that. That pretty much got Arizona on the map but it's still hanging by a thread.

HD: What made you guys decide to call your CD God Was Created?

John: It's a horrific concept story that involves several characters like a god/father and a daughter and a schoolboy. It has everything to do with Christ possessing a soul. God was created by human minds basically. We stick by that - that's what we believe. We don't believe in heaven or hell - we believe it's just made up - you don't have to put up with rules and regulations when you can do that yourself. But it's a concept album - you could make a movie or a DVD out of it. I have plans to do it, if we had the budget to do so. It's kind of like a King Diamond album. We don't plan to make every album a concept album. This is album is way different than The Thoughts From Which I Hide (the first self released album).

HD: Have you ever played out here in Los Angeles before?

John: Yes, we have. We played out in San Pedro - that was like our first time for a West Coast tour. It was pretty crappy, because the tour fell through. We were suppose to go out with Vomit Remnants of Japan and Morgue from France but some problems happened and we ended up headlining the tour by ourselves and having friends ahead of time help us book bands along the way. I thought that was pretty stressful, but it was a good feeling of accomplishment after it was done. We had our doubts but it did work after all.

HD: How much input did the band have on the CD artwork that was done by Evil Dave?

John: We had a lot to do with the artwork. We told him the story line and he thought of things he could draw. He took about two days to draw it in pencil and two days to slap the ink on it. He's really quick and precise. I had a part in it, because I do digital design - I do a lot with the computer and set up the whole thing. You could tell it's Evil Dave's artwork, but I did some digital artwork too just to back up the song lyrics.

HD: Is there any chance of you guys playing the Milwaukee Metalfest or doing a tour this summer?

John: We're doing a tour actually. We're going to be playing with Dead To Fall, Decapitated from Poland, Impaled from San Francisco and Incantation from New York. And that's going to be July 25th all the way to August 14th. It's going to be a full range US tour and I'm very excited about it. We're going to learn a lot of things, because this is our first full tour that we're going to do. And we're playing a date at the Milwaukee Metalfest on the Crash stage.

HD: Do you have any messages for metal fans that might be interested in checking out your music?

John: For checking out Vehemence, you would want to be sure to get into bands like Ill Disposed, A Canorous Quintet, Mutant, Theory In Practice, Embraced - a lot of stuff from Sweden and Denmark that involves brutal death metal vocals with a lot of melodic overtones. They could also visit the website


THE OFFICAL VEHEMENCE WEB SITE: All the news on Vehemence!
METAL BLADE RECORDS: The Record Label for Vehemence!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!