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Interview: Vex Red

Vex Red
Interview with All Members.
01/25/01
Interviewed by Brian Webb

Related Links:
Official Website

PRP: How long have you guys been together and how did you get started?
Vex Red: Been together as this set up for just over two years but some of us have been doing bands since we were kids and Vex Red was formed out of college with a different singer and then Terry came in the band and we are a totally different sounding band with him.

PRP: Being from the U.K., how did you guys manage to get the attention of Ross and what was your first meeting with him like?
Vex Red: I saw an advert in Kerrang! one morning where Ross Robinson was looking for a new band. Sent off one of our CDs and didn't think anymore of it. We almost didn't because of the tag working with Ross gets you. A month later he phoned us up. Terry and Tel were sitting watching a shit film on a Sunday night and he called my cell phone. We didn't believe it at first and thought it was a wind up from one of our mates. I went as white as a sheet and nearly dumped myself. We had a nice little chat for about an hour and the next day his manager called up and then Fiona at I AM Records phoned up and it snowballed.

PRP: So what material did you originally send him and when did the first meeting take place?
Vex Red: Just sent him "Cant Smile". First meeting happened around the time of the Kerrang Awards (August 2000). He came over for that and he hooked up an audition so that he could see us play live. Chasey Chaos (Amen) was there and we played like a bunch of assholes but somehow we blagged it. Spent the rest of the night at his hotel drinking. That night he said he would sign us and we finally signed after negotiating in December of 2000.

PRP: So what is the current status of your debut album that is in the works?
Vex Red: We have just done pre-production. We've done two tester songs just for like people at Virgin and stuff to listen to them. He wanted to come over here and do it in the same studio we did the "Cant Smile" demo, to test out the studio.

PRP: What was it like working with Ross and is he as violent in the studio as everyone makes him out to be?
Vex Red: When he gets into it he is. He was on his wheelie chair and you could tell he was getting into it, getting more and more wound up and then he started booting the chair and throwing shit. He literally ripped the instruments from us and he'd stab you with screwdrivers.

PRP: Ross is usually known to record albums in Los Angeles, yet your album was recorded here in Cornwall, what brought about this decision and do you think the new surroundings perhaps kept him on his toes?
Vex Red: He wanted to go back to basics you know. Primarily he wanted to recapture the sound of the demo recording because its a real different sound, real live sound. We were in two minds, because the chance to go to Indigo and record there was a factor but he was set on coming out here. Basically we had a lot of work to do and to go to America would have been too much, we need to concentrate and focus and get used to our surroundings. He really likes the sound created down here. (SW1 Studios, Truro)

PRP: There's not too much publicly known about your guy's history, have you released any previous recordings or has it just been demos?
Vex Red: Never, all we have done is demo's for ourselves and sold them at gigs and played live around our local area of Guilford.

PRP: What should we expect in terms of sound from the new album?
Vex Red: Shouldn't expect anything. Who knows. It's music that people will really listen to and make them think rather than all out bouncing about. I know its cliched as fuck but we really do draw from different inspirations, I haven't even heard of some of the stuff that some band members are into.. We haven't even written all the album yet, but we want one of those albums for loads of different kinds of moods. We are looking to release it around summer time in time for the festivals.

PRP: Working with a producer like Ross, sometimes can bring a stereotype such as a Korn band or another Amen or Slipknot, did you have any worries about the how people would perceive you as a result of the relationship?
Vex Red: Being the first British act to sign to I Am, the expectation on us is quite high I think. There's a worry that people will expect another Slipknot or Amen and people will discover that this isn't the case. Ross is known for his heavy music. We make powerful music, In my view our most quiet parts are heavier than say Raging Speedhorn. Ross is just a bloke like you, he's no different to anyone else in this room, he's just fucking good at producing. He loves men. (I'm trying to start a thing that he likes men). People need to be open-minded. We have a unique sound.

PRP: As far as touring goes, do you plan to remain U.K. based or is conquering the American market a big priority?
Vex Red: We just want to tour everywhere, it's the most fun part. It would be nice if we could become a successful British band.

PRP: If you were a transformer, what kind would you be?
Vex Red: Jazz, Optimus Prime, Grim Lock, Screamer (Various contributions from the band)

PRP: Who would you list as influences musically?
Vex Red: Music is wonderful. If we were to chuck in a few we might say Silverchair, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More. We are so open minded. I (Terry) even listen to sitar music.

PRP: What are your opinions on clowns who perform at birthday parties, and how do you feel about the quality of balloon animals they make today?
Vex Red: Clowns are evil, they are scary as fuck. Fucking kids up since birth. I'd rather make a penis out of balloons than a dog.

PRP: With Ross behind you, there's no doubt you'll go on to make a dent in the world of music, are there any goals or aspirations that you hope to accomplish?
Vex Red: There's no real guarantees. I'd love to score a diving header from a corner, 18 yard line. Great goal to score. I'd like to be band that's not totally Ross Robinson all the time. I'd like to achieve success on our own merits, yet I know the first album will probably sell because of his input. I think we have a stadium sound so I'd love to play some big venues.

PRP: Are we likely to hear any more of your material soon?
Vex Red: We were going to put up on the net little bits of what we recorded with Ross but at the moment we are not allowed. If we can then we will. The management just want to keep giving tasters until the album release.

PRP: That's about it, any last words of wisdom or shoutouts?
Vex Red: Plug Raging Speedhorn and Charger. A band called Ruben, Hundred Reasons.

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