| Band: Virtigo|
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Virtigo is an industrial band from Toronto, Canada. The band mixes elements of old school industrial with a wave of EBM and black metal vocals. The band started in the late fall of 2004. The first demo was released early 2005 under the name of "Vertigo". The name and logo have been changed into "Virtigo" due to a conflict with another band named the same. The music has been getting good reviews in the Toronto goth/industrial scene.
LS : Lord Shaitan (Vocals)
EM: Emperor Melek (Guitars)
GC: Hey, what is new with everyone?
EM: Hello Juile & thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us in Virtigo. Much has progressed recently with Virtigo. We have recently listed Overman as our new Keyboardist for the live shows. Prospero is a good friend of ours & a good keyboardist but he is busy with his own band, job & family so we had to do the changes necassery. Prospero & Virtigo are still very good friends and looking forward to do a show together one day.
GC: How did all of you get together to form Virtigo?
LS: Well we met at the local goth / industrial scene in Toronto through friends and we start talking about an idea of starting a band. The Idea was going around for few month until we decided of what we are goning to sounds like and then we started writing music.
Gc: Tell us more about your Old School Industrial & EBM w/Black Metal vocals approach?
EM: I am huge fan of Old School Industrial & Black metal and I always wanted to start up an industrial band. Lord Shaitan also had the passion for both genres and the idea was to form a band with an original sound (or rarely done before) that would distinguish us from the rest of the scene.
LS: I always wanted to be a black metal singer. In fact, I was practising my vocals for years hoping the day would come and I would live my wish. Emperor Melek gave me the idea and I liked it so we decided to try it out and it actually worked really well for us.
GC: Back in July, 2005, your first album was released. "Systematic Suicide”, can you tell us more about this album?
EM: Systematic Suicide was hard work for months. We spent hours working on the cd with our primitive equipments and limited budget. It truly sounded amazing for us and we were happy with the results.
LS: The music on the album came truly from our heart & soul and it meant alot of us with the reviews we recived at the time. We tried sending out press kits to record labels but we did not have the best of luck. So we decided to press out our own cds and we have been selling many of it so far.
GC: What do you reflect about when you start to write lyrics?
LS: Well, over the years, I have gatherd and experieced many different emotions that I decided to put down on papers. Most of the lyrics on the first album were written over the years of me practising the vocals. Then when it was time to record the vocals for the album, I wrote a short story that made the lyrics into a semi concept album. If you read the story & the lyrics ( from the website www.virtigoband.com) you will relize how its done. Its based upon a fictional mooring of a man scorned hard. Unfortountley, our budget did not allow us to print out the cds with the story & lyrics on it although we really wanted to do so. On a small note, the song Homesick is sung completly in Arabic & has an arabic feel to it. We think its the first of its kind. Perhaps Virtigo will do few more on the future releases.
GC: Is “Systematic Suicide” going as well as planned?
EM: Absoutley, becuase we hit a nerve in the Toronto local scene. When we played live shows, the crowd was reacting very well to us and our sells were amazing for a band without a record deal. We actually ran out of the first 150 cds that we printed out at first. Those actually sold within a short period of time.GC: I also hear that you are already working on your second album, how will this album be different?
EM: Well, our style has progressed toward more band oriented sound. Our new material is groovy & heavy guitars & club friendly at the same time. We are going toward the sound we did on songs such as Murderer, Artifcial Slut & Homesick. So Far we have completed 4 new songs for the next album and anyone can listen to two of them at our myspace account.
GC: What is your goal for the next album that you are working on now?"
LS: Proggression into a better band and hofpully make a solid name for ourselves in this scene. We are working hard on it although we cannot promise a release until later this year or earlier next year. We are trying to spend more time & effort on this album and hopfully get the record deal that we need.
GC: Since your start in 2004, how have you grown and changed as a band?
EM: First of all, the guys in Virtigo are all best friends now. We understand eachother completly and willing to listen to eachother when it comes down to ideas. Even though Overman has just joined Virtigo, he has been friends with the band for few years now (even before we formed Virtigo).
GC: What kind of support have you gotten from your home area of Toronto, Canada?LS: Its hard to explain, we have good & almost no support. The good part is that we have fans who came out to all our shows and enjoy the music. However the bad part is that the scene does not hold much support for this kind of Industrial. We are after all a heavy band and alot of metalheads like our music too!! Regardless, people are getting into our music and saying how refreshing our material has been to them.
GC: What bands do you currently listen too and can we find their influences in your music?
EM: Our music influnces have been mainly that of Frontline Assembley, Rammstien, Ministry, Older NIN, Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, Die Krupps. As for bands I am listenning to right now there is Aslan Faction, Tektical Sekt, Fiendflug, and offcourse Virtigo (smile).
LS: Vocals wise, my influnces have been Dimmu Borgir, Absu, Immortal, Emperor, Dragonlord, Deicide. As for bands I am listenning to right now there is Eclipse Eternal (Overman's black metal band and main project), Iced Earth , Old Man's Child, Suicide Commando, Psyclon Nine and no doubt Virtigo (smile).
GC: How many shows do you play in a month?
EM: So far we have only played 3 shows since June 2005. Hopfully this year we will play more than that. Its just being busy with our personal lives sometimes slows down time for promotion.
GC: What are key elements for the band to continue evolving and growing a fan base?
LS: Be proffesional about it. Your fans make you what you are, they take you to the next level. We made friends with most of our fans actually and we are happy that we made more friends and not just fans. I enjoy being on that stage, and if people were not there to support me, it would have made my live much more complicated than it is.
GC: Is there any thing else you would like to add, like why people should listen to your music, why do you write the lyrics that you do, or any other details about the band?
EM: I want people to see the music for what it is; and what it is, is what we see. We have no hidden messages, open music just like the person I am.
LS: My lyrics might sometimes be simple, but for me they deliver the message that I hold strongly in my life.
(You laught at me because I am diffrent, I laugh at you because you are all the same) Virtigo - Cult Of Fools - From the upcoming album yet untitled.
LS & EM: Thank you for your time and effort to do this interview, we appreciate it greatly and wish you the best.
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