Philadelphia, PA-based heavy metal unit VEDIC are releasing their self-titled EP on March 17. Singer Jason Feinen and guitarist Matt DiFabio are speaking for Rocking Charts about the release, its story, gear, and more.
Hey there. How are you doing?
Matt: Doing very well, excited to do this interview for you. I want to thank you for taking the time do do it.
You are about to launch a self-titled EP in March. How do you feel about it?
Matt: Well, we have been working tirelessly on it truthfully and it’s exciting to finally have it done. We spent a lot of time on rehearsal for live shows so these songs just sorta felt natural to record based on crowds reaction and “feel”. We had about 13 songs to choose from and picked these five. It seemed silly to go in and record a full length recording in todays musical climate. This is just a “toe in the water” recording really as we prepare to hit the studio again for another recording. I sorta feel we just touched upon what this band is capable of and I am already looking forward to recording more tracks. We are just now beginning to develop a fan base and this recording is really just another means to that end. So far, the reaction we have been getting from the limited people that have heard the pre-release has been overwhelming.
What is the story behind the EP?
Jason: Its a view on our climate both emotionally, socially and politically. Recognizing how much we can question ourselves, judge others, damage the world and lose touch with what existence is all about. The music is sonically direct and uncompromising and the lyrics are equally as direct yet they are still general enough to allow the listener to relate to the songs how they see fit. I think the topics are very relevant to our world and the the music is the no bullshit approach the industry needs right now.
What other artists similar to your genre that are coming from Philly are you friends with?
Matt: This may sound terrible but we really do not know many bands in the Philadelphia heavy scene. There are a few locally that are great, don’t get me wrong…. BUT, we really play regionally much more than locally. Truthfully however, I do not know any bands that similar to what we sound like. We really have tried to create our own little “niche” and its hard to put a finger on exactly.
As far as the local bands we admire and / or are friendly with. Eyes of the Living, Power Theory, Vicious Circle, Empress and Black Sun Rising are fantastic and a pleasure to work with on any given night.
What is your opinion about the current metal scene in general?
Jason: It’s awesome that the scene has grown so much since the grunge 90’s, but there’s also some cookie cutter elements to it now that aren’t that great. Riffs have become sweep picking talent shows with amp tones that no longer separate one artist from another. Metal has mutated into forms that bring in a variety of listeners, but the raw feel of the music is getting lost.
Matt: I am not a huge fan of what is “popular” today. I am basically over the whole crazy brutal thing. I just want to hear well written songs played through real amps and get a sense of meaning from the bands. The 90’s heavy metal scene was so much more inspiring really. All of the greats that came out of that forged a huge path to follow and massive shoes to fill. There isn’t too many bands out that right now that will ever live up to what the Carcass “Heartwork” record did.. Bands like Machine Head, The Haunted, Skinlab, Nevermore, … They changed the face of the culture and there hasn’t been too many bands since then that have made marks like that aside from what Gojira and Lamb of God have done in the last 10 years. If you have to use a digital amp or amp modeler because you tune down too low for a standard tube amp to discern the tones… you have totally missed the point of what metal guitar should sound like to an audience.
Can you tell me something about your influences?
Jason: My biggest vocal influence has always been Mike Patton because of his creativity and versatility and I try to emulate that versatility with the different tones of my voice. Screaming from Phil Anselmo, Randy Blythe, Jens Kidman and Lynn Strait blended with singing from Robert Plant, Ian Gillan, James Hetfield and Daryl Palumbo would be the best description of how my voice has been constructed over the years.
Matt: From a writers standpoint… I would like to think that Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo, Sickspeed, Fozzy) is a huge influence on me. I also have to admit that Tommy Victor from Prong and Darrell Abbott are some of the main reasons I picked up the guitar.I love massive riffs and hooks. I also really think it is so important to find that huge tone. There is nothing better than a record that has that “wall of sound” guitar tone that makes your car speakers shake loose. From a players standpoint, a few of my favorite guitarists are Doug Aldrich, George Lynch, Bill Steer , James Hetfield ( because of that massive right hand attack), Chris Oliva (r.i.p.). I am not a huge “guitar god” fan. I like the players that take the song to another place with their solos… Rhythmical, I am huge into those heavy palm mutes and chugs…
What are you listening to these days?
Matt: My musical pallet has changed a bit as of late. The most recent albums I have been spinning are of the more atmospheric / postrock genre : Caspian – On Circles, Cardhouse – City Blur, Anathema – The Optimist, Russian Circles and the last two Distant Dream offerings. Also, the new Ray Alder cd is so great…. As far as the heavier stuff… Sepultura’s new one “Quadra” is amazing and from a more traditional rock stand point, I live the new Burning Rain stuff, its always good to hear Aldrich tear it up.
Jason: Recent albums from Exhorder, Jungle Rot, Highly Suspect, Twelve Foot Ninja and as always Mr. Bungle and Faith No More.
Your 5 favourite records of all time?
Jason: Pantera – Far Beyond Driven, Mr.Bungle – self titled, Faith No More – F.F.A.D.K.F.A.L., Snot – self titled, Fear Factory – Demanufacture.
Matt: Iron Maiden -Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, Filter – Title of Record, Pantera -Cowboys from Hell, Fates Warning – Parallels, Stevie Nicks – Wild Heart
Can you tell me a little bit more about the gear you use to record your music?
Matt: Well on this newest offering, we went pretty traditional. We used four separate amps on the rhythm tracks. Rich used a 6505 and a 5150 III at the same time split onto two separate tracks. We used an 85 Marshall jubilee cabinet and a new Marshall 1960B cab on both heads. I used the same cabinet configuration but I ran through a 93 Marshall jcm900 Sl-X and a 2003 Marshall jcm2000 dsl. We used out Electra Omega guitars. Joey recorded his tracks with his signature Bucks county drum kit… its really great sounding. Scott ran through a sans- amp direct into my Focusrite and played his old school music man. I am really happy with the tones of this recording. There is no auto-tune, there is no re-amping.. the drum tones are ACTUALLY Joeys… its very much realistic to what you’d hear live with this band.
Besides the release of the EP, are there any other plans for the future?
Matt: We have a few lyric videos dropping now and also a killer performance video for “Dehumanized”. We had Matt Zane edit it and it came out soooooo good. We are starting to book shows to support this release (including the cd release show April 11th at Broken Goblet Brewery here in Philly). We are gonna just continue to grind it out and build the following. We shall see what doors open up for us but I am a realist in knowing that the music business is not what it was back in the days when I was touring heavily in Single Bullet Theory or the time I spent in Pissing Razors. The fans and clubs these days really make you earn it and we plan on delivering harder than anyone would expect when given the opportunity.
Any words for the potential new fans?
Jason: Don’t get lost in the world of judgement of what you like and/or what you do, just live your life.