David DiSanto (Vektor)
Plunging far into the depths of deep space, Vektor’s highly complex technical metal has now taken on concept form, relating the story of a rise to power within the dominant Cygnus Regime and the ultimate battle to control the flow of life and death itself. ‘Terminal Redux is the combination of science fiction and technology forging a terrible new reality.
The narrative follows the life of the Isolation test subject and his rise to power within the all. Ambitious in scope, dense with obtuse subject matter and epic in length, Vektor go beyond thrash to create incredible stories within each and every song, filling each with an icy atmosphere and experimental flourishes, even going as far as to utilise backup vocals from Philadelphia soul singers to make bold and powerful statements on two of the album’s ten monstrous tracks.
We caught up with Vektor frontman David DiSanto in London to speak to him about the new album, thoughts about a live-action movie and more.
HBI: Terminal Redux was released in May, so far how was the reception been like, especially in a live setting?
DDS: Very good. Live, it’s been going great every night. I think Dublin was by far one of the best shows. One of the best festivals was Bloodstock as far as crowd response.
HBI: In terms of the more experimental parts of the album, what has brought that about?
DDS: It’s always been in our sound in some form or another or another and I think on this album we went all out and took our sound and evolved it further. We took the things we’ve already done, like the atmospheric mellow parts, and we’ve done more of that. The same soundscape, but amplified.
HBI: So how was it working with the soul singers?
DDS: It was great! [laughs]
HBI: Were they receptive about it?
DDS: Yeah, I was working for a guitar centre at the time and we set up this tent to promote the store, and they had some funk and soul bands playing and normally, that’s not my thing but I heard Naeemah’s voice and I was just like “oh that is perfect!”. So right after she played, I met up with her and exchanged contact info and it wasn’t up until maybe a year after, she remembered me and she was listening to our music – Outer Isolation – after I had introduced myself to her and she was digging it. We started to do the vocal takes and it was literally the only time I smiled during the whole recording process. [laughs]
HBI: Yeah it’s a pretty dark album, isn’t it?
DDS: Yeah, some deep stuff in there.
HBI: Were you drawing inspiration from anywhere outside of music? Reading any books or hobbies?
DDS: I tried to write this without too much outside influence.
HBI: Dark cabin in the woods maybe?
DDS: [laughs] No, just a lot of inner thoughts and stuff like that. I knew from the beginning I wanted to write an album about life and death. This really big concept within the story itself. And what sparked that was, when I was 16 and I listened to Rush’s Hemispheres and there’s a line in there that says, “We will call you Cygnus, the God of Balance you shall be” and it’s been in my head since then. And 5 years ago when I started thinking about the concept, that reoccured to me, and I started doing all this research about Cygnus. It’s essentially this swan on top of the stellar tree, the stellar tree which is the arm of our Milky Way. Ancient people thought that the arm was a river of souls, so essentially Cygnus is the ruler of this flow, the commander of life and death and I just made that concept into a real physical space empire that has command over life and death.
HBI: The whole concept is very cinematic. Have you ever thought what this would look like as a movie or epic-length music video?
DDS: Do you know anybody? Got any hookups?
HBI: That would be great. If only I knew people in Hollywood…
DDS: Even before I was finished, I had all these visions of what it looked like in my head, I could easily see it in a movie or an anime or something like that.
HBI: Yeah, I’m bringing in a different style of music here but Daft Punk did a Sci-Fi movie for one of their albums.
DDS: Yeah that would be awesome.
HBI: Who would play the lead of the astronaut in live action?
[Johannes Wanngren from Dr. Living Dead! is in the room and whispers ‘Kurt Russel’]
DDS: Kurt Russel? I love it, such a good choice.
DDS: Kurt Russell from ’79. [laughs]
HBI: How is it like working with Earache now that Heavy Artillery Records got acquired by them?
DDS: It hasn’t felt like too much of a change, but we get a lot more press, we have bigger magazines asking about us. Heavy Artillery treated us so good that we still have a soft spot in our heart for them.
HBI: What do you think of touring India?
DDS: Let’s do it!
HBI: Anything else to say to your fans over there?
DDS: Sci-Fi or die. Hit us up on Facebook, the more likes we have the more places that we get to travel and it’s something that promoters look at. Keep in touch with us online, and we’ll do our best to make it out.
HBI: Thanks a lot for taking the time, David.
Interview done by Stefan Marcus