1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Sure, we finished up a tour of Australia, Japan and Taiwan. We're currently in the middle of a music video for the title track of 'Guerrillas within their Midst', which includes some live footage from the tour along with some footage from the wars in the Middle East and some green screen effects. Also been writing new riffs and are in talks for some more tours.
2.A few months back you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from your previous releases?
There's actually some horns, sitars and even some middle eastern singing in this one, while still being death metal. That might sound contradictory here, but it all flows perfectly. There's no sudden stop and then going off into weird shit just for the sake of it. I even did some actual singing instead of growling (something I thought I'd never do) in the beginning of 'Lost in the Red Snow' and there's even some bassdrops in one of the songs. Although obviously (and thankfully) they're used nothing like dubstep. Aside from that, there's quite a bit less keyboards in this one and it comes off more war-like overall.
3.What are some of the wars you have covered with your song lyrics on the new recording?
WWI : 'Breaching the Somme' (a bit of a play on words from the Suffocation album 'Breeding the Spawn'), WWII : 'Lost in the Red Snow' and 'Assaulting Fortress Europe', finally Afghanistan and Iraq :'Guerrillas within their Midst'. 'We Will Conquer' isn't about a specific war, but is about the Roman Legions and 'War is Our Religion' isn't a specific battle either but takes the viewpoint in the modern age. 'Thousand Yard Stare' is in the modern age as well and is based on a sniper in a covert operation. I read up on some marine corps sniper manuals to get a better insight into that one.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Visions Of the Night'?
You know when you're out at night and you see something (sometimes just for a second) and you don't know what it is? Your mind can instantly take something mundane and turn it into a threat or something it's not. Everyone seems to have a story of this happening to them at one time or another. It also works with the darker subject matter and equally well with the military side of things when you think of it. I remember a book called 'Helmet for my pillow' of a marine in a jungle in the pacific during wwii in which his squad saw 3 pairs of small lights coming towards them during the night. Thinking it was some kind of enemy secret weapon, everybody fired everything they could at the objects until they disappeared, but every night it came back. They eventually realized it was just the reflective eyes of 3 crocodiles swimming down the river. Although I didn't read that book until after I already had the band name, it is a good example.
5.The band originally started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind hiring a full line up?
After I first recorded a song on my own (with a friend on backing vox), another friend of mine asked me if she could play it on her extreme metal radio show. After that she asked if I also wanted to play at a metal festival she was putting on for the show. I never really considered playing live before that, but at that moment I knew I wanted to and that I'd need a full band for that. There were some full time members throughout the years, but aside from the first full length cd, I always ended up pay for the all the studio time anyway. The current situation of myself with paid session members how I want to keep it. It actually makes touring easier, if someone can't go, I can just hire someone else and nobody gets pissed off about it.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The shows in Tokyo have always had great support for us. Aside from that, I'd say opening up for Cradle of Filth in 2001 in Toronto was a very memorable show also. These days we wear army bdus and camo facepaint. By the end of the set the face camo is normally melts or smears a bit due to the intensity and I can taste a bit of it in my mouth. I should probably make sure that it's non-toxic before the next show. I've been hoping to get a snow machine to use for the song 'Lost in the Red Snow', but it's proving a bit difficult, not to mention the added weight and flight costs. Still, where possible, I'd like to expand the imagery for the live shows.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Right now we're in the middle of talks for a tour closer to the end of this year. I don't want to say where it is because it's not 100% although talks are very favourable right now. I will say that it's somewhere within North America that we haven't played before. As for 2015, we hope to return to Japan, Taiwan and hopefully another country as well.
8.Recently you where a part of a split which included many black metal bands, what are your thoughts on the other bands that had participated on that album?
I was amazed at the level of quality within such relatively small bands. I asked the main guy behind it (from Redesekration) how he found all these bands and he said he did it through metal-archives. We all still communicate in a group discussion, really good bunch of guys from all over the world. I'd like to do a show or tour with all the bands at one point.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the new album by fans of black and death metal?
It seems pretty universal that it's generally the extreme metal veterans (of any country) who appreciate it the most. People that perhaps thought that the genre was getting a bit stale or that too much rehashing was going on with a lot of bands. I guess it's refreshing to hear some new ideas.
10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
I've got a new song with some really freaky riffs based on the Vietnam war. It sounds like you're in a jungle surrounded by traps and corpses. I guess death metal with creepy guitars is a good way to describe it. Another new one is actually part doom metal (something else I thought I'd never do) and part black metal. It's called Struggle Through Loss. I've noticed the older you get, the more people leave your life through dying than new people enter. Without getting into too many personal details, the song is based on that. That's probably the only song I'll ever write in that style, the riffs just kind of flowed and they were too good to pass up on.
11.What are some bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Slayer, Deicide, Black Sabbath, Sacrifice, Marduk, the 1st Cradle of Filth album all had a good influence on my sound. Lately, I'm finding slam death metal really easy to get into, maybe because of all my visits to Japan. Aside from that I'm primarily listening to a lot of the same bands I listened to 20 years ago. I recently picked up the latest from Carcass, Biohazard and Suicidal Tendencies.
12.How would you describe your views on Occultism?
My personal belief is that there's a kind of energy you can tap into. I'm not going to pretend to know it's exact origins, but it feels dark if that makes any sense. Use it, don't let it use you. That's why the hexagram in our logo is dual encircled, representing strength and control.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
WWII documentaries, shooting guns, collecting tanks, video games, I'd also like to get back into Russian Martial Art at some point.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Yes, a friend of mine recently moved to from here to Germany for work. He asked me for some cds to spread the word and perhaps set up a tour in the future. Shortly after this, he wrote back saying that many people automatically assume anything extreme metal with military imagery are nazi bands over there. I can't overstate how stupid such an assumption that is. I could list several reasons why that would be completely ridiculous, but I'll just say when in doubt, read the lyrics. Firepower and metal have always went well together!