FeaturesWritten by Brenton Harris on September 10, 2019
Melbourne metalcore monsters Void of Vision have been on a wild ride since dropping their debut record Children of Chrome in 2016, touring the world with some of the genres biggest acts and establishing a rabid fanbase, who have been waiting with bated breath for a full-length follow-up. The wait is nearly over. After satiating our hunger for bangers slightly with EP Disturbia and single ‘Kill All My Friends’, Void of Vision are finally ready to serve us all the main course in the form of their intense new record Hyperdaze (out September 13).
If the foreboding and quite frankly disturbing tone of lead-single ‘Hole in Me’ (and it’s freaky accompanying video) is anything to go by, fans are in for quite a harrowing sonic journey on Hyperdaze. Before the album’s release, a record the band are calling “an experience” vocalist Jack Bergin opened up to Music Feeds about the darkness that inspired Hyperdaze and the light that will hopefully follow.
Music Feeds: Void Of Vision’s second full-length record, Hyperdaze is set to drop in two weeks, how’s the feeling in the Void of Vision camp at the moment?
Jack Bergin: Exciting. Very excited to finally get it out. It’s been, obviously, in our little pipeline, in our personal pipeline for much of this year now. So, it’s been some waiting time to get it out. But yeah, I think it’d be a huge weight off our shoulders to finally get it out there.
Music Feeds: You’ve described Hyperdaze as an “experience”, which is very cryptic of you, can you expand on that idea a little?
JB: Yeah, very cryptic of me. We wanted to leave a lot to the imagination. I believe that the last album was more of an experiment where we kind of didn’t know what the future of Void of Vision would hold, I guess. We just sort of were playing around with stuff and were experimenting and using new things, but I feel like now, we know exactly what we’re doing and we’ve gone into this record with an intention of exactly how we pictured the album sounding and what’s coming out the other side, is exactly how we pictured it. We’re just kind of leaving the rest for open interpretation from everyone and for them to really experience a more solid version of the band, a more concise version than what they’ve heard.
MF: I will confess, I’ve heard it and I agree with you, it’s definitely an experience, one that’s definitely on the darker side too, it’s mostly hatred, self-loathing and nihilism!
JB: Yeah, that’s pretty much it man, haha.
MF: Why is that? Were you just feeling particularly agitated at the time of the recording or is it in line with your worldview?
JB: A little bit of column A, a little bit of column B, I would say. It’s definitely down more to the roots of Void of Vision because it’s how we started in our live show. When we began, it was basically based around that aggression and everyone was just raving about the live show, and that’s all we’d hear from our friends. Like, “Oh, you’re just so aggressive on stage and you bring this energy forward.” That’s when I thought about what I used to sing about, I used to sing about just I guess, negativity and all that sort of side of life and just my own experiences of negativity and how the lights shone on that.
We kind of went to a different spot for Children of Chrome and looked at it from a different light, from a world point of view and an external point of view. I think the expression through our live music and our recorded music kind of faded away a little bit because admittedly, the passion wasn’t as much there as it would have been for me singing about my personal experiences. So I feel like when we released Disturbia, we touched back into that and it just went so well for us, and we kind of reignited the light, and we found our way back into that love of just passion and aggression. This record really, I guess touches on that in a different sense to Children of Chrome and definitely a lot more of a personal sense now, but I think that’s where our real passion and energy comes from in a sense. So yeah, it was great to touch on that again and get into that style.
MF: You can really hear it in the vocal delivery on the record too, you take things to another level, you can hear the anger cutting through in every syllable, was the process of purging all of those negative emotions cathartic for you?
JB: Yeah, definitely. Definitely a cathartic one. The recording experience definitely complements the aggression I guess, because we just tried new things in the studio. Normally vocally I’m just yelling into a stand and I feel like we did our own vocals in our studio this time and it was just a lot more comfortable experience and I could take the microphone around the room around me and I could just get on the floor and just position myself wherever I need to be and just sort of really unleash. I think that definitely came out in the album and noticeably in the vocals.
MF: Do you feel like making the record has changed your mindset at all?
JB: 100% it has changed man, I guess talking about this stuff is the most important part about heavy music. I mean that’s why we’re all sort of involved in the heavy music community because this genre of music speaks about negativity in a light that isn’t found in any other music genre. I think that’s the most important part about this record for me was, I was able to talk about these things. I’m usually not a big person to like open myself to other people and I find it really difficult to sort of just get my feelings and to accept them, so through art I guess I was able to express all that, and that’s left me open to talk to people about it now after I’ve done it. I feel a lot more comfortable and less kind of awkward about talking about these sorts of things, as in two weeks, it’s just all going to be out in public anyway. So yeah, it’s made it a lot easier for myself actually.
MF: I think that’s one of the unintended and unexpected benefits of doing these types of things man, it’s like free counselling. It also forces you to learn how to talk about the themes of your art, which is a notoriously difficult thing to do, and that in turn gives you more confidence in the message you’re pushing.
JB: Yeah man, the earlier the better too man, it’s such a silver lining to heavy music. Just all the negativity around it and how you can find sort of just a way to work with it and work around it all.
MF: Hyperdaze sees Void of Vision turn things up a notch, musically as well, with better incorporation of synths, beefier sounding riffs and some truly monster grooves, do you feel like you’ve now truly given birth to the beast so to speak?
JB: Yeah, a hundred per cent. I think we finally found our strength and we were able to use them to our advantage. Now I know that James really is proud of himself on the guitar work on this record and that’s really shining. He added it in the final mix so that we really wanted to make that beefier sound and sort of accompany it with that real melancholic side and have all that sort of ethereal and unsettling since we’re calling Hyperdaze and experience. So yeah, I think definitely in the final mix, you can definitely hear what we’ve intended to go for in terms of how you can hear everything in the album.
MF: I have to ask, WTF is going on in that ‘Hole in Me’ video? I mean it’s awesome, and looks like it was mad fun to film, but what exactly were those doctors trying to achieve?
JB: It’s a theme and a storyline that’s going to be continuing throughout the album cycle. So there will be more videos shortly explaining what’s coming next, but I really like how we put that out with a “what is this?” type of reaction.
We’re really excited with how everything turned out, and we’ve all got to do our little cameos in the videos and yeah, it was all so much fun to do and just get involved with that side. I mean the guys really have had a lot of fun with just filming it. I think the highlight of that for me was being in the nurse outfits, myself and the drummer and George and the just stitching into that fake flesh in the end and like stitching the guy up, it just felt so disgustingly real, man. It was just insane. I was scared I was actually going to poke into him under the makeup and really cut him open hahaha.
MF: That’s incredible and it links nicely to my next question, thematically. Void of Vision released a cover of Slipknot’s ‘Psychosocial’ for Metal Hammer that features Marcus from Northlane, Sean from Make Them Suffer and Ryan from Polaris and unsurprisingly it absolutely rips. Were or are Slipknot an influence on Void of Vision?
JB: Not really, at least not initially anyway. I think ‘Psychosocial’ was the first song by them that I ever heard. It wouldn’t have been too long ago, but like I just kind of always swept them under the rug, I think since that they have been brought to my attention, they’ve definitely been an influence on me like undoubtedly they are for every heavy musician, just the pure aggression and like never hearing something like that before. It’s just such a, yeah, it’s just a punch to the face to anyone who hasn’t really heard of it before. So definitely that’s the feeling I got when I heard them for the first time. Not necessarily a huge influence, but definitely like one of those bands that you look up to like they’re one of the topnotch heavy bands in the world right now!
MF:Yeah, I think you’d probably find that there’s a lot of influence sort of like by osmosis or inertia in that you’ve probably been influenced by bands who were influenced by Slipknot at an early age and that’s come through as a second or third hang influence, be it in musical styling or packaging or production techniques.
JB: A hundred per cent! In the grand scheme of things, they’ve created a whole style of music and a whole look and it’s so impressive of how it’s passed on over generations and kind of just continued. I guess everyone has a little bit of Slipknot in them, whether they know it or not!
MF: Void of Vision is a very different band, experience-wise, to what you were when you were after the release of Children of Chrome and Disturbia. Do you feel like you’ve learned a lot about yourselves, your sound and how to be a band since then?
JB: We’ve all learned so much. I guess it hadn’t been a long period as it’s been a pretty short period of time to be fair, but we’ve just all learnt so much in that amount of time and it’s just been insane. We’ve definitely learned from our mistakes and we’ve made a fair few along the way, admittedly, which isn’t great. I think releasing this record was so cool because we’ve been able to see how much we’ve grown and learned as people over time in the music industry.
Being in a band is fucking hard sometimes, but we knew exactly what we signed up for when we started this shit way back when. Yeah, it’s just been an awesome experience kind of learning along the way and sort of forging our own little path in the music industry. I think this record is a really special one for us where we can finally sort of wear that on our sleeve and wear our mistakes on our sleeves and only up from here!
MF: You’re about to head out on tour in support of the mighty Northlane on their “Alien” tour alongside Counterparts and Silent Planet, that’s a pretty stacked line-up! Do you have anything special up your sleeves to make VoV stand out in that company?
JB: Yeah, it’s definitely huge company to make yourself stand out amongst. I think just bringing that newfound aggression to the table. It’s been a long time since we’ve toured. It took us most of this part of the year to just write and record and release the record. This will be our first shows back into it. So we’ll all be itching, absolutely itching to get into it.
I can definitely feel it myself, I think playing live has a special role to play in releasing this aggression that is pent up inside of me. I can definitely notice that in my day-to-day life and how much I missed the cathartic experience of, sort of, performing live with the guys. So yeah, it’s going to be amazing to get that backdown. I guess we’re just going to bring that aggressive Void of Vision back and we’ll be angrier than ever.
MF: It’s kind of a cool connection too with Northlane having made this quantum leap with Alien in terms of their own sound. Then you’ve got Silent Planet, which are a fairly unique band in the context of heavy music industry anyway, and then Counterparts, I heard some new stuff yesterday and they fucking rip, so you guys are all on the ascendancy. So this could be one of those tours that people start talking about 5 to 10 years down the line.
JB: Hopefully, dude, I mean you’re exactly right. Everyone’s just released all this new music and I feel like all these bands are just huge on the come up even though they’ve all been around for so long, they just keep rising and growing and it’s just so impressive. Yeah, I think being around that company is just such a positive thing for us and just helping us to grow ourselves.
MF: You know that there’s going to be fans of yours, that are going to start whining about a lack of headline dates. So is that something that’s in the pipeline following the album release?
JB: Yeah, there’s definitely some headline runs that have actually been booked now So we’ll be taking all that up in the new year after we’ve gotten back from Europe in December. And yeah, we’re just going to start the year fresh and hopefully have let the album marinate for a little bit with everyone. I can just see all the people asking for the headline dates because it is a bit after the album has come out. But I think we did that purposely just to have it sit for a while and have everyone sort of get familiar with it before we all jump in together into that rehearsal room!
MF: That Heaven and Hell show you’re doing too, up in Brissy at River Stage is wild as well!
JB: Yeah, that one’s going to be so sick, it’s the day after the album comes out and we’re going to be on a massive high and just really excited to be there, playing that first show back. It’s going to be sick!
MF: One last thing before I let you go, Code Orange recently created a theme for WWE superstar Bray Wyatt’s new alter-ego, The Fiend, which absolutely crushes. Which made me wonder if Void of Vision had the chance to write an entrance theme for anyone, be it in wrestling, UFC, burlesque, whatever, who would you choose? Coz I reckon you’d crush it!
JB: Dude, it is my absolute dream to write a WWE entrance song. Like ever since we started this band because I loved wrestling as a kid and I thought it was the coolest part of the whole show. The wrestlers coming out to these huge heavy songs with these massive riffs with that huge production behind it all. That was definitely a big entrance to the heavy music scene too. I can’t really name the specific wrestler we’d like to write for, off the top of my head because I don’t really know who’s still around or anything.
MF: We can time machine it if you like man!
JB: Bautista then! I’d love to write a theme song for him to come out to. He’s just always been such a massive presence, I remember his theme song I think. It was like just huge banger, and I feel like something like ‘Ghost in the Machine’ could work really well for him!
MF: Maybe you could get him to come out as Drax! You could write the theme for Drax, the wrestler!
JB: Yes, I was going to say I love him even more now because he’s been in Guardians of the Galaxy.
MF: That’s it, he’s going to come back to WWE as Drax and Void of Vision are going to provide the theme song, book, it, it’s done, Vince!
Void Of Vision’s new album ‘Hyperdaze’ is out this Friday, September 13th.