Monday, April 2, 2012

VOYAGE OF SLAVES: Kentucky Viking Death Metal.

Hailing from Kentucky, Voyage of Slaves is a brutal, riff filled unit. Be sure to check out the Houston stop of their tour. The gig will be on April 29th at the White Swan.
So tell us about your name. How was it created? Is there any meaning to it?
Our guitar player/vocalist Dean Dokken got the band name from the title of a book about the journey of Libyan Slaves traveling over seas. On the cover of the book there is a man being attacked by a shark in which he's about to slam with an oar. Dude was probably like "That's epic as fuck!" and there you have it. There is no definite "meaning" to the name but it fits a lot of our lyrical content which usually involves traveling to distant lands and fighting some ridiculous monster but people can interpret it however they please.
Your music is extremely thrash oriented mixed with a healthy serving of mid 90s death metal (at least that is what I hear). Give some details about your style and influences.
We've often played around with what our specific genre would be named. The best (and most drawn out, haha) thing we could come up with would be "Thrashing, Blackened Zombie Viking Death and Roll". But more or less we're trying to incorporate many different sub-genres into our sound. Dean and I are heavily influenced by melodic death metal and black metal such as Skeletonwitch, Inferi, Belphegor, Enfold Darkness, etc... Our bass player John Fronza grew up in the Tampa Bay area and literally went to high school with members of bands like Obituary so he brings a lot the old-school death metal sound to the table. Our drummer Jon Grace has had a long run with punk bands that he's previously been in so you can definitely hear that in the mix as well.

I really like vocals. They are at a mid range and understandable, yet still extremely harsh. What are the influences in that department?
As mentioned before we're huge Skeletonwitch fans and we love the work that their vocalist Chance has done throughout their career. That dude is very animated and pronounces his words very finely. There will definitely be more range with the vocals on our new material since both Dean and myself handle that department now. The demo that you've heard was before Jon and I had joined the band. So there is still the harshness of Dokken's tone but I suppose I bring a lot more "lows" into what we do. I'm very partial to the vocals of both traditional and new wave/progressive death metal. Here most recently the works of Stephen Babcock of Diskreet and Alex Hofmann of Fallujah.
On all your promotional items you utilize lots of Viking imagery. Is that a theme that is prevalent in your lyrics?
Absolutely. Most of our songs involve the extravagant ventures of Vikings or at some sort of warrior wielding a sword and shield. Most of our lyrics revolve around fantasy, horror and sci-fi imagery.
Coming from Kentucky, how is the live metal scene there?
There isn't a whole lot coming from Western Kentucky which is where we are from but there are good bands spread far and wide. For example Louisville has a pretty good scene. There's a lot of sludge/hardcore punk influenced bands from that area. As far as there being bands similar to what we do check out Anagnorisis from Louisville and Kephalus from Owensboro. Both of those bands are very thrash/death/black metal influenced. But again as far as Western Kentucky goes the only other "metal" bands in the area are Throne of Legions (mine and Dean Dokken's tech death side project) and Havamal (a black metal project I started with Necrophecy's Trevor DeGaine).
Your band started in 2008. How did it all come together? Is the current line up the same as on the band’s creation date?
No, the line-up is not the same as it was when the band originated. It started with Dean Dokken and our bass player John Fronza. At that time our good friend Johnathan Hernandez was taking on second guitar playing duties and Rob Waller was on drums. VoS went on hiatus for a while when Rob stepped out of the picture but since Jon Grace and I joined the band, things have been pretty solid for the year and-a-half that this line up has been together. The chemistry is good and we all have a great time with what we do.
Your 2009 demo is a great presentation of your band. The production is up to par and music is extremely driving. Was it self produced or recorded in a studio?
Our 2009 demo was recorded at The Ruckus Room here in Paducah with Kevin Gong. I've worked with him on a few other projects as well. Our new release was recorded at The Bomb Shelter in Nashville, TN.
You had mentioned to me a new recording is being completed. Will it be released as a demo, full length or EP?
It will be released as a 7" vinyl EP when everything is said and done. We plan to milk that throughout the rest of the year and then work on a full-length at the end of this year or early 2013.
Tell us about your tour. What cities are you hitting? Is it self produced? Your show at the White Swan here in Houston, is eagerly anticipated.
We'll be out on the road for about two weeks swinging through Texas, Louisiana and Florida. We'll be hitting Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston and Austin in Texas, New Orleans in Louisiana and Jacksonville and Tampa Bay in Florida. We'll be sharing the stage with The Sword in Texas and Nasty Savage in Florida. It's gonna be a total blast. We can't wait!
Thanks for the interview and we look forward to your gig. Any final words?
Thanks for setting UP the interview! Any sort of promotion is greatly appreciated! All I can say is keep an eye out for us in the future. This is just the beginning!