Black Like Vengeance the Bay Area Thrashers

Melodic death thrashers Black Like Vengeance's debut "Empty As The Day" has been out for quite sometime and now are in preparation mode for their first ever in three years. The band took the time to discuss their latest release and much, much, more!

1. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?

Marty and Drew are the bands founding members. They recruited then bass player Mike Drozdowski and session drummer Christian Nativo (Vanishing Point). They were advertising for a vocalist and I hit them up but was turned down immediately because of my gender. 6 months later I got a call from Mike asking me to come in for an audition as they had parted ways with their frontman and jumped at the chance. The guys were really hesitant to try me out but I was their last choice (laughs). 10 years later, here we are. Two records down and a third on the way. I still remember the looks on their faces when I lay down the death vocals. It was gold.

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

We were at a gig, in Melbourne's Green Room and had been playing with a few names at the time it was between Black Like Vengeance and White Knuckle Substance. The latter sucked so hard that we just went with BLV. Mike came up with the names, they were awful (laughs).

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We're from Melbourne, Australia. Australia's music scene is very intimate, we have a tight community of incredible talent but we are a small country and venue's are limited. Because of the abundance of international acts gracing our shores and venues closing down the local scene has been a little deflated. But it's picking up again. Our rising stars include Psycroptic, The Amenta, Ruins, Boris The Blade, Northlane, Electrik Dynamite, King Parrot, Ne Obliviscaris, The Schoenberg Automaton, Voyager, Be'lakorÉ Man, the list can go on! So much talent, so many amazing bands!

4. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

I'm a traditional kinda gal and I'll admit my ideas can often be cliche. Everything that we perform is based on personal experience. Everything I write about comes from memories, ideas, situations, observations and circumstance, I'm very closed off and private so I don't like explaining myself in too much detail, I think the lyrics speak for themselves. As for a message I never really put much thought into it because most of the time I just need to vent and I'm always story telling.

5. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?

We draw upon many influences and they have changed a lot over the years. When we were younger we draw upon the Gothenburg metal scene and fused it with New Wave of American Heavy Metal. We have some roots in rock, with Marty being a member of Australian Rock outfit Ten Thousand. We have a lot of respect for Lamb of God, Himsa, Soilwork, Dark Tranquillity, Architects, The Agonist and many more.

6. Is there any story or concept behind Empty As The Day title?

I'm not sure if you mean the title of the album, the song or the actual concept album so i'm going to answer it for you in 2 parts and you choose the relevant one:

Empty As The Day is a jointly written song by an old friend of mine, Stuart West. We used to be in a band together, it's a song about his feelings for a young woman at the time and it resonated with me, I could relate to the longing and yearning in this song so much and at the time I was experiencing something very similar. The chorus and outro were my contributions about my take on the situation when you're so in love you become obsessed and clouded but then there's a point where you realize it's all for naught. And the void/emptiness you feel cannot be sustained by that person or any other. It's too deep an abyss.

The concept of the album is about three people who find themselves tangled in this rather unhealthy situation narrated by the protagonist who jumps back and forth between the two and often turns to religion to shed a light on the circumstance. So in essence it's about trying to find your place in the world, in a partnership, about trying to find what you mean to someone and what they mean to you. It's about sexuality, crossing boundaries, how deep your faith is, understanding what faith is and growing up. It's about that search for someone or something to fill that incessant void and literally you realize that you're still as empty as ever when you get what you want just as you were before you found it, because the void is you and that will never change.

7. Who produced Empty As The Day and what was it like working with them?

Roman Koester from Complex Studios produced Empty As The Day and our first 4 track. Working with him is amazing. Roman's knowledge on the genre and music far surpasses anybody else and he's a visionary. He knew exactly what we wanted and how we wanted it. Working with him on my vocals was unreal, He pushed me to my limits but there was still so much more we could have done - I was in the process of recovering from glandular fever when I recorded that album.

8. Who did the cover art for Empty As The Day and how much input did you have on it?

I'm a graphic designer so I designed that album but it was done very early on in my career. The immaculate Lulu Wagstaffe modeled for me and working with her was unreal. She's such a talented versatile model and a real gem too! We had a lot of input but usually the boys just let me run with my vision, so it's a pretty sweet deal.

9. Do you guys have any new music in the works as far as a follow-up release?

We are slowly but surely writing the new album Noir. We've just finished a new track titled Bones- it's a short, angry, thrashy ditty. Still quintessentially Black Like Vengeance but with a little more punch.

10. Will you be shooting a video for any of the songs off Empty As The Day?

We just shot one half of our video for Snuff Is My Business with director Elle Bates from Elle Bates Films and Mati Kawaler from Obzurd who came on board as the D.O.P. They're brilliant visionaries. We're looking at doing two more clips for that album with two other amazing film makers and the concepts for these videos are pretty exciting.

11. What are your upcoming touring/show plans?

Our drummer has been living/studying/working in France for a few years and so our touring schedule now is limited to his availability. We just played our first come back show in Adelaide (Australia) at The New Dead Fest on May 25 and we  played alongside some dear old friends. Most of the bands on that bill were on the very first festival we played up there in '06! We are planning a short tour towards the end of the year. We're hoping that we can ride on the back of Noir and go overseas, once its released. We've got our sights set on the world.

12. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

We are everywhere. Our website is a hub for all our social media but you can listen to us on Spotify, Last.FM, Reverbnation, Youtube, Facebook, Bandcamp, Soundcloud and have a webstore:

13. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

Intensity and the emotional evocation of the music. Our music is intense. Our performance is intense. Our message is emotionally charged. A lot of people are stunned when they see us and we're always told just how intense our shows are I think that works for us. We just want to make people feel something, anything!

14. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Tighter performances and bigger productions, and hopefully a brand spanking new album that's just as angry and tortured as the last!

15. Any final words of wisdom?

Wisdom? We will let you know when we find it. :)

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