Trapped in servitude
Eating the corpse of
The next naïve fool
By the time you read this Virtues will have dropped their latest single ‘Double Think’. Heavy, angry and carrying a message around questioning what happens around you and thinking for yourself, the band have upped the ante with this release.
Virtues released an EP, ‘Nothing Grows’, two weeks prior to the world being turned on its head which was damn good but kind of got lost amongst the Covid shit. What happened between that EP and what they released today has blown me away. ‘Double Think’ is a much more polished and heavy hitting track than what the band have previously given us. Wade’s vocals have taken a massive leap forward and I feel he has found exactly where he needs to be. With a hammering beat from the drums and some damn impressive guitar work Virtues have shown us that they are becoming a force in the heavy scene.
I caught up with the entire band recently to see what they have been up to and to hear about the new song. You would think that with 5 band members in one room that we would have no technical problems at all…. Wrong! After much discussion the guys managed to sort Zoom and away we went.
What have you guys all been up to?
Alex: We’ve just been writing tunes and getting prepared for the single that’s coming out.
Wade: Yeah just writing and practising.
Daniel: And play throughs.
Alex: You’ve had a listen to it hey?
Yeah I’ve been cranking it!
Alex: That’s awesome
I’ve played it quite a few times actually. It’s fucking good.
Virtues: Thank you
Daniel: What did you think of it compared to the EP?
It’s better and you’ve definitely taken it in a different direction
Alex: We are definitely going in a new direction, but I think it is going to be good.
So will it be part of an EP or is it a stand alone?
Alex: Either an EP or an album. We haven’t decided yet. I don’t know, what’s the plan?
Wade: We don’t actually have one!
Daniel: I think it was just write something because we’d been stuck
Wade: We’d been pretty stagnant, so we thought we’d just get into it. We’re trying to put a fair bit of time into promoting this one and see where it leads.
It’s probably a good time too, not that it really matters for you guys because you’re in Brisbane, hopefully coming to the ass end of this Covid shit.
Alex: Yeah. Hopefully by the time this gets out and shows start coming back we might be able to ride off that. That’s the plan.
Daniel: We can pick up that momentum again. We dropped the EP and had all these plans and then Covid came and we kind of stagnated a bit.
Yeah cos you guys only released that a few weeks before Covid hit didn’t you.
Wade: Impeccable timing!
Daniel: We played one show. Fuck I remember that it was awesome. Where are you based?
Wade: What are restrictions like over there?
We can stand up and drink beer!! But we still have sit down gigs.
Daniel: It’s very, very weird sitting down. But you can dance at weddings now..
And you can go to the footy!!!
Alex: That made my blood boil, seeing all those people at the football, you can have 30,000 people there. But you can’t have 300 people at the Brightside.
And there was no social distancing…
Daniel: I saw Heist’s have a gig coming up and they did a video on how you can mosh from your chair. I thought that was quite clever.
I saw someone had shared that and just gently reminded them to watch their toes!!!
So tell me about this single?
Wade: What do you want to know?
What’s it about?
Wade: Current events. Socially how people are treating each other due to the current events. There’s a lot of talk around people saying things like people are more giving and caring when actually it’s the complete fucking opposite I think. I’m quite disgusted with everything that is happening at the moment. To my fellow Australians and to my fellow human beings. So lyrically it is about that. So I guess the concept is more in line with George Orwell’s 1984. Just kind of telling people common sense, ask questions, have an opinion. And if anyone tells you not to then they’re a fuckhead pretty much. That’s pretty much it in a short summary hey guys?
Daniel: It’s a good time to be voicing these sorts of opinions because I think there is a lot of frustration from people at the moment because of what they have had to go through over the last few months. I think when people can align with that, people will either hate it and be fuck these guys or people will be like I like everything this stands for.
Alex: That’s why we went for the symbol cover we went with. The idea behind that is it’s like a propaganda poster.
Daniel: It was an interesting writing process too. Usually Millsy will track the guitar and then send it through for the drum parts then I write the other guitar section, then Wade will write the lyrics. But this one we were all just in the room. Jack was putting drums in on the computer and we were just writing as we went along. It’s the first time we actually wrote a whole song with everyone together. I think that also drove it in a different direction to what we are used to.
Wade: Yeah it was awesome.
Alex: Yeah it worked out really well
Daniel: It came out really quickly too which was a surprise.
Wade: It was a lot more of a group process than everyone just doing their parts.
Alex: I think because we did that we got a more polished song and it brought out the strengths in all of us. I think that reflects in the song and why it is a better song
Just being in the same room and immediately being able to bounce stuff off of each other.
Wade: Fucking oath
Daniel: There’s way less of the back and forth and changing things up to much.
Wade: Yeah well we usually have
Daniel: Version 28!!
Wade: Yeah or past writing sessions where you’re like man the song has the same name, but this song is completely fucking different to the song I played a month ago.
You guys have been lucky like us because you haven’t had a complete lockdown either.
Alex: Not complete no
Wade: Well nothing like Melbourne’s lockdown.
Alex: When it first hit it was pretty shit, we couldn’t practise for a little while. It definitely stumped us. It was hard, we were trying to do rehearsals and talk over Facebook.
Daniel: Having Zoom meetings every week. It’s demoralising having to exist like that.
Wade: Fucking oath
Daniel: That’s really what got Wade riled up.
Wade: I’m an angry person. I don’t like being told what to fucking do!
Alex: It broke our spirit a little bit I think.
Wade: It wasn’t so much it broke our spirit it was demoralising.
Daniel: So we are very keen to play the single live.
It will be an angry song?
I just feel for all the guys in Victoria
Wade: Fucking oath man. They are getting treated like dogs.
Daniel: it will be interesting to see how many venues manage to stay open.
Yeah I can’t understand now they have these bubbles what the difference is between 25km and just letting people move around wherever providing they have masks. Everyone’s bubbles are going to cross over somewhere.
Wade: Cos its not about health now it’s about control. That’s 100% what it is. People can stick their heads in the sand as much as they want but that’s the reality. The sooner you wake up to it the better.
Daniel: There’s been so many bands fold over the time too. You actually have people relying on their bands as a source of income.
Alex: I would hate to be in Melbourne in a band right now
Wade: Just look at all the small to medium size business’s in Melbourne. They are saying 40% of them have now permanently closed. They’ll never be able to open again. They still have to pay all the rent, all those leases.
Did you guys have gigs canned?
Alex: Yeah we had a full tour of Sydney booked. We were going to be playing with Isotopes and all of that is basically on pause. I’m guessing it will just happen whenever now.
Daniel: I think it was Melbourne, Newcastle and Sydney
Alex: Just Newcastle and Sydney
Wade: We technically only had two gigs this year.
Alex: Yeah we only played two shows.
I’m glad I got in Unify because at least it kind of gave you a big band fix
Daniel: I’d be interested to see how they do the next one.
It’s supposed to March or April and it’s all Australian.
So what next?
Daniel: We are writing more stuff. I guess the aim was to have at least two or three songs under our belt this year. It hasn’t really panned out that way, but we will probably have another one at least by the end of the year and looking to release it early next year. Hopefully with the ability to be able to tour and play shows.
Wade: The game plan before Covid hit was to get out of Brisbane and start travelling. We would all like to get back on that journey because that’s the goal for us right now. Obviously when we can do it.
How was the EP received even with releasing it 2 weeks prior to Covid?
Alex: It was probably rougher than what it would have been had Covid not happened.
Daniel: We had a really good response
Wade: We just didn’t get to tour it or anything but that’s life. We haven’t had any negative feedback which is always good.
You just didn’t get a lot of traction with it due to the untimely release around Covid
Alex: We just didn’t get the chance to give it the traction that it needed.
Wade: We were definitely ready to pump it hard.
Alex: The plan was basically once we released it, get in a van with 800 CD’s and go anywhere we wanted and play. Like old times. Just going and meeting people, here’s our CD kind of thing.
Wade: Old school Parkway. Rocking up to towns, asking people if they like filthy music and finding a town hall to play in.
Daniel: We are very much focused on the live show. That’s really where we started and that’s what we enjoy doing. Recording stuff is just part of the process. Seeing the songs live is very different to listening on a CD or Spotify.
Totally. I said to a few Melbourne mates once those borders are open I’m booking couches because I’m going to over there a lot!
Daniel: we haven’t given up on the EP. As soon as we can, we will be out there promoting the shit out of it. We still have new fans coming onboard now, our fan base is still growing.
Alex: Funny about that we have fans in Russia
Daniel: Yeah turns out we have a fan base in Russia apparently somehow!
There are actually a few bands that have big fanbases in Russia. Inhibitor and Babirusa do.
Who are your influences?
As a band I think our influences are Parkway, Lamb of God, Fit for an Autopsy.
Daniel: I think our sound is kind of changing a little bit. We are definitely focusing on heavier bands.
Alex: We are trying to blend metalcore with deathcore influences, that’s how I would explain it. We are also trying to get a bit of the numetalish feel to it as well.
Wade: First I’m hearing of this! I just write the lyrics….
Hard hitting lyrics at that! Virtues have given fans something to get very excited about. The new direction that they are taking hits the spot for me and I’m keen to see what they have in store for us next.