5 Questions With... is your chance to get to know a new or up-and-coming metal band. The death metal group Vex are from Texas, and just released Memorious, their second album. Drummer Eoghan McCloskey introduces us to his band.
Give us a brief history of Vex.
Vex was formed originally by Bill and Ciaran many years ago in San Angelo, out in West Texas. The band didn't really resemble the Vex of today at all in any way, because we've been through so many different personnel changes and stylistic changes. For some reason through all those changes we decided to keep the same name.
Describe the recording/songwriting process for Memorious.
For Memorious we used basically the same writing process we've been using for several years. Ciaran sketches out a very basic idea for a song, we record a demo and I add MIDI drums with some very basic rhythmic ideas. Then we distribute the demos to everyone else and start to rehearse it. It's during that rehearsal process that it really becomes a finished Vex song, with everyone contributing arrangement ideas as a group.
We recorded the album at Amp Studios in Austin. We had a very clear plan for finishing the album, a clear timeline and firm deadlines to get certain parts of the tracking done at certain times. I think it was because of that diligence that the recording process for this record was a lot more painless than our previous studio experiences.
How would you characterize the style/sound of the album?
Your guess is as good as mine. (laughs) To be honest, we're not really in the habit of categorizing our music into any certain genre or intellectualizing about how it sounds or how it doesn't sound. I know that's something a lot of bands say these days, but it's really true in our case. We have an incredibly diverse range of influences and they all make their way into the music one way or another. But really our approach to songwriting isn't very cerebral. If a part feels right, it goes in the song. A part should only go in a song if the song wants it in there. So what we end up with is music that's kind of all over the map stylistically, but hopefully in a way that all makes sense as one musical presentation.
What's the metal scene like in your area of Texas, and are there any other bands from there we should know about?
Texas right now is a wonderful place to make music, particularly metal music. There are bands doing things here that are really new and exciting. For people who want to know more, I would definitely recommend Feral Rex, Turbid North, Shaolin Death Squad, The Black Moriah, Whore of Bethlehem. I know there are lots of others I should mention, but I'm drawing a blank.
Anything else you'd like to mention or promote?
Just thanks for the support! It's incredibly rewarding to be able to share this music we love so much with other people and hear their reactions to it.
(photo courtesy Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)