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Interview - Barry Christie (Vile Regression)

Interview with Barry Christie from Vile Regression
by Calen Nesten at 01 December 2014, 4:38 PM

VILE REGRESSION is a Progressive Metal Band right from the Emerald Isle, yup the land of potatoes, leprechauns, and beer by the pint, good ol' Ireland. Our own Calen Nesten had the opportunity to speak with Barry Christie, the Guitarist, about there new release, "Empires", touring, strange experiences, and yes, even a Leprechaun! So I say, blow a kiss to the Blarney stone, and enjoy what Mr. Christie had to say. 

Hello Barry, how have you been? Thank you for this interview for Metal Temple. What have you been up to these days?

Hey guys. I’ve been doing pretty good thanks. It’s my pleasure, thanks for taking an interest in the band!

You guys are releasing your new release, “Empires”, how do you feel about it? When the official launch festivities will be?

That’s right. We actually released it on the 21st of July and had our launch show last Saturday the 26th of July. I’m actually still recovering from the launch show! It was a great night with some great Irish metal bands supporting us and we couldn’t be happier with the reaction we received.

It feels great to finally get the record released. It’s a culmination of a lot of hard work over the last number of years. We’re really proud of it and it’s definitely a milestone in the bands career.

The artwork for “Empires” is awesome! Who is the artist? And how does it relate to the theme of the album?

The artwork was undertaken by Polish artist Bartek Siegieda (aka Splin). We gave him the tracks to listen to and the lyrics to read so he could come up with his own take on the record.
Splin envisioned an empire of clay golems. Born from clay and without water their mouths dry out and their voice of discontent is silenced. The queen has servants that regularly change wet bandages.
Beautiful skin and the ability to speak however doesn’t come without a price – she can’t move from her red chamber, distant from the crumbling empire outside.
All water is entirely assigned to the production of fresh clay, from which large pools of new servants are formed to serve her. In a way, the queen is just as enslaved as her servants and relies on them to keep her alive.

What inspired you to make “Empires” theme about self-actualization and positivity?

Our vocalist Padraig Croke likes to write from his own experiences. Since he’s generally a positive person he felt it would be insincere to write from a more negative perspective. We’re generally not angry people and I don’t think metal always needs to be about aggression and discontent. People without a knowledge of the genre look at metal and think it’s one dimensional. Like any other form of music it’s a vechicle for us to express ourselves, both lyrically and musically.

Do you feel like positive messages are under-represented in underground music?

It’s not something I’ve given much thought to, personally. As long as the content is thought provoking and sincere then I’m a fan of the lyrical approach.

Which artists/bands are inspiring you at the moment?

I’ve been enjoying The Faceless’ album ‘Autothesim’ since it came out in 2012. I still haven’t grown tired of that record. I also listen to the band Revocation quite regularly. It’s so apparent how much thought has gone into the riffs and the structuring of the songs. That’s something that really inspires me.

What is your favorite song on “Empires” to date and why?

It’s hard to choose one, as it changes from week to week. I supposed I’d have to go with ‘Thought Replication’ at the moment. I love the lyrical content and the change from minor to major riffing in the mid-section. It’s always fun to play that song live, too.

Are there any funny or otherwise memorable moments that happened while recording “Empires”?
Well, when our other guitarist Brian was tracking, I sat there with a laptop and composed a portrait of him in MS paint. The detail in the picture is ridiculous. When you spend so many long hours in the studio you need to find ways to amuse yourself.

Any plans for a North American tour? Or even a worldwide tour?

At the moment we have some dates around Ireland lined up. Our immediate plan after that is to play some shows in the UK. We would love to head out on a North American tour at some stage. If things continue to go in the direction they’re going then hopefully it will be a reality sooner rather than later.

How did writing “Empires” effect on you as musicians?

We’re definitely better musicians for having pushed ourselves musically and technically over the course of the writing process. It’s certainly important for us to continue to challenge ourselves. Having said that, we’re conscious of avoiding being technical for the sake of it, but we’ll definitely push ourselves with our writing in the future.

Is there anything else in the works, or are you taking it easy after the release?

We’ve been doing some writing here and there when we get the chance. We have one new track finished and a lot of ideas floating around. I’m eager to start working on some new material.

Can you describe “Empires” in five words?

Heavy. Eclectic. Positive. Sincere. Metal. How’s that? ha-ha

What is the worst or strangest thing you have experienced while touring?

Our old guitarist Keith Carroll slept in a bush one night after being kicked out of a McDonalds early in the morning. That is something that will always stay with me!

What is everyone’s favorite beer?

I drink Coors light among many other cheap alternatives, Padraig and Brian enjoy Heiniken. Robb is a Guinness man and Kenn is a rum only kind of guy. 


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