Now You Know: Virus of Ideals

Monday, 29th August 2016

Dead Rhetoric: Who do you consider some of the benchmark bands that you would like to see parallel the careers of for Virus of Ideals – and do you have visions of attaining a record deal or would you rather try to keep things as self-contained as possible given the tools today for self-promotion and artistic integrity?

Adams: Unfortunately, I don’t think being a full-time musician is a career option for anyone in this band. As for a career parallel…perhaps Pagan’s Mind. They don’t tour too often, yet they have a worldwide fanbase. They’ve recently had a successful fundraising campaign to record and release a live CD/DVD/Blu-Ray, and they play festivals around the world. That seems like success for a band that doesn’t do extensive touring.

I prefer not to look too far into the future, but obviously there are pros and cons to both sides. In this day and age, bands don’t “need” labels as much as they used to, and because I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about bands being screwed by their labels, I’m a bit wary. That said, most people take signed bands more seriously, and it’s not easy to match the promotional power of a label on your own. I personally would be open to the right record deal, but maintaining artistic integrity is paramount.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you consider relationships/ friendships an important factor in establishing Virus of Ideals as a band? Do the band members share any special passions or hobbies/activities outside of the music endeavors?

Adams: Absolutely! Not just friendships/relationships with other bands and musicians, but within the band itself. Having good chemistry and an equal passion for the music is just as important as having talent, in my opinion. Unfortunately, we all have busy lives outside of the band, so it can be difficult to coordinate schedules for practicing, let alone hanging out. Maybe we can start a bowling team, who knows?

Dead Rhetoric: Even though you haven’t played out live to date (your first show will be in August in conjunction with the EP’s physical release), what can people expect from Virus of Ideals live in comparison to the studio recordings? Where do you see the differences between the two, and do you have a preference for one over the other or enjoy both equally?

Adams: We’ll see once we play a few shows, but our past few rehearsals have been exhilarating. We really can’t wait to get out there and wreck some stages. Our goal is that listeners are equally satisfied with our studio recordings as they are with our live performance.

The studio and the stage are their own different thrill. They both require their own focus and you obviously want to do your best in each setting. For me, having not played any shows with this band, I’d say I enjoy both the studio and stage equally, but that will likely shift in favor of the stage once we play out more.

The way I’ve always written songs is with the intent of them being performed live, so the songs shouldn’t be too different when performed live. We will be using a backing track, but it will be mostly for supporting synths, such as strings and pads.

Dead Rhetoric: What would you consider your top five albums of all time, and the best concert experience that you’ve had purely from a fan perspective – and please tell us what made that day/night so special?

Adams: Elvenking: The Scythe
Thrice: Vheissu
Scar Symmetry: The Singularity (Phase 1: Neohumanity)
Mnemic: Sons of the System
Poets of the Fall: Twilight Theater

My best concert experience was seeing Omnium Gatherum open for Dark Tranquillity back in 2013. I’ve become somewhat jaded when it comes to openers and I only listened to about 30 seconds of Omnium Gatherum before writing them off. Seeing them live, however, I went from ‘let’s get this over with’ to ‘hmm, this is interesting’ after the first couple notes of their intro (“Luoto”) to ‘HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS IS AMAZING’ by the time their intro ended and they blasted into “New Dynamic”. I’ve never been so impressed by an opener, and I’d go as far as to say they stole the show. I talked about their performance for the next year to anyone who would listen and they quickly became one of my favorite bands.

Dead Rhetoric: How do you view the melodic death and symphonic metal genres as a whole? Do you think it’s difficult to establish oneself as an American band in those genres considering the multitude of acts that have succeeded abroad – or are you hopeful that there is potential because of the diversity of influences and environment factors domestically?

Adams: There’s a lot of room for innovation within both subgenres, which is part of the appeal for me. Some subgenres, like melodic death, could even use a few sub-subgenres.

There’s obviously more of a market for American-style metal in America, but if you put unique music in front of the right group of open-minded people, there’s a good chance that they will be receptive to it. I’ve even noticed over the past 6-12 months that more Euro-style metal bands have been popping up around the New England area, so there’s that.

Dead Rhetoric: What did you learn from your solo journey with ORCumentary and why are you retiring it? Is it because of where you want to go with Virus of Ideals?

Adams: Basically everything I know about songwriting, booking, performing, etc. I learned with ORCumentary. I earned a reputation as an engaging performer and creative songwriter, which helped a lot when it came time to form my own band. I’ve also made many friends and booking contacts, which will help us get good shows all over New England and beyond. There would be no Virus of Ideals without ORCumentary.

Yes and no…I am retiring it for a number of reasons, but the big one is that I’m getting worn down from putting so much into ORCumentary and not getting very much back. I love performing the songs, but everything else that goes into keeping the ‘best band in the universe’ going has become a huge drag. ORC could theoretically go on forever and die a slow death, but I feel it’s more fitting to properly bring it to a close, especially since 2016 marks 10 years of existence. I won’t rule out ever performing the songs again, but I don’t plan on thinking about ORCumentary for a while after the 10th Anniversary show. I may never have the desire to revisit it, who knows? I was already seriously considering retiring it after my latest album (Destroy the Dwarves) was released, but once things with Virus of Ideals started to get off the ground (we recorded our first single a few months after DtD was released) it became clear that that’s where my creative focus should be.

Dead Rhetoric: Where do you see the next 6-12 months going for Virus of Ideals in terms of promotion and performances? Will there be a conceptual video for one of the songs, and has work begun on songwriting for the next effort?

Adams: The focus will definitely be performing. We’ll be spacing out our shows, playing all over New England, maybe getting some weekend tours together too. Right now, for merch, we just have the EP and one shirt design, but if things go well I could see us getting something else to sell within that amount of time. I expect we will have a couple new songs to add to the setlist within the next 12 months as well.

Unfortunately, between preparing for the studio and for the stage, I haven’t been able to make much of an organized songwriting effort, but I’ve written a fair amount of lyrics and bits of instrumentals here and there.

When we have a bigger fanbase and a full-length to support, a conceptual video would be perfect.

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