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  INTERVIEW WITH VANTAGE POINT

Johnny Main

johnny main

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vantage point

Touted as "Edinburgh's premier Metal band", Vantage Point are just about to celebrate ten years of heavy guitar riffs and thundering drum beats and I caught up with the band to find out how they started, what they really think about the internet and what plans they have to mark their tenth anniversary.

So how did the band come about in the first place?

Derek Mitchell: "The band really came into existence when Murray (Graham, Vocalist and Bassist) joined. I'd been trying to get a band going with a friend who played drums but it never really took off. Murray and I met at a Post Office training day and felt I was the person to talk to because my denim jacket was adorned with (Status) Quo patches. After lots of discussions about music, we were talked about having a jam together some day and that was how we started working together. Our drummer left not long after, so having known Dave (Cumming) from school we asked if he fancied joining the band and he was in place by the time we did our first gig in 2004. Dave had played in another band with Liam (Kane - lead guitar), so when that position became vacant it was an easy decision on who to ask first".

Article continues below...

   


The band released their debut album, 'Daredevil On The Shore' in 2008 – how did it feel when it was released?

Liam Kane: "Really happy actually. The songs were all worked out really well before we entered the studio and a few of them had been in our live set for quite a while before we recorded them, so we had plenty of time to work out our parts and get most of it sounding as we wanted. Yeah, we were well chuffed to get it out there for people to hear."

Derek: "Fantastic! It makes you feel like you've really achieved something, even if the band had ended at that point, we'd always have the album as a record of what we did."

The band's second album, 'Tomb Of The Eagles' came out in 2011, how did that feel compared to the debut album?

Liam: "Being honest, if we had a bit more time, there were a few bits that could have turned out better but every album's the same, y'know? You always think you can do better when you go back and listen to it, but overall it felt like a natural progression from the first one. It was a little bit harder and heavier too."

Derek: "Again like the first album there was a huge feeling of accomplishment and it's good to see that you're building up a back catalogue of songs. Remember that we didn't just have the two albums either, because we released an EP, 'Driller Killer', in the gap between the two albums."

vantage point

Did the band find it easier to book gigs once these were released?

Derek: "Sometimes, but I think promoters seem to respond better to something visual like a link to a YouTube video. It's easy to email a link to a video directly to a prospective booker so they can check out the band quickly and they can instantly see what the band is about. In Vantage Point, we try and put together proper promo videos as often as possible and then put these up on our official YouTube page (youtube.com/user/vantagepointrocks) which helps us too."

The band's third album, 'Demonic Dinner Dance' is being officially released at a special gig on Saturday 21st June, so how easy was the process for this album?

Liam: "All the songs were pretty much all written by the time the second album had been released (laughs)."

Derek: "The vast majority of it was recorded at Split Level Studios (located in Ingliston, just outside Edinburgh) where we recorded the previous two albums with in-house producer Neil McNaught overseeing once again. We also recorded two tracks, 'High Maintenance Girlfriend' and 'Reverse The Charges' with Tim Young at Electric Studios (located ten miles south of Edinburgh in the Pentland Hills) as well as some alternative mixes of tracks which have already been released on the 'High Maintenance Girlfriend' EP."

I ask the band to talk me through the song-writing process, and it's Derek who once again takes the lead:

Derek: "Murray is a songwriter and he writes most of our material. For the 'Demonic Dinner Dance' album he did everything – words and music. I've contributed some tracks to previous albums, but generally though I'll come up with some riffs and lyrics and then Murray will take them away and ditch the lyrics before re-writing the music! (laughs) There's usually about one riff that he's left alone that I can lay claim to."

Murray Graham: "Yeah, in the main I'll come up with a melody and from there I'll work out the chords and rhythm to go under it. I'll take it to band and if they're happy with it, I'll go and write some lyrics to fit the melody. For the new album I had the concept first so I had the lyrics written first and then worked out the melody and music. To me, the melody is definitely the most important part of the song."

What are the themes you use in your songs?

Murray: "In the case of the 'Demonic Dinner Dance' album, it is about a horrendous dinner party!"

Where do you get your song writing inspiration from?

Murray: "Everyday events really, or in the case of 'Demonic Dinner Party', events that will never happen again – hopefully! (laughs). For songs on previous albums, inspiration comes from all sorts of places - some are inspired by the films while the song 'Tomb Of The Eagles' came from a medieval site in Orkney. On the other hand someone arriving at a pub once proclaiming that there was a daredevil on the shore, which sounded to me like a great song title, so I wrote a track around it."

vantage point

With the new album nearly released, do they have any other projects planned?

Derek: "Everything we're doing at the moment is geared towards the official release of 'Demonic Dinner Dance', so we've arranged a gig to officially launch that and to celebrate our tenth anniversary at the same time. Having said that, though, while we were back in the studio recently, we started work on four new songs, three of which are earmarked for the next album while the other track called 'Tutankhamen' is something we plan to release exclusively as a digital download sometime in 2014."

Have the band got a lot of other gigs planned for 2014?

Derek: "We've already played in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh so far this year, and we have some confirmed dates over and above our tenth anniversary gig that we were just talking about. We're booked to play at the third annual Les-Fest at the end of June, so that's something I think we're all looking forward to."

So what can someone coming to a Vantage Point live show expect?

Murray: "High screams, fast double kick drumbeats, pounding bass guitar and some widdly guitar solos (laughs)."

Derek: "As long as they leave at the end of the night with a smile on their face and want to come back and see us again, then we're happy with that!"

Are there any venues the band would like to play but haven't done yet?

Liam: "Lots of places really, but we're happy to be on stage as long as there are loads of people there to buy the CDs at the end of the night!"

Murray: "To play places like the O2 Academy or The Barrowlands in Glasgow would be a dream come true. If we could play anywhere though, it would be legendary venues like Hammersmith Odeon in London or Long Beach Arena in California – both venues where Iron Maiden recorded their legendary 'Live After Death' album."

How has social media helped the band's profile?

Derek: "Well without it it's unlikely that anyone in other countries would have heard any of our songs but because of things like Facebook, YouTube and Spotify, we've had our music heard and bought in places we have obviously never gigged. Closer to home, though, it's another tool we can use to publicise the band and the gigs that we are playing but it definitely isn't the be all and end all of promoting a gig. It certainly doesn't hurt to use it, though."

vantage point

Bringing our chat to an end, I ask the band what they realistically want the band to achieve?

Liam: "Realistically? Some recognition (pauses) and to be able to reach a point where we could make a living from what we're doing. That would be awesome!"

Derek: "Yeah, I would agree with that – plus an extensive back catalogue of recordings!"

You can see the official video for 'Demonic Dinner Dance' here:



You can catch Vantage Point live here:
Saturday 21st June - The Wee Red Bar, Edinburgh (Tenth Anniversary gig with support from The Amorettes)
Saturday 28th June – Les-Fest, Wiston Lodge
Friday 25th July – Eagle Bar, Inverness

Vantage Point are:
Murray Graham - Vocals/Bass Guitar
Liam Kane – Lead Guitar
Derek Mitchell - Rhythm Guitar
Dave Cumming – Drums

Vantage Point Online:
http://www.vantage-point.info
http://www.facebook.com/vantagepointrocks

Thanks very much to Murray, Liam, Derek and Dave for their time.

Promo photography - (c) Waysted Photography 2012
Live photography/Demonic Dinner Dance cover - (c) Vantage Point 2014


17.6.2014




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tesseract TESSERACT SIGN TO KSCOPE
The band have a new creative energy after reuniting with singer Dan Tompkins and have already written half of their third album, the follow up to 'Altered State', slated for a 2015 release...

primordial PRIMORDIAL TO RELEASE NEW FULL-LENGTH THIS NOVEMBER VIA METAL BLADE RECORDS
"We feel revitalized, the hunger never left and we are ready for another chapter to be written in our history..."

ill nino ILL NIÑO PREMIERE NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'I'M NOT THE ENEMY'
The video tells a bold story of youthful injustice, overcoming social stereotypes and the dreams of constructing a better life...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND LAUNCHES ZTV AND NEW ZILTOID SITE
"I'm really excited to present to you the new Ziltoid website, and the first of three ZTV episodes leading up to the album release..."

judas priest JUDAS PRIEST OPEN US TOUR WITH NEW SONGS AND CLASSICS: SPOILER ALERT - FULL SETLIST HERE
The legendary British Metallers are touring in support of of their new 'Redeemer Of Souls' album...

tony wright TONY WRIGHT RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM 'THOUGHTS 'N' ALL' ON 17TH NOVEMBER
The Terrorvision frontman has made a personal, heartfelt and passionate reflection of his journey...

off PUNK/HARDCORE LUMINARIES OFF! RETURN TO THE ROAD
There will be six UK dates before the band head off to mainland Europe...

queensryche BREAKING NEWS: QUEENSRYCHE ANNOUNCED AS HARD ROCK HELL VIII HEADLINERS
Following the official cancellation of W.A.S.P., Hard Rock Hell are pleased to announce that Queensryche will be stepping up to the top slot...

motorhead LEMMY TALKS TO FULL METAL JACKIE ABOUT HIS HEALTH, THE NEXT ALBUM AND THE MOTORBOAT CRUISE
Lemmy Kilmister was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show this weekend...

hellion HELLION ANNOUNCE NEW 'KARMA'S A BITCH' MINI ALBUM & SINGLE
Hellion's strongest line-up to date unleash first new material in over a decade...

blaze bayley BLAZE BAYLEY RELEASES 'SOUNDTRACKS OF MY LIFE' DVD
Blaze and backing band Absolva are captured in a performance celebrating 30 years in the business for Blaze...

black sabbath BREAKING NEWS: BLACK SABBATH TO RECORD NEW ALBUM AND DO ONE FINAL TOUR
Just as we told you back in May, Black Sabbath's Hyde Park performance on 4th July was not the last ever Sabbath gig...

def leppard DEF LEPPARD ROCK THE NFL AT WEMBLEY
A stage was set up on the pitch with the band performing in front of beautiful cheerleaders...

slipknot SLIPKNOT RELEASE 'THE DEVIL IN I' OFFICIAL VIDEO
Find out more about the new masks as the build up to the release of '.5:The Gray Chapter' continues...

sy keeler ONSLAUGHT'S SY KEELER TO SIT OUT FORTHCOMING US/CANADA/SOUTH AMERICA TOUR
Ex Anthrax legend Neil Turbin steps into the breach as the health issues of Sy Keeler's son mean he is needed at home...

vivian cambell VIV CAMPBELL TO UNDERGO STEM CELL TREATMENT
Trixter guitarist Steve Brown will fill in for Def Leppard's autumn dates...

haken HAKEN LAUNCH 'DARKEST LIGHT' VIDEO
"We've managed to chop the old song in half, cut away all the excess fat and produce a 6 minute rowdy riff roller-coaster that will surely find a home in the heavier side of our live show..."

the dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES RELEASE 'THE FACE I LOVE' VIDEO
Get a look at the title track of the new EP here. A new album will follow in 2015...

primordial PRIMORDIAL ANNOUNCE UK DATES IN FEBRUARY 2015
There will also be an album launch in Dublin in November for 'Where Greater Men Have Fallen'...

protokult SING ALONG TO 'GET ME A BEER!' LYRIC VIDEO BY PROG FOLK METALLERS PROTOKUL
"For those of you who can't understand what the hell Martin is spewing, now is your chance to sing along! Get yourself a cold one and enjoy!"...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE ANNOUNCE NEW LIVE DVD/CD WITH CLASSIC AND RARE PERFORMANCES
"It's still hard for me to find the words when remembering that half the incredible band who originally recorded the 'Slide It In' album with me have passed away," says Coverdale...

metal church VOCALIST RONNY MUNROE QUITS METAL CHURCH
The band posted a statement on their official Facebook page assuring fans that the band is alive and well and that "big announcements" are expected soon...

bloodbath BLOODBATH STREAM FIRST NEW TRACK FEATURING NICK HOLMES AND REVEAL ALBUM TRACKLISTING
Sweden's masters of horror Bloodbath are set to release their fourth album of supreme death Metal, 'Grand Morbid Funeral', on 17th November 2014...

ac/dc AC/DC ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM, 'ROCK OR BUST', AND CONFIRM DEPARTURE OF MALCOLM YOUNG
AC/DC have announced details of their 17th studio album, their first for six years and their first ever not to feature Malcolm...

lordi LORDI RELEASE FIRST SINGLE FROM NEW ALBUM 'SCARE FORCE ONE'
Tour dates to follow for the Finnish sensations. "The overall sound of the band is more modern this time, and we've tried out some new tricks here and there..."

bloodstock CANNIBAL CORPSE WILL PLAY AN EXCLUSIVE UK SHOW AT BLOODSTOCK 2015
Cannibal Corpse, Sepultura and Ihsahn join the line-up that also includes Within Temptation and Opeth...

helix HELIX ANNOUNCE TOUR OF EUROPE
This will be the first Euro tour for Helix since heading out with Kiss and Ian Gillan in the 1980s...

threshold THRESHOLD DISCUSS HOW THEY FOUND THE NEW ALBUM ARTWORK ON THE INTERNET
Damian Wilson and Richard West discuss Threshold's new album 'For The Journey', out today...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS RELEASE 'THIS IS ROCK N ROLL II' IN ADVANCE OF NOVEMBER TOUR
Re-packaged, re-styled and with 4 bonus tracks, the rare 2001 classic from The Quireboys will be available on 23rd October...

gwar GWAR REVEAL TWO NEW MEMBERS - BLÓTHAR AND VULVATRON
Meet the latest warriors to don the latex and styrofoam and join the intergalactic crew for Gwar's "Eternal" tour...

fear factory FEAR FACTORY SIGN TO NUCLEAR BLAST ENTERTAINMENT
The journey continues for one of the groundbreaking Metal bands of our time, with new material to be released in 2015...

tank TANK BEGIN WORK ON NEW ALBUM; BAND CONFIRMED FOR BANG YOUR HEAD
The band are scheduled to enter the studio in November with a release planned for early February...

blitzallica DIAMOND HEAD TO HEADLINE COUNTY DURHAM'S BLITZALLICA IN OCTOBER
Plus legendary Metal party band Dumpy's Rusty Nuts and old favorites Holosade who are reforming especially for this headbanging estravaganza...

saille SAILLE COMMENT ON FORTHCOMING THIRD ALBUM
"'Eldritch' differs quite a bit from our two previous albums," keyboardist Dries Gaerdelen says...

winger WINGER RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'BETTER DAYS COMIN'
Winger have released a new music video - the title track from their Billboard chart breaking album...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX ANNOUNCE SIX HEADLINE SHOWS IN EUROPE
This Autumn, Voodoo Six will play six headline shows in Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER ANNOUNCES DECEMBER UK TOUR
Schenker will perform songs from the new album, which features the new single, 'Lord Of The Lost And Lonely' plus all the classics...

johnny thunders LOOKING FOR JOHNNY: THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY THUNDERS MOVIE TO BE RELEASED NEXT MONTH
When Johnny Thunders died in New Orleans on April 23rd 1991, he left behind a mystery...

metallica METALLICA TO RELEASE 27 LIVE ALBUMS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR AND APPEAR IN THE GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS
To commemorate the anniversary of the LiveMetallica.com site, the band are offering CDs and LPs of every gig they played in 2014...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS AND THE TREATMENT ANNOUNCE UK TOURS
Kobra And The Lotus will be kicking off their Headline Tour on 24th September in support of their latest record 'High Priestess'...

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