History & Biography
InterviewsAli “The Metallian” interviewed two members of Viogression prior to their first Canadian show, which took place at La Brique in Montreal. The band was opening for Pestilence and Death and was on the road in support of its debut album Expound And Exhort. Who is who and which voice belongs to which individual has been consigned to the past as the individuals do not introduce themselves on tape. As such, here is a vintage interview with the band’s individuals one and two. – 19.11.1991
METALLIAN: The group's album is available through Tombstone/Maze Records. Could you give us a history of the band?
VIOGRESSION 1: Well, we started two years ago. We had a different drummer (Jef) who was Bryan's (Jaeger) brother. We got rid of him and got his twin brother on drums. We had another guitar player who recorded the album with us and he was not doing too well so we got rid of him and Bryan switched to guitar. We found a new bass player.
VIOGRESSION 2: We have done three demos. We did not release the third one. We just sent it to the record labels. It got us signed.
METALLIAN: How did you obtain the deal with Maze or Tombstone in Europe?
VIOGRESSION 2: We were in our manager's office one day and he had record label addresses and writing to them. We picked out this one that we saw, and that was Tombstone, and we thought that was kind of neat so we write them and from there he was interested. We sent him a demo, which was called Devils. That was the last demo we made. He liked it and wanted to do something with us so...
VIOGRESSION 1: Tombstone went in with Communique. Tombstone became the sub-label of Communique. So, we are actually signed to Communique/Tombstone.
METALLIAN: How did the deal with Maze come about?
VIOGRESSION 1: Well, initially Maze was interested and made an offer. Metal Blade made an offer. Then Metal Blade took a long time and Maze made another offer. We got the deal with Maze instead of Metal Blade, which is great, because Maze has been good.
METALLIAN: We have not seen any product up here in Canada. So, are they doing much better in the States?
VIOGRESSION 1: Well, when we were in Florida in the US the product was there so it only came out... not even a week today so hopefully it will get up here in the next week.
METALLIAN: What sort of a deal do you have with them? Is it long-term? Are you seeing support from them? I saw an advertisement in Metal Forces as an example. You are on a good tour. This is a good bill.
VIOGRESSION 2: They are doing well. They are a smaller label and doing everything they can. They are doing ads whenever they can and they are trying to get it everywhere. As far as support, they have been doing everything they can.
METALLIAN: Jumping to the next question, what does the band's name mean? Does it have a deep meaning or is it just a combination of two words?
VIOGRESSION 1: It is kind of a combination of two words, but it really has no meaning. We just wanted something off the wall. It was just one of the ideas and we went with it.
METALLIAN: Could you give us a description of the lyrics and the music? As of now, no one has heard of you. None of the metal fans in this city have heard you. The fans will check you out at the show tonight, but could you give us your description?
VIOGRESSION 1: Well... we get comparisons to Obituary... initially. The music is death metal, very heavy. There are many underlying tones in it. It's brutal music. Obituary is an initial comparison, but I don't really think we sound like Obituary. The vocals sometimes do, and that's why we get compared, but musically we are a cross between Paradise Lost and Morbid Angel.
METALLIAN: is there an emphasis on speed like Obituary or is it more like Paradise Lost and slower?
VIOGRESSION 1: We mix it up. We do everything from blasting to Winter speed.. just grunge.
VIOGRESSION 2: Yeah, I was just going to comment, about the same. We are slow and then super speed. It goes both ways. We do all of it.
METALLIAN: Tell me about your lyrics. What does the title of the album mean and what do you talk about?
VIOGRESSION 1: The whole topic of the album is 'think what you want' and 'don't be afraid to scream at everyone. 'The lyrics are all the way from gore to anti-Christianity to just evil.
METALLIAN: What does the title mean?
VIOGRESSION 1: Expound And Exhort... we got the idea from our manager (Eric Greif). It means to stand your ground and scream your opinion at somebody. Push your view.
METALLIAN: Who are your favourite bands and how do you see yourself in that perspective?
VIOGRESSION 1: I think we are different. When you hear us we don't sound like any other band. Parts sound like other bands and you can compare it, but I think we come across different than other bands. As far as bands we listen to... Suffocation, Incantation, Immolation, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Pestilence, Death, Paradise Lost, Bolt Thrower, just everything.
METALLIAN: I have interviewed many bands and I hear answers like The Beatles and Sinead O' Connor…
VIOGRESSION 1: Not all of our influences are death metal. I mean we listen to everything.
VIOGRESSION 2: Soundgarden, new Nirvana we listen to a little bit, there is this whole musical spectrum we listen to pretty much. We had disco on the way down here.
VIOGRESSION 1: But we are death metal, death metal fans. We are fans of the music so... we like it.
METALLIAN: OK, how do you see the scene down in the States as a listener? Where does Viogression fit in?
VIOGRESSION 1: Well, the scene is growing very fast. It is becoming huge. I think we are different enough where people really get into it. Everybody that's heard it seems to like the album. Live, I think, we are a lot better than the album.
METALLIAN: Do you agree with him that the scene is growing? Or ae there too many bands for the number of fans?
VIOGRESSION 2: I see it as growing. There are bands that are jumping on just to be on. I won't name names, but there some comical stuff that is just outrageous. But it is growing and there are bands getting opportunities.
VIOGRESSION 1: The shitty bands are not going to do anything. They'll put out one album, maybe everyone will buy it and they will see right through it. People aren't stupid. They will know. They will just die.
METALLIAN: As far as Viogression and Canada go where does this country fit into your scheme of things?
VIOGRESSION 1: Well, we are here and so far it's been pretty incredible. We haven't played yet. We are looking forward to it. I heard the scene up here is just incredible and it's like going to Europe. Everyone is just into it. We are looking forward to it. We hope we can do well in Canada. They will love it if they like death metal.
METALLIAN: Speaking of this show and tour, how did Viogression get on this bill?
VIOGRESSION 2: We, um, basically, just.. we, um, .. we have met Death and they like us and they like our stuff. That helped because Chuck (of Death) likes our band for being brutal. That helped getting us on the bill when our manager, who manages Death, thought it would be a good idea for us to get the exposure.
VIOGRESSION 2: One other thing too is that there are so many Florida bands. It is a break for the Mid-West (as Viogression hails from the Mid-West USA). If you go to New York there are tons of death metal bands. There are many good bands in the Mid-West. There is Accidental Suicide, Lycanthropy, Morta Skuld and our going on tour focuses people's attention to the Mid-West and maybe those bands will have people listen to them.
METALLIAN: From which city are you exactly?
VIOGRESSION 2: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
METALLIAN: How is the local scene there? Obviously the Milwaukee Metal Festival takes place there.
VIOGRESSION 1: There is always the good and the bad. There is really good death metal in Milwaukee. I mean Accidental Suicide is a great band. Then there are bands that are just jumping onto death metal. I think it's like that everywhere though. Milwaukee has a good scene and when we play shows there with other bands there is a good draw. Accidental Suicide has signed to Peaceville.
METALLIAN: Do you know any Canadian bands that you like?
VIOGRESSION 1: I don't know any bands. I know a guy who does a zine called Sonic Fallout.
METALLIAN: That is out of BC, I think. Yes, I know him.
VIOGRESSION 2: I have seen bands that are from here, but I have never heard anything.
METALLIAN: So you have not heard Sacrifice or Obliveon or...
VIOGRESSION 1: Obliveon, I have that tape.
VIOGRESSION 2: Yeah, Obliveon that's good. I like that.
VIOGRESSION 1: We played with them at Day Of Death. They were great.
METALLIAN: Do you have anything to add as we wind this interview down?
VIOGRESSION 2: Just get the album. It is very heavy and very brutal. If you are into death metal you are going to love it because it is very good. So far so good. This is an important show for us because we have never been here and it looks like it will be a really good show.
VIOGRESSION 1: We are excited about the whole fact that we are here. We are hoping that everybody else will like us just as much.
La Brique was not sold out that night, but Viogression and Death had good shows that night. Pestilence made less of an impact, but the fans were happy to hear the band’s better-known songs.
This interview was originally broadcast on CRSG cable radio in Montreal.
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