KEO: If the audience wants to delve deeper into your bio/band history they can always read up on the band on your site. Speaking of sites, it’s quite sweet!! Please define Vesperian Sorrow in statement and who is your target audience?
Kris: Our target audience is anyone who is into music. Yes, we are a metal band but we have many fans outside of metal.
Donni: VS is a brotherhood of individuals that have traveled a long road, and we each live for our band! It is something that has poisoned our veins, and we keep injecting it! Call it Black, Death, Dark, or whatever. We choose to call it music! Anyone who can recognize skilled musicianship should be able to appreciate what we do!
KEO: Now does the name Vesperian Sorrow hold a specific meaning? Please provide a brief history behind it.
Kris: Vesper means in the evening time. It was tradition for a bell to be rung in the evening to summon worshipers to vespers. From this we have Vesperian Sorrow, which means sorrowful evening.
Donni: Plus it sounds cool!
KEO: What would be the determining factor for you to tour outside of your locale?
Kris: We would need good booking and promotion. This band has been waiting to take on the world but most of the work falls on us, and after all we are just musicians not agents.
Donni: If we had someone to back us financially, then we would have toured the world a long time ago. We want to gain merit on the quality of our music! We fill that when it is our time, it will be so!
KEO: Speaking of shows, what can one expect at a live VS show?
Kris: Me on drums and samples, Will and James on guitar, Tony on Bass, and Donni on vox, and great music! Seriously, we put on a killer show that will be remembered.
Donni: There is always good crowd involvement at our shows! The fans come first, and we make sure that they are treated to a killer live performance!
KEO: How is the scene in Austin? Is it supportive to the symphonic black metal scene?
Kris: The Austin scene is great for metal, but the only negative thing I can say is that there are way too many bands here period. The over saturation of bands makes getting a great turnout to shows more difficult since here in Austin you can see almost any type of music live on any night of the week.
We have great support from our hometown, but as for symphonic metal we are not sure since we are the only band of this nature in Austin that we know of right now. We can say that black metal & death metal have huge support here.
Donni: Austin is the metal city right now for Texas! It has come along way in the last two years or so, and things are really kicking ass here right now! There is a lot of diverse music happening here, and it is rather interesting!
KEO: I see you guys are in need of a new keyboardist, what’s the story behind that?
Kris: Well you see, I write all the keys for the band right now, and we think it would be more appealing for us to have a keyboard player live. We are really just looking for a live keyboard player.
KEO: How’s life on Displeased Records? If given the chance to sign to a major label, would you switch from indie?
Kris: Displeased was a great starting label for us. Much of our being known internationally is attributed to Displeased. We have however completed our contract with Displeased Records, but still maintain contact with them.
KEO: You guys have been very busy with the release of your third CD, Regenesis Creation and an EP on the way in 2006! That’s pretty awesome. Do you have a title for the EP yet?
Kris: Yes, we have been very busy lately!! The EP has no title yet but the music is there. We plan to start recording in our studio (Amplitude) sometime in Feb. Shortly after this we are going to re-issue our 1998 demo with an in-depth bio, and if things go right the 4th album should follow late 2006.
Donni: I’m sure a title will come to mind when the time is right. It’s something that we will “feel”.
KEO: Also realizing your CD Regenesis Creation is dropping today, [December 19th] tell me how has the reaction/reviews been? Has it been well received? Any projections for it?
Kris: The release date has been pushed back to Jan. 20th due to manufacturing process and the holidays.
KEO: Is there a specific meaning the title behind Regenesis Creation or is it something that you’d prefer to let your fans draw their own conclusions?
Kris: Well, we can say a new beginning, but the listeners can gather the story from the lyrics.
KEO: You guys are really into artwork for your CD’s, t-shirts, what’s the on going inspiration for that?
Donni: The artwork is a culmination of the imagination of the lyrics. Kind of like a vision that gets put into a work of art.
KEO: Speaking of artwork, who created the artwork for Regenesis Creation and for Psychotic Sculpture?
Donni: “Psychotic” was created by Daniel Long. He is an amazing artist, and did a great job! We have since lost touch with him, and for “Regenesis”, we went with Morgana.
KEO: I found the cover art for Sculpture a piece that was very strong in nature and spoke volumes to me, what do you want the buyer to walk away with after seeing the cover?
Donni: A killer CD, that they can enjoy from start to finish, and encapsulate themselves in the music, and envision things that are of another time and place!
KEO: When writing songs, to whom or what do you look towards for inspiration?
Kris: Writing music comes from my emotions, and a few great movie composers for inspiration.
Donni: I have these visions when it comes to writing the lyrics. I get these stories in my head, and I just go off on them, and create outerly worlds, fictitious people, and societies.
KEO: Speaking of songwriting is it more or a democracy when it comes to contribution of music or is there one, main songwriter (a dictatorship)?
Kris: Will and I are the main songwriters for Vesperian Sorrow.
Donni: I used to write a lot riffs early on, but I put the guitar down a long time ago. I concentrate on the lyrics.
KEO: In your opinion, how has your song writing changed from Beyond The Cursed Eclipse to Regenesis Creation?
Kris: Beyond was more of raw in the sense that we just compiled riffs and created a song. The guitar playing was still there, but the keys took a more in your face approach.
Donni: Psychotic was more structured song wise and the instruments were beginning to have there individual space (instead of all keys). For Regenesis we spent a lot of time on song structure and creating a balance for the instruments.
KEO: What's the biggest test of character you've endured thus far with your life in VS?
Kris: For me this would be trying to balance life around VS. Having a studio, VS, and other projects really puts a strain on your personal life.
Donni: Dealing with others individual personalities, and trying to balance opinions out with what is best for the band. It’s hard to keep a band together, but the struggle is half the challenge.
KEO: Is VS a fulltime gig or do you and your bandmates hold jobs? If so, has it been a challenge and hindered the band in anyway?
Kris: We all hold jobs, for me it’s Network Engineer, Studio Engineer, and VS. Having VS is a fulltime job in itself, but it’s worth it.
Donni: If you choose to play in an underground metal band, you have to work a day job in order to have some income. It’s possible to get to the point where you don’t have to, and that is what we are shooting for. Work sucks!
KEO: Who are you listening to in the genre and out of the genre?
Kris: In the genre it’s Arcturus, Within Temptation, Sirenia, After Forever, Summoning, Kalmah, The Gathering, OMC,Dimmu Borgir, Leaves Eyes, Hypocrisy. Out of the genre it’s Evanescence, Greg Howe, Liquid Tension Experiment, and talk radio.
Donni: I actually listen to a lot of old 80’s pop, some country, and jazz. Those styles help me to kind of break away from things, and it makes me love metal all that much more when I do listen to it, and perform live!
KEO: Christmas wish list?
Kris: 1 million dollars.
Donni: To get VS to the next level and tour the world! I guess a million dollars would make that possible!
KEO: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
Kris: Don’t die this year!!
Donni: To eat more pussy than I did last year!
KEO: Who would you like to see your name next to on a marquee, your all time bill from hell?
Kris: Arcturus, Nightwish,Opeth.
Donni: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Slayer.
KEO: If you could work collaborate with anyone (producer wise), who would you chose?
Donni: Fredrick Nordström, and Andy Sneap!
KEO: Who would be your guilty pleasure song/CD/artist? Recordings or artists no one would ever believe you’d listen to?
Kris: Uh, Disturbed.
Donni: Chamillionaire (rapper from Houston).
KEO: If you could commission a band to do a cover of a VS song, who would do it and which song would they cover?
Kris: Sirenia, and the song "Odyssium" from Psychotic Sculpture.
Donni: Iron Maiden "Saga of the Second Sign"!
KEO: Name a couple of albums that served as major influences on your lives.
Kris: The album Aspera Hiems Symfonia from Arcturus.
Donni: “Ride the Lightning” / Metallica, Reign in Blood” / Slayer, “The Fourth Dimension”/ Hypocrisy, “The Spectral Sorrows”/ Edge of Sanity, “In the Forest of the Dreaming Dread”/ Unanimated.
KEO: If you could do a split CD with any band, which would you choose?
KEO: What does the future hold for VS within the next year, past the release of the EP?
Kris: Well the demo, and fourth album should also come in 2006, and lots of touring.
Donni: Yes, lots of touring, and promoting the band! We love to play so we are going to try and tour as much as possible!
KEO: Where can your fans purchase your CD’s?
Kris: Our CD can be purchased from our site starting Jan. 20th.
Donni: Anyone can get our first two CD’s from any major distro online. Century Media would be a good starting point.
KEO: If you could interview a band, name one that you would like to interview?
Kris: Our guitar player James has already interviewed Nevermore, so does this count?
Donni: I would like to interview Dream Theatre. All of those guys are so fucking talented, and I’m sure hey could offer so much valuable information.
KEO: More role reversals, do you have any questions for me?
Donni: How is the metal scene where you are living? Have you ever been to Texas?
KEO: You mean there is one? That's why bands outside the city are a hell of a lot more appealing. However, we are aware of bands here in Chicago but to us there is no scene. Now we welcome others to prove us wrong!
I have through Texas and stopped in Texas to fuel up the car we were driving from Arizona. Officially I guess the answer is no! LOL
KEO: Any final words? Do you have a message you would like to share with your fans?
Kris: I would like to tell the fans of the world thanks for the support because without you where would VS be. Stay Metal!! \m/ \m/
Donni: Thanx to everyone who has supported VS, and help up keep this going. It is always an honor to meet individuals who come out to our shows! It means so much to us! We love you all!
I'd like to thank Donni and Kris for taking the time to fill out this interview!