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Interview with vISION, vIZZI, Derek Rhodes



Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2011

Brian Rademacher: Hello vISION and welcome to RockEyez. Tell me about the band TRAGIC BLACK which started around 1999?


vISION: spiritual awakenings and excess partying inspired Vyle & I to form TRAGIC BLACK.  "Decadence Is A Virtue" was a saying going through my head a lot back then.  Our 1st gig was Halloween 2000.  We are assisting in the conscious evolution, cause if not us, then who?


Brian Rademacher: You released “The Cold Caress” (2007), “The Decadent Requiem” (2006), “Articulate Lacerations” (only 550 pressed), “Vatican Demonica” (only 100 pressed), “The Sixx Premonitions” EP (2004) and the live album “Burnt Black” (2005). Due to its limited pressing I would say “Vatican Demonica” is a very rare collector item. Is that true?


vISION: It's true, “Vatican Demonica” is an exclusive that not even one band member ever got the chance to get an actual copy cause the site closed out of nowhere. 


Brian Rademacher: Do you feel that with each release the band changed or grew?


vISION: Always man! If you listened to us chronologically, the growth is like night and day with each release.  Since our first "official" debut album "The Decadent Requiem" we relate each album to an element and chakras.  "The Decadent Requiem" (The Awakening) represents the Element of Fire and the Red, Orange and Yellow Chakras.  "The Cold Caress" represents the Element of Water and the Light Blue/Throat Chakra.  "The Dead Fall" (7" vinyl record) represents the Element of Air and the Crown/Purple/Violet Chakra.  Currently were recording the “Earth Element and Green Heart Chakra” Album to complete the Elements and Human Chakra system.


Brian Rademacher: Would you say that the music is kind dark gothic in style?


vISION: Very dark, but full of hope at the same time. "Bring in the darkness to show them the light." That's lyrics the title track of the “The Decadent Requiem”. Meaning in absolute darkness, you can see the light from within.  From there, you're awakened.  We've played all over Europe, America and even Mexico City. 


Brian Rademacher: So now that you started CORVID does that mean the end to TRAGIC BLACK?


vISION: There's no end in sight for TRAGIC BLACK. CORVID is going wonderful, we are going to find a new bass player and start setting our sights for Europe! For TRAGIC BLACK, we’ve been working on our “Earth Element” album since 2007.  It's a very rock record all from the heart.


Brian Rademacher: Looking at TRAGIC BLACK it looks like you were punk and as the releases came out it seemed the band got darker and darker. I am only going by the covers. Was it that way?


vISION: Not so much. We came from the Goth scene first.  Our first self-releases had a punky edge vocally, but the music was more Goth/post-punk. Our evolution is more and more away from having electronics in our music. We started with a drum machine, now we have a drummer. Years ago we used to have a keyboard player, now its two guitarists, bass player, drummer and me on lead vocals. The new TRAGIC BLACK album has some straight-up 80's metal style songs.


Brian Rademacher: Now you were or still are a part of the bands SPECTRE THEATRE & DISRUPTIVE CREATURES. Why so many bands; we haven’t even reached the band CORVID yet where I was turned onto you.


vISION: I love electronic music too, so the graphic artist for TRAGIC BLACK (Jordan Livingston) and I formed DISRUPTIVE CREATURES as a recording project. We will probably never play live, but we have a few songs recorded and tons (around 20), for our and for the enjoyment of others.  SPECTRE THEATRE is a project now (band later!) with two friends from Leipzig, Germany.  I write the lyrics and Micha writes the music. I collaborate a little, but all of the musical magic is his (Micha's) doing. I am the back-up or co-singer, as Lufia is the lead singer. This way it's unique and unlike any project I'm in as in SPECTRE THEATRE, its female lead vocals.  Plus, Lufia has been my friend for years and she is a total bad-ass and hearing her sing :). CORVID is a straight-up rock band. We have all kinds of plans, we’re achieving them one step at a time.


Brian Rademacher: You’re kinda like a Gothic David Bowie, meaning chameleon-like with all the changes. When I saw photos I thought right away of Edward Scissorhands. You like to have a wide variety of images?


vISION: Yeah, and honestly when I was a kid, what made me want to grow up and look this way was from inspiration I got from both Edward Scissorhands and Nikki Sixx.  For shows, I always wear something unique for each show; it's rare that I wear the same thing twice.


Brian Rademacher: When did you know you had a talent for singing?


vISION: My whole life I'd be singing along to the bands I loved.  It feels like destiny. So I practiced on my own. I wanted my band to be obviously dark.  Some bands like BLACK SABBATH or CHRIAN DEATH have that polarity of Black/Dark Sabbath/Light Christian/Light Death/Dark, but TRAGIC is dark and BLACK is dark too! Ha-ha-ha


Brian Rademacher: What was the most outrageous thing you did in school?


vISION: There's too many to list but wearing 4 inch stiletto high heels, short mini skirt and a fishnet shirt, got me in a bunch of trouble. When I was in high school I my spent nights at clubs hanging with people a decade or more older than me.  I had a hell of a time with jocks and assholes like that.  In time though, after high school, I no longer get shit from anyone.  Like the old MARILYN MANSON song Lunchbox says, "I wanna grow up, wanna be, so no one, fucks with me!"


Brian Rademacher: NOW! Finally getting to the band I took notice of CORVID but first, you’ve been a musician for most of your life, so what was your first job?


vISION: I worked for Hot Topic, which was awesome cause they actually encouraged me to dress how I wanted, so I could come in dressed up all the time. 


Brian Rademacher: The opening track really kicks in right away with clips out of “The Crow” movie and the music is the perfect setting for CORVID. How did you guys decide on that track opening track “Feeding The Addiction”? By the way, you have great harmonies on this track.


vISION: Thanks man :) We threw ideas around but felt this was perfect because the word CORVID is a noun for birds belonging to the Crow family, so using samples from the Crow seemed natural, plus its chalk full of attitude "Caw, caw, bang! Fuck, I'm Dead" which goes right into "Cheap & Nasty."


Brian Rademacher: You got CRASHDIET’s Martin Sweet and Peter London doing some background vocals on the release. What songs did they sing on?


vISION: Martin Sweet actually did backing vocals on ALL of the songs (a mighty wonderful job too, might I add).  Martin also did our mixing and mastering. Peter London did “Cheap & Nasty”, but no others.


Brian Rademacher: Are you happy the way the mixing and mastering came out at Sweet Studios by Martin Sweet and would you recommend him to others?


vISION: FUCK YES I AM!!! It's incredible to compare the raw-unmixed tracks to the fully mixed and mastered tracks when Martin sends them back. I'd recommend him to anyone who wants a quality album!  Also, I want to add, that for me.... working with him is fucking awesome! Cause honestly, I really love CRASHDIET and to work with one of my favorite bands, just well, KICKS ASS!!!


Brian Rademacher: Feeding The Addiction” is a true rock record; The songs are traditional power cords, heavy drums and crunching vocals and it does have that little side of melodic rock. I mean you dabbled in different genres of music what is your favorite?


vISION: For me, this album is a dream come true. Reminds me of the music I loved when I grew up. My first concert was GUNS N ROSES in 1992.  Not that we sound like GNR, or any of my favorite bands, but it has the full rock sound and dark & sleazy kinda attitude I love.


Brian Rademacher: You recently played with FASTER PUSSYCAT. CORVID is a perfect fit for that bill because you sound pretty similar. How’d they treat you?


vISION: it was awesome!! FASTER rocked the house and we were beyond happy to play with them!! (It’s) really kicks-ass playing with bands you personally enjoy, cause a lot of the time you end up playing with bands you're not really into.  So those moments when we get to share the stage with bands we love, believe me, we are grateful.


Brian Rademacher: One of my favorite tracks is “Burning In The Spotlight”. It’s in a totally different direct than any track on the CD. What made you decide to put that track on the CD?


vISION: Coincidentally,  that's one of the oldest song we used on the album. Our early songs were much harder & more “screamy”.  That song just was too cool to leave off. Between the more mellow guitars and low vocals to the crazy time-changes our drummer pulls off, it’s just too rad to leave off.


Brian Rademacher: Do you feel that “Feeding The Addiction” will bring a shining light on CORVID?


vISION: I do! All of the songs on the album are strong. We put in so much time & effort to make sure we released a quality album, I think when more people hear it they're gonna love it too!  We'd really like to play gigs all over Europe.


Brian Rademacher: How did you decide on the name of the band?


vISION: My friend once said the word CORVID to me. Told me they were one of the smartest breeds of birds. They use tools, work in groups, basically they rock.  Also, crows/ravens remind me of things dark. So they rock and it's dark, which is what we're all about.


Brian Rademacher: Tell me what the CD cover means to you?


vISION: To me, it is about someone who lost their mind. Someone who snapped and don't know what they did to end up in a pool of someone else’s blood, with a rusty hatchet lying next to them... Gives you that murder mystery vibe and at the same time, she's hot and it's very aesthetic, so it pulls you in.


Brian Rademacher: If you could go out on tour with any band of your choice who would it be?


vISION: I'd love to tour with MOTLEY CRUE!!  Why aim low? It'd be awesome to play with CRASHDIET, HARDCORE SUPERSTAR, SISTER and GENERATION GRAVEYARD.


Brian Rademacher: And what is a dream come true for you?


vISION: Are you familiar with lucid dreaming? It's a great way to explore the vastness of the universe.  I mean, you can do whatever you want.  In the past I choose to fly deep into space to communicate with star beings.


Brian Rademacher: Hey man it’s been cool and thank you for the interview. Would you like to say anything before we go?


vISION: Thank you Brian!  I also want to say thank you to the guys of CORVID (Stich - Guitar/Vocals & Sai - Drums) for making my life better with rock.  Oh and Brian, let’s see you with some eyeliner.... What do you say?


(Brian Rademacher: my answer… sure what the fuck, why not!)



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