Interview with Vide of VIDE
2019 saw an abundance of black metal releases in conjunction with what was a strong surge of new black metal artists and bands storming into the industry and scene. It is, without doubt, the black metal being created in America was among some of the darkest and confronting, and one of those US black metal warriors is Vide! Vide is a black metal, black noise, depressive USBM solo project, hailing from Louisiana and he wasted no time releasing Demo II in 2019, on the back of his 2018 release Demo 1. It was obvious that people stood up and listened hard to his often manic, emotive, raw and chaotic black & roll black metal, which often feels cathartic, trance-like at times and most certainly dark and mesmerizing. I caught up with Vide, to discuss his latest releases, the inimitable USBM (the United States Black Metal) movement and what we can expect next from this inspiring artist.
Hey Vide, firstly, a big hail to you for doing this interview with me, as a fan of your work it means a lot. You are from Louisiana USA, and once upon a time this probably would not be a place that would pop in one's mind when thinking about black metal. What drove you to create your black metal solo project 'Vide'? How did it all start for you?
I've always struggled with finding a band of like-minded musicians to work with. During the summer of 2018, I was having real bad luck in my personal life. I already had a recording set up at home from my previous failed attempts at getting a band going. One random day during that summer, I decided to record some ideas that I had. This eventually became the first Vide demo.
These past two years have been big for Vide with people receiving your Demo I well in 2018 and then landing on many Top Album lists of 2019 with Demo II. How do you feel about how your success so far and how black metal appreciators are receiving you?
I feel honoured and grateful. I'm in a constant state of surprise with everything related to Vide. I was very close to deleting the tracks from the demo I before I decided to release it. The feedback I've received on my releases have been more than I could have ever asked for.
Let's focus on your latest demo, Demo II. This is such an incredible journey through raw and pained vocals, black & roll rhythms, harsh black noise guitars, and melancholy passages. What are the themes and stories behind Demo II?
The main theme is my past life. I've carried it over from demo I to demo II now. The artwork for both is from an old family photo. They are a brother-sister album. It is all a representation of where I've come from. I grew up in a very small town with not a lot to do. The stories are about feeling lost, alone and stuck in a place that you never expect to escape.
You are quite a mystery, you seem humble and solid in keeping your identity hidden on your social media and album imagery. Does this mean you aren't planning on playing live gigs? And if you are planning on live gigs, do you plan to maintain a hidden identity on the stage?
I'm not in a rush to bring Vide to the stage but I would love to one day. I've played live before in my previous bands so it is something I miss. My goal is to keep my anonymity for as long as I can, even if Vide plays live one day.
USBM is thriving, with a unique sound of complete devastation, lo-fi and distorted rawness, it is incredibly unique compared to the true kvlt style of black metal and well black metal anywhere at the moment. It is almost as if USBM is becoming a sub-sub-genre within the black metal genre. Where does this distinctive style to America derive from? And where do you see USBM heading?
It's hard to say where it comes from. There is an endless amount of music and influences out there so it's probably giving us these new results. I see it heading in a good direction. I feel like I'm seeing smaller bands in the scene get more recognition so hopefully, it keeps going that way.
What is the mix of music that has influenced your particular sound?
I start with my main black metal influences first. For me, it is early Bathory, Darkthrone, and Burzum. I'm also a big fan of the 70s / 80s post-punk / darkwave music. Bands like Joy Division, The Cure, Misfits, Christian Death, and The Sound are also big influences on me when I write.
USBM bands & artists such as Aphelion, Valac, Witchbones to name a few all seem extremely supportive of your work and in general the black metal community in the US feels tight and encouraging. What else makes the USBM scene so good?
The support has been great. Witchbones, for example, has reshared posts of mine and has been very supportive. The variety in the scene also makes it good. There seems to be plenty of options when it comes to black metal bands.
Vide is signed with US label; Jems Label, who has some wickedly good black metal bands signed within his portfolio. Tell me about your relationship with this label; How the partnership came to be and, how important the relationship is for Vide with Jems Label.
It's been a great relationship. He reached out to me before Vide II was out. He's been a listener and supporter of Vide for a while. He's made it a goal to keep pushing Vide out there. I'm forever in his debt for the work he's done.
You have some very cool collaborations occurring this year, are you able to give me details? Who, what, when? And what does it mean for you to collaborate with other black metal artists?
The only thing official right now is a split with Witchbones. It will be a split 12'' with us both contributing a few songs each. It's a great feeling to collaborate with other artists. It is something I would like to do more in the future.
In October 2019, you released your latest single, Spectre on Bandcamp. Great single by the way! Is this a teaser for what is to come on your next Demo, EP, Split or Album from Vide this year, 2020? And if so, how will your new music differ from Demo's I and II?
Thank you. Yes, the current plan is for it to be included on the next release which is a Split with Witchbones. I have a couple of other tracks recorded in the same sessions. This will be different since it's not following Vide I or II theme-wise. The music will be a bit angrier and raw. Jems label and Red Door Records are co releasing it. I'll be announcing more details soon.
Spectre is highly atmospheric, and unnerving with manic screams and incoherent yelling, droned guitars and overall excellent chaos... What motivates a sound like this for Vide? And how do you feel after you exude this much energy to record what feels like rather cathartic and highly emotional black noise/metal?
The motivation comes from life. I take the bad moments, bottle them up and release them when I write for Vide. After, I always feel empty. That's actually where the name Vide comes from. Vide in French translates to empty.
How is the support for your art in your home of Louisiana? Is there much of a black metal community there, and if so what makes it so good, or not so good?
I don't have support in my home area. I don't advertise my work locally at all. I only have a couple of people in my personal life that even know I make music.
You are a busy man, with several other death, black and industrial/electronic projects separate to Vide. Can you please tell us about these and where we can take a listen?
I have four other main projects at the moment. I have a blackened post-punk/black n roll project called All Monsters. Some Dead Bodies is my old school death metal project. Anonymous Hands is my industrial/dark wave project. My last main project is Empty. Empty is a post-punk project and my sister project to Vide. Vide being the heavy harsh side while Empty is the not so heavy side. All projects can be heard at videsuicide.bandcamp.com.
Vide, thank you so much for your time, if there is anything else you'd like to say to people reading this interview, please do:
Thank you to anyone reading this and to anyone who listens to my work. I am extremely grateful for any support. I'll have a new noise in 2020. Thank you, Kelly, for this opportunity.