Episode 34: Vannon: Metal with Intriguing Subgenres

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Today on the podcast we are featuring the Oakland, California group Vannon. Learn more about them and listen to their track “Above the Stars”

Show Notes and Full Show Transcript

Just popping in to give you a heads up.  This podcast contains paid promotional content. That means we were compensated for the feature. All opinions are our own and we only choose to represent music that we truly dig. Now on with the show.

Hey everyone welcome to the Eat Sleep Breathe Music podcast. I am your host Jeanette Kimszal. For those of you just joining us this is the podcast where I talk about different musicians how their music affects me and then play there track for you to listen to. 

So you can check it out and form your own opinion as well. And I’d love to know what you think of the track if you’re so inclined to do so. And I’ll have details where you can tell me if you want to share your opinion at the end of this show.

Today I am chatting about the band Vannon. Hailing from Oakland, California the group is comprised of Max Hodes on lead vocals and guitar, Sven Pazarek on bass, keys and backing vocals, bassist Nick Willbrand, and drummer Mike Hans Lawson.

They are a fairly new band though the founding members are seasonsed musicians Max and Sven and have collaborated on projects in the past. 

The two had found that their old band was dead and they wanted to keep the music going. So they formed Vannon in 2019.

They created new tracks and repurposed some old stuff at the end they had what they called “our weird symphony of end-time living, mixed sharp and hallucinogenic, undulating and folding in on itself while exploding outward.”

So that just (laughing) kind of gives you like you know a great build up for the music and I feel like this song is a great build up and this song particurly stood out to me on their album.

And I feel like their album is a very big album. Like musically and it’s very heavy. It’s got this like uhm, maybe theatrical feel but its kind of a neat sound. 

And it’s a neat band especially if you’re someone who’s kind of into metal.

An additional subgenres of metal and I’m gonna get a little bit into that more how the band sounds.

Yeah, so according to the band each member of the band brings something that rounds out their sound. Here is a quote from them talking about their process.

“We realized we were only on the chaotic outer ring of the vast storm we had chosen to enter. Out of that fierceness, a spirit loomed, carrying thunder in his hands. Nick Willbrand, of tech-death metal masters Continuum, riding high, joined up. Sven began expanding his synth collection until it required a room of its own. We jammed feverishly, for extended lengths, conjuring new material and mastering the old. That’s when Dylan returned from New York and answered the call. His prowess with many styles belied a firm grounding in psychedelic and progressive rock. He brought the lightning.”

So again that kind of gives you uhm a picture of the types of music that are involved. This like a big band but not a big bang but you can imagine the type of melodies, and riffs, and synths, and prodution that go into this. I mean just give you a sense of what is this music that you’re listening to.

And what’s happening. Yeah so basically in 2020 they put out a 2-track release called Over the Wall. You can check out on their Bandcamp page which I’ll leave a link in the show notes.

But the song I’m going to play you today is off their first full length release entitled “Dessert of Our Dreams.” It is out now via Big Round Music.

And the song is actually called “Above the Stars.” It reminded me of differnet elements. 

And things have said they could appeal to fans of Yob, Soundgarden, Faith No More, High On Fire, and Devin Townsend. Depending on the song I’ve seen some other that has compaired them to or has said to appeal to Mastodon, Pantera, Opeth, and Blind Guardian fans.

So it sounds like they do have a varied sound. And this song particular. I would say the music they make overall would be a little heavy rock or heavy metal music.

I know heavy metal isn’t for everyone. But in a way I think this track would appeal to different people becaue there are a lot of different subgenres in it.

And I think if you are into harder rock you may find interest in the band’s music as well. I would say after checking out this track check out some other stuff as well and see what you think.

When it comes to official name of their sound it was kind of described as like psych metal and stoner doom metal. 

And there were subgenres that I was not aware of. And I”m not a metal head and I don’t know much about metal. 

And I didn’t even realize metal had subgenres (laughing) so I went to ask my husband because he is into metal and I was asking him if he knew of subgenres of metal.

He said he wasn’t aware of these subgenres, these particular subgenres either so I was like alright let me go do some google search and I see what I can find online.

I didn’t realize metal had subgenres so I went to my husband first to ask if he had heard of any of these genres and he said no so I did some homework and looked them up online.

I found a search that came up with like psychadelic metal and heavy psych. And then there was also it talked about acid rock.

But when l think acid rock I woul think about something that is slower like psychadelic but I don’t know maybe I’m wrong about this.

But I would think something slower psychadelic and 60’s. While this band does seem to add those elements of psychadelics but I don’t know if I would call it like 100% acid rock. 

Really at the core would be metal. But then there are all these subgenres adding into the mix and I think like just the fact they are brining in different things like synth, drum beats and different things. 

It makes it more…like a lot more subgenres going on then just like straight metal. 

I’d love to talk to someone or get an opinion from someone who is true metal fan and know like what they think as well. I don’t know. I would be interested.

Personally, not, I’m not 100% up on metal and like what that’s about. What defines metal and what metal is.

And another website RateYourMusic.com was saying that psych metal isn’t a real genre but merely metal bands that have psychedelic elements. That was interesting too.

That RateYourMusic.com also had a page on heavy psych describing it as a sound that was developed in the late 1960s with influences of blues rock with heavy dependence on riffs and  improvisation, adding crushing levels of heaviness with thick fuzzy guitars to create a doomy and morose atmosphere. I can’t read for some reason (laughing).

I would say those elements are incorporated into this as well. 

Then going into doom metal. Doom metal is another sub genre of heavy metal and that has slower tempos, low-tuned guitars, and a much “thicker or “heavier” sound than other heavy metal. According to a Wikipedia entry.

WIth this song I can def get a feel of doom. It almost has a post-apocalyptic feel. Not only in the music but the lyrics. It has this foreshadowing, negative feeling. Like I said post-apocalyptic and I would think that…this sound falls within that as well.

Going into stoner metal that is basically part doom metal and a psychedelic with acid rock influence. At least according to the Wikipedia page (laughing). So it’s one part doom, one part psychedelics with acid rock rolled in there.  You shake it all up and you got stoner metal. I mean it makes sense because there is the psychedelic/stoner whatever feel to it and this actually emerged in the early 1990s pioneered by bands Kyuss and Sleep. 

And this was all interesting to me. From what I’m gathering stoner metal seems to be according to the information I found is slow-to-mid tempo with heavy distortion, and those groovy psychadelic basses with melodic vocals and “retro” sounding production. 

I don’t know if this song has all that but there are some, some elements, but not so much.

I don’t know. I think there are more doom and gloom then really stoner metal. 

I don’t know. I often find when I read things I have to listen to them.  And then I’m like “yeah” that song has that elements.

But sometimes I wonder if I’m just taking whatever I read  and I’m just believing what I read (laughing). So I don’t know. I do like this song. This song stood out to me. It’s not so retro sounding but its like an element of like destruction and slower tempo its not your ordinary metal song.

Atleast from what I have gathered, I don’t know if I’m right.

It’s interesting becuase there are a lot of subgenres thrown into the mix into the band. Which can be good and band.

I read some stuff on line that was no necessarily critizing their sound for having like too many subgenres but it seemed like it could leave a bad in the taste of metal fans who want just like straight up metal.

You know, this is what I want and they don’t want anything else. In that respect, that is why…it didn’t get like negative reviews but some people felt it was trying to do too much.

But I always wonder like so much music today is blurring the lines of genres you know if you’re looking to appeal to a wider audience it could be a good thing.

Althoght I wonder to if it could be kind of hindering metal fans who may not feel like this is cool enough becuase its not straight up metal.

I mean I, I have a varied taste in music and try to find things that are interesting or something that I like about a song and I think. And I try not to be a hater when it comes to music (laughing).

I think I would be interested to know like true metal fans woul think of this song and think of this band.

I’m not hyperfocused on metal and I do not know a lot about metal subgenres but if someone is a purist they could feel that this is something that could not appeal to them. 

But that could hinder certain audiences. But I think it’s an intresting collaboration of music and I think this sound is good. And I think they’re making a mark because they have been getting features both in metal and general music sites. 

They were in The Circle Pit, Echos and Dust, Metal Temple, Metal Head Community, The Big Takeover, Alternative Nation, Tinnitis, Music-News.com, Tattoo.com as well as Breaking & Entering

And I’ll leave links to those in the show notes if you want to check out other reviews have said. There are both postitive…I hadn’t seen anything that was completely 100% negative but like I think the biggest flaw that people had said was that they thought this was too many subgenres and they were trying to do too much.

I personally like the song and I think, I like when a lot of stuff is going on (laughing). I don’t know maybe that is just me.

I am always just interested in finding new music and listening to different things and I try to find an appreciation for music

I am always interested in looking I try to keep an open mind when I listen to music and if something Depending on how hard it is I have an appreciation for music. 

I feel like there were quite a few songs I was interested in this album. I was having a little bit of trouble picking…picking a song. I decided on featuring “Above the Stars.” becuase that was something that stood out to me.

And I thought it was an appealing song for a wider audience. Yeah so I feel like I”ve talked enough about this (laughing) so without further ado I will play you that track “Above The Stars” and here we are.

Hope you enjoyed this track as much as I have. We would love to know what you think about Vannon and their track “Above The Stars.” You can tell us in a comment on the podcast webpage. You can also leave an audio comment at link in the episode summary.

According to the band’s website they will be playing some shows on the West Coast  in May and June this year if you are interested in seeing them live.

For more information check out their official website https://www.vannonband.com. That is www.V-A-N-N-O-N-B-A-N-D.com.

You can also like and follow them on Facebook and Instagram at the handle VannonBand. That is V-A-N-N-O-N-B-A-N-D

If you are looking for more new music be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you will get the lastest updates on our artist features. You can also find more music features on our website at www.EatSleepBreatheMusic.com. That is E-a-t-S-l-e-e-p-B-r-e-a-t-h-e-M-u-s-i-c dot com. 

Thanks for listening and see you in the next episode!

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