Since bursting onto the scene nearly eight years ago, Australian metal favourites Void Of Vision have used their platform as a projection of anger, apathy, darkness and despair. Whether a faithful fan or peripheral onlooker, the band’s previous recorded, visual and live performance elements made their bleak sentiments clear for anyone to see. Chronicles I: Lust – the Melbourne acts newly announced EP due to drop this Friday 22nd October– is set to smash this perception.
Chronicles I: Lust discusses topics including mental health (The Lonely People) confronting relationship breakdowns and perhaps most vitally, the culture of predatory and abusive men in the music industry (VAMPYR). Chronicles I: Lust is Void Of Vision calling it as it is, with the stark, true-tone black and white treatment of the visuals, representative of the grappling and growth vocalist Jack Bergin experienced during the writing process.
Following the release of VAMPYR, we spoke to Jack Bergin about the song's message and intention, as well as opened up a broader conversation about the origins of Chronicles I: Lust and the future of Void Of Vision.
The new Void Of Vision single VAMPYR came out today and it tackles some more direct and difficult subject matter than you ever have before. What inspired you to step out of your comfort zone in this way?
"The horrid treatment of women in our industry has been part of the culture for far too long.You’re either on one side of the fence or the other, you’re either actively doing something to help bring attention to the problem and fix it or you’re just standing idle and letting it continue."
Absolutely, if you’re not trying to help fix the industry by contributing in some form of meaningful way, then in a sense you’re allowing the problem to perpetuate. It is oddly refreshing to hear someone from the heavy scene say that so directly. It is everyone’s responsibility to help put the end to shitty behaviour.
"That’s what it is man, it is shitty behaviour. I drew a lot of inspiration for this song from a lot of the situations that started coming out, pretty much immediately as the ‘me too’ movement began a few years back. It was disappointing to see the scene that is something that we associate ourselves with closely and want to be proud of being a part of, was harbouring these certain individuals that ruin it for us all. At the end of the day, this isn’t about me, it isn’t about us, it is about the people that are affected by this and bringing awareness to that. I want them to feel safe and feel good in the position in the industry and for everyone to work together to make that possible. Because if we’re not all aiming for that, what’s the point?
Let’s talk a little bit about the sonic element here, VAMPYR and indeed the entire EP is a lot heavier than the material Void Of Vision have been putting out most recently. What inspired this harsher vibe?
"I think when we were lining everything up for this release, in particular, James put forward everything that he had written and after so much time spent feeling the frustration brought on by COVID, it was all heavy and really angry material. It was a bit of a baptism by fire and the result is the heaviest material we’ve written to date. I think the lyrical content was helped by that too, as a lot of the lyrics are very angry, and the heaviness really helped to enrage me and push me to my limits."
You can certainly hear that anger on your previous single The Lonely People which focussed quite directly on mental health. Is that something that you’re looking to try and help people with via the band, moving forward?
"For sure, the whole point of that song was to bring forward the point that we really are all in this together. Everyone has been impacted, everyone has struggled over the past few years, with our music industry being shut down and so many of us just waiting for our life to come back. That hits so true not only for the bands, the crew and the venues but for the fans too, who use live music as an escape and as a way to express themselves and connect with others. The idea that we’re all in this together, that realisation came to me while I was in deep isolation thinking ‘me, me, me’, and then realised that we’re all in this together and that when we do come together again at the end of all of this we’ll come out stronger than ever before. "
A big part of that is getting back to the live environment, which is something I assume you’re looking forward to doing in the Void Of Vision camp when you play Knight and Day Festival?
"We’re so excited about that, I mean what a way to bring it back, to play a festival in a medieval castle with such an incredible lineup. It seems such a great way to say goodbye to the frustration and negativity of the past two years and get a head start on the new year. "
That lineup is so stacked and one of the things that I’ve really appreciated about talking to bands that are playing it is how stoked you all are at the prospect of playing at a castle! I remember Winston from Parkway Drive said it has the feeling of a genuinely non-replicable ‘can’t miss' event. Do you feel like that?
He definitely nailed it there. I think the location itself was probably enough to make that so, but then you factor in it being a heavy music festival or an alternative music festival on New Years’, that’s something that our scene hasn’t really had that privilege before. You’ve always had stuff like Falls and New Years’ On The Hill but we’ve never seen something in our realm executed on that date in this way and that in itself is something for our community to be so proud of and excited for. As I’m talking to you right now I’m really amping myself up and I really hope it goes ahead!
At Maniacs, we ask each guest to tell us something that you’re a Maniac for outside of music?
"I’ve got a newfound love for football/soccer, I’ve really got deep into the EPL and fantasy leagues and I’ve let it engulf me."
If you could have any song play when you enter the room, wrestling style, to announce your arrival, what song would you like it to be?
"I’m going to say this because I saw it on an episode of The Office, Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne!"
Is there anything else you’d like to let our Maniacs know about before we let you go back to your life?
"The title of the EP is a massive inkling as to what could come in the future. It is going to be a really wild run for Void Of Vision over the next year. Our whole idea post-COVID is to release things in a different manner, we started that with the Hyperdaze Redux and without giving too much away, we’ll be continuing it with what we do next."
Chronicles I: Lust is out on Friday 22nd October via UNFD.
Listen to Void Of Vision now.