One of the most unique in the onslaught of local melodic hardcore bands, Vengeance For The Fallen has what it takes to wreak havoc upon the local Los Angeles scene and beyond. Featuring a charismatic frontman named Lumberjack who could easily moonlight as a comedian and some of the resourceful young musicians our local scene has, these guys are sure gain a good deal of attention well beyond the City Of Angels. They throw it down hard live, and toss in some dance party keyboard grooves for good measure. Here is a recently interview we conducted with the Vengeance guys to find out more about the terrific up-and-coming band…
Introduce yourself; tell me what you do in ‘VENGEANCE for the FALLEN’, and what is the strangest song you have on your iPod?
Lumberjack: Hello, I’m Lumberjack and I am the Lead Screamer and the Lyricist for V.f.t.F.. The weirdest song on my iPod would have to be “Flower” by ‘Liz Phair’ due to the fact that it’s about an older woman who wants to have sex with a younger boy…much younger…and all his little friends.
Tesh: I’m Tesh and I play Lead Guitar, do Back-up singing/screaming, and 12-String Tuba. Weirdest song…um…”Mystikal Fever” by ‘MYSTIKAL’. I’m a metal head.
Kegan: What’s up! I’m Kegan, I play Rhythm Guitar and I’m the Lead Singer of V.f.t.F., and the weirdest song on my iPod would probably be “California-Dolphin Fart” by ‘Yip-Yip’; two crazy dudes in ridiculous black and white jumpsuits up to their eyeballs!
Bob: Bob, I scream, play keyboards, and sing every blue moon. The weirdest song I have on my iPod is a song called “Pluto’s revenge“. It’s from a joke band that Paul and I made 4 years ago called ‘EDGEucation’.
Paul: Paul, the bassist and new guy. Strangest song? If any of them count as songs, I’d say any single track in my complete collection of every sound-bit from my favorite childhood videogame, Earthbound, on Nintendo. Those Japanese midi-composers deserve more appreciation.
Clinton: Hey I’m Clinton. I play the drums for V.f.t.F.. Weirdest song I remember on my iPod before it was jacked from my car; the “Untitled” song from ‘AT DAGGERS DRAWN’.
How long has the band been together and where did everyone meet?
Lumberjack: As a band we’ve been together for little more then 9 months, except for Paul who’s been in the band for about 3 weeks. However, Tesh and I have been in the band since June 2006.
Tesh: From the start, 2006. Most of us met through mutual friends at parties much later on though.
Lumberjack: Pretty much what Tesh said. I met him while I was drunk off my ass at our mutual friend Ryan’s house. He was sitting there soloing away and I was just ripped off an entire bottle of Grey Goose thinking to myself “Holy shit! I have to get this guy to join my band!” which was pretty much just me and one other guy at the time.
Clinton: I met Lumberjack and Gabe at a party at our friend Janae’s house with Kegan early in June 2009. We started talking about music over beer and cake, and then once Lumberjack said he needed a drummer and a guitarist for his band, it was pretty much set right there. We set up a jam sesh to see how we fit in the band, and it just stuck!
Kegan: I came into the band in 2009 with Clinton, like he explained; we met L.B.J. (Lumberjack) at a party, and we really connected in terms of what we wanted out of a band, right from the beginning we knew we we’re going to have some great times ahead of us.
Bob: Remember, our current line up has only been together for about 9 months! Paul joined recently which has been a blast seeing as we have always been in music together. When we lost Gabe as our bassist my first instinct was to ring Paul up and the next thing you know he’s rocking out next to us!
Paul: I’ve known these dudes for awhile, back with their old line-up. I met them through Bob, who I’ve known since grade school. Bob and I really got into music right at the same time, so we were always pretty involved in each other’s lives when it came to this stuff.
What do you think of the state of the current Los Angeles music scene, and how does ‘VENGEANCE for the FALLEN’ fit into the scheme of things?
Tesh: The Melodic/Hardcore bands I dig. The scene itself needs more straight Metal bands though. We fit in absolutely nowhere…
Clinton: I love any Progressive/Deathcore/Experimental band that comes out with those funky riffs that make you want to throw down right there on the spot. I think Vengeance fits into the scene because we bring what they bring, but more.
Kegan: I’ve ALWAYS been into the So. Cal. Metal scene! As far as L.A. goes, there’s a lot of talent within an endless amount of bands, the severance point though, is the commitment level bands are really willing to put forth to get themselves known. I feel Vengeance fits our scene perfectly and has the presence to reach out to any cities’ local scene!
Lumberjack: I’m more into the Indie Rock bands that are coming out. Like ‘shoot guns and fish.’, or ‘The Elephant or the Octopus?’. Personally, I think the scene is oversaturated with a bunch of bands that all sound the same. It gets tiring I think to hear the same four songs from eight different bands at shows. Which is why I love playing in this band! We don’t sound like anyone else from the get go, but based on the crowd’s reaction, I’d say that’s a good thing.
Bob: I have always been a dabbler in all sorts of music and Metal/Hardcore has always been a part of my listening array. I think we have the ability to stand through the sway of music fads and keep rocking for some time to come.
Paul: I’ve never been a part of the Metal scene in the area, but it’s looking like I’m finally going to have the privilege.
Bob: Paul, you may have not been part of the L.A. music scene, but we definitely rocked out to ‘Children Of Bodom’ and ‘UNEARTH’ back in the day. Don’t try and hide it.
Describe the music of ‘VENGEANCE for the FALLEN’ to a rather elderly relative.
Lumberjack: We’re a Metal/Hardcore/Screamo/Nintendocore band Grandma. You know, like all the good things that come out of a nuclear bomb.
Kegan: Well, you know those Guys ‘*NSYNC’? Yeah, it’s not like that.
Tesh: ‘Johnny Cash’ meets ‘Duran Duran’.
Clinton: If ‘Bing Crosby’ got kidnapped by aliens, and made a Christmas Techno album on cocaine.
Paul: As my good friend’s parents so perfectly put it, “ra-ra” music.
Where do you get the ideas for some of your lyrics? Please site two song examples and what the lyrics are about.
Lumberjack: Most of my lyrics are based on things that I’ve experienced such as heart break, losing friends, partying with my friends, family issues, death, fighting, good times, women, drinking, and the struggle between good and evil within us all. All things that I believe, we as humans, have all experienced. I do like to make it so that each song is its own story though. That way I force myself to come up with new things to write about, and new ways to express myself. The two people that inspire me the most when it comes to lyrics are Jesse Lacey from ‘brandnew’, and Adam Lazzara from ‘TAKING BACK SUNDAY’ back in his “Tell all your friends” and “WHERE YOU WANT TO BE” phase. This example of my lyrics comes from our song ‘100 STARS FOR YOSHI’: “I can’t say goodbye to the face that I fell in love with at the place that you fell in love with me! And how was I to know that you didn’t care? It’s not my fault that I believe in love my dear…”. These lyrics represent how hard it can be for someone to let go of a relationship even after they find out that the person who was supposed to care about them never even felt the same way. Another example of my lyrics comes from ‘Brace yourself girl, love is just another suicide attempt’: “And I’m not drunk enough for any of your city slicker love; so bartender pass me another bottle of that good ol’ Mississippi Mud!”. Pretty self-explanatory I think. Guy is sitting at a bar getting hit on by some chick that looks like she could get HIM pregnant, so he asks for some more alcohol to make it less painful when he takes her back to his place.
Tesh: Anytime I write lyrics, they jump off the page and turn into guitar notes. I’m getting that looked at by a psychiatrist.
Lumberjack is quite funny with his live onstage banter. Has he ever thought about being a comedian?
Lumberjack: A comedian? No. An actor? Maybe. Your son/daughter’s favorite cartoon character because he’s the random, weird, yet strongest-one-their-is that is the absolute shit? Yes. Plus I don’t even really have to say anything to be funny. If you just look at me onstage I appear to be this old, fat, hairy, and angry dude who could really use a beer.
Clinton: Awww yeah! Just ask him about the time he broke both of his hands at the same time! Good story!
Tesh: He was going to join the Unstoppable Tour with ‘Spinal Tap’ as the opening act, but the tour was cancelled.
Kegan: Mike’s (Lumberjack’s) one-liners would get him kicked out of the Comedy Central Roast.
Bob: “Fur sure brah!”-L.B.J.
Lumberjack: Everybody’s a fucking comedian. Lolocaust.
What else could one expect from a live ‘VENGEANCE for the FALLEN’ show?
Lumberjack: Headbanging. Headbanging until you can’t stand, then more headbanging while you’re on the floor. We’re the only band I know, or have seen recently, that actually does legitimate headbanging.
Tesh: Melodic Metal, Hardcore, and CAPCOM tunes.
Clinton: Chilling with good friends, laughing, having a good time, maybe some sore necks, and hopefully no broken bones.
Lumberjack: Don’t forget that we throw down as hard as we can every time we play, no matter what. The way we see it is like this: why throw down for a band, that won’t throw down for you, the audience member? People pay to come and see a show, so we give them a show.
Kegan: We bring our ‘A’ game every time, no matter what. We’re there to have a fucking awesome time. Awesome dance beats, sludgy breakdowns, melodic harmonies, two-steps, and tempo changes. Expect anything and everything.
Bob: We bring our ‘A+’ game all the time.
Paul: Personally, I’ve come to expect some toe-tapping good times.
The keyboards almost make certain sections of the show into a dance party. What made you guys decide to add this clever aspect of your music into the mix?
Lumberjack: I always just thought it was a good idea from the start and that it would be clever. Back in 2006 when I was coming up with the “dance party” ideas no one else was doing it. So it was all pretty original stuff and probably one of the biggest reasons for why we couldn’t find any stable members at the time, because none of them understood what sound Tesh and I were going for musically. None of it would be possible without Bob though. He’s the man when it comes to making sick beats that all the kids dance to!
Bob: I’m not much of a beat maker, but it is way fun to see people groove and dance and then a second later throw down really hard!
Tesh: Mike during recording: “Ok guys; make sure you leave some space for the intervals, then like 30 seconds for some keyboard riff that I thought of! Trust me dude, it’ll be sick!!!”
Kegan: The keys in our band really tie everything together. It’s really exciting to hear the synth jump in! Once the beat drops, everyone on the dance floor knows what to do!
Paul: This stuff is all about feeling good, and what better way to feel good than to dance?
Clinton: Keyboards add a certain aspect to the music; a fullness that without it, Vengeance wouldn’t be complete.
While on tour, some guy offers $100 to do a cover of “Oops I Did It Again” by ‘Britney Spears’. What do you do?
Tesh: Well ‘Children Of Bodom’ already did it so…
Paul: …spit in his face.
Bob: Paul’s bringing the “FUCK YOU” attitude to our music.
Kegan: I’d just sing it on the spot, take the money, and run.
Any strange or unusual Myspace stories you could share?
Lumberjack: I get hit on by girls more often because I’m in a band…not often enough though.
Kegan: Myspace has sent me $100.00 in the mail once for promotions I didn’t do.
How close are you guys to recording and releasing some songs?
Tesh: Pretty close. Hopefully before 2012. You know when the full album comes out that is, not just an E.P.. Actually I’m not sure to be honest, but soon.
Lumberjack: We’re actually almost done with our first E.P.! We’re just not sure when it will all be done by. Hopefully in a couple of weeks!
Kegan: I’m fucking stoked!
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most after your music for the very first time?
Lumberjack: That the lyrics are something they can relate to, while the music is something they can party to.
Tesh: How random it really isn’t.
Paul: How good it felt to hear something new.
Clinton: That women are only good for 3 things: cooking, cleaning, and vaginas.
Any final words of wisdom?
Lumberjack: Keep it heavy, but keep it fun.
Kegan: Think about your existence.
Bob: Laugh and grow Fat.
(Interview and Live Photos by Kenneth Morton)
Vengeance For The Fallen on Myspace