Interview with Vesperia Part 2
CONGRATULATIONS TO VESPERIA, WINNERS OF THE WORLD WACKEN METAL BATTLE CHAMPIONSHIP FOR 2015!!
Vesperia beat hundreds of bands worldwide to take the title. A Canadian band has won the WMB two out of the last three years!
See their winning performance below.
First and foremost, congratulations! It was only a few weeks ago when we interviewed you on the cusp of leaving to go to Wacken and now here we are in what must seem like a lifetime later.
Morgan: Thank you very, very much! Definitely it feels like it has been a lifetime since our last interview together. We couldn’t be happier with how things have been going over the last two months!
Tell us a bit about the trip to Germany!
Morgan: Wacken was unreal, like usual. Every time I have been to Germany to play, I have never felt like I have been properly prepared for what I experience there and this time was no exception! The weather, the fans, the beer, the experience as a whole was completely off the radar this time around and there definitely isn’t any shortage of stories as a result. For anyone who attended Wacken this year; they’ll know all about it. Otherwise, we are extremely satisfied with the trip, though a few of us got sick (pneumonia) and lost some items along the way. We couldn’t be happier!
What was your immediate initial impression of Wacken, even though you have been there before? For the guys in the band who had not been there before, were they blown away?
Morgan: Oh, I think my bandmates won’t ever forget their time at Wacken! Even before we arrived at Wacken we had a feeling that the bad weather wasn’t going to let up any time soon. I think overwhelmed would be the appropriate response to our first impression this time. The last visit I made go Wacken, the weather was beautiful and the rain was minimal. This year, however… It barely stopped pouring rain just enough to let in some massive winds and cold air. Almost the entire festival grounds were completely soaked in ankle-deep (or deeper!) mud. This didn’t really stop us from partying and having a good time. I think me and my band especially made some lifelong friends as a result of hiding from the weather.
What kind of crowds did you have for the battle concerts?
Morgan: We checked out a lot of the bands before and after us and the crowds seemed pretty consistent for everyone! I think the majority of metal fans over there are generally interested in newer bands and what is being created in faroff countries. For our set, we fortunately had the wrestling match happening in the Bullhead City Circus right before we played, so we ended up having quite a large crowd. …and a ‘Canada’ chant too!
Who were the celebrity judges?
Morgan: Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet many of the judges as the conference in the VIP area didn’t last too long and there are just way too many faces to meet and familiarize yourself with while you’re there. Its a very fast paced environment most of the time. I did get to meet the judges from Japan, Lebanon, Faroe Islands and Iceland though, and they were all incredibly cool, down to earth people. I really hope my path crosses with theirs again one day soon.
How long was your set and did you have a good time slot?
Morgan: We got a 20 minute set, just like all the other Wacken Battle bands. I think we had an excellent time slot however. Being just after the Wacken Wrestling match drew quite a few spectators, and it was at around 3 pm, so the majority of people were over their hangovers from the night before and just beginning to party again. I don’t think there was anything else going on at the time we played either, so that definitely helped us.
How were you treated?
Morgan: Like kings. The backstage crew, stagehands, guitar and drum techs, caterers, stage managers, shuttle drivers and artist reps were all incredibly helpful, kind and accommodating. I’ve never gotten better treatment at a show or festival before, and that includes my time at Wacken 2013.
I hear it was pretty cold and muddy. Did this add any logistical challenges?
Morgan: Definitely. This year, the VIP camping area was actually moved a fair distance from the festival grounds. So that, combined with the wind and rain definitely did not make foot travel easy. When we entered in through the front gate of the festival, the mud was covering 100% of the walking area, and was about 5 to 12 inches deep in most spots. We constantly saw vehicles getting stuck in the mud all over the grounds. I even saw a few cars unfortunately completely submerged in water after being parked in basins in the camping area. It was difficult camping in those conditions, but we actually had it much better than people camping in the general campgrounds. We even had a small patch of grass in front of our tent door!
Did you get time to catch any of the other bands?
Morgan: Yes, but not as much as we planned on! This is just the way it is at Wacken with conflicting schedules and the bad weather. Some notable performances we saw were Opeth, Cradle of Filth, Thyrfing, Bloodbath, Judas Priest, Blaakyum, UDO, Powerwolf, Sabaton. There were more of course, but these ones really stuck out.
Aside from global bragging rights, what kind of cool; perks did you get for winning?
Morgan: lots of cool gear! No, really. We won a Markbass rig, a full stage kit from Vision Backdrops, a full Pearl kit, tons of money, a Washburn guitar, a Marshall fridge and more!
Did you meet and/or hang out with any ‘rock stars’?
Morgan: When I played it in 2013, I met a ton of people. This year, with the bad weather we didn’t really get to do too much of that. I did meet the guys in Combichrist though, I met Thomas Jensen, and we are good friends with Lindsay from Cradle of Filth, so we got to hang out with her and a few of her band mates for a while.
Now that you have obtained global domination, what is the next step for Vesperia?
Morgan: We have a tour we are set to announce for this fall throughout North America, we are also going to be recording our next album over the winter and we have a larger tour we were invited to play in the spring that we will be announcing soon also! So lots of stuff in the looming horizon!
Congratulations again and we hope to see you on tour again soon!
Morgan: Thank you very much! I look forward to it!