So, what is your name and what do you do in Eighteen Visions?
A: My name is James Hart and i am the lead vocalist/ frontman for EV.
The new cd has been out for about a year now, are you guys in the midst
of writing the next one? Or any plans coming up?
A: As a band it's hard for us to not write music. We finished recording
our record in march of 2004. As soon as we finished up the record we
were wrting more music. I can't imagine just touring for a year or so
straight and have to come home for 6 months and write and record. There
is too much pressure there to have everything done in a certain time
period. We have material for about 25 songs right now with no set studio
time so we are in good shape. Ken and Keith have been writing everything
on PRO TOOLS and I've just been writing and arranging vocals via i-pod.
So we are a very productive band. I'd say most of the new material has
been written on the road while on tour.
Vanity was a big leap in sound from previous albums. Was that the
direction that you wanted the album to go before even going into the
A: From album to album we have tried to mix things up. Focus on the
elements of the band we feel are stronger. With Vanity we wanted to
write more melodic stuff that i could actually sing to. It was a big
jump. The songs had a bit more structure and they were more rock. Then
when we wrote Obsession we realized that our songs needed to come
together more and have even more structure. Our songs became shorter,
they were less metal and a lot more rockin. We still wanted to keep the
aggresive aspect of the band and maintain the heaviness. We were just
really into focussing on the elements of Vanity that we really enjoyed
and that's why Obsession is a lot more melodic.
Coming from a music scene surrounded with close minded kids, did you
guys find it hard to branch out to the mainstream, and did it effect the
band in any way?
A: It was definately a bit different for us. We had a certain sound a
few years ago that was a lot more metal. So when we released Vanity we
lost a lot of our fans. That wasn't a big deal. We knew there was going
to be some sort of backlash, but we wanted to do what we wanted to do.
Writing music isn't about pleasing others first. Who wants to release a
record that they are unhappy with.
When Obsession came out it was a different story. We had already lost
fans from the Until the Ink/Vanity transition and were touring and
growing with kids on the Vanity release. When Obsession came out I think
it was somewhat expected that we were headed in that direction. Once the
record came out so many touring opportunities opened up for us. We were
able to go out with different bands and do tours we weren't able to do
before with the Vanity record. Kids really opened up to us and we
doubled our fan base in a very short ammount of time.
I just saw that there was a few dates for this month, but are there any
tour plans for the summer or coming months?
A: Yeah. We are doing a 2 week headlining tour in Canada along with 3
weeks of US secondary markets. After that we break for 2 weeks and head
to Japan for the Summer Sonic festival. Straight from Japan we go to
Australia with Finch and then wing on over to the UK for the Reading and
Leeds summer festivals.
When growing up, what were some of your favorite bands or musical
A: Well growing up i didn't have much for musical influences. When we
were a metal band it was Pantera you know. I think every kid that plays
in a metal band loves Pantera. Some of my favorite bands include Guns n
Roses, STP, Alice in Chains, HIM, Velvet Revolver, the Cult, Def
Leppard, Motley Crue, Lost Prophets, NIN and Marilyn Manson. I love
these bands, but not all of them neccesarily influence my musical input
on the band.
What did everyone do before they were in eighteen visions? Previous
bands? Awesome jobs?
A: I was a hairdresser. Pretty sweet job i guess. Make your own hours
and stuff. Keith has been in a ton of bands. His most recent was
What has been the best tour that you guys have been a part of, and why?
A: Our best tour of the US was definately Warped Tour. It's a hard tour
to do. Long drives, the heat, and outside shows. It wasn't easy, but it
was so benneficial for the band. Our fan base really started to grow
with that tour. When we hit the spots we played on Warped Tour with our
later tours, we really noticed the increase in fans in those spots.
Our best overseas tour was with Lost Prophets in the UK. We were playing
to 3000-7500 kids a night. It was a great experience and great in
helping our band grow over there.
What are your thoughts on the music scene these days?
A: Depends on what scene you're talking about. Just kidding. I think
it's the best it has ever been right now. Bands are on tour more than
once a year unlike when i was growing up. More and more bands are on the
radio and MTV. Bands are acutally able to do things now and it's because
the scene has opened up so much. Independent labels are gaining more and
more power. They are more capable of marketing their lables and bands
now. It's so much easier for bands to grow and music is so much more
accessable now. Any kid can go in to Best Buy across the US and pick up
a bands cd.
What about the violence that has been happening at shows?
A: What about it? It sucks. You can't really do anything to prevent it.
When bands branch out and grow you are going to get the "mall kids"
coming to shows and a lot of the scene kids don't respect them. Fights
are bound to happen at just about any show you go to when the music is
more aggresive. It's completely unfortunate, but unavoidable.
Any favorite releases that have come out this year?
A: Well i don't know about 2005. It's only half way through the year. I
guess if i had to pick one it would be the new NIN. I'm waiting for
Avenged Sevenfold's record to come out. I'm sure there will be more
great records coming out this summer and later this year.
You guys have been out on the road for years now, whats life like out on
A: Boring! We aren't a party band. We sit around and watch movies and
play video games. When it's time to soundcheck we soundcheck. When it's
time to play we play. We don't have much going on other than what we do
at the shows. We are probalby the most boring band on the planet.
A lot of bands say that when your home you miss tour, and when your on
tour you miss home. Is that how it is with you guys?
A: Well I've been home for about two months now. I can't really say that
I'm itching to get back out on the road. The only thing i do miss about
being on the road is playing shows every night.
What are some crazy stories that you guys have had out on the road.
A: We aren't a crazy band.
Ok guys, all the fans want to know. Boxers or Briefs?
i was at warped in San Diego last year. There were a bunch of chicks that were screaming and shouting when James took off his shirt. It was funny. And when they played their more-dancier tunes, those girls asked me "why are they waving their arms like that?" (in reference to the slam dancers who were working the concrete floor.)