Interview: Vessel of Light

Vessel of Light are a new doom outfit, but its members are far from inexperienced. Guitarist Dan Lorenzo has spent years playing with Hades, Non-Fiction and The Cursed, and vocalist Nathan Opposition plays with Austin occult rockers Ancient VVisdom.

Decibel caught up with Lorenzo to discuss their recently released debut EP, which you can listen to below while you read the interview.

What have you been up to musically over the last decade or so? Hades hasn’t put out a new album since 2001 and The Cursed (your project with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth from Overkill) hasn’t released anything since 2007. Did you drop out of the music scene for a while? 

Yeah, I thought The Cursed CD I did with Blitz (Room Full of Sinners) was amazing, but right after we did it Overkill had a resurgence. The Cursed did one show at The Highline Ballroom in NYC and that was it. So basically I wrote, rehearsed and recorded with The Cursed for one year and then it was over. So I just did what I’ve been doing the last twenty years. Playing pick-up basketball. I play 4-5 days a week when it’s nice out. Then in the winter I play guitar along with old AC/DC, Kiss and Aerosmith CDs. People have asked me to join their bands, but unless Wendy O. Williams came back to life and wanted me to play songs from The Plasmatics’ Coup d’Etat album, I have no interest in playing in somebody else’s band. My wife and I love to travel and I have a killer job in the tattoo business (sales for Painful Pleasures) that enables me to go wherever I want and continue working.

Vessel of Light also features Nathan Opposition from Ancient VVisdom. How did that collaboration come about?
I’d never heard of Ancient VVisdom until last December. My wife Gina had been listening to a lot of stoner rock, which is funny because we don’t even smoke, we’re totally straight. So I Googled “stoner rock Austin” before I flew to Austin and I came across their song “The Opposition.” This never happens, but the first time I listened to the song, I said, “I’ve got to listen to this again.” The song was so catchy. I’m sure I watched the video 20 times over the next 3 or 4 days. I’m not exaggerating. Then I found the song “Deathlike” and the same thing happened. So I bought the albums on Amazon. I tracked down Nathan and told him I wanted to write about him in [New Jersey-based magazine] Steppin’ Out.

I mailed him a copy of Steppin’ Out and the first Hades CD. One day Nathan emailed me, “What’s going on with our band?” He was kind of goofing around but I was thinking let’s do it. I emailed him four or five song ideas and he wrote right away to two or three of them. I sent more song ideas and he wrote more lyrics.

I ended up driving to Cleveland to jam with him twice.Then we kept going and scheduled studio time a month later. We recorded seven songs in six hours. We were on the same page musically. I think he’s a musical genius and wrote some incredibly catchy melody lines to my riffs, which are tricky to sing to. I drove home thinking, “We just recorded something magical.” I’m so proud of it.

Ancient VVisdom also released an album this year. Is it hard to find time to work on both bands?

Well, I’m not in AVV. Only Nathan is. It’s easy though! We had two rehearsals and spent one day in the studio together. A whole 7 hours! Then Nathan did another few hours without me. If you’re musical geniuses like we are… it’s EASY! [laughs]

There’s been a lot of doom or doom-influenced metal coming out over the last few years. Do you do anything to intentionally set yourself apart from your contemporaries?
I’ve been tuning down since I started Non-Fiction in 1989. Actually, listen to Hades’ “Nightstalker.” I wrote that in 1985 and that was tuned down too.

Find more from Vessel of Light via Argonauta Records.