Massachusetts’ Vein might be the most talked about band in hardcore right now. Their polarizing new album, Errorzone, dropped on Friday, earning them comparisons to everyone from Slipknot and Deftones to Converge and The Dillinger Escape Plan with tags like “avant garde hardcore.” An instantly recognizable blend of hardcore, metalcore, screamo, nu metal and a lot of chaos, plus sprinklings of the band members’ personal tastes, Errorzone is undoubtedly a step up for the young band, who released their demo in 2016.
On the eve of release and the day before Vein left for tour with Code Orange, Twitching Tongues and Ghostemane, vocalist Anthony DiDio spoke to Decibel about the album, touring and more.
Your new album Errorzone comes out tomorrow. How do you feel heading into it?
Really excited. It’s been a long, long process from the time that the songs were written and recorded, re-recorded and whatnot, so it’s been a really long time coming. To have it finally come out and to have people hear it and start this cycle of the record is an incredible feeling. We’re really excited.
You just got off tour in Europe. Have you been playing stuff from the record live? Have people been excited with what they were hearing and what you’ve been playing?
We played the three songs that we released along with some other new ones off the album. It was our first time playing Europe ever so some people didn’t really know the songs. There were shows where some people were receptive to the new songs, which was like really crazy because they’re newer to play, but generally it was such a new crowd that they were just hearing our band for the first time.
Sometimes some people picked up on the new songs and that was really cool.
The stuff that’s on Errorzone is pretty different than a lot of hardcore albums sound like and there’s a lot of different stuff at play. Were you trying to make a record that totally went outside the bounds of what hardcore usually does?
I don’t think we were trying to achieve that. It was more just making stuff that we wanted to hear. I guess with that statement, we succeeded in doing that, but that wasn’t really the goal. We just wanted to make songs that we really loved and that were a bit bigger-sounding and had more going on than the stuff we did before that.
It kinda happened on its own, naturally, I guess. Just incorporating all our influence and our ideas into a real thing, like a real project.
A lot of people are saying that there’s some nu metal influence on it, like Slipknot or even Code Orange. Do you guys try to shy away from labels like that or is that something that you don’t really care about or you just sort of embrace it?
That’s been getting brought up a lot. We didn’t listen to nu metal bands and say “Let’s try and sound like this.” We tend to not do that when we write music in general, so things came out that way and if people want to call it Slipknot or they want to call it this, that’s just their way of trying to understand it. I can’t be mad or excited about that, you know? I kind of just don’t really pay attention to it. That’s just somebody’s way of understanding something by comparing it to something else. It’s whatever to me. I’m not psyched about it, but I’m not mad about it either. It’s neither a good or a bad thing.
So you recorded the album with Will Putney and someone in the band expressed that he had sort of helped you recognize the vision for this album that you’d kinda had in your heads. Do you wanna talk about that, how did you link up with him and what did he bring to the table or did he do that allowed you to fully realize that sound?
He just really knew how to push it sonically and everything just kinda kicked up to the extreme. Just kicked up like a notch, like a little bit more than there was before. At the start of it, it’s really his recording quality and his craft as an engineer that’s really incredible, and as far as all the maybe weirder sonic elements that we wanted to put in, he knew how to make them sound how we wanted them to sound and when you’d explain an idea to him, he knew how to make it happen and together we just made things on the older versions, made stuff possible that wasn’t really possible before. He really knew what we wanted and he knew how to make it real.
Yeah, that makes sense. To go along with the album having a very specific sound, there’s a really strong visual element to things. Is that something that the whole band does or is that one of you who does that? Where is that part of it coming, it’s unique and kind of has a tone to it.
Are you talking about like the artwork?
How the videos have a really distinctive style and the artwork and all of that together.
I did a lot of that stuff, but it’s really, we all collectively agree on those ideas together. It comes from a culmination of visual inspirations that we like… We just have a pretty strong idea of what we want visually and especially for this album, there was always an aesthetic in mind that we had and things just became more concrete down the road. The image of the eye and the surgical stuff, that came along and manifested itself, and then the video was… we just wanted it to look super blown out and crazy, took a lot of influence from film and stuff we like.
Writing this album, did it happen fast or have you been working on this for a long time?
We’ve been working on it since like 2014 and anything that was along the way, this album’s always been in the background for whatever we were doing since the first song was written, I’d say. It was always in the background of everything and we wrote it, finished it a couple years ago, then it took us a year to record and we ended up reworking it more and finally rerecording it. It’s been going on for a very long time; it’s not like we did the split or 7″ and wrote it all after that and recorded it in 6 months. That even came in the midst of doing this whole thing.
Rerecording it definitely put a more modern take on what we were trying to do since we had developed a lot more since the older recordings, so that’s really good. The songs are old but they feel new again.
The tour with Code Orange starts tomorrow. How are you feeling heading into that tour? Are you excited to get out there and play with these bands? It’s an interesting tour.
I’m really really excited because it’s the first tour right off of the new album. I’m excited to go out there and play new songs off of it. There’s a bunch of great bands playing, so I’m definitely excited. For sure.
Is there any song on the album that’s your favorite or you really want people to pay extra attention to?
I would probably say, because generally it’s hard for people to make it to the end of a record, I would say “End Eternal” and the title track, “Errorzone,” are two songs I think epople should really check out and pay attention to. They’re really good songs. Like I said, they’re at the end. Some of these songs have been rerecorded, so we’ve played them before and we’ve already premiered 3 songs, so I think the first half of the record, it moves, so if I want anybody to check out anything, it would be “End Eternal” and/or the title track, “Errorzone,” because there’s a lot going on in those songs and I think people will like them a lot.