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Interviews : “We were labelled as being more of a death metal band” – An interview with Marc Okubo (Veil of Maya)

By on December 3, 2018

Illinois-based act Veil of Maya have been cranking out their extreme, brutal but increasingly melodic progressive sounds for almost a decade and a half now, and a strong and steady musical growth and evolution can be traced across the course of the six albums the band has released during that time. So much so that guitarist and co-founding member Marc Okubo, speaking from the band’s studio in Chicago, feels that his band has actually been throughout a full re-birth in the last three or four years.

“It doesn’t feel like that long actually,” he muses, “having a new vocalist for the last two albums, it now kinda feels like this band started with that. It feels like when we started, that was almost a completely different band. I don’t know, it’s weird.”

There has been quite a marked shift in their musical direction during that time too. “When we started, we were labelled as being more of a death metal band,” he recalls, “when we toured it was mostly with death metal bands. Now we’ve switched it to more of the Dance Gavin Dance universe. I don’t know if we should call it a whole new chapter, and a whole new fanbase, and a whole different set of bands that we get to tour with. It’s exciting.”

Indeed, the band are heading to Australia early in the new year with the aforementioned Dance Gavin Dance for a six-date tour that is almost completely sold out already, and it is definitely not the first tour the two bands have done together. “Yeah we’ve toured with them twice this year,” Okubo states, “We clicked with those guys right away actually, musically and personally, so I’m really excited to hit the road with them again, especially in Australia.”

Tickets for the upcoming Dance Gavin Dance / Veil of Maya Australian tour are on sale now via Destroy All Lines. Click here to secure your tickets.

It’s been a little over a year since the band’s last album False Idol was released, and the band is now back in writing and recording mode for their seventh record, as they start to piece together ideas in between tours. Okubo reveals that Aussie audiences may get a sneak peak at what they’ve been working on this coming tour. “Maybe we’ll have something new for everyone, we’ll see,” he says with a wink.

While they have begun work on some new material, it is still too early in the process to get a true bead on what direction it is heading in. However, Okubo is happy to give an insight into how he and the band operate when in writing mode. “The way I like to write is mostly just riff by riff,” he describes, “maybe I’ll write 100 little clips and then I start to put them all together like a little puzzle. Then the guys come in and start adding their parts and their creativity.

“So guess I don’t really know what the end product is going to be like yet, but so far it sounds like Veil!” He laughs.

Almost 15 years into their career, Okubo is veritably bursting with confidence as to whether the band has that much time, or more, left in them, in a creative, personal and motivational sense. “Oh, for sure, dude, of course. Thirty more years at least!” He laughs.

Okubo has a tongue in cheek idea as to what the band is going to sound like in 30 years from now: “Oh man, it’s gonna be so heavy, we’re just going to get heavier. I mean, I’ll barely be able to hold the guitar, they’ll have to wheel me out on stage, but we’ll still be making the mosh pits happen.”

Any parting words for your Aussie fans? “I just hope ya’ll haven’t forgotten about us,” he says, “we’re just gonna keep bringing out new music and coming out there as long as we can.”


Veil of Maya is currently promoting their latest release ‘False Idol’, out now via Sumerian Records. Available now via iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and leading retail outlets. Click here to secure your copy.

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.