We are a metal band from Bratislava, Slovakia. Our music consists of various metal genres, mostly Black and Death Metal. Vortex Unit was founded in 2011, by ex-members of The Crypt and Siren, our female singer, who is the last founding member in the band. The band members are Siren (vocals), Anguis (guitar, vocals), Michal (guitar), Vaco (bass) and Tuky (drums).
2.Recently you have released your first full length, musically how does it differ from your previous single and ep?
We used a different approach and created a storyline for the album. It is a bit more complicated music, both to play and listen to. Every song is a part of a tale, like a chapter. Comparing EP, Single and this Album would be a comparison of capabilities of different people, since the members have been replaced few times over. EP was a more of a straightforward beating, new album is a bit more technical, songs are more complicated. I would say the album might be considered a more compositional than the EP was.
3.This is also your first release since 2014, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time span?
Well, there was a single called Enlightenment in 2016, which should have served as a prologue to the story of The Bringer of Sun. There was trouble finding other members, who would like to play this music and be actually capable of playing it. Wigo started to play in Doomas, Anguis played in Ravenarium and everything went a bit slower. We worked on the album, both music and lyrical side of it had to be done well. Then, Wigo decided to take a break from music, so aside from searching for bass player and drummer, we also lacked a second guitar. After some time, drummer Tuky has decided to join us on drums, Pekka took the guitar, Lucas Thin started playing bass and we became a band.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with the new album and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
It is a story of a being, exiled by his own people. Fear of the future events lurked into the hearts of his kin, and they have decided to get rid of him. Revenge has brought him onto a path, which is not exactly the path he was seeking for. The main focus is in the change of personality of an individual, when he gains power. The power makes his ego bloom and rise above the common men, rendering him more important and worthy in his eyes. His decisions are slowly turning into a madman's orders, his perception of reality is distorted and he turns his life into a cult of his godly presence, craving to be praised by all. It is basically about how admiration and power can destroy one's former persona and change him into a vainglorious asshole.
We worked on the album for more than four years. We learned a lot of the new stuff during this period, and we are gladful for this experience. We recorded the album by ourselves, mixed and mastered it on our own as well. Our views have changed in some ways, new things might be a bit different, but we don't aim for a dramatic change in genre.
5.The band has been around since 1996 and has gone under different names in the earlier line ups, what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Vortex Unit'?
It might seem to be a continuation of the band The Crypt, but it is not. The idea was to start doing something slightly different, than The Crypt was doing. It has become an act on its own after some time, with no member of the previous band among us. Name meant to bear a powerful impact, as well as the music.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
It is the Bright One, enclosed by the darkness, which is yet to be dissolved in his light. But it could be both the prologue, and the epilogue, when blinded by power, he creates his own darkness around him, thick and impenetrable, preventing him from seeing the outer world. Ondrej Forus is the artist responsible for the artwork, he has done a great job and is a true professional. Check him out on Facebook or www.ondrejforus.com if you are interested.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
The most interesting one was in 2014, Gothoom festival. There was a lot of fuss around this festival, because the nearest city was trying to ban it. Christians and authorities were pointing at gruesome, somewhat satanistic nature of bands, which were included in the line up. They were afraid of rituals, violence, burning of the Bible and who knows what else. Oh, yes, someone said that we will steal their hens if I remember correctly. Thanks to this, our band ended up being in several news, both broadcasted by TV stations and web news. On the other side, it were troublesome times for the organizer Peter Beťko (Doomas). There were a lot of downsides to this unwanted promotion, he had to deal with problems, ridiculous conditions and anonymous threats sent by insane people. Also there was some crazy auntie dressed in white, who was just standing in front of the gate, holding a huge cross like one would hold an infant, and spoke to everyone how evil it is what we are doing. We had a lot of fun back then, it's a really great festival, you should check it out! And how would we describe our stage presence? We are enjoying every second of it, and we are trying to deliver our best every time. We cherish the opportunity to play in front of people who are interested in hearing our music live.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for 2020?
We had something in mind, to promote our new album, but the Coronavirus outbreak has doomed the live shows. When things go to normal, hopefully sooner than it's expected, because the recent news aren't as appealing, we would like to play a little tour. We'd like to play shows in Slovakia, Czechia, maybe Poland... But that still is the future for now.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
We noticed some positive feedback, we are happy to hear that people like this new album.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Well, recently we changed our line up, Pekka and Lucas decided to move on and leave the band, but we fortunately found a replacement in no time. Michal and Vaco from the band LATE are the newest addition to our crew. LATE actually released a new full length album recently, called The One and I. Tuky is in a lot of bands, a new album of Modern Age Dying is almost done and Head2Down are heading to recording studio right after the virus crisis is over. Anguis is trying to finish the album with Ravenarium, but the virus has become a kind of an obstacle for everyone.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We started something already, not going to rush it though. New stuff is going to be maybe a tiny bit different, but it's not going to be an extreme change from what we do already. Boundaries remain similar. We will try to do our best to improve the sonic quality and performance, we are all looking forward to do this. It will surely still have Black and Death Metal in it, everything else remains a question for now.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
If we talked about it here, we would have an extremely long list, that would be really exhausting to go through. We all love different things and they often come in different shapes and colours, but that's good, because this way we can create something unique and interesting. If you're interested in our influences and music bands we like, you should check out our Spotify channel, we are currently adding our members' playlists there.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Siren: Reading books, relaxing with a good cup of tea, going to nature, watching movies and series with a huge bowl of popcorn, going to concerts, meeting with friends.
Anguis: I like to cook, build things, I am a bit obsessed with new ideas to create something and it doesn't come out well very often. I like to drink, but not too often, because almost everytime I drink, I tend to drink a lot. I love animals, fun, coffee and discovering new stuff.
Michal: I work as a programmer and also love to develop apps in my personal life. I never despise good beer and I love trips in the nature.
Vaco: Filling up the void of existence by any means, most of the time it's playing games, trying to overcome my lethargic body and do something healthy and soulful like hiking.
Tuky: Traveling, cinema, hiking, camping, culinary exploration and heavy consumptions of alcoholic beverages.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for having us! To everyone reading this - keep yourself healthy and happy, be responsible while this virus creeps around the globe and be nice to the people around you! Stay strong and be yourselves.