METALLIZATION
Interviewer: Geert van Mook
April 2002

VLE is an one-man project of 'The VLE'. till now VLE released 2 albums, 'Book of Illusions: Chapter I' and 'Book of Illusions: Chapter II'. 'Chapter I' is one of the best album's I heard in a long time, a good reason for an interview with 'The VLE'.

Can you tell us something about the history of VLE?

~the VLE~: VLE is a project I started in July 2001. Most of the music began by using an old 4-track. Those first basic tracks were then imported into a computer where other sounds (percussion/synths) were added and then made into audio files, which I uploaded onto MP3.com. All the music was improvised and constructed for my own pleasure and need for self-expression. It is music that I did several years ago and was stored on cassette tape. Out of boredom, curiosity and encouragement from acquaintances, I uploaded one song to MP3.com. After receiving positive feedback for more music, I decided to add more.

I think the most important for you is that you can translate your mood into music, is that right?

~the VLE~: The music of VLE is a reflection of my subconscious. What people experience is all their own...

Book of Illusions: Chapter II, is more modest, more silence than Chapter I, atmosphere is the most important, how do you think of it?

~the VLE~: Chapter II is less noisy. I suppose it more suited for the calmer folk... hehehe. Actually, Chapter II is just another part of the continuous journey. I think the chapters should be listened to back to back in order to experience the full effect. Every piece has it's own atmosphere and mood, still I think both Chapters flow quite nicely together, don't you agree?

The music VLE makes, is very original, different from other bands, but if you have to name a few bands that sounds like VLE, what bands are that?

~the VLE~: Come on, do I really have to?

What bands did influence you?

~the VLE~: Sorry my friend, but I couldn't begin to name bands… really, there are just too many. I listen to all kinds of music: METAL!! (Black, Doom, Dark, Death {Experimental}, Progressive, Power, Avant-Garde, Epic, Viking, Symphonic), Classic Rock, Religious, New Age, Classical, Ethnic, Jazz, etc… I think most of the true inspiration comes from the music of the 60's and the 70's though.

How and when do you write the songs/music? Are you going to the ocean and sit down there and look to a sunset?

~the VLE~: Whenever the mood hits me. No... I live in New York City. I don't have to physically be near the ocean or see a sunset to create. These visuals are in my mind, body and soul always... VLE is just a manifestation of their consuming power.

How do you record the songs?

~the VLE~: Not very carefully ;) For instance… I sit down before the keyboard and place my hands on the keys and record the sounds as they happen. I must make perfectly clear, I am not a keyboard player, programmer, drummer or singer, I am a self-taught guitarist. What you hear are my own natural instincts towards these instruments. To continue... I add sounds, phrases, and other outside instrumentation to the initial progression until I feel that the piece is finished. How this is determined is by how I feel when I listen back to all the sounds together. I don't use any programming techniques (ie. Loops). All the music is created in real-time. A piece may start with keyboard or guitar or a simple vocal melody. In most cases the guitars or main keyboard parts were recorded first without any click track and then the drum sounds, bass and vocals added last. As I've said before, I played the drum sounds from a keyboard all in real-time (for example... kick first or sometimes hi-hat and snare first, etc). In the case of Kano, I recorded a layered improvised keyboard piece... then I had a drummer (Michael Molina) go into a studio and play over the music with a real acoustic drum set. He only heard the piece once before and there were no rehearsals. He also recorded the drum tracks without the use of a click. Some of the pieces were created within a few hours others were over days, months and in a few cases years. I create out of need, not desire...

What can we expect from Chapter III?

~the VLE~: More vocal noise, aggression, melancholy, atmosphere, darkness and illusions… it will be a more diverse sound overall.

When you have released chapter III, is that the end of VLE or are you go further where Book of illusion stopped, or something complete different?

~the VLE~: I don't even know if I will live to see tomorrow, so I can't really comment on that one.

Aren't there any record company's that are interested in VLE?

~the VLE~: Actually there are a couple of labels that expressed interest, but I don't think they can release VLE. They tell me they love the music, but they want me to re-record it to improve the production/sound quality... well, this cannot happen. I'm not too concerned though... this music wasn't meant for commercial production... it was only created for me. If people like it, great, if they don't... well, then it's just not for them. I would love to reach more people with the music, but I don't think I will do anything to change the way the music is created... I am certain the atmosphere would suffer. I think in order for the music to be VLE, it has to remain true to it's original birthing. So, if there are any labels reading this that would like to release this music in it's purest form, please get in contact: vle25@hotmail.com

Don't you want to play your music live on stage? With a band?

~the VLE~: No. No.

Most of the review I have read are very positive, do you already got negative reviews?

~the VLE~: Yes, I got two negative reviews. One was in BWBK and the other on the pages of Erebus.

Isn't it that amerikans are more into Brutal music, and less like the kind of sensitive music VLE makes, that you sell more albums in Europe than in Amerika?

~the VLE~: You think my music is sensitive?

Do the things that happened on September the 11th, influenced the songs you have written since that date?

~the VLE~: No.

Will VLE always be a one-man band?

~the VLE~: VLE will always be just me... ~the VLE~.

The song freedom to fly is one of the best song I ever heard, it is also one of the harder songs, it sounds a bit like a mixture of the old and the new anathema, do you agree with that?

~the VLE~: Thanks for the great compliment. I must admit I do love older Anathema. I would say everything up to and including "The Silent Enigma" is excellent. I read that they are doing some sort of Pink Floyd sound now, but I haven't heard any of it. I'm sure their older stuff has had an influence on me, but I couldn't say that Freedom to Fly is the result. Personally, I am more interested in hearing the impressions the music gives the listener... so, if you think there is some Anathema influence in that song, then maybe it is so.

I think lots of different people, with lots of different music tastes likes your music, is that correct?

~the VLE~: Yes.

People can download all the song at Mp3.com, what do you think of bands like Metallica that are against download music on internet?

~the VLE~: Metallica sold out years ago. I could care less about their lost millions today.

Do you think you sell more or less albums, when your songs are on the internet?

~the VLE~: I'm not too concerned with this.

Is there a message in your music?

~the VLE~: Whatever the listener understands is the message of the music. In more simpler terms... Illusions are real.

Do you play also in other bands/projects?

~the VLE~: Yes.

Do you want to say something to the readers of Metallization?

~the VLE~: Always remember... Play it Loud! Hail and Kill!!

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