Veil of Maya’s Brandon Butler + Marc Okubo Talk 2014 Mayhem Festival + New Album Progress
It’s a busy time for Veil of Maya, as the band has been working on a new album while also spending the summer playing to the masses on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Loudwire met up with Veil of Maya’s Brandon Butler and Marc Okubo on opening day of the Mayhem Fest and got the scoop on their new album and what they expect from this summer’s run on the Mayhem trek. Check out the chat below.
Big summer for you guys. Not only Mayhem, but working a new album as well.
Marc Okubo: We are trying our best to have it out on this tour, but it might take a month or two longer. We’re working on it every day. That’s all I can say for now.
Brandon Butler: It’s going to be out this year. We don’t want to put out an album that’s rushed. We want to make sure it’s where we want it to be and what we think a quality album should be.
Can you tell me a little about the direction of the album, the sound and where it’s going at this point?
MO: It’s more feminine than we’ve every sounded before. That’s the theme, actually, we’re trying to go for very feminine. It still sounds like us, for sure. It’s just very polished and an accessible version of us.
Also, ‘Subject Zero’ is out there early for fans to get a taste. Can you talk about how it came together?
MO: I can honestly say that’s the only song that sounds like that. If people are worried, they shouldn’t be. We try and make albums with every song sounding different. That’s how we like to do it.
BB: It was cool, we did that out, that song with Diego from Volumes and it was cool. It was one of the first times we were all together as a band when we recorded that stuff, but we’ve been trying to do more with this album, as well.
You guys have been working on the album, but does any of that roll over into what you guys are doing on the road? Are you just going from back catalogue?
MO: Yeah, we’re being exposed to a lot of new fans on this tour. We’re just trying to play the songs that we feel will get the most attention for ourselves. Then use that to promote our album, hopefully, to be completely honest. I don’t know even know if I should tell you guys that.
Tell me about your Mayhem experience today.
MO: The first day of any tour is always the roughest. We were just trying to survive and it actually went really well. So, I can say that I’m super excited for the rest of the tour. It’s going to be awesome.
BB: Once you get the first show out of the way, it’s just smooth sailing from there. You want to test the waters almost. It went really well. Really awesome, I’m excited for all the shows coming up.
This is a great tour, so many great bands. Can you talk about what it means to be a part of Mayhem?
MO: It’s an honor. When I was in 5th grade, Korn was like, my favorite band. Now I get to be on tour with them. I used to get made fun of for wearing Korn shirts in middle school. Now we’re on tour with them.
Have you had a chance to meet Jonathan [Davis]?
MO: Not yet, but I’ll wait — I’ll wait until it happens naturally. I don’t want to force msyelf on anyone.
I’ve heard there have been barbecues.
BB: I’m excited about this tour, they do a lot of activities and things to get people together and hanging out. We’ve never been a part of Warped Tour or Mayhem so, it’s something we’ve always wanted to do. Like you said, we’re honored to be on the tour.
Can you talk about coming from the Chicago music scene and what it was like coming up through the ranks?
MO: It definitely shaped who I am and the music that I play. I mean, we had a really big hardcore scene and a really big death metal scene and I am definitely a by-product of that. I’ve been involved in it since I was 15 or 16 years old and it taught me a lot about the world. If you make it out of Chicago, it says a lot of about you. Touring the country, we’ve noticed there’s a lot of bands that just get put on shows. If you’re from Chicago, you get put on an opening act of a show that means you’ve worked your ass off for it and you earned it. It says a lot about you and what your band stands for. I’m proud to be from Chicago.
What were some of the bands you listened to growing up that made you want to do this?
BB: When I saw Pantera for the first time, I saw Phil up there. I didn’t see Pantera, I watched videos. That was one of the bands that really made me want to start performing and doing everything. I don’t know. Just, I started getting into metal. Everything about it, I loved. I just kept with it.
Our thanks to Veil of Maya’s Brandon Butler and Marc Okobu for the interview. Check out the band on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival all summer long at these locations. And keep an ear out for news on their upcoming album, coming soon.