VICES
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VICES

Santa Rosa, California, United States | SELF

Santa Rosa, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Metal

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"VICES - Featured Unsigned Band"

Featured Unsigned Bands, Issue #107 of AMP Magazine - Vices - AMP MAGAZINE


"VICES Interview"

Two page interview in issue #15 - Alternative Revolt Magazine


"Exclusive Interview: Vices Explain Unique Array of Sounds on Thieves & Royalty"

Three is supposed to be the magic number, but Vices -- a musical duo comprised of Dave Briggs and Ernest Wuethrich -- is making quite a case for the power of two. Despite having about 50 percent of your average number of band members, Vices is capable of creating a dizzyingly diverse range of sounds. And rather than sounding like a cacophony, the music created by Dave and Ernest flows impeccably. Take, for example, “The Man I Used to Be,” from Vices’ Thieves & Royalty; the song ebbs and flows, channeling R&B and jazz one minute, hard rock the next. An unlikely combination, to be sure, but perhaps that is part of the reason that it is so insanely satisfying.

Dave and Ernest took some time off from feeding the Vices-thirsty masses to chat with Live Music Insider -- see what the two had to say below. You can download Thieves & Royalty right here.

LMI: Having just two members seems as though it might be limiting, but from your music, it doesn’t seem to hold you back. What advantages do you think come with having just two members?

Vices: Having two members is more work, but it does have its perks when it come to writing and making band decisions. In the past we have both been in bands, with four or more people, and it’s always hard to agree on song arrangements, merch ideas, and the general band focus. With two members, it’s a lot easier to stay on the same page.

LMI: Thieves & Royalty displays a wide range of sounds. Do you have a favorite track from the disc?

Dave: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but “Find A Way” is my favorite to sing live; it’s high-energy and people seem to get into it the most.

LMI: When you began writing as Vices, did you intend to incorporate such a variety of styles, or did things just turn out that way as a reflection of your interests and emotions?

Vices: We definitely wanted to show all of our influences. It’s so easy to just write a record based on one genre, so we knew we wanted to stay away from that. Basically, we just started rocking out ideas we both came up with in the studio, just guitar and drums…and just built them from the ground up one by one. Luckily, it blended well.



LMI: You two are active on a number of social media and internet-based promotional platforms. What do you think the best internet-based tool for bands is?

Vices: Facebook, until it turns into MySpace with spam and spyder programs, is the best.

LMI: Do you have a favorite venue at which to perform?

Vices: Arlene Francis (Santa Rosa, CA) is the most intimate place we’ve played, sound is questionable but the place has a really great bohemian vibe and awesome staff.

LMI: “The Man I Used To Be” moves from jazzy and sultry at times to sounding like post-hardcore at others; could you briefly take us through the writing process on this one?

Vices: The song itself was probably the most challenging to write. We had so many styles that came out of nowhere, but in the end they somehow seemed to flow into one another. We are very happy with how it turned out.

LMI: How did your CD release show go?

Vices: It was great, one of those shows that everyone came out to, ending up selling out. We feel so lucky to have such support behind us.

LMI: If you had to choose just one instrument to use, what would it be?

Dave: Ernest would say Piano, I’d go for a guitar.

LMI: Given the diversity of your sound, this seems like it might be hard to pin down -- but do you see any musicians as particularly influential?

Vices: Misery Signals, Deftones, Dwele, Craig David ,Stomacher, 90s alternative.

LMI: If you could collaborate with any other artist in music, who would it be and why?

Dave: I’d love to work with Craig David, and Misha Mansoor of Periphery both artists are amazing and blow my mind…we could all make some crazy tunes together Ernest really just wants to right with Dwele - LIVE MUSIC INSIDER


"Vices: Thieves And Royalty Review"

Vices: Thieves And Royalty
There are many bands out there these days who are trying to meld together styles and genres and Vices certainly fall squarely into that category. However to this duos credit there aren't that many acts trying to bring hardcore metal into the same album as alternative rock and while it may not always be the most straight forward marriage the end results are equally interesting and promising.

"Find A Way" opens up this EP that hurtles by in under 20 minutes with grinding riffs and tortured growls, which considering the picture of Dave Briggs and Ernest Wuethrich on the back of the cover suggests that Vices are an indie rock band, is quite an initial shock. However such is the convincing nature of the aggressive, punching guitars that any doubts soon fade away. As the alt. rock clean vocals and toned down riffs herald the arrival of "The Man I Used To Be", the more original nature of the band shines through, as I'm not sure many full force metal machines are also turning out slower melodic rock numbers of this fashion. That said though it isn't all plain sailing, with the more melodic moments not always being as convincing as the all out metal and when they are presented in the same song, as they are on "Thieves And Royalty" it can feel ever so slightly forced.
That said though, when Vices do just play a slow, heartfelt alternative rock track in the shape of "Slow Dancing In A Burning Room" there's no doubt that they could happily slot into Kerrang TV. However at the same time as many bands in that arena struggle to, they also would fail to stand out from the crowd. Things are beefed up again for closing track "Mind Games" where the growls once again team up with a more melodic delivery and as before the effect is decidedly more arresting and this time more organic. For my money, this is the type of thing that Vices should be concentrating on if they want to make a lasting impact on an extremely crowded music scene.
Thieves And Royalty isn't quite the finished article, but there are enough well formed ideas and the delivery is for the most part very skilful, suggesting that if they can be slightly more consistent, then big things may lie ahead for Vices.

Track Listing
1. Find A Way
2. The Man I Used To Be
3. Thieves And Royalty
4. Slow Dancing In A Burning Room
5. Mind Games
Added: April 7th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score: - Sea of Tranquility


"Vices: Thieves & Royalty – Music Review"

ARTIST: Vices
ALBUM TITLE: Thieves & Royalty
RECORD LABEL: Self-Released
RELEASED: April 19, 2011

By Eric Stuckart
Creator, Destroyer

When I was younger, I used to go to Chicago’s Fireside Bowl constantly. This was before it was renovated and reinstated as a fully-functioning bowling alley, when the place was the most DIY venue to go for punk and hardcore shows. And while I and the club have both grown up a bit, I have some fond memories from my time spent there.

On one of those nights — nearly ten years ago now — I saw Zao and Norma Jean, with a young band called Dead Poetic opening. They must have made enough of an impression on me that night, because I ended up picking up their newly-released debut full length, Four Wall Blackmail. I think the thing that I was impressed with was their ability to seamlessly fuse some pretty aggressive vocals to introspective, edgy alt-rock guitarwork without sounding like a complete and utter mess. Since then, the only band that in my opinion came even close to that sound was Armsbendback, which got close, but something about their sound was just off to me.

That being said, one of the first bands that struck my mind while listening to Vices’ debut EP Thieves & Royalty was Dead Poetic. It’s more of a feeling or the spirit of that sound that they convey than mere mimicry of the aforementioned band’s style, but in all my years listening to this type of music, I’ve noticed that most bands are so willing to fall back on more emo type of melodic passages that when a band does it a little different it’s very noticeable. And welcome, if I don’t say so myself. Some of the melodic vocals veer a little closer to your garden variety emo music, but they still seem to know how to pull it all together without sounding too rehashed or derivative.

The EP kind of gives us a taste of everything that the duo — Dave Briggs and Ernest Wuethrich — are capable of. They start it off with “Find a Way,” deceptively making listeners that this is going to be the sound of a stereotypical metalcore band until the first bridge and chorus kicks in, giving us a some pretty sugary pop vocals. The alternating harsh and melodic sides of them are pretty standard fare for this style of music, but it’s what follows that makes the EP kind of a surprise.

“The Man I Used to Be,” oddly begins with a drum and bass line more akin to club music or boy bands, validating their name-checking of Justin Timberlake in their influences. While the electronic bit only rears its head that one time and is short-lived at that, it’s something that I’d like to see the band explore more often in the future, because it’s one of the more unique elements of their EP, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it. The song continues to go in a slower, more pensive direction than it’s predecessor, staying light on the screamed vocals, and has generally a moodier atmosphere.

The title track and lead single follows that up, giving us more of a straightforward rock song. It’s something that you’d be likely to hear on your average alternative or hard rock stations on the radio, with a prevalent quiet/loud dynamic throughout, but Vices pulls it off convincingly well. Even it’s length — just under three and a half minutes — gives it the air of being primed and ready for radio, and I can see this being the one to probably shoot them out into the spotlight.

My personal favorite track off the album is their cover of John Mayer’s “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room,” which in my opinion injects some much-needed life into Mayer’s sleepy approach to the song. Granted, that’s his style much of the time, but Vices gives it the healthy bit of oomph that the song drastically needed, and they more than own the song and make it work towards their ends. This also has probably the best vocals on the album, with Briggs pulling off a varied, energetic performance. They manage to do all this without dumbing the song down, but if you heard it without someone telling you that it was originally a John Mayer song, it’s likely that you wouldn’t know.

They wrap things up with the decidedly heavy “Mind Games,” which serves as a proper bookend to the EP. Very much like the album opener, it uses that song’s two-pronged attack style of alternating between the heavy and the melodic. It’s a good way to end the album and remind listeners that they can bring the ruckus just as much as they can bring some well-written alt-rock styled material, but I have a feeling that they’ll be gaining a lot more fans with if they keep their melodic stuff at the forefront, using the heavier style for emphasis in their songs rather than the other way around. That’s not a slight against their heavy songs, because Vices clearly know their stuff, but heavy bands like that are a dime a dozen. Plus, having a singer like Briggs not doing what he does best full time seems like a waste of talent.

As I said earlier in the review, Thieves & Royalty is a pretty decent chunk of music for what they’re going for, which is alternative rock with a hint of hardcore and R&B influenced vocals from time to time. Being an EP, this is more of a teaser to whet the appetites of their fans and listeners, but I can see good things coming from the band. They just have to fully commit to their style. This is a great starting point for the band, which is good, because they’ve got the makings of a band that knows what they’re doing, and knowing’s half the battle.

RATING: 7/10

Buy Thieves & Royalty on iTunes or at vicesmusic.bandcamp.com/album/thieves-royalty.

Front page photo from facebook.com/Vices.OFFICIAL, interior photos courtesy of Vices.
- Primary Ignition


"Vices "Thieves & Royalty" CD Review"

Vices totally fooled me. when I first saw a photo of the band, I was expecting a certain type of music, but when I listened to the 1st track of this 5 song E.P. I was really surprised, the first song is called "Find A Way" its heavy with lots of screamo thrown in, second track is 'The Man I Used To Be" its a slower song, but retains the heaviness, vocals are clean for most of the song, its moody and heavy at the same time. next up is "Thieves & Royalty" it starts off slow, and keeps a mellow tempo, reminds me a little of the band Filter, It's my favorite off the CD. then comes the band's cover of John Mayer's "Slow Dancing In A Burning Room" they nailed this one. imagine john Mayer gone Alt.Rock. they did a great job on this. and the final song is called "Mind Games" another heavy one, great guitar sound, vocals are mostly clean. Vices mixes many different music elements, and make it work very well. the production on this independently released E.P. is top notch. Vices have a bright future, I hope to hear more new music from them soon. check them out at www.facebook.com/vices.official - Loud Reviews


"(UNSIGNED REVIEW] Vices – Thieves & Royalty"

9 out of 10 !

As addictive as this EP is, the most impressive thing about Vices is that it’s only composed of two members. Thieves & Royalty does a superb job melding several different genres together during it’s five songs, which includes screamo, hardcore, alternative rock, and R&B. The opening track, “Find A Way”, is instantly engaging and aggressive as it blows out your speakers in powerful vocals and memorable guitar breakdowns. It may be one of the more straight forward songs, but that doesn’t hurt it at all. What follows is quite unique; “The Man I Used To Be” is built on a sleazy, slow sounding foundation that is then propelled by a soaring chorus. While these first two tracks are the most energetic and loud, the final three impress just as much with their more alternative approach to things. Out of the three, the most attention deserved would have to go to “Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” though. It kind of has a ballroom/rock/ballad appeal to it that is hard to surpass. Overall, Vices do an amazing job in capturing new fans with Thieves & Royalty. This duo has a lot of talent between them and could very well be going places if they keep up this kind of interesting and successful blend of genres. (Stream “Find A Way”) – by Nathaniel Lay - Lexington Music Press


Discography

Thieves and Royalty - Debut EP released on April 19, 2011. Title track released as a single on 101.7 The Fox - 'North Bay Underground' show.

Photos

Bio

Vices consists of two full time members, Dave and Ernest. This is not as uncommon as one might think. Brooks and Dunn? Wham? Simon and Garfunkel? Hall and Oates? Vices! All examples of 2 person bands which wrote music and brought in bands to back them up for live performances.

The sound produced by these two members can best be described as hard edged alternative rock with influences of R&B vocals.

Vices formed in the summer of 2010 after Dave returned to the San Francisco Bay Area from Hollywood. The two spent 4 months writing the debut EP 'Thieves and Royalty' before heading into NB Studios in Santa Rosa to record. The recording process took 2 months, with Dave laying the drum tracks, Ernest providing bass and guitar performances, and Dave again coming in at the end to provide vocals.

In January of 2011, Vices teamed up with Independent filmmaker David Turner to film a music video for the title track, 'Thieves and Royalty'. Production occurred over two days at Christy's On The Square in Santa Rosa, Ca. The video was released in early April.

The debut EP, 'Thieves and Royalty' was released April 19, 2011, with a CD release show approaching May 21, 2011.