Interviews

Vermont modern / melodic metalcore act SAVING VICE shares new sick animated video; track by track commentary and best records of 2020

In conjuction of the 1 year anniversary of their debut record ‘Hello There‘, Vermont metalcore band SAVING VICE have released a brand new music video for the track “Nerve Damage”, refreshed their merch offer and today they are joining us with a special commentary, track by track rundown and special list of their best 2020 records worth a solid check if you missed it.

“With COVID still prevalently looming over our industry with no end in sight, our future plans are still uncertain.” – says founder and guitarist Robbie Litchfield. 

“We have decided that, in the interim, we would take a much-needed break from releasing new music and content until things start to clear up and just focus on promoting the content we already have out now. In 2020, we released over a dozen new songs, and without the income of touring to help support what we want to do among other reasons, we decided it made the most sense to take this route for ourselves personally as well as the business.”

Track by track commentary, by Tyler & Chase:

Before I Go – This track was sort of a nod to that 2010 metalcore intro we had with our biggest song “Hell Here” which starts off our EP “Colder Than Dark” in a similar fashion. This song is really important to the overall composition of the album because it had to do a lot of things at once. I wanted it to feel cinematic, so the backtracks were very intentional, the whispers you hear throughout the song are actually the voices of the twins from the album art as well. We wanted to create a sort of “lore” to our discography that they are a part of. The video we did for the song was actually filmed at our sold out album release show which made sense. The song is written as sort of an attack on everyone who looked down on us or doubted us up until now. It is definitely one of the most pissed off songs I’ve written. -Tyler

Never Knows Best – This is maybe my favorite song I’ve written and is in my opinion the “quintessential” metalcore track on the record. It was written with a lot of references to things I’ve gone through in past relationships but the message we wanted to send with the video is that sometimes the abuse you see or don’t see in a relationship isn’t physical. Gaslighting, controlling, manipulative partners can cause just as much permanent damage and can be just as hard to get away from and sometimes people don’t take it seriously. I always get messages from fans saying it helped them through a breakup or helped them let go of toxic relationships and that’s the kind of impact I want our music to have. -Tyler

Endgame – This was actually one of the first songs written for the album years before it came out and we always knew it would be the first single. I particularly enjoy performing and listening to this track because of the post hardcore elements ingrained into it. The song itself is actually a tribute to the Marvel infinity saga but I wanted it to have a lot of real metaphors that could be interpreted by the listener however they needed to be. We went with the chess imagery for the music video and the lighting to sort of personify the “endgame” title as well as to represent the conflict between the characters in the movie. There are easter eggs and references to pop culture throughout our music but this was by far the most intentional. I wrote this song in the car on the way home from the movie theater after seeing “Infinity War” with Robbie and the melody for the chorus just came to me. The title being the same as the following movie was a complete coincidence, – Tyler

Nerve Damage – As soon as Robbie sent the instrumental I knew I wanted to take the lead on this song lyrically, I wrote this song about a very rough patch in my life that took a large mental toll on me. It’s all about the process of recovery and conquering your inner demons after experiencing trauma and being able to finally move on and live happily despite that. -Chase

Eyes Up – This is definitely our most positive song on the album haha, and the fact we were able to have our good friend Kalie Wolfe from Rivals hop on the track with us makes it that much more fun in my opinion. The message we are trying to convey in this song is how you have to take charge and make yourself happy. There’s so much negativity in the world but it’s important to not let that weigh you down. It’s important to take charge and fight for your happiness, and to know that your happiness is worth fighting for in the first place.- Chase

Echoes From The Gutter – I’ve always been a fan of deathcore and the heavier side of metalcore so I had a great time writing this knowing it was going to be our heaviest track. This song is about the counter-productivity of negativity in not only the local scene but the world in general, too much time and effort is spent trying to drag down other people when that same time and effort could be used to further their own progress or be used to grow in a positive direction. – Chase

Broken Window – The concept of this song came from the idea of the Overton Window. For those who are unaware of what that is, it’s what we as a society view as acceptable and allowed to happen. In recent years we believe we have seen that window “slip” and regress to a former state of allowing certain things that should never be allowed to persist in a functional society continue and sadly even thrive. -Chase

Hollow Bastion – I believe everybody can relate to the fear of growing older, once we hit a certain age and you start feeling random pains and you don’t have the same drive that you used to, you start to feel the true weight of mortality. Although that’s natural and everybody will experience it, that doesn’t make it any less terrifying or easier to cope with. This song is about our personal experiences coming to terms with that and the fears that are associated with them. – Chase

So Saf e– This was a song I wrote during a two year long distance relationship I was in with my current girlfriend at the time. We were on opposite coasts and the band kept me so busy I couldn’t see her often and this song was a definite outlet for me to get out the depression and frustration it caused. A lot of people know what it’s like to be separated from loved ones and this being the most “radio friendly” song on the record I felt made it more accessible to a wider audience. During the pandemic we did an acoustic version of the song that did very well. We now live together luckily but I feel like tour will always have this song close to the chest for me -Tyler

The Black Briar – This is probably the band/fan favorite. It’s the closing track but it is also the song and video we released with the album. We were lucky enough to have the twins from our album art who some may know from their instagram “The Little Ghouls” or their recent music project “Satin Puppets” Julia and Johanna personify the demons, anxiety and all of our inner conflict we all deal with every day. The video is supposed to imagine us trapped in a ritual in our own minds which is what “The Black Briar” was meant to be. We also had an intro track we played live prior to “The Black Briar” in our setlist where the twins are chanting lyrics of the song that we unfortunately only got to use once before Covid struck but it was also used as the album teaser and can be found on Youtube. This song musically is probably the most perfect song we’ve released to date in every way. -Tyler

Best albums of 2020, by SAVING VICE:

Saving Vice by Ian Urquhart

Saving Vice by Ian Urquhart

Robbie: It’s pretty rare that an album will grab me to the point where I listen to it nonstop, but for me, Tickets to my Downfall by MGK was that album of 2020.

I surprisingly had it on repeat most of the time and although it’s not something I was necessarily inspired by musically, it was very fun and refreshing to listen to! As far as an album more in line with our material, I would have to say Bring Me The Horizon’s new album Post Human: Survival Horror was pretty flawless as well. I really enjoyed it and loved that they dialed in their sound to incorporate some of that old style everyone in the scene missed from them!

Chase: In the last year or so I’ve been listening to a large amount of hip hop, being surrounded by metal all the time I find it nice to branch out into other genres. I’ve been listening to a lot of Anderson .Paak, his “Oxnard” album was in a lot of my playlists for the year.

My favorite metal release for 2020 was probably “Slow Decay” by The Acacia Strain though, with Polaris‘ “The Death Of Me” close behind.

Tyler: It’s harder and harder for me to get into newer bands or albums but the new Bring Me the Horizon record Post Human: Survival Horror was definitely my album of the year. “Nothing Nowhere” is one of my favorite up and coming artists. He fuses the emo rap genre with early 2000’s emo music and in my opinion has never written a bad song. His music got me through some bad times and he is also a Vermonter like most of us which is really cool seeing as we have so few known musicians.

Sammy: I highly recommend looking into Wargasm (UK). I came across their music and was on their website buying merch within 10 minutes.

With a lot of bands sounding the exact same these days, this group is definitely a breath of fresh air for me. One of the core members (milkie) is featured in Yungblud’ssuperdeadfriends” live music video and I was so blown away by her performance I figured i’d check out her band and i’m very glad I did!

2 more bands I’d like to mention are Static Dress and If I Die First. To this day I constantly find myself putting on the same emo / scene / post-hxc bands from like 2008 and these groups have a very nostalgic sound reminiscent of that old school scene culture that I love. If you like From First To Last and Underoath then you’ll definitely like Static Dress and If I Die First!

Kenjamin: Bring Me The Horizon’s “Post Human: Survival Horror” was a huge game changer for 2020. I’ve been actively listening to BMTH for many years and have watched the many transitions of the band from both their line-up to their music style and have never been disappointed. Music is an art, it evolves, and they are definitely one of the busiest and most active bands in the scene who know just how to progress with the art and work super hard for what they want to accomplish without losing the energy of the music. As well as BMTH, another very busy and active band I’ve started paying much closer attention to in the past year is Architects.

I had the pleasure of seeing them live in 2019 and they definitely struck a nerve with me, however once they had their online live stream in November at Royal Albert Hall, I was absolutely hooked. Their 9th studio album “For Those That Wish to Exist” is merely days away from this moment I am writing this and I am personally very stoked.

With this, I’ve also become quite the collector of vinyl records throughout the pandemic and recently came in possession of a copy of the sole Crosses (Chino Moreno, Deftones) album and fell in love with it all over again. Sometimes you just need a break from metal and just need something very vibey and dreamy. That album is the one that always does it for me without fail, and I highly recommend everyone give it a listen.

HIGH ENERGY - Metal & Hardcore // IDIOTEQ.com Spotify Playlist

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