Earlier this month, Chicago metal core band Veil of Maya released their sixth studio album, False Idol, simultaneously as they began their tour in support of the Devil Wears Prada.
Formed in Chicago in 2004 after the break up of another metal band, Veil of Maya released their first full-length album two years later. With successful touring under their belt, the band ended up signing with Sumerian records in 2008, where are they have happily stayed.
We got to speak to Veil of Maya founder and guitarist, Marc Okubo, on touring and their new album.
False Idol is the latest progression in the musical style for Veil of Maya, who departed from their “deathcore” sound in their 2015 album, Matriarch. Okubo mentions that he likes to write with other guitarists and producers for inspiration and states that it was the most dynamic album they’ve ever produced. “When we were making it, it was kind of dreadful because it truly sounded horrible. Not bad, just sad. It made me feel bad while we were making it. This is the first album we wrote knowing that someone could sing in the band. We were very prepared for that so we didn't hold back with that. We have one song that is all singing and no screaming, and we have songs that are all screaming and no singing. We expected to get flack for that but everyone was really on board."
Okubo notes, however, that the progression of excitement after the release of the album got better and better and the music became more familiar to fans. (Okubo is particularly fond on "Follow Me.")
Writing for this album was a departure from the norm. As their most melodic album, the band really aimed to utilize singer Lucas Magyar’s vocal abilities. The band really proved their cohesion by having Magyar work with vocal producer Brandon Paddock while the rest of the band worked with producer and Okubo’s friend, Max Schaad. On that experience, Okubo describes the whole experience as "weird," despite praising the end result.
"It was kind of the way it happened. I would be making demos with Max in these two hour-long sessions. After maybe a week of that Lucas would fly out to work with Brandon [Paddock] and write vocals over everything while we were writing a different song. Later on, we would put everything together. It actually worked out really well. It was really weird because I didn't want to listen to the songs and vocals while we were still writing the music. Not that I didn't like it but because I was so focused on making the music and I didn't want to get distracted by something I wasn't used to hearing. I didn't want to over think it. In the end, everything they did we kept. Eventually, we all got on the same level. There would be two versions of the song and then we would restructuring the instrumentals while they were doing vocals on the old version so we would have to place everything properly."
As the tour winds down, Okubo talks about future plans. "I guess we're taking a break. It's been so weird since this whole year has been focused around this album, now that it's going to be over I don't know what to do with myself. We have a tour booked in India in January but that's about it... I'm just going to be becoming a regular human being again and I'm not ready for it. "
Final words from Okubo? "Definitely check out False Idol if you haven't."